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Can’t stop the music: Bands play in parks, gardens, at sidewalk cafes during pandemic

BY EVERYNIGHT CHARLEY CRESPO | Even a pandemic cannot stop rock and roll, as musicians plug their guitars into their amps and perform for Manhattan audiences. These musicians are playing free shows in parks and community gardens, on sidewalks, on subway platforms and at sidewalk cafes, hoping to persuade socially distanced listeners to drop dollars into tip buckets. These are some of the musicians who were rocking the town this summer with live, energetic performances, and are still continuing into the fall.

The Band in the Park at Washington Square Park. (Photos by Everynight Charley Crespo)

The Band in the Park

Old friends reunited after 15 years apart and are playing funk and rhythm and blues hits from yesteryear. The band does not have a name yet other than, “We are the band in the park,” meaning both Washington Square Park and Tompkins Square Park.

B.B. YTK at Tompkins Square Park.

B.B. YTK

B.B. YTK plays rough and raw punk rock jams in Tompkins Square Park.

Cancion Franklin at Marshall Stack.

Cancion Franklin & the Fam Band

Originally from Tucson, Arizona, Cancion Franklin is now based in Brooklyn and leads a blues-rock trio, playing songs from his two EPs at Marshall Stack on alternate Saturday evenings.

Ghostwood Country Club at Marshall Stack.

Ghostwood Country Club

Led by Shawn Ghost, Ghostwood Country Club normally rocks hard but these days performs unplugged at Marshall Stack on Friday evenings.

House of Creation at Washington Square Park.

House of Creation

House of Creation plays psychedelic instrumental jams with funky bass lines at both Washington Square Park and Tompkins Square Park.

Lee at Washington Square Park.

Lee

Leroy Webb says, “My name is Lee and I play R&B,” several evenings each week at Washington Square Park.

Magic Forest in Tompkins Square Park.

Magic Forest

Find your old tie-dye bell bottoms and love beads and head to Tompkins Square Park any early Saturday morning for old-style hippie acoustic folk music by Magic Forest.

The Meetles in Tompkins Square Park.

The Meetles

The Meetles are best known for playing rousing Beatles covers to large crowds in the Times Square subway station and in Tompkins Square Park.

Pinc Louds in Tompkins Square Park.

Pinc Louds

Early on Saturday afternoons in Tompkins Square Park, Claudi Love plays indie-rock originals as a solo performer. By the time the rest of the band arrives, Pinc Louds enchants large crowds of new fans. The band performs in subway stations as well.

Puma Perl & Friends at the 11th Street Community Garden.

Puma Perl & Friends

Puma Perl, a much-published local poet, fronted musicians creating impromptu music at the 11th Street Community Garden.

Solid Goold at Tompkins Square Park.

Solid Goold

Solid Goold played original music that sounds like a throwback to 1980s new wave at Tompkins Square Park.

SoulCake at the 11th Street Community Garden.

SoulCake

Led by Joff Wilson of the Bowery Boys, SoulCake played original songs that adopted a polished pop take on folk music at the 11th Street Community Garden.

Strange Majik.

Strange Majik

On alternate Saturday evenings, David Pattillo sometimes does a solo set. But when the whole band is together, Strange Majik’s guitar jams rock inside Marshall Stack to audiences seated outside.

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