Our Brooklyn: The Tres Amigos
By email, I did a group-interview with the members of the folk trio, The Tres Amigos. The guys are just back from a 14-state, cross-country tour. Considered one of New York City’s hottest folk acts, they are all about three-part harmony, virtuosic musicianship and catchy self-penned songs.
Who could ask for anything more?
The Tres Amigos are Sam Reider, Justin Poindexter, and Eddie Barbash. You can find them at their September residency at The Living Room. 9/3, 9/10, 9/17, and 9/28. Each week will feature special guests ranging from New York bluegrass mainstay Jon Sholle to Hudson River blues singer/saxophonist Jay Collins (the Levon Helm Band and the Allman Brothers Band).
I’ve included with this post, a music video of The Tres Amigos doing a cover of Woody Guthrie’s This Land is Your Land, in honor of the July 2012 centennial of Guthrie’s birth. Their new music video, I Want to Get Drunk, shows Brooklyn kids running wild in a Crown Heights candy store. Love it.
Where’s your favorite place for the band to play?
Our #1 favorite place to play is in people’s living rooms. We’re an intimate band and we like to be as close to our audience as possible. Also we’re big fans of cheeses, cured meat, and spicy salsa, so house concerts always add fuel to the fire.
In terms of traditional music venues, we happily return time after time to Marlboro, New Yorks’ The Falcon. This is a beautiful converted barn space on the Hudson, about an hour’s drive away from the city. Tony Falco, the owner, is beloved by a large portion of the New York music community—he has created a space and a business model that supports the music and encourages his local community to support it as well.
A little closer to home we enjoy the Jalopy in Red Hook, and The Living Room in the Lower East Side, where we’ll be doing a Monday night residency every Monday of September. (Details here: http://www.thetresamigos.net)
What are the best places to eat in your nabe? Or elsewhere
Chavela’s—a Mexican place on Franklin and Sterling Pl. is one of Amigo Sam’s regular haunts. Two dollar tacos for happy hour every day, but he usually orders the cheese enchiladas with molé.
The Candy Rush (as seen in the video) for all sweet things (including a great morning donut + coffee subway deal). Roscoe’s Pizzeria which just opened down the street does justice to the cheap slice without any frills or pretentious toppings.
Best places to shop for music, if you shop for music, or instruments, etc.
Amigo Justin: Main Drag Music in Williamsburg has our favorite guitar guru, Mark Dobbyn. He’s always got some wild projects going on at the shop and plays the best music.
Amigo Sam: Always have a great time at The Thing in Greenpoint—hundreds of thousands of used LPs stacked 6 crates high and 6 crates deep. I think they all sell for $1 a piece? You could you lose years of your life in there…
Amigo Sam: Music is My Mistress by Duke Ellington
Best weeknight activity?
Learning scary jazz and country songs that only the older cats know.
Best weekend activity?
Learning scary gospel songs that only the older church ladies know.
Best place to be alone?
Amigo Sam: At home with my accordion. That’s when I get free.
Amigo Justin: At a modern dance performance.
Amigo Eddie: I hate being alone.
Best place to write a song?
Often the best songs appear on the bus or the train. Something about the bleak desperation of that underground tunnel between the 2 3 and Port Authority puts you in the mood to write—especially once you’re in your seat and on the highway. You overhear all sorts of great fodder for lyrics while your on the bus.
That’s usually enough to get the framework of a song together. But when it comes to arrangement, nothing’s holy in a Tres Amigos rehearsal. We push and pull and bicker until we’ve arrived at some sort of tangled impossible arrangement of a tune—then we try to learn to actually play it!