Banjo Jack

Banjo Jack

BandRockFolk

Bridging the gap from traditional to modern with the banjo in a role normally occupied by the guitar, this rock band sets themselves apart with their songwriting and completely new sound.

Biography

There's no shortage of rock bands carving out a niche with unconventional lineups these days, but by substituting banjo for the guitar and pushing the limits of the instrument's versatility, Banjo Jack seamlessly bridges the gap from traditional to modern. With a completely unique ensemble and sound all their own, they have emerged as an unlikely player in the NYC roots revival scene. Andrew Green plays the banjo in variety of ways, from traditional bluegrass picking, to fevered strumming, to a not quite identifiable bluesy experimental style. Eben Pariser's steadfast thunking bass, rocket fueled by Louis Abramson's hyper-aggressive percussion, round out the group, which can sound like a traditional American roots band one minute, and a full fledged electric rock band the next.

In an age when good old fashioned tunes are hard to come by, Banjo Jack stands apart by writing sophisticated music and lyrics with delicate harmonies and impressive arrangement. All the while, the banjo roots the sound deeply in the traditional American vernacular no matter where the bands' experiments may lead. Green's songwriting shines brightly on numbers like "Man on The Moon" a beautiful and rich waltz-ballad self described as, "a blues fairy-tale about a no-good philanderin' woman." He also proves he knows his way around a country burner in, "Simple Man," which hauls ass like a drunken midnight ride on a diesel tractor, fooling anyone who doesn't already know he's a Queens native. Pariser's voice shimmers on "No Way In," with the syncopated vocals capturing the essence of a soulful New Orleans brass band. This is contrasted with the mournful "Black and Gold," which has such a traditional lonesome sound that people are often surprised to find that it is an original tune. Abramson, a highly polished heavy metal drummer by trade, puts his unique stamp on each of these numbers and consistently approaches them in ways that surprise and intrigue even the band's own members. His powerful attack combined with his clever rhythmic embellishments truly set the band apart.

Started in the spring of 2006 with a debut performance at the now defunct Continental rock club, Banjo Jack has gained considerable momentum over the course of the last year, playing such NYC venues as Hank's Saloon, Kenny's Castaways, Banjo Jim's (no relation), The Baggot Inn, and The Cutting Room. The recent addition of Jon Light (notorious for his pedal steel accompaniment to Sean Kershaw & the New Jack Ramblers) has taken the bands' sound to a new level. Lending a refined touch and an element of virtuosity, he glides on top of the music playing delicate leads and funky rhythmic fills in just the right spots. The band is poised to record their first full length album, which will surely capture the same energy and innovation that has already earned them a steady following.

Band influences include: The Rolling Stones, Tom Waits, Townes Van Zandt, Reverend Gary Davis, Dirty Dozen, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Taj Mahal, John Hartford, Nina Simone, James Brown, Radiohead, Michael Jackson, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Police

Lyrics

Rants and Raves

Written By: Eben Pariser

the office is full but the halls lie silent
the money they burn fuels this evil regime
I'm sitting in a puddle of left over rain
and the slush has just ruined my favorite blue jeans

my boss he looks like an eye-brow-less elf
the kind of sad creature who sleeps 'neath the bed
and crawls in the night eating small childrens' heads
sometimes when you're working you'd be better of dead

Chorus:
I had a bad dream last night
I had a bad dream last night
I had a bad dream last night
but I don't know if it's over yet
no I don't know if its over yet

when I get home I'm gonna lock my front door
watch sex on TV and wish it was me
I'll smoke cigarettes and swallow some pills
gonna kill myself slowly enjoy these cheap thrills

Chorus

I wish you'd shut up I wish you'd stop talkin
with that grin on your face and your chair gently rockin'
and if you really fucked that cute girl like you say
I hope you get sick and your dick melts away

Chorus

Chorus

Man on the Moon

Written By: Andrew Green

Me and my baby
Used to have such a time,
We'd stay out 'til the sunrise
We were partners in crime.
We'd howl at the moon,
Burn the midnight oil down,
But she's got another man
She's runnin' with now.

Chorus:
Man on the moon
Leave my woman alone,
I pray for the sunrise
When she brings it on home.
I look towards the east
But it never comes too soon
When your woman's in love
With the man on the moon.

Nighttime is the right time
To be with the one you love,
But mine's always dancing
With the stars up above.
She tells me that she loves me
But I know it's all lies,
She's got dust on her fingers
And beams in her eyes.

Chorus

Bridge:
Only you can make my tides turn,
Only you can make my river flow
So come back pretty mama
When your easy ride is done.
I'll be hopelessly waiting,
Anticipating,
Just trying to soak up
The rays of the sun.

He looks down at me
As he struts cross the sky,
He's always smiling
Now we both know why.
So I don't even bother
Because I always lose,
I gave her the sun
But she wanted the moon.

Chorus

Down the Line

Written By: Green/Pariser

I left Ohio in the freezing rain
Came back to the city where I was born and raised
I never knew how much more I would see
Never to see it again

I love my mama and I love my wife
I love Virginia and I love a good fight
I never knew how much more I would see
Never to see it again

Chorus:
Somewhere down the line
If we could find the time
To do all those things we've never done
Someday by and by you're gonna wonder why
I never knew how much more I would see
Never to see it again

I know you been searchin'
And baby I been searchin' too
I've been round this whole wide world
Just searchin' for you

Bite your lip, hold your tongue
Your words they give you away
I could tell more in a blink of your eye
Than your words could ever say

Chorus

You never meant to hurt me
You never meant me no harm
You'll soon be married and that's good I guess
But you won't be wearin' no white wedding dress

Chorus

Discography

-Rants and Raves (Demo)
-We are poised to record our first LP in Boston this fall.

Set List

Songs range from 3-6min. Sets: 45-80min

Originals:

Still So Blue
Crooked Roots
Long Long Time
Down the Line
Black and Gold
Trigger
Tami's Song
Banjo Song
Oh Brother
Rants and Raves
Man on the Moon
Simple Man
Come 'Round Here
No Way In
Mad Dog Blues

Covers:

Signed Sealed Delivered - Stevie Wonder
Good'le Days - John Hartford
High and Dry - Radiohead
Bring it on Home to Me - Sam Cooke
Sweet Virginia - The Rolling Stones