Away from me, ye code of iniquity!!!

Website is finally back up and fixed of codepocalypse gobbeldegoop, proving once again that I suck with computers!  That’s okay, all you IT folks out there can challenge me to a breath-holding contest if you wanna see who’s boss!



“The Colonel” KK Dirty Money on the guitar, giving the all-clear for our pile of pre-gig detritus.

JJ on the fiddle. Either on the way to a Carny gig, or looking to shoot down the Red Baron.




The Indomitable “Walter der Rattenfanger” Wally Jarvis on the… the uh… clown lady cowbell triangle machine!





Catch us next in my old stomping grounds of Chelsea, MI on May 25th at the Rumpus Room, and of course the mighty Hiawatha Fest in Marquette on July 21st!




Oh, AND our buddies at Source Point Press are putting out a vinyl pressing of Dead Duck, featuring soundtrack song “Dead Duck” by none other than Black Jake and the Carnies!  Help Kickstart it here!







The Mysterious “Ozzie” Andrews on Bass, with our custom Hiawatha pizza box!

Filed in Uncategorized | Comment Now


Here you go, Carnivores! DEAD DUCK — the unabridged theme song for “Dead Duck & Zombie Chick,” the episodic online radio show of the comic of the same name by Jay Fosgitt, published by Source Point Press. (Featuring the inimitable Carny-for-life Mark Wallace on the fiddle!)


Filed in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Packentein the robot killing “Dead Duck” by Black Jake & the Carnies

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 :)

Filed in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Upcoming and in the works…

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”?

Keep living until you die, and then some!15271792_1203572029735780_7175461410560683962_o

Black Jake

Filed in News, Uncategorized | Comment Now

Black Jake & the Carnies are back, and better than ever (if you ask me)!

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!)!

Say Hello to Wally!

E’rbody movin’ on Instagram.

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 !!)


Filed in News | Comment Now



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!


Filed in Uncategorized | Comment Now

Muddy Roots Spring Weekender – Get your tickets!

Get your tickets…this will sell out and only 500 total tickets are available!


Filed in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Folk the Police – Sunday January 26 at the Blind Pig in Ann Arbor


Filed in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Upcoming shows!

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

Brass Rail 11-8-2013


bjcwinter v2

winter wheat flyer 2014

Filed in Uncategorized | Comment Now

Halloween shows!

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!

black jake halloween 2013 - jpg

Filed in Uncategorized | Comment Now