New Heathens

New York Artists To Salute Gram Parsons
“Gram Parsons 60th Birthday Tribute: A Night of Cosmic American Music,” honors country-rock pioneers’ influence, showcases music he inspired

Ten artists and bands will pay tribute to country-rock pioneer Gram Parsons, who would have turned 60 in November, with a tribute show at Galapagos in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on Wednesday, Nov. 15. The show starts at 7 p.m.

The “Gram Parsons 60th Birthday Tribute: A Night of Cosmic American Music,” will showcase some of New York’s best roots-rock, country-rock, alt. country and Americana artists. The lineup includes the New Heathens, Chip Robinson of the Backsliders, the Demolition String Band, the Karen Hudson River Band, Future Farmers of America, Alan Lee and the Wicked Messengers, Sugarpine, the Apple Bros. and Joe Cassady and the West End Sound.

At the end of the evening, all the evening’s performers will join onstage for a rendition of the classic Parsons song, “In My Hour of Darkness.” Rench will DJ the afterparty.

Each act will perform Parsons’ music combined with original compositions. In between bands, videos of Parsons and scenes from the movie, “Grand Theft Parsons,” starring Johnny Knoxville, will be shown on a video screen above the stage.

“Every artist performing at the tribute show cites Gram Parsons as a major inspiration,” said event coordinator Nate Schweber, singer in the New Heathens. “This night will be a testament to Gram’s lasting influence.”

The show will be the first Gram Parsons tribute in New York City since October 1993 at the now-defunct club Gonzalez Y Gonzalez. That show featured several artists on New York’s Diesel Only record label including Alan Lee of the Twanglers who will perform with his band the Wicked Messengers on Nov. 15.

“A Gram ‘tribute night’ (is) a perfect way to spread the word about bands that show their country roots without acting slavish towards the concept,” Lee said. “Most of us have eclectic tastes and as a result feel comfortable writing songs in a variety of styles. Hell, it’s one of the major reasons I love the Rolling Stones and Steve Earle.”

Gram Parsons, a native of Waycross, GA., was a brief member of rock and roll hall of fame band the Byrds, and a major influence on its seminal album Sweetheart of the Rodeo. He fronted the band The Flying Burrito Brothers in the late 1960s before recording two solo albums backed by Emmylou Harris and Elvis Presley’s touring band. A close friend of Rolling Stone Keith Richards, Gram Parsons died of a heroin overdose in a hotel near Joshua Tree National Park on Sept. 19, 1973. He was 26. His most famous recordings include “Sin City,” “Return of the Grievous Angel,” “Wild Horses,” and the autobiographical “Hickory Wind.”

Galapagos is at at 70 North 6th Street between Kent and Wythe. Take the L to Bedford.
Visit or call 718-384-4586.

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