New Heathens
9Oct/10Off

Learning English

I moonlight, you know? So when I got the call that celebrity chef Todd English was looking for a country rock band for his bacon makin' party as part of the NYC Wine and Food Festival in Manhattan's swish Andaz Hotel last Thursday, I was all in. Particularly when drummerman "Jimmy the Hat," whose wife scored us the gig, told me that the great Gerald Menke would play pedal steel and I got to fill out the rest of the ensemble. I called guitarist Pete Smith and bassist Andrei Sebastian. Two rehearsals later we were the Flying (Bacon) Burrito Brothers.

Here is the aforementioned pedal steel maestro Mr. Menke in hog heaven, queuing up for some delicious bacon.

Of course, we were joined onstage by a guest vocalist.

The food blogs ate it up, see  World Red Eye, Eater and  Zagat. We were even referenced on Page Six (under our moniker for the night the "Lazy Stars.")

I have to confess, I didn't know who Todd English was until we showed up to play his "Bacon and the Blues" gig. He asked to sing the Marshall Tucker Band's song, "Can't You See." It was his party, we were the hired band, why not? We figured out the chords during our setbreak (hint: D, C & G) and dove in.

A "Zagat Agent" said the performance was, “'pretty good,' but admitted she probably wouldn’t pay to see the chef rock Madison Square Garden (or a Bleecker Street dive, for that matter)."

I can report that Mr. English was a very cool guy. He was courteous when he sang with the band. He didn't "hog" the stage, yuk-yuk. He also hung around through our whole set and when the party was over, after all the pretty pig eaters went home, he shook each of our hands and said thanks. That means something, from anybody. It was doubly appreciated from the night's big-shot.

So thanks again, Todd. You're welcome to jam anytime. And your food's not too shabby either.

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  1. Bravo! Just love how it all comes together and with the oddest of celebrities… Great job and nice pics!


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