Sunday, January 20, 2013

Morgan O'Kane at Union Square Park

I had planned to catch Morgan O'Kane at The Living Room but wound up missing him. A few days later, on what might have been the last mild day of winter 2012-2013 in New York, I happened to catch him playing alongside Union Square Park. O'Kane plays a blazing banjo, using a bottleneck slide on his left pinky. His soulful singing slurs along with the slide. For his percussion, his left boot slams into a tambourine and his right boot works a pedal that hits the suitcase he sits on. His sidewalk performance brought to a stop a large crowd of scurrying shoppers, joggers, dog walkers and mommies with strollers, and probably collected more donations than he would have earned in any area music club.