Join us of Cactus Rose band for our first show of 2017 this Friday night! We are celebrating #BlackHistoryMonth with our own cosmic twang contribution to the #BlackHillbilly tradition & looking forward to reaching out farther with this advocacy into the national & international music scene during this year. Follow us on Instagram: @cactusroselovesyou
#CactusRose live @ Branded Saloon
603 Vanderbilt Avenue, Brooklyn NY
More info/directions: brandedsaloon.com
( Black stringband in 1900)
Many moons ago, I worked at the Schomburg Center For Research In Black Culture of the New York Public Library system — in the last days of the tenure there of my hometown hero Ellis Haizlip, onetime host of the best television show ever: SOUL! I was seeing Mr. Haizlip’s ghost ’round every corner, strolling around in his typical dashiki & tailored slacks, last night @ the Schomburg even before his name was invoked by an elder audience member after the Black Banjo event we were in attendance at the Langston Hughes Auditorium: Banjo Stories & Songs From Haiti & New Orleans, featuring my acquaintance Laurent Dubois (a banjo-playing, Belgian-American scholar from Duke University; I did a talk with him @ CUNY Graduate Center in Midtown back in the spring for the release of his new Harvard tome: The Banjo – America’s African Instrument) & my new friend Leyla McCalla, the Haitian-American banjoist who resides in New Orleans singing songs in English, French, Kreyol & the lone member of my friends’ band the Carolina Chocolate Drops that I had yet to meet. The cited episode of SOUL! featured Taj Mahal (ex-Rising Sons) doing an entire suite of banjo & ole-timey music, talking about the instrument’s African origins and encouraging youngbloods to take up the instrument; this aired back when I was a babychile and obviously there remains a stark racial & generational divide regarding banjo players when the instrument is trendy primarily amongst white Millennials who adopted it after the release of the Coen Brothers’ pastoral pastiche film O! Brother Where Art Thou? with its peerless ole-timey/Americana soundtrack, and the rise of these bands in the Aughts: Mumford & Sons, The Avett Brothers (I was one of the first to cover them as a rock/country critic alongside the Carolina Chocolate Drops, as they were emerging from the North Carolina Piedmont), & Old Crow Medicine Show. Nothing against these bands & the untimely passing of Pete Seeger has also played a role – indeed, he looms large in Laurent’s book — but we still have high hopes that young black kids will get hip to the banjo & take up our decades of work in keeping the black twang musical traditions thriving. I was interviewed for Joaquin Cotler’s podcast on these issues after Leyla’s performance, at the Schomburg; I will share it when it airs.
My dear #BlackHillbilly / twang family of the Ebony Hillbillies were also special guests like myself & we were in high cotton, enjoying the themes and music of the program. The Ebony Hillbillies generously performed at the Standing Rock benefit I curated @ Decolonize This Place back at the dawn of October; I look forward to future collaborations with them — and now — also with Sistah Leyla.
The banjo was my favorite instrument even before I knew of its African roots & I still hope to take it up — possibly in 2017, since I have been invited to the Danny Barker banjo festival in New Orleans by the guitarist/banjoist Detroit Brooks Sr. of jazz titan Donald Harrison’s band who does a lot of outreach in his community and beyond to keep black banjo traditions alive. Black artists (& the Afropolitan ones trying to appropriate southern accents and songlines in the UK) in country music are not a novelty nor a trend; whatever the outcome for current youtube sensation Kane Brown, who’s an Afro-Native (Tsalagi)/biracial country singer from rural Georgia in the “bro” mold (Young Kane & I have several thangs in common), we are here to stay. So #SaddleUp!
( Leyla McCalla of New Orleans & Kandia Crazy Horse of Hudson Canyon, Sistahs of Twang, @ Schomburg Center, Harlem NYC )
( Kandia Crazy Horse & Kimberly Robison, Virginia Native American songbirds/activists of Cactus Rose + Gloria Gassaway, Catawba lead vocalist/bones player/activist of the Ebony Hillbillies (from South Carolina) – We southern belles love to gather, do actions for #StandingRock & sing to honor our Ancestors. Miz Gloria almost went out to Standing Rock last week with our heroine Pure Fe of Ulali; we hope to combine our efforts & make a sojourn together soon come – A’ho* )
(Throwback to last Thursday night in SoHo @ Morrison Hotel Gallery for private view of Neil Young: Long May You Run exhibit, featuring photographs by Henry Diltz, Joel Bernstein, Danny Clinch & others. Here I am “waging heavy peace” with Henry’s famed image of my hero Neil & his dog Harte in the barn door of his ranch in California, Broken Arrow (named after my favorite Buffalo Springfield native american-themed tune & a Delmer Daves western from the early 1950s), from the year I was born, NYC)
Hope yer gettin’ over The Hump well this week, Sisters & Brothers! For those that don’t know: November is #NativeAmericanHeritageMonth
Here in New York City, I will be doing lots of actions & activities to honor that. Among them, I am doing a prayerful march through the entirety of Manhattan Island this Saturday with my friends of the Eagle & Condor Community Center (in Queens), from the National Museum of the American Indian @ Bowling Green (the southernmost tip of Manhattan) all the way to Shorakapok (the Indian Caves @ Inwood Hill on the Spuyten Duyvil). The march goes from 10 am until 6pm. I will also be rolling through the Black Farmers Conference in Harlem this weekend.
This month, I will be performing at another benefit for Standing Rock, on November 25 @ 9pm, this time at the City’s premiere venue for hillbilly/old-timey/bluegrass/roots music — the Jalopy Theater in Brooklyn. I have been trying to work it out to play at Jalopy for a long time, so happy to finally do so for a great, beautiful cause so near and dear to my Native heart. This will also be the proper debut of my new Native Americana / twang band Cactus Rose. More details TBA!
(Kandia Crazy Horse @ Electric Lady Studios in vintage fringed buckskin jacket, Greenwich Village NYC, by Camara Dia Holloway)
Made my #NativeAmericanHeritageMonth pilgrimage to #ElectricLadyStudios in the Village, honoring #JimiHendrix’ Native #Tsalagi roots. Received some purple & feathered energy from Jimi that I will be unleashing when I perform @ the Standing Rock benefit @ Jalopy – A’ho*
#Jimi Hendrix #AniYunwiya #KandiaCrazyHorse x #CactusRose #Pamunkey #Afrohippies #CherokeeMist #TaharqaAleem #Ibeji #TheAleems #TwinsSevenSeven #NativeAmericana #ICanHearAtlantisFullOfCheer #MniWiconi #ElectricLadies #CosmicAmericanMusic
Sacred Water Medicine Show: My Standing Rock water protectors benefit concert in NYC #mniwiconi #NoDAPL
Good Friday, y’all! I am now getting feedback & documentation from the Standing Rock water protector camps benefit I conceived, curated & performed at last Saturday in Manhattan @ Decolonize This Place (Artists Space) in TriBeCa. Such was the response, I have been asked to undertake some more & when things develop, I will be sharing the word here & on my Instagram. Regardless, my personal commitment to praying for & helping support the Oceti Sakowin & other united nations assembled @ Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota remains unabated; the setbacks to the trips I was slated on since August were unavoidable, yet I still plan to be of service there. And we of the Eastern nations are paying attention to the similar projects here in our own “backyard,” such as the Algonquin Pipeline, & doing actions locally.
My #IndigenousWeek in NYC concludes tomorrow with the re-opening of the Caribbean Cultural Center (CCCADI) in Harlem on 125th Street. More to come! A’ho*
“Water Is Life – Solidarity Concert” on Saturday, October 8th, 2016 (All photographs by Camara Dia Holloway)
(Kandia Crazy Horse giving the Introduction to the benefit concert @ Decolonize This Place in TriBeCa, by Camara Dia Holloway)
(Kandia Crazy Horse & Morgan O’Kane, singers/songwriters/purveyors of twang & Appalachian-rooted mountain music, from Virginia)
(With my lead guitar player/singer Jeff McLaughlin – Cactus Rose by Theodore Kuhnapfel)
(Bejike Luis Sanakori Ramos doing water ceremony & closing dance)
(My Tsalagi aunty Eagle Woman (our hostess & emcee) & the gang getting the shoutout on the welcome wall @ Decolonize This Place)
(Rehearsing for the Standing Rock benefit earlier last week in Midtown, with Alex & Lonnie)
Please join us this Saturday night in Manhattan’s TriBeCa neighborhood downtown as I and my fellow indigenous artists & friends from the Brooklyn Country scene sing in support of the Dakota Access Pipeline resistance and in solidarity with the Oceti Sakowin of Standing Rock Reservation and all allied nations of the water protector camps that are defending the Missouri River and Lakota sacred sites out in North Dakota. All of the artists involved & I are committed to standing with Standing Rock until the end. We will also be featuring speakers on the topics of #NoDAPL, the Algonquin pipeline project, the Anti-Mountaintop Removal movement (particularly important to Morgan O’Kane & I, hailing from Virginia), & other environmental issues affecting Indian Country — some of whom have just returned from the frontline at Standing Rock.
We look forward to seeing you out – be ready to bust some of yer square-dancing moves!
WATER IS LIFE – SOLIDARITY CONCERT @ Decolonize This Place, 55 Walker Street btwn Church & Broadway, NYC | 6pm doors, 7pm show | $10 suggested donation
ft. KANDIA CRAZY HORSE (Pamunkey)
EBONY HILLBILLIES (Catawba)
LONNIE HARRINGTON (Seminole)
BEJIKE LUIS SANAKORI RAMOS+BAND OF TAINOS (Taino)
& TINA EAGLE WOMAN JOHNSON (Tsalagi)
+ SPECIAL GUESTS
Dear Family, Friends, Followers & Folks – Come on out to the Standing Rock benefit concert that I conceived, curated & will perform at on Saturday, October 8th, in Manhattan @ Decolonize This Place, 55 Walker Street, 7pm (doors 6pm), $10 suggested donation. We will be having an evening of indigenous musicians and visual artists coming together with our allied friends from the Brooklyn Country scene to sing, dance, speak about the pipeline resistance & generally raise a joyful noise standing in solidarity with the Standing Rock Oceti Sakowin, united Native nations from across America, and their allies as they winterize to combat the Bakken project afflicting sacred burial sites, the Standing Rock reservation, and lands and water all along the Missouri River.
The featured performers:
Kandia Crazy Horse (Pamunkey)
Ebony Hillbillies (Catawba)
Lonnie Harrington (Seminole)
Luis Sanakori Ramos+Band of Tainos (Taino)
& Special Guests including Jana Brownbear, Anastasia McAllister, Bianca Dagga & More
Emcee/speaker: Tina Eagle Woman Johnson of Cherokee Language & Cultural Circle NYC
Facebook evite: Water Is Life – Solidarity Concert
Kandia Crazy Horse (credit: Camara Dia Holloway)
Tina Eagle Woman Johnson (credit: Kandia Crazy Horse)
Henrique Prince of Ebony Hillbillies (@the recent Harlem Hoedown) (credit: Kandia Crazy Horse)
Join us for a fine African-Native American frolic upSouth in Prospect Heights next Sunday afternoon @ 4:30pm, between the 69th Annual Shinnecock Nation Powwow on Long Island & the Federation of Black Cowboys’ cookout in The Hole. Featuring AfroKelt & Native artists: Tess Reese (Choctaw), Johnny Jackpot, Kandia Crazy Horse (Pamunkey)
Ikons & Images from my recent live medicine show on the “Capital Americana Series” @ Gypsy Sally’s club in Georgetown, Washington DC:
My debut Medicine Show ft. the Spirit of ’76, Tess Reese of Treasury & Evan Taylor – photograph by Tavia Nyong’O
Come check me out & hear some Chocolate City / #DMV -born country & western sounds!
All the way live…on the Capital Americana Series @ Gypsy Sally’s Georgetown
At long last, I am bringing the twangtent of the dear departed Harlem Honky-Tonk to Brooklyn Country, Sisters & Brothers, for Branded Saloon’s Honky-Tonk’n Roundup in Prospect Heights: the Hudson Canyon Sing ft. myself, the Spirit of ’76 & special guest Evan Taylor (Bernie Worrell Orchestra, Chapin Sisters). C’mon out & support if you can, NYC / NJ / CT, so we can make this a regular thang!
Branded Saloon @ 603 Vanderbilt Avenue and Bergen Street, Brooklyn NY | 2-4pm
Bringing it back where Kandia Crazy Horse Country began: Of the two shows I have upcoming to kickoff August & the last stretch of summer, very excited to be making my live debut playing in my old hometown of Washington, DC. I will be doing 2 sets of my Cosmic American Music on the “Capital Americana Series” @ Georgetown’s Gypsy Sally’s club, on Thursday, 13 August @ 7pm. More details here: http://www.gypsysallys.com/event/874175-kandia-crazy-horse-vinyl-washington/
If yer in the DC / Maryland / Virginia area, we would love to see y’all out at the twangshow!!
When I hit the town again, it will be to play my first show at the Branded Saloon in Brooklyn’s Prospect Heights ‘hood. For all y’all of the NY / NJ / CT area that are having a “staycation” instead of roadrunning for this 4th of July holiday, come celebrate with your family and friends in Kandia Crazy Horse Country!!!
We shall be singing Songs of Freedom, sho’nuff, this Friday night in NYC >>>—–> #KandiaCrazyHorse #Stampede #BrandedSaloon
Tis’ the season for twang, I reckon: I’ve been invited as a special guest opener for Uncle Leon’s Honky-Tonk Relapse @ Brooklyn’s venerable, long-lived honky-tonk Hank’s Saloon. “Uncle” Leon Chase hosts this weekly event & runs BrooklynCountry.com, a great fellow artist & strong supporter of NYC’s local country scene. I’ll be bringing my own patented mountain music/Laurel Canyon-inspired sound to Hank’s, as well as some surprise takes on classic country. So do come through for my last show of #BlackMusicMonth & first venture into Brooklyn Country!
Hank’s Saloon is at: 46 3rd Avenue, btwn Pacific St & Atlantic Avenue, Boerum Hil Brooklyn, NY (steps away from the Atlantic Terminal & the Barclay’s Center)
We’ve been having a great weekend of Juneteenth celebrations in Harlem & Central Park courtesy of Oakland artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph’s Black Joy In the Hour of Chaos installations & the related salon hosted by Harlem Stage here in NYC. Hope your own Juneteenth Festivals across America have been grand!!
Happy Summer Solstice & Father’s Day everybody! Sadly, due to scheduling conflicts, I am not performing at the Staten Island Museum in St. George this afternoon for Make Music New York. However, we will be rescheduling a program there in tandem with the Museum’s current exhibition of Civil War tintypes upcoming. Check-in for updates; meanwhile, here’s the write-up from the Staten Island Advance: NYC’s most musical weekend
I will be playing a show on the Summer Solstice in SoHo at the Gallery La La: 138 Sullivan Street near West Houston, $10 cover
We will be providing a unique take on country music for Black Music Month
New York City area folks – Come join us at 6:30pm next Sunday evening!
I am having a bit o’ twangshow this Friday night, April 3rd @ 8pm; Downtown on the LES at Leftfield on Ludlow, courtesy of Turnstyle Music Group’s series. Hope to see y’all out, as we try to scoot our cowboy/girl boots into some Spring-like vibes & good weather at last!
Info/tix link: http://brooklyncountry.com/events/kandia-crazy-horse/
There will be some pickin’ & some grinnin’ reflecting my favorite show from childhood, HEE HAW
Well, y’all I’ve just taught myself 4 songs on the new banjolin, and now trying to get prepared for the upcoming long live season. For now, enjoying this video from a cold night down at NYC’s South Street Seaport art & music space Sugarcube: I’m playing with my sisterfriend Amanda Jo Williams from Hogansville, Georgia. We’re surely hoping to do some cool projects this year. Enjoy
Hope the New Year has been treating y’all well. Cabin fever is a bit much in our Northeast Arctic wave, but trying to keep the chill at bay with my new dear banjolin Bluebird (below). Stay warm & stay tuned for some news upcoming. & in the meanwhile, celebrate some of the century-plus history and traditions of black country, from the Snowden Family through Dobie Gray and on to my recent singles “Tula” & “Bury My Heart At Rock Creek Park” available from CD Baby here