She’ll bring mountain music to folk fest
Heritage music: Anna Rg spent years researching Appalachian and New England folk
music and will combine the old tunes with her own modern adaptation at this year’s
Brooklyn Folk Festival at St. Ann’s Church in Brooklyn Heights on Apr. 6. Brian Geltner
A do-gooder good time in Brooklyn!
COURIER L 58 IFE, MAR, 22-28, 2019 24-7
The best reads
— handpicked by
some of the best
“Girls Burn Brighter,” by Shobha Rao
Every single time that I had
to leave Rao’s debut novel,found myself counting down
the seconds until I could back to it! A beautifully written
story of two best friends,
who meet as teenage girls
in a small village in India,are separated by a tragic
incident, and who endure
much more tragedy in the
journey to reconnect with
one another. Be prepared
to be angry, to cry, and
to want to grab Savitha
and Poornima and hold them em tight.
— Jeff Waxman, Word 126 Franklin St. at Milton Street in
Greenpoint, (718) 383–0096, www.wordbookstores.com .
Community Bookstore’s pick:
“Milkman,” by Anna Burns
Set in Northern Ireland during
the Troubles of the 1970s,
Anna Burns’s Man Booker
Prize-winning novel explores
the paranoia, repression, near-surreal dislocation of living
in a community at war
with itself. Rigorous and distilled
in its prose and structure,
Burns claims a place
beside Joyce and Beckett as
one of the Emerald Isle’s
— Samuel Partal,
Community Bookstore 43
Seventh Ave. between Carroll oll Street Street and
Garfield Place in Park Slope, (718) 783–3075, www.commu-
nityb ookst ore.net .
Greenlight Bookstore’s pick:
“Machines Like Me,” by Ian McEwan
Ian McEwan’s new novel
is set in an alternative 1980s,
where technology is more advanced and Britain
has just lost the Falklands
War. Our protagonist finds
himself in a love triangle
with the girl of his dreams
and the very-close-tohuman
robot he has just
purchased. This is one
of the wittiest pieces of
speculative fiction I have
read in a long while, and
McEwan’s thoughts are
a joy to wade through. Of f course
we’ve seen robots gain sentience in countless books
and movies, but we have not yet encountered the likes of
Ian McEwan’s Adam — an endlessly complex and fascinating
— Sarah Goewey, Greenlight Bookstore 686 Fulton
St. between S. Elliott Place and S. Portland Avenue in Fort
Greene, (718) 246–0200, www.greenlightbookstore.com .
By Kevin Duggan She’s an Appalachian trailblazer!
A Crown Heights folk musician
will bring songs from her
years of Appalachian field research
to the annual Brooklyn Folk Festival,
happening at St. Ann’s Church in
Brooklyn Heights from April 5–7.
The fiddler, banjo player, and ethnomusicologist
who goes by Anna Rg onstage, will
perform a blend of traditional and
avant-garde tunes from coal country
on the final day of this year’s festival,
which is sponsored by the Jalopy
Theater in Red Hook.
Roberts-Gevalt says that spending
four years immersed in the mountain
culture helped her break out of the
navel-gazing urban arts scene, and
connected her to a longer lineage.
“In New York it’s very easy to get
caught up in yourself and your art,”
Roberts-Gevalt said. “It was a good
reminder that there are threads of life
that have been going on for so long
and will continue after our deaths,
which is kind of along Buddhist or
Native American thought.”
Roberts-Gevalt drove down to
Kentucky in her station wagon in
2009, fiddle and banjo in tow, and
learned from Appalachians young
and old, including the late fiddler
Paul David Smith, who spent his time
passing the mountain region’s lore on
to the next generation, while encouraging
them to add their own twists to
the songs, she said.
“He was excited that the music
was changing,” she said. “The week
before he died he was asked ‘Why do
you like playing music with young
people?’ and he said, ‘Oh, the young
people are choosing notes that I had
never thought to choose.’ ”
During her time in the bluegrass
state, Roberts-Gevalt saw how young
songsters connected with their heritage,
which inspired her to research
her own New England ancestry at a
Vermont archive of more than 4,000
song recordings. After moving to
Crown Heights three years ago, she
also took inspiration from the city’s
experimental and improvisational
music scene, adding a personal flavor
to her traditional catalog.
“I want to present the traditional
songs and then my response through
the arrangements and improvisations
I make,” she said.
During her show, she plans to
sing and play traditional songs from
Appalachia, along with New England
ballads and her own original material
— but rather than keep them separate,
she hopes the forms will combine into
a mix that stays true to herself.
“The long-term goal for my music
is to let it synthesize, I’m trying to let
them all marinate together,” she said.
“Not a new genre, but finding combinations
that are very personal to me.”
Anna Rg at Brooklyn Folk Festival
at St. Ann’s Church 157 Montague
St. between Henry and Clinton streets
in Brooklyn Heights, (718) 395–3214,
www.brooklynfolkfest.com. April 7
at 8 pm. $25 Sunday night pass; $40
all day, $80 three-day festival pass.
Festival lasts April 5–7.
Tby Bill Roundy his weekend, we are going
to do the right thing!
we can save the water
by drinking beer!
On World Water
Day, you can visit
Randolph Beer (82
Prospect St. between
Pearl and Jay streets
in Dumbo) where a $50
ticket will get you a free
beer, a raffle ticket, and the
satisfaction of bringing clean water to
someone in Uganda. The event starts
at 5 pm and lasts until 8 pm.
On Saturday night, we are going
to save the mermaids! Coney Island
USA, the arts organization behind
the Mermaid Parade and Sideshows
by the Seashore, is raising cash to
repair the roof of its building.
You can help by visiting
the Coney Island
Spring Gala, at 7:30
pm at the New York
Surf Ave. between
W. Eighth and W.
Fifth streets in
Coney Island, www.
Tickets start at $100
(or $250 for VIP access),
but that includes plenty of food,
an open bar with wine, beer from
Coney Island Brewing, and cocktails
from Eddy’s Vodka, access to
the Aquarium’s new shark exhibit,
and performances from Miss Coney
Island Pearls Daily and other burlesque
beauties, strolling magicians,
musical acts, and more. The night
wraps up at 11:30 pm.
Sleep in and recover on Sunday
morning, because that night we are
going to save the disco doggies!
Don your skates and your flashiest
threads for Sunday’s “Saturday Night
Fever” roller disco party, which benefits
Sean Casey Animal Rescue.
Shell out a little extra for a Doggie
Disco t-shirt, which you can wear
while entering the costume contest,
posing for photos on the red carpet,
or skating to disco hits of the ’70s
and ’80s. The three-hour party starts
at 6 pm at Dreamland Roller Rink
(233 37th St. at Second Avenue in
Sunset Park, www.dreamlandrollerrink.
com). Tickets start at $20 ($50
with that stylish t-shirt).