Tonight, Alex Battles will be hosting the CasHank Hootenanny Jamboree at Freddy’s Bar in Brooklyn’s South Slope. As the name denotes, the monthly event is devoted to playing the songs of Johnny Cash and Hank Williams (who was on his way to Canton, Ohio when he died in 1953), as well as songs by other artists recorded before 1970. Anyone can join in at the Jamboree, so long as they don’t attempt any tunes with more than four chords.
Battles moved to New York in 1995 from Chesterland, Ohio, a small suburb of Cleveland with less than 3,000 people. Bringing his grandfather’s banjo with him, he has been playing various forms of country music in public since 2000, both on his own and with his band, The Whisky Rebellion. In addition, to CasHank, Battles is the organizer of the annual Johnny Cash Birthday Bash, as well as the Brooklyn Country Music Festival. He is also a frequent performer at the Jalopy Theatre and Hank’s Saloon, where he and the Whisky Rebellion will be playing on September 28. Check out the video of Battles and the band performing Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” below.