While sailing from Greece, Ulysses lashed himself to the mast of his ship and stuffed his ears, so that he wouldn’t hear the call of the bewitching sirens that caused so many ships to crash into the rocks of the Mediterranean Sea. Our mermaids here in Rockaway are nothing like those mythical creatures from ancient times. Here in Rockaway we unstuff our ears in search of the music, especially when it’s snowing in March! With months to go before we can enjoy all the outdoor venues that fill the air with notes of joy, where does one go to find the music?
I recently ventured down to 72nd Street one Thursday evening to the Rockaway Brewing Company. Kyle Wade recently started an Open Mic there. While sparsely attended, the beer was cold, the performers passionate, and the mood jolly. What more can you ask? I am told they are going to continue every Thursday night. Kyle and his talented father, Paul, have also been keeping the music alive during the winter at Healy’s and The Knights of Columbus. Worth a night out, check out the Wades.
The Belle Harbor Yacht club has one of the best-kept secrets in all of Rockaway in its second floor lounge. Each Friday night they have music. This past Friday was Walker, who recently played at BB Kings with his band. In addition you can catch solo acts like Chris Vought and Gerald Bair playing in this intimate setting. In addition, if you like yoga with your music, you should know that Ocean Bliss has moved to the BHYC and offers classes all week long. Yoga and music, doesn’t get any better than that!
If you have never thought about stopping into Rogers on 116th Street, then its time to re-evaluate that thought. Rogers has been hosting music all winter long, and in fact, Indaculture will be there this coming weekend. Close to home, even on a cold night, this is an excellent stop to hear some live music.
The St. Paddy’s Day Parade brought me to Bungalow Bar to catch Bobby Butler and his assortment of friends playing Irish tunes and other ditties. The erstwhile Mr. Butler had a collection of musicians from various bands sewed together just for this event. When I asked how long they practiced to get ready for the gig, he slyly let me know they didn’t. But you would never know it from the great music they made.
Over at the Community House, the newly formed BEasy Band followed Wine with Sue to rock the house of post-parade revelers. The mainstay of the establishments, however, is Thai Rock, with the inimitable Robert Kaskel as host. He and his wife invite musicians from all over the city, across a broad spectrum of musical genres to fill his Thai joint (no pun intended) with music. I recently took in the Kearney Brothers band there, and was treated to a night of unparalleled blues-playing by the dynamic Breezy brothers.
Even our Parisian friend Claudette, and the Ancient Order of Hibernians in Roxbury have hosted music sessions this winter with the ever-present Grayriders Band in all their various configurations.
We are truly blessed to have so many options to find music in our small, but diverse peninsula. But these places have a tough time during the winter and need our patronage. Yes, the summer crowds swell the numbers of out-of-towners, but in order to get to those days, these establishments need to stay in business, so when you are thinking of just curling up in front of the TV, unlash yourself from the masts of your ship, and get out and listen to the music. That music will stay with you through the whole week and keep you going when all else fails. And bring your mermaid, she will not cause you to crash among the rocks in Rockaway!