Watching, Waiting – New EP and Tour!

Black Jake & The Carnies are proud to announce the release of their third studio effort, “Watching, Waiting”, a 5-song EP released April 23rd that will be followed by a whirlwind 9-day, 10-city tour starting May 31st.
The record has already received some rave reviews:

Incognito Music Magazine Pick of the Week
Metro Times Detroit’s Music Blahg
Metro Times Detroit’s City Slang
Ear to the Ground
Drifter Country (Dutch)

Stream or purchase at the band’s BandCamp page.

The his will be followed by a 10 city tour starting May 31 at the Appalachian Uprising in Scottown, OH and will include stops in West Virginia, Washington DC, Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, and culminate with a headlining set at the annual Darkhorse Brewery Crawfish Boil in Marshall, MI.

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 4 – Growler’s American Grill and Venue, Roanoke, VA
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

Summer Festivals:

June 14: Buttermilk Jamboree, Delton, MI
June 20: Top of the Park: Ann Arbor, MI
July 13: BlissFest, Harbor Springs, MI
August 31- September 1: Muddy Roots Music Festival, Cookeville, TN

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Watching, Waiting – new 5-song EP Released April 23rd

Black Jake & The Carnies, the Ypsilanti-based Kings of Crabgrass, are proud to announce the release of their third studio effort, “Watching, Waiting.” Recorded in the winter of 2012 at Big Sky Studios in Ann Arbor, MI.

The clean instrumentation and orchestrated vocals take center-stage on this 5-track EP. Traditional gospel tunes get worked up into a frenzy on the first two tracks, dissolving into the locomotive-powered instrumental, “Last Stop.” The record then veers off into more irreverent territory with their Muppets-inspired rendition of an old Red Ingle tune, before finishing off with “A Good Man Knows,” a powerful original played at a blistering pace, featuring some of the band’s most intricate playing to date.

The record has already received some rave reviews:

Incognito Music Magazine Pick of the Week
Metro Times Detroit
Ear to the Ground

Stream or purchase at the band’s BandCamp page.

We will celebrate with 2 Release Shows April 25th in Detroit and the 26th in Ypsilanti. This will be followed by a 10 city tour starting May 31 at the Appalachian Uprising in Scottown, OH.


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The Hot Stove Report

Happy New Year all! We were thinking we might let you in on what we’ve got cooking for early 2013.

Probably the thing we’re most excited about is our upcoming EP! Work is well under way and we’re set to have it out by this spring. The EP will consist of 5 tracks including “A Good Man Knows,” which we debuted last month on Tree Town Sound. Tuna mentioned something about a podcast, so maybe you’ll be able to get your hands on that sneak peak at some point.

We’re also in the process of booking dates for a south-bound tour this June. We’ve already got a couple dates set including the Appalachian Uprising Festival in Scottown, OH and a gig at the Purple Fiddle in Thomas, WV. We’re still working on potential dates in Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, Indiana, and Missouri, so if you or a friend have a great idea of somewhere we should play, let us know either in the comments or on facebook!

We’re trying to keep this short, but we couldn’t let this end without noting the depature of our good friend and mandolin player Zach Pollock (aka Zachariah Sticks, much to his dismay). Zach has moved on to the greener pastures of Chicago and we’re sad to see him go. however, we’re happy to announce the addition of a new carnie, Andy Benes of Back 40. Andy’s been practicing with us for a few months now and we’re excited that he’ll be making his carnie debut at Folk the Police later this month.

This is already longer than I intended it to be, so just take look to the right for our other upcoming shows and friend us on facebook to see what else is going on. Cheers!

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November Shows! Chicago, Hamtramck, Fort Wayne!

We’re hitting the road a bit this month, getting out of our Ypsitucky comfort zone. Right off the bat, we’re headed west to play the fair city of Chicago. Look for us Friday, November 9th, as we take the stage at Township in Logan Square. Headlining the night is local outfit Scott Lucas & the Married Men (featuring Scott Lucas of Local H fame). It’s been a good four years (!) since we’ve played Chicago, so we’re really looking forward to blowing the roof off that sucker.

November 17th finds us back at Small’s in Hamtramck, Michigan as we join up with fellow Muddy Roots vets, The Goddamn Gallows and Jakye Orvis & The Broken Band. Starting off the night is Rockwood, MI based quartet, Rickett Pass. This show has all the roots-inspired rock and punk your heart could possibly desire.

The culminating glory of our November Reign* is a return to Fort Wayne, IN and one of our favorite venues, The Brass Rail. These shows always seem to get pretty rowdy, and with Old and Dirty and The 220 Breakers joining in the fun, we’d be surprised to find the building still standing once we’re through. Check it out on November 30!

So there you have it! It’s gonna be a great month. One more thing though before we go: We have finally released our Electronic Press Kit, a nice mini-documentary describing us and what we do. It’s got some great footage from our sets at Wheatland and Woodruff’s, plus a bit of an interview with Black Jake. So whenever anyone asks you, “What is Black Jake & the Carnies,” just show ’em this vid. Cheers!

*Sorry. It couldn’t be helped.


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October 27th in Grand Rapids, MI

Halloween! It’s our favorite time of year when we get to show our true colors. This time around we’re taking the party to Grand Rapids, MI for the Founders Brewery Annual Spooktacular Halloween Party. Joining us will be local favorites, Oracle, a cadre of rockers featuring several members of the Founders Family.

Music starts @ 9:30 and cover is a measly $5. Ages 21+ (It’s a brewery, after all). We’ve already got our costumes picked out. Do you?

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Next Stop: Grand Rapids!

The stage may still be standing, but we barely are. What a fantastic weekend at Wheatland! Thanks to everyone who danced with us and everyone who jammed with us. Your love and adoration is what it’s really all about. Plus, Milk Products Media got some awesome footage for our upcoming music video, so keep an eye out for that.

We have to keep this quick as we’re currently disguised as mild-mannered newspapermen and exterminators, but mark your calendars for our Halloween show at Founders Brewery on October 27th. Jake’s already planning and plotting, so you best get started on that costume if you hope to keep up.

J.C. and Joe Cooter have already begun their advanced scouting

Also tickets are on sale for our show at The Ark in Ann Arbor on December 21 where we’ll be reuniting with fellow members of the Beaver Island Glee Club, Lac La Belle. It’s gonna be a great night!

Gotta run! J.J.’s on the rampage again.


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Limited Edition Tees available for Pre-Order!

From now through June 18th, we will be accepting pre-orders for the limited edition t-shirt featuring the outstanding poster art for our June 29th show with Possessed by Paul James and Delaney Davidson! Our long-time collaborator, the indefatigable Jenny Harley, has drawn up an inspired look at the line-up, depicting the night’s three leading men in full superhero getup, ready to save the world from the horrors of boring music.

Place your order here!

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We’re heading east (and we don’t mean Detroit)

It’s time for new adventures! This month we’re headed out towards the Atlantic to make new friends and explore new ground.

First up is the Rodeo Bar in New York City where we’ll be joined by Rhode Island outfit The Denver Boot. After that it’s up to Pawlet, Vermont to try out a little place called The Barn. Then it’s back down to New Paltz, New York for our grand finale at Snug Harbor.

All this will be happening April 12-14 (in case you somehow missed the text next to the well-dressed skateboarder). It’s all new territory for us, so if you know anyone in the area who might enjoy a night of Carnie antics, point ’em our way.

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Just wanted to let you all  know about our show at Woodruff’s this Friday. For the fourth year running, we have the honor of playing the birthday shindig for the inimitable Jenny Harley. Jenny’s been a fantastic friend to us, designing some of our best concert posters in addition to doing the layout for the Sundry Mayhems CD.

This year’s celebration has been expanded to two nights. Friday night includes not only your friendly neighborhood Carnies but also Ryan Racine and Gas for LessBucktown Kickback, plus a good ol’ Rock n’ Rummage sale. And if that doesn’t get you sated, the party continues Saturday with Drunken Barn Dance, Misty Lyn and the Big Beautiful,  Hezekiah Jones, and Up the Chain.


Full info available on the Facebook Event


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The Ark – January 6, 2012

One of the nice things about playing Crabgrass is that people will let you play almost anywhere. Family-friendly music festival? Sure! Greasy dive bar? Play it loud! But what about the hallowed ground of Ann Arbor’s world-renowned folk venue, The Ark?

Is Jake’s banjo a fire hazard?*

And so our 2012 adventures begin with some class as we take to that storied stage on Friday, January 6th. Joining us is our good friend, Andru Bemis, whom you may recall from our CD release show back in June.

Tickets can be bought online at, or at a variety of other locations which they explain on said website.

And since a classy show demands classy signage, we enlisted the amazing Jenny Harley to draw up that work of art you see on the left. If you like it as much as we do, you’ll be happy to know that we’ll have them for sale at the show.



*The correct answer is “Yes.”

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