Whatever story comes from this adventure, for me its genesis is at Roots Café on 5th Ave at 18th St. It is here that I was first introduced to the Southern element in Brooklyn. It is here that I made the acquaintance of Jamey Hamm, and Trisha Ivy. Along with Amanda Simpson Neill, it is by them that I’ve come into contact with live music that excites me, moves me. I don’t recall where or when I lost my zeal for live music, but it is returned to me in the form of southern alt-country.
What you’ll find at Roots is all the expected indie coffee shop offerings and trappings. There are the cool, hip young people working the counter. The music is not always country, and one can hear the normal indie groups, or what passes for indie these days. Maybe it should just be called indie-sound. That probably dates me. It probably makes me sound old and bitter. But Sub Pop is a store in SeaTac airport now. Jesus, I wish I was making that up. For what appears to me to be largely a Christian clientele, nothing is overt in the music or the style of the shop itself. Americana artwork lines one side and to the other a rotation of local artists’ work. If you’re lucky you’ll get to visit when Amanda is working, since she bought the place from Jamey back in February of ‘14. What you’ll get from Amanda is sincere welcome and sunshine. She’ll tell you she loves you, and that you’re her friend. If you’re like me you’ll think all the good cheer and friendly vibes are alien to yourself, that these people are cute and all, but you’re a hard grown-ass man who needs to get some hard-boiled writing done. But it is an oasis. And after a few moments the caked on world-weary sludge slakes off. It’s a good place. It’s got good people.