My son was home sick today, so while I practiced our latest song “Dead Duck” in the living room, he recorded me on his robot Packenstein. It plays back sped up, and I hate to admit it, but I like it better when Packenstein plays it! Too bad it only records in 30 second snippets, or I’d do the whole album like this! Ha! This is just me on banjo, kick, and tambourine :)
Jake here, just a quick check in to let you know what we’re up to!
Firstly I’d like to welcome Gary (ridiculous Carny name TBD) to the crew! He plays a mean fiddle to any style you’d want, even Crabgrass-Circus-Punk-Folk-Americana or whatever on earth it is that we do!
Secondly, we’re set to record our latest piece in April. I don’t know how secret or not secret it is supposed to be, but it’s a theme song for a comic book radio show! I can’t tell you what it’s called because that would make you look it up and then you’d know. But I will say this: my lifetime goal of writing a song that’s under 2:35 has finally been achieved!
Thirdly, we’ve updated our ReverbNation show schedule (with more coming), so be sure to check it out down in the lower right of our website, and check us out on the upper top of your stages!
Wait… “upper top of your stages?” Isn’t that like saying “the front of your butt”?
Carnievores, it has been a while.
As many of you know, I’ve had to make a major lineup change for various reasons, saying goodbye to the best band members and friends I’ve had since 2006. Between piecing the new band together and working on my solo act (Black Jake’s Revenge), I didn’t want to post anything until I knew that the new lineup didn’t stink up the place. :) Well, guess what? Not only do they not stink up the place, but I like it better than ever! I’m excited about my baby in a way I haven’t been in far too long, and the creative juices are flowing once again!
Allow me to introduce my new Carnies — all experienced musicians/entertainers in their own right, and all extremely excited to be part of the crew: KK Dirty Money on guitar (makes them himself) and backing vocals; Wally on hand percussion, harmonica and backing vocals (get this old timer to start telling stories and your life will feel lame in comparison, trust me); Big Lip on clarinet and sax (and near anything else you can think of… I hate to throw the “genius” word out there, but if the shoe fits…); and Ozzie on upright bass, banjo bass, and sousaphone (official nice guy in a group of nice guys… and he’s been gigging professionally since he was 13!). And may I reintroduce myself: Black Jake on the banjo, lead vocals, songwriting, game-making, artistic directing, prop-making, banterizing, make-up, and tambourine/kick-drum foot pedals (that’s right, the drum is up front with me now!)!
A lot of people find benefit in being all promo and no substance, but I’m not the best self-promoter in the world (since my self-critical filter is usually set on 11). Like I said, I wouldn’t say anything unless I was convinced myself. But I tell you now, Black Jake & the Carnies are back, gigging, and better than ever! Check us out in the coming weeks and months if you don’t believe me!
— Black Jake
PS — a special thanks to the legendary Scotty Karate for filling in on drums, mando, and lap steel when we needed him most. Cheers, Scotty!
(photo credits: Philamonjaro Studio)
Instagram clips by Cristina McCrystal (thanks, @cristinafaith !!)
For immediate… er uh… “release”… it’s POOPSLIDER! Installment #1 of our new Quick&Dirty Garage Singles, Poopslider is the epic barn-burning vengeance rant against the infamous, National-News-making Ypsilanti Mystery Pooper. Always quick to capitalize on our kids’ coming into contact with human feces at our local park, Black Jake & the Carnies recorded this song in Billy the Kingpin LaLonde’s garage on Thursday night and dropped the single two days later. Not yet satisfied, we strained a little harder and squeezed out a Quick&Dirty video a day after that! I tell ya, coffee really gets ya goin’!
“While the Mystery Pooper has only now made the headlines, we’ve been dealing with this for years! Prospect Park is our local park, and he’s struck so often that we’d taken to calling it ‘Poopslide Park.’ Every time we take our kids there, we make sure to check all the slides first… and if I can give any visitors some advice, sometimes the Mystery Pooper hides it under the mulch — the shiny green flies are the giveaway. We’ve got to come together to protect our kids! The Poopslider’s reign of funny-but-not-funny-when-it-happens-to-your-kid bio-terror must end!!!” — Black Jake
Enjoy listening to Poopslider for free on Bandcamp and YouTube, and please consider purchasing the fruits of our labor for a measly wrinkly buck on Bandcamp… so we can buy our kids some replacement clothes! Writing and performing original music is both a pleasure and a job for us; we really do need the monetary support to keep it going. Consider it akin to buying war bonds to help flush out the dastardly Mystery Pooper! Tell your friends, spread the word! We appreciate it!
Get your tickets…this will sell out and only 500 total tickets are available!
November 8 – The Brass Rail, Ft. Wayne, IN
November 14 – YpsiFest, Ypsilanti, MI
December 6 – The Ark, Ann Arbor, MI
January 10 – Foundry Hall, South Haven, MI
January 11 – Winter Wheat, Grand Rapids, MI
The Carnies have two very special Halloween shows this month starting with the Theatre Bizarre Preview Gala on Friday October 18th at the Masonic Temple in Detroit. The Procession Preview Gala includes strolling dinner, open bar and valet parking. Also half of the ticket price ($125) is a tax deductible donation.
Then, Friday October 25th at Woodruff’s in Ypsilanti, Black Jake & the Carnies will be Puttin’ on the Ritz Carnie-style! Opening with our friend Chris Dean projecting a few delightful short films, followed by a bloody Miss Pumpkin Princess Pageant, and featuring the freshly reanimated corpse of the Gepetto Files! Black Jake & the Carnies will outdo themselves once again with their signature raucous set and carnival games to close out the evening. $6 with a costume, $8 without!
The leaves are changing, the pumpkins are ripening, and there’s a distinct chill to the air which foretells the coming of All Hallow’s Eve. For Black Jake of Ypsilanti’s Black Jake & The Carnies, it’s a holiday that has always held a special place in the dark recesses of his heart. For years he has utilized his less-publicized talents for makeup and special effects to private Halloween parties and grand events like Theatre Bizarre, but this year he wanted to do a little something extra.
May 31 – Appalachian Uprising, Scottown, OH
June 1 – vClub, Huntington, WV
June 2 – The Purple Fiddle, Thomas, WV
June 3 – The Velvet Lounge, Washington, DC
June 5 – Blue Plate Special Radio Show, Knoxville, TN
June 5 – Music City Roots: Loveless Cafe, Nashville, TN
June 6 – Scenic City Roots: Track 29, Chattanooga, TN
June 7 – Willie’s Locally Known, Lexington, KY
June 8 – Crawfish Boil: Darkhorse Brewery, Marshall, MI