August 22, 2012 10:28
This Thursday at Sonic Lunch, we’ll be gettin’ down and dirty with the original kings of crabgrass, Black Jake & the Carnies! This band of vagabonds made their debut performance on Halloween night in 2002, and it’s not hard to see why. These guys look like they’re from another time and place, despite the fact that they hail from Ypsilanti. Part circus act, part punk band, part ragtime, and 100% wildly rolicking fun, they blend an interesting collection of old-timey instruments into an uptempo sound, creating what they’ve dubbed “crabgrass,” which isn’t quite alternative bluegrass on speed, but isn’t too far off either. The unique blend of banjo, washboard, train whistle, jug and all manner of odd percussion toys, make the Carnies something closer to a manic jug and string band from the previous century that you’ve got to see to beleive.
While the band’s music, a combination of Jake’s smartly penned originals along with the odd ’80s pop cover, certainly stands on its own, Black Jake & the Carnies’ stage performances have been making a name for the band for the last 10 years. You can never quite tell what they’re going to bring with them to get people jumping and dancing and having a good time, but let’s just say it’s wise to be prepared for lots of audience-participation, some pretty outrageous costumes, and enough raw energy to jump-start a Volkswagen. Jake’s banjo is even adorned with colored blinking lights. Yes, this is a band that knows how to have a good time and has fun doing so.
Black Jake and the Carnies have spent the last year feverishly touring in support of their 2011 release, Sundry Mahems, which is the band’s highly acclaimed second album. Join us for a performance you won’t soon forget, by a band that will leave you hootin’ and hollerin’ for weeks to come.