The first thing I did after checking into my hotel in Greenwich Village on Saturday (was there for the NYU Hyperlocal Conclave) was head over to Washington Square, which I know at one time was famous for its folk music (including Bob Dylan playing there for a time). I didn’t know what I’d find, but it seemed like a good place to take make some photos.
Near the end of my hour or so in the park, I found this gentleman playing banjo under the Washington Arch. It only took a few bars to realize he was something special.
He is Morgan O’Kane, originally from Virginia, but a resident of New York for the past 11 years.
I bought his latest CD and it is every bit as good as I hoped it would be. O’Kane has a sound that is authentic to the kind of scratchy 78s Harry Smith compiled but with touch of grunge, giving O’Kane’s sound a very contemporary edge. O’Kane is traditional without being pastiche. That is an accomplishment that takes a heart and soul for the music and a real talent to pull it off.
See all of my photos of O’Kane on VuFindr.
Here’s a few of the videos of OK that can be found on YouTube and his web site.