Tonight, Dave Hillyard and The Rocksteady 7 return to Hank’s for one of the final times. As the big demon himself puts it:
This venerable Brooklyn bar has provided a home for our regular New York shows for the last four years. It’s a great old bar. I had my first drink here when it was still the Doray Tavern when I first moved to New York in 1992.
This will be the last year we are playing here as it has been slated to be demolished and replaced with luxury condos after December. So it will be with a little sadness that we begin our last series of gigs here.
I wasn’t in the neighborhood in 1992 myself, but Hank’s always kinda defined the start of “South Brooklyn” for me, if that designation even means anything at all these days. The part of this boro south of Atlantic Avenue has always felt different from what’s above it. It wasn’t until rumors of the Barclays Center deal started that anyone from outside its confines really paid it any mind. Fast forward to 2018 and here we are: a sports arena / stadium, new traffic patterns, and a fancy shopping complex in what used to be a below-average strip mall with a Pathmark.
Brooklyn has changed almost immeasurably in the last decade or so, and Hank’s is the canary in the coal mine to a lot of us. We knew this day was coming, we just didn’t know when – and now that it’s official, we want to celebrate the space while we still can. Come hear a fantastic band tonight and listen to great records between sets while you grab a drink… one that won’t cost you $15.
Saturday, March 24 – Hank’s Saloon – 46 3rd Ave, Brooklyn, NY – $8
Tonight at the Sonos store downtown, a heap of friends are presenting a free panel about obscurities from this subgenre of reggae that has touched hearts worldwide. Selector Twice, Jonny Go Figure, and Joseph Demension (AKA The Youngest In Charge) have been keeping a killer Lovers Rock dance in Brooklyn for a while now. Amy the Night Nurse and Tony English will round out the group with some serious knowledge. Personally, I’m really looking forward to Amy’s photos from Kingston in the 80s. The hours are dwindling, so please RSVP as soon as you can to reserve your spot:
Special thanks to Monika Julien for putting this crucial event together.
The Friday after next is this month’s Mix Up, with Tony Conquerrah and I joining forces! As usual, our selections are kind of a free-for-all, but plan on hearing plenty of reggae, soul, and funk. Tony is a great selector and radio host (Shanty Town) who put my Soon Come project on the air when it was in its infancy. I love his show and tune in often, so I asked him to do The Mix Up with me, and here we are.
Friday, February 23 – Robert Bar – 104 Bond St, Brooklyn, NY – No Cover
Tonight, The Mix Up returns to Robert, with Jah Measels in tow! This time, we’re bringing punk, soul, and of course, Jamaican sounds for your listening pleasure. Free to all. Jah Measels and I first met in a Flatbush basement, and instantly hit it off talking about skinhead reggae, punk, and hip hop. I’m sure you’re gonna love his records.
Friday, January 5 – Robert Bar – 104 Bond St, Brooklyn, NY – No Cover
Tonight, join me and Rata for The Mix Up at Robert once again! As always, we’re bringing a diverse array of rhythmic glory from 10 til late. My longtime friend Rata is known for many styles, but really brings the Latin heat – you won’t be disappointed.
Friday, November 10 – Robert Bar – 104 Bond St, Brooklyn, NY – No Cover
Friday is almost upon us! I just got back from Jamaica, and I’m ready to get into the swing of things here in NYC again. Ticklah (AKA Victor Axelrod) and I will be hauling out our dustiest vintage grooves for this showdown.
Friday, October 13 – Robert Bar – 104 Bond St, Brooklyn, NY – No Cover
Tomorrow night, Dave Hillyard and The Rocksteady 7 will play a long-spanning mix of songs by the late, great Rico Rodriguez. Cuban-born but raised in Jamaica, Rico was influential as a trombonist during the formative ska era. A schoolmate of legendary Skatalites trombonist Don Drummond, he recorded for Prince Buster in Jamaica and with the Specials later on in the UK. Rico passed away in London in September of 2015. We want to honor his legacy in Brooklyn now, so come listen to the R7 pay tribute and grab a drink while I play vintage vinyl between sets.
Friday, September 22 – Hank’s Saloon – 46 3rd Ave, Brooklyn, NY – $8
Tonight at Lovers Rock in Bed-Stuy, Miss Hap and I are running a lively mix of dancehall and hip hop, classics and rarities alike. This is one of the best bars to open in Brooklyn in the last few years. Don’t miss it!
Saturday, August 26 – Lovers Rock – 419 Tompkins Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216 – No Cover
This Thursday, I’m doing a dream gig… playing on a gigantic system in Brooklyn Bridge Park before the screening of Mad Max: Fury Road for Movies With A View. This begins at 6pm, and the film will be shown after dark.
Thursday, August 17 – Brooklyn Bridge Park – Harbor View Lawn – No Cover
On Saturday, Soon Come (my analog sound system) will be doing a session at Reggae In The Slope, happening at Sir D’s Lounge at Union Street and 7th Ave. Treasure Don will be joining us on the mic, and selector Agent Jay will be playing tons of roots and dub tracks between sets.
Saturday, August 19 – Sir D’s Lounge – 837 Union Street, Brooklyn, NY – $5
This Saturday, hang out with me and Agent Jay (The Slackers) at Hank’s Saloon in Brooklyn. We’ll be playing a bit of everything; we both adore reggae but it’s nice to let loose and give some other sounds some shine as well. Not to worry – Jamaican music will be well-represented, just not exclusively. Come see why this spot is one of my favorites… it’s pretty much the last true dive bar in the neighborhood.
Saturday, August 12 – Hank’s Saloon – 46 3rd Ave, Brooklyn, NY – No Cover
Tomorrow night, special guests Monika and Gabby Loks (all the way from LA) are spinning records with me in a free-for-all at Robert called Mix Up. This little gem is quickly becoming one of my favorite bars in the city, with a laid-back 70s vibe and cool bartenders. Come hang!
Saturday, August 5 – Robert Bar – 104 Bond St, Brooklyn, NY – No Cover