Music

Another Full Day Ramble: Brooklyn Twang Festival Returns

Houston's biggest, smallest festival is back with the second annual Brooklyn Twang Festival on Saturday, May 28 at The Continental Club.
Houston's biggest, smallest festival is back with the second annual Brooklyn Twang Festival on Saturday, May 28 at The Continental Club. Artwork by Carlos Hernandez
It can feel strange to say that something is the “first annual” event. The hope for organizers is always to have a great first year that can then transform into a yearly celebration but as everyone has learned in the past few years, nothing is guaranteed.

This year, Houston’s biggest, smallest festival Brooklyn Twang will return. The full day ramble will take place on Saturday, May 28 at The Continental Club. Attendees can come and go as they please and food from neighboring restaurants is permitted inside the all-ages event.

Last year’s Brooklyn Twang Festival was not only the “first annual” but it also served as the inauguration of the backyard of The Continental Club as it reopened to eager music lovers following the COVID-19 shut down.

“The idea was always to do it annually and so we will see,” says festival organizer and local musician Luba Dvorak. “This is the second one and it’s a ton of work but when it all starts happening it’s super exciting and it's nice to see everybody come out and hang out in the backyard.”

“The whole block is like a big family,” says Dvorak.”I think it's exciting to get together and have a little reunion so to speak.”

“The whole block is like a big family,” says Dvorak.”I think it's exciting to get together and have a little reunion so to speak.”

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This year's lineup features some of the bands from last year along with some new names taking turns performing on the larger electric stage and smaller acoustic set up in the backyard of the club.

The day will kick off with Jimmy Pizzitola on the acoustic stage at 1:30 p.m. followed by performances throughout the day by Katie Rushing, Allen Hill, Charlie and The Regrets, Chris Seymore, Snit Fitzpatrick and John Griffin.

At last year's event, patrons could hardly catch a breath as they spent the day rotating in their benches to take in performance after performance with organizers never missing a beat between sets for what turned out to be a fantastic day of music celebrating Houston’s musical community while welcoming new faces.

New additions this year include Nick Gaitan, Sara Van Buskirk, Grace Harrison, The Roomsounds from Dallas and Butch Phelps and Eden Archer from New York. This year will also see the festival spilling into the Continental Club with Kalo and Luba Dvorak & The Brooklyn Twang followed by a special one-night reunion of Big top legends, Peter and James.

“It totally works,” says Dvorak of Peter and James wrapping up the evening with their special brand of banter and cover songs. “Whenever you can get a chance to book those guys you gotta jump at it.”

“The whole idea last year was to get some of the New York people out to come down but it was tough because New York was pretty shut down,” explains Dvorak who relocated to Houston five years ago from New York and quickly became part of the Continental Club family.

Dvorak and his band previously held a weekly residency at The Big Top Lounge but currently hold a Monday night residency at Cowboy Surfer and then play every Tuesday at The Continental in Austin. Dvorak and his band also perform every First Thursday at The Big Top Lounge.

Dvorak’s original vision of creating a space for his New York colleagues to come play has already shown signs of working as last year's performance by Kalo has led to her performing at the club frequently throughout the past year.

When asked if he is always on the lookout for bands that may fit in with his Brooklyn Twang sound which he has always described as “Honky Tonk, just sloppier” Dvorak admits that he is always subconsciously on the prowl with his workplace serving as a perfect place to be exposed to new artists regularly.

“I just hope everybody comes out again,” says Dvorak. “It’s a cool Memorial Day hang to kick off the summer and then people go off and do whatever they do during the summer,” he says.

“I was super blown away by how well it went last year. You never know if you're going to have enough money to pay everybody but everybody came together and the community came out. It was an amazing time and a huge success. A huge thank you to everybody who did that.”

The Second Annual Brooklyn Twang Festival will take place on Saturday, May 28 at The Continental Club, 3700 Main.  Doors open at 1 p.m. $22-40.
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Gladys Fuentes is a first generation Houstonian whose obsession with music began with being glued to KLDE oldies on the radio as a young girl. She is a freelance music writer for the Houston Press, contributing articles since early 2017.
Contact: Gladys Fuentes