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Rock the boats: Gowanus Canoe Club hosts a summer music series

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They’re going back to their roots!

A free summer concert series will return to the banks of the Gowanus Canal this month. The Creekers Jamboree series, sponsored by the Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club, will bring Americana and roots music to the club’s Second Street Boathouse on the third Saturday of each month, starting on June 15 and continuing through October. The debut performer said that he hopes to channel the neighborhood’s zany spirit in his performance.

“Gowanus is really a trip, and it’s beautiful,” said Queens singer-songwriter Colin Langenus, who will share the June 15 bill with Clinton Hill musician Rose Thomas Bannister. “There’s money coming in, but there are still weirdos that have been there a while, and the place has a lot of character.”

Langenus has recorded an extensive catalogue over the last three decades, with more than 100 releases under various band names. For his performance alongside Brooklyn’s Nautical Purgatory, he will dig up some tunes from his 2011 folk rock record “Infinite Ease,” along with his prog-rock project Usaisamonster, and a blend of originals songs and covers.

The jack-of-all-trades, who claims to be related to classic composer Ludwig van Beethoven, says he draws his artistic inspiration from more recent songwriters, including Jimi Hendrix and John Coltrane, along with the 1989 stoner comedy “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.”

Before each show, the boat club will host its usual weekly free canoe trips along the toxic waterway, from 1–5 p.m.

The music series, which launched last summer, is named after a gang that roamed the Gowanus marshes and creek during the mid-1800s called the Creekers, which defended the territory against rival gang the Pointers coming from Red Hook Point. Both gangs died out in the early 20th century, and members of the Dredgers Canoe Club say they wanted to pay homage to the area’s folklore

“Paying homage to the historical areas is why we did it,” said concert organizer Liz Rabson Schnore.

The longtime dredger will also break out some instruments with her friends for the one-night-only band Pointers Revenge, which on Aug. 17 will play folk-influenced version of songs about the Gowanus Canal written over the last two centuries.

“It’ll be a bit of Pete Seeger environmentalism and sing-along songs,” said Schnore. “It’s silly and fun.”

Additional dates and acts:

July 20: Homestead Street Band and Hello Bittersweet (Robin Aigner and Michael Brownell)

August 17: Stillhouse Serenade and Pointers Revenge

September 21: Vienna Carroll and the Ukuladies

October 19: Piedmont Bluz

Creekers Jamboree at Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club [165 Second St. at Bond Street in Gowanus, www.gowanuscanal.org]. Every third Saturday, June 15–October 19 at 5 p.m. Free.

Reach reporter Kevin Duggan at (718) 260–2511 or by e-mail at kduggan@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @kduggan16.
Updated 5:44 pm, June 10, 2019
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