Mad. Sq. Music: The Studio Series 2013!



Madison Square Park Conservancy announces the 2013 Mad. Sq. Music: The Studio Series. Mad. Sq. Music presents The Studio Series to promote and foster a legacy of American music through free, live music performances on Saturday afternoons. Set against the fall foliage of Madison Square Park, the intimate Studio Series atmosphere creates a beautiful space for artists to share the tradition of their craft.

The Lineup:

September 14 — Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams | The Stray Birds

September 21 — Martha Redbone Roots Project | Pesky J. Nixon

September 28 — Luke Winslow-King & His Band | Brother Sun

October 5 — The Black Lillies | Carrie Elkin & Her Greats


Mad. Sq. Music: The Studio Series takes place near the Shake Shack at the southern end of the Park from 3pm to 5pm. Some seating and café tables are available on a first-come, first-served basis. All shows are rain or shine. Fill up on delicious eats, beer and wine from our friends at the Fatty Crew (Fatty Crab and Fatty Cue)!


More artist information below. Madison Square Park is located between Fifth and Madison Avenues, from 23rd St to 26th St.

Thanks to Mad. Sq. Music: The Studio Series sponsors: Kew Management, Zwicker Electric Co, Inc., WFUV 90.7FM, NYCulture, NYSCA, Ace Hotel New York,  Time Out New York, A-Line Acoustics, Motion Laboratories, Fatty Crew and New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.



2013 Studio Series Performers


September 14

Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams I     4pm

No stranger to Americana music and three-time Grammy winning producer Larry Campbell teams up with Tennessee native, Teresa Williams, for an amazing kick-off Studio Series show. This duo has years of musical history both collectively and individually. Larry Campbell, winner of the Americana Association Lifetime Achievement Award for his multi-Instrumental work from the Americana Music Association, and native of Manhattan, spent many years as an A-team studio musician in New York’s roots, rock and country scene, recording and touring with some of the biggest names in Americana music. When Teresa made the leap to NYC, she inevitably intersected musically with Campbell. They spent years traveling apart, working on various projects, notably Larry’s eight-year stint in Bob Dylan’s band, and Teresa’s creation of the role of Sara Carter, lead singer of The Original Carter Family, for the musical Keep on the Sunny Side. Recent years have put the two together again touring with the Levon Helm Band, Phil Lesh and Friends, Hot Tuna, and joining Little Feat at their Feat Fan Excursions. In memory of Levon Helm and in the tradition of Americana music, the duo can be found playing in Woodstock, NY at Helm’s Midnight Rambles.


The Stray Birds I     3pm

Hailing from southeastern Pennsylvania, The Stray Birds, a three-part harmony string group with Maya de Vitry, Oliver Craven and Charles Muench, have crafted an original sound that draws upon the richness of American folk music traditions. Maya brings a fiddle, banjo, guitar, compelling voice and award-winning songwriting to The Stray Birds. She most recently won 4th Place in the Telluride Bluegrass Festival Troubadour Contest. Also a classically trained violinist, Oliver Craven has spent the past four years lending his talents on the fiddle, mandolin, and guitar to stages across North America in various acoustic outfits. The Stray Birds feature Craven’s arresting original songs, delivered with a voice of incredible depth and power. A classically trained bassist who now artfully dances between a myriad of styles, Charles Muench brings his unshakeable groove and powerful vocals to The Stray Birds.

September 21

Martha Redbone Roots Project I     4pm

Time Out New York says, “Martha Redbone is a charismatic indie-soul diva whose sound is a just-right mix of retro and modern.” Redbone’s music flows equally from her father’s North Carolina gospel legacy, proudly on display in her unique, award-winning blend of Native American elements with soul and funk on her previous recordings, to her deep roots in Appalachian folk and Piedmont blues favored by the matriarchy that raised her. Over five years of dedication into the roots project formed the revision of the artist’s complex American heritage, as loving messages to her child heir to these roots, and a balm for audiences hungering for truth and higher meaning in these turbulent days. The Garden Of Love — The Songs of William Blake is not the debut album of singer/songwriter/producer/artist Martha Redbone, yet it embodies a sonic rebirth and fuller flowering of her own rootsy ethos.

Pesky J. Nixon I     3pm

Pesky J. Nixon, an acoustic group full of rich harmonies, banters and grace with roots in the Boston area, takes their name from favorite Red Sox players, Johnny Pesky and Trot Nixon. Drawing influences from contemporary urban balladeers, rowdy southern bluegrass, and the sardonic yet wry wit of New England’s localized folk scenes, Pesky J. Nixon (PJN) creates an atmosphere both inviting and challenging for audiences. Compelling harmonies and narratives rein in disparate instrumentation including zydeco style accordion, virtuosic mandolin, a variety of tribal percussion, and a myriad of string instrumentation. Jay Moberg of Boston’s WUMB says of the group, “These guys represent what I love about music…great playing, thoughtful lyrics, and musicians who actually enjoy playing together!”

September 28

Luke Winslow-King & His Band I     4pm

Luke Winslow-King is a guitarist, singer, composer, and lyricist known for his slide guitar work, and interest in pre-war blues and traditional jazz. Winslow-King’s work consists of an eclectic mix, taking in delta-folk music, classical composition, ragtime, and rock and roll; juxtaposing original songs with those from a bygone era. Originally from Cadillac, Michigan, Luke Winslow-King moved to New Orleans by chance in 2001. During a decade in New Orleans he honed his sound and earned respect as leader among the young traditionalists and collaborated with a revered list of local musicians, including: John Boutte, “Washboard” Chaz Leary, and Paul Sanchez. In 2010, Winslow-King formed a four-piece made up of singer/washboard-player Esther Rose, bassist Cassidy Holden, trumpet/piano/bass-drummer Ben Polcer. “They’re one of the most professional, staunchly original, and true-to-their-core bands working today.” —–American Songwriter.


Brother Sun I     3pm

National touring artists Joe Jencks, Greg Greenway and Pat Wictor have made their mark as veteran touring singer-songwriters. But Brother Sun is no songwriter’s round. The trio’s harmonies, as much as their lyrics, tell what they are about: warm as a campfire, stirring as a gospel church, rousing as a call to arms. Fusing folk, Americana, blues, pop, jazz, rock, and a cappella singing, Brother Sun is an explosion of musical diversity and harmony, in the finest of male singing traditions. From three major points on the map — Chicago, Boston, and New York — Joe, Greg, and Pat celebrate the amazing power of singing together, their rich voices blending on a well-crafted foundation of guitar, slide guitar, bouzouki and piano. “The real breakout artists [at Falcon Ridge] this year had to be Brother Sun who’ve come together to form a trio that’s all about harmony – in their music and in their lives. Their joyful music making earned them a standing ovation in their main stage set.” -John Platt, WFUV.

October 5

The Black Lillies I     4pm

The Black Lillies front man Cruz Contreras and band composed of harmony vocalist Trisha Gene Brady, multi-instrumentalist Tom Pryor, bass player Robert Richards and drummer Bowman Townsend bring Contreras’s strength into American instrumental virtuosity. With a new album, Runaway Freeway Blues, The Black Lillies have come a long way, and when they were not playing their 200-odd gigs throughout the year, they were in Wild Chorus Studio in their hometown of Knoxville, Tenn., working with Scott Minor of Sparklehorse to craft a beautiful ode to restless spirits and rambling hearts. Rooted in the mud-rutted switchbacks of Appalachia, Runaway Freeway Blues is the sound of a band that’s become something of a phenomenon across the country. It’s breakneck, brazen and beautiful. It’s the sound of a band that’s rooted in East Tennessee but more at home piled into a van stacked with gear, windows down and aimed toward the next gig. “The vocal interplay calls to mind the old-school exchanges of June Carter and Johnny Cash Metro Pulse.

Carrie Elkin & Her Greats I 3pm

With her Red House Records debut release, Call It My Garden, Carrie Elkin has emerged as one of the defining new voices in the world of Texas singer-songwriters, celebrated by Texas Music Magazine as one of their artists of the year.   The voice, the stories, the images, the grace and infectious enthusiasm, it’s a complete package.   But  it’s the power of her live performances that really have been creating an incredible buzz around this young artist. Maverick Magazine said it best, after a recent festival performance: “I have never seen a performer so in love with the act of singing. That’s the gospel truth. Onstage Elkin was simply a force of nature.”   She’s an artist full of contrast and contradiction.   With a voice that’s somehow both gritty and pristine, the Austin Chronicle calls it “an earthy combination of strength and compassion . . . reminiscent of  the winsome beauty created by a young Nanci Griffith,” while Bob Harris of the BBC throws in comparisons to Patty Griffin and Iris DeMent, and calls her voice “spellbinding from the opening track.”