My Cousin The Emperor
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My Cousin The Emperor

New York City, New York, United States | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
Band Americana Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"“This Brooklyn-band band creates Gram Parsons-influenced, rich country folk.”"

“This Brooklyn-band band creates Gram Parsons-influenced, rich country folk.” - AOL Music (April 2011)

"NYC Artist of the Month (April 2011)"

My Cousin, The Emperor was The Deli's NYC Artist of the Month for April 2011. - The Deli Magazine

"Americana UK Feb. 2011"

“ this sunny side up, harmony filled strumalong would probably brighten up most dull grey commutes... If all train journeys were this creative and inspiring even Bob Crowe and Boris Johnson might get along together.”
- Paul Villars, AmericanaUK - Americana UK

"No Depression Feb. 2011"

“Really sweet Americana... notably clean and well-imagined. This might be a good springtime roadtrip album.
Good crisp air and sunshine music.”
- Kim Ruehl, No Depression - No Depression

"Noteworthy NYC Artists...Best of NYC 2010"

My Cousin, The Emperor may just be the band to make you reconsider your long-standing dismissal of country music. Winner of WNYC’s Battle of the Boroughs Brooklyn Throwdown, they’ve been converting rock ‘n rollers by filtering their classic country sounds through low-fi nuances, such as heavy guitar reverberation and lower-quality recording techniques to add the ‘alt’ to their ‘alt-country’ categorization. “Long Way From Home” won the Independent Music Award for best alt-country song, and features finger-pluckin’ quick enough to challenge any Appalachian band, and in “Montevideo,” lead singer/ songwriter Jason Reischel laments about lost love to the accompaniment of country music fundamentals pedal-steel guitar and banjo. - The Deli Magazine (NYC)

"Winner of WNYC's Battle of the Boroughs: Brooklyn Throwdown!!"

Congratulations to My Cousin, The Emperor - your choice to represent Brooklyn in the Battle of the Boroughs' Ultimate Battle at The Greene Space on June 18. - WNYC

"Relix Magazine"

Hailing from the green pastures and rolling hills of Brooklyn, N.Y., My Cousin, The Emperor is a young band of country punks with a book full of ragged honk-tonk anthems. And you can hear the first chapter on A Long Way From Home, its debut album. Led by the singer/songwriter Jason Reischel, MCTE explores the usual issues
(love, loss, more loss), but does so with honesty and conviction. "Justine" gets about as funky as a cowboy tune can get, and
"Broken Bottle Blues No. 2" tells it like it is: "You can't break the bottle and give it back". - Relix Magazine April/ May 2010

""...more honest than most of the dribble coming from Nashville.""

Half the country music we call country music today doesn't quite fit. The sentiment is often "throw an alt- on that country and let it lie." Sure, there may be a twang or a heartbroken lyric here and there, but where's the desolation, the loneliness, and most importantly, the barn-stomping, string breaking fury?

Seems like all that pent up country music has been hiding in a band from, of all unlikely places, Brooklyn. The band's called My Cousin, the Emperor; the album is A Long Way From Home, filled to the brim with both alone-in-the-pouring-rain ballads and throw-me-another-whiskey barroom romps. But included in the whole mess is an influence most country bands, alt- or otherwise, would never touch—Nick Drake. Jason Reischel's voice, in his band's more introspective ballads, achieves a solemnity and isolation that hints at Drake's last-man-on-earth ache. Check out "There's Only You" and try not to hear Pink Moon.

Call these Brooklyn boys poseurs if you want — their debut sounds more honest than most of the dribble coming from Nashville, from the slow-paced, hauntingly beautiful "Montevideo" and the fullmoon-over-a-lonesome-highway cry of "I Cried For You" to the gritty, toy-piano hustle of "Broken Bottle Blues No. 2," expect to see the kiddies dancing/swaying/feeling My Cousin, the Emperor. - My Old Kentucky Blog

""...rolling country rock & roll""

"If you think the name sounds pompous, rest assured that My Cousin, the Emperor makes happily gnarly music; the band’s debut album, A Long Way from Home, trades in rolling country rock & roll (singer Jason Reischel claims the band was attempting to create a new genre: country-R&B)."
- Time Out NY

""...all that's right with the genre of country music.""

The twangy Brooklyn alt. country quartet My Cousin, The Emperor recently released their ultra-charming debut LP, A Long Way Home. It's now available at various online retailers, but you can check out an exclusive preview above. The road-weary track on offer is inspired by the interesting life of Spanish classical guitarist Andrés Torres Segovia. Likewise, the lyrics portray a sad tale of loss: Segovia escapes the Spanish Civil War, thus separating him from the love of his life. He ultimately himself in the coastal city, Montevideo, Uruguay.

Singer-guitarist Jason Reischel captures the classic narrative with a high and lonesome falsetto that demands attention. (That pedal steel sure helps too.) With "Montevideo," My Cousin, The Emperor stands up for all that's still right with the genre of country.

Listen to more Americana goodness at the band's MySpace. In related news, A Long Way Home's road-warring title track has been nominated for a "Best Alt. Country Song" Independent Music Award. Vote here. Congratulations dudes! - Under the Radar Magazine

"Winner Best Alt. Country Song!!"

WHAT’S THIS SONG ABOUT? I was once on tour as a solo singer-songwriter across the US. I was living in North Carolina at the time. We were in Montana, and my friend was fly fishing. I was sitting on the river bank, enjoying the scenery when I realized how far we were from North Carolina. The song just kinda wrote itself from there. Those are my favorite songs, the ones that just come out of nowhere complete and with little effort.

WHY DID YOU SELECT THIS TRACK TO SUBMIT TO THE IMAs? It is the title track to our new record. It has been getting good reviews and seems to be a crowd favorite.

WHAT UNUSUAL INSTRUMENTS OR TECHNIQUES DID YOU USE ON THIS ALBUM? We recorded this track live in the studio. Actually, we recorded the entire record live. It’s just two guitars, bass, drums, and vocals. Nothing unusual at all, just a great performance captured in a take or two.

DID FANS HELP FUND THIS PROJECT? No, the project was completely self-funded.

WHO IS SITTING IN YOUR AUDIENCE? Our audience is pretty diverse in many aspects. Because the music is not easily pigeon-holed by genre or style, it attracts a wide range of music fans. We seem to appeal to all ages from 14 to 64. If you like Rock, Country, Folk, Blues, Jamband, melodic Pop or love songs, then there will probably be some of our songs that you like. Live, we are very high energy. But, we do occasionally play acoustic shows to demonstrate our softer side.

WHAT MAKES YOUR FANS UNIQUE? I guess they are unique because they like us.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE PLACES TO PLAY? Juanita’s in Little Rock, Arkansas, Joe’s Pub in New York City, Monkeytown and the 12 Bar Club in London, England.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE BAND’S MOST MEMORABLE ACHIEVEMENT TO DATE? I think our record release at Joe’s Pub was probably the most fun we’ve had so far. It’s such a great NYC room, and it’s nice to sell it out.
WHAT’S IN THE WORKS FOR 2010? We’re looking to release three or four EP’s this year.


WHAT IS YOUR DEFINITION OF SUCCESS? My definition of success is being able to play music without having to worry about a day job or where the rent money is coming from.

WHAT’S ON YOUR IPOD THAT WOULD SURPRISE YOUR FANS? Duke Ellington & Rosemary Clooney’s “Blue Rose.”

Avi Vinocur
The Stone Foxes
Casey Shea
Lauren Molina - Independent Music Awards

"Live Show Review"

Entering Joe's Pub for my very first show at this venue I did not know what to expect. Could I weather the atmosphere; would I enjoy the acoustics; would my seat provide an enjoyable sightline? All these questions meant nothing compared to the two most important. Who the hell is My Cousin, The Emperor, and can they play?

My Cousin, The Emperor are a relatively new group by name, they have performed as The Populists since 2005.

The band was celebrating the release of their debut album "A Long Way From Home" with a packed house of seated enthusiasts and upright barroom barons.

Jason Reischel, the singer song-writer, infused his own southern/folk influences with a group of youthful veterans. Terry Quire on lead guitar provided inspiring licks be it from the subtle notes of an acoustic or a more infectious voltaic Gibson guitar. Chris Gogan's deep bass lines reverberated throughout the astutely seated audience, after a much needed instruction to the soundboard operator. Alex Wyatt sustained the back beat with his classic percussion style tapping and thumping an eight piece drum kit.

Admittedly, on a normal Friday evening my blood is boiling for some high voltage jams but after a long week I enjoyed taking a load off to some southern comforting R&B. After repeated songs, acoustic guitars can become too mellowing, which the group understood mixing in some electric guitar for the plugged in side of all in attendance. Regalo La Flor was among my favorites, a very up beat song that brought the viewers up a grade in their seats. Reischel's style gleemed with inspiration from varying artists, but when I wanted to pinpoint one in particular the next song would encapsulate my mind with another soulful great from folk's past. Many of the songs seemed to have a Dylan-esque style to them, but "Montevideo" made me close my eyes to envision Reischel as a nappy headed Robert Allan Zimmerman (aka Bob Dylan) with an acoustic strapped to his shoulder. Towards the end of the performance, the group welcomed to the stage Jaymay tangled up in a tight blue dress that most certainly did not outshine her vocal performance. Concluding the show, the four members dropped their instruments and sang along to "Early Morning Show." Though there was a moment of confusion, the good spirited quartet continued into the next verse and departed to full-hearted applause.

In the end my questions were answered. Joe's Pub was acoustically fit for me to attend another performance in the future. Most importantly My Cousin, The Emperor were more talented than I expected.

All too often one hears a song online only to wish they had never seen the band in person.

This was not the case as My Cousin, The Emperor did not disappoint with their crisp mellow songs and, at times, heart-wrenching lyrics. Case in point, the opening verse of the up-beat title track "A Long Way From Home" reminds us all of that one person in our lives that got away. I suggest that you do not let this band get away, My Cousin, The Emperor will perform next at Fontana's on November 18. - The Waster


"A Long Way From Home" (2009)

1. A Long Way From Home
2. Broken Bottle Blues No. 2
3. Montevideo
4. Vanity On Decline
5. I Cried For You
6. No Necklace (She Can't Wait to Dance)
7. Justine
8. When You Walk By
9. Unfinished Melody
10. There's Only You
11. Regalo La Flor

"The Subway Eps, Vol I: Prospect Park West" (2011)

1. Burly, Old Couch (featuring Jaymay)
2. Lies End
3. Southern Nights
4. Somedays
5. Annie (The Levee Song)

"The Subway Eps, Vol II: Broadway- Lafayette" (2011)

1. Down N Out
2. Nothing Left For Us To Find
3. It's All Over Now
4. Goodbye
5. Early Morning Snow



Jeff Kilgour
Tijuana Gift Shop

Time Out NY attests, Brooklyn’s “My Cousin, the Emperor makes happily gnarly music; the band’s debut album, A Long Way from Home, trades in rolling country rock & roll.” My Old Kentucky Blog calls it, “Filled to the brim with both alone-in-the-pouring-rain ballads and throw-me-another-whiskey barroom romps” and Under the Radar Magazine declares, “My Cousin, The Emperor stands up for all that's still right with the genre of country.”

The accolades continued when the title track from their debut won the Independent Music Award for ‘Best Alternative Country Song of the Year’ and the quartet grabbed the crown for Brooklyn in WNYC’s “Battle Of The Boroughs.” MY COUSIN, THE EMPEROR follow up their first offering with the release of a single disc, double EP entitled, THE SUBWAY EPs on March 29, 2011.

Volume I of the set is the acoustic PROSPECT PARK WEST and Volume II is the electric BROADWAY-LAFAYETTE, named after lead singer, guitarist and songwriter Jason Reischel’s two main stops between Brooklyn and Manhattan. Think of it as the mirrored counterpart to Dylan’s Bringing It All Back Home.

Reischel elaborates on the concept of the album, “It takes me about 20-25 minutes to get to places around New York, and I realized that with people's short attention spans, and quick travel times, they usually only have time for about 20 minutes of music before they have to stop listening. So instead of a full record, we did two EPs... mini-soundtracks for the city that can be enjoyed uninterrupted in their entirety.”

On their blog, audiophile stalwarts Denon call My Cousin, The Emperor, “A band that fuses rock, Americana, country, and folk seamlessly together.” Relix commends, “My Cousin, The Emperor is a young band of country punks with a book full of ragged honky-tonk anthems” and The Deli Magazine recently approved, “They’ve been converting rock ‘n rollers by filtering their classic country sounds through low-fi nuances… to add the ‘alt’ to their ‘alt-country’ categorization.”

“Instead of recording a full album, we decided to record 2 EPs, but to give them entirely different personalities,” continues Reischel. “Volume 1 is more folky, country, singer- songwriter music. Volume 2 is more rock, upbeat, and energetic. This band does both of them very well, so I wanted to showcase it's different personalities across the two EPs.”

In addition to Reischel and guitarist Terry Quire, MCTE have added two new members with Michael Feinberg on bass and Danny Wolf on drums. The jazz backgrounds of each bring even more tightness to the rhythm section of the already solid group.