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Black Jake & the Carnies, "The Original Kings of Crabgrass", are a punk/bluegrass band out of Ypsilanti, Michigan. "Crabgrass" refers to the group's stylistic mash-up of punk, bluegrass and americana.

The current and variously pseudonymous members are Black Jake (banjo, lead vocals, lyrics), Gus (fiddle), Chris Westhoffer (guitar), Zach Pollock (mandolin), Joe Cooter (bass guitar), Billy "the Kingpin" LaLonde (drums, washboard), Jesse Miller (accordion), and Caleb Lee Johnson (train whistle, jug,limberjack, musical saw, among others).

The band released it's debut album, Where the Heather Don't Grow in 2008. The song "Happy Easter to Ya" was on the Jackson Citizen Patriot's list of best new songs of the year at number #21, beating out many better-known groups such as R.E.M. [1]

Black Jake and the Carnies have performed live shows throughout Michigan, as well as in Ohio[2], Indiana[3], and Chicago, and a performance on Brown Student Radio's show, "Phoning It In"[4]. They recently had their debut performance at The Ark, Ann Arbor's venerable folk venue.[5][6]

External Links[edit]

AllMusic Review- Where the Heather Don't Grow Review- Where the Heather Don't Grow
Black Jake & the Carnies on MySpace


  1. ^ [1] My Favorite Songs of 2008, No. 30-21, Bill Chapin, Jackson Citizen Patriot
  2. ^ [2] Black Jake & the Carnies, Hullabaloo Toledo City Paper
  3. ^ [3] Where the Heather Don't Grow Black Jake & The Carnies, D.M. Jones
  4. ^ [4] Phoning It In- Black Jake & the Carnies
  5. ^ [5] Black Jake & the Carnies to be in Ann Arbor Today, Rachel May, Detroit Free Press
  6. ^ [6] Black Jake & the Carnies,