365 Merchandise
About Me
Press for 365 Bars
Banner Art
Contact Me

Entries in Chris Erikson & the Wayward Puritans (1)


Saturday, May 8th, 2010—Bar 118

Day 118—Friday, May 7th, 2010
Lakeside Lounge

First things first, another donation has been sent in. Patrick Di Primo from Westchester sent in a generous donation for ten bucks with the stated purpose being: “To buy a craft brewed beer. Bud, Guinness and red stripe are great, but there's a lot more beers out there!” Alright Patrick, tomorrow I will have a craft beer in your honor. Come to the city sometime and you can join me on the crawl and we’ll enjoy several together. Thanks for the generous donation, it help’s to keep me crawling.

Okay, I’m looking forward to tonight’s crawl.
I’m going to the legendary Lakeside Lounge in the East Village to see Chris Erikson & The Wayward Puritans. Chris was one of the first person's I met when I moved here and I may not be doing this bar crawl or even be here in New York City were it not for him. Here’s the story and the story goes:

I moved here in 1993 after cashing in a pension fund from a job I had worked for 13 years in Peoria, Illinois.
I moved to New York to pursue a writing career and just because I love New York. So I got here and started sending out portfolios to newspapers and magazines and one of the first editors to call me was Chris Erikson from the Manhattan Spirit, a weekly paper here in Manhattan. Chris, along with editor Faye Penn assigned me some of my first pieces that turned into some of my first New York bylines. That helped me get other freelance work including pieces for a couple of the daily papers and a bunch of the other weeklies. Despite getting freelance work, which for a guy just coming in off the boat from Peoria, Illinois, I was thrilled with, a staff writing job didn’t happen and freelance writing for newspapers doesn’t pay the rent. And to make matters worse, I had a background in printing as a film stripper, but that trade was now outdated due to computers. The trade I had learned for 13 years was gone and I couldn’t find a decent night job to supplement my income. I was burning through my pension fund money and after about nine months I was about a month from being broke and having to return to Peoria with my tail between my legs.

I had sent a pitch list of ideas to Chris and called him on the phone to see if he was interested in any of them. He asked how things were going and I told him the harsh truth that things looked bleak.

“You’ve got a background in printing, right?” He asked.

“Yeah, but what I do is replaced by computers and I don’t know how to do that,” I explained.

“Hmm, you know I worked for a place called Sarabande Press a while back and they hire people just to make Xerox copies for books at night. My friend Matt works there, you should call him and explain your situation,” Chris offered up.

Well, I called Sarabande Press, talked with Matt who spoke to the owner Joe (who reads this blog, hi Joe!) and I got a night job there and learned the computer side of printing. Everybody who worked there was cool, and it paid the rent. Plus Joe was kind enough to let me output film for a magazine I had just started which was called fishwrap. It made fun of all the places who wouldn’t hire me. I didn’t worry about offending them as I now had a full time gig in New York City, thanks to Chris Erikson! And I’ve worked full time and had various writing gigs and projects ever since. In fact, Chris is now at the NY Post and got me a freelance assignment there a couple years ago at Christmas time where I wandered around Manhattan as a Bad Santa. So this guy has been nothing short of a lucky penny for me, and that’s why I’m thrilled to go see his band and feature them in today’s post.

So put on your dancing shoes and let’s turn the crawl eastward towards the Lakeside Lounge and Chris Erikson & The Wayward Puritans!

Live from Avenue B, it's the Lakeside Lounge!

The bar is split into two rooms. This is the front room where the bar is, I'll think I'll settle in here for awhile until the show begins in the back room.

Here's J.D. and Nat, the friendly and hospitable bartenders for the evening.

And they were not only fun and friendly bartenders, but they were quick with a beer! Cheers!

Danny was seated at the end of the bar and wished me luck on the 365 bar crawl.

Here's Katita, Jessica and Ross, who were getting refills for their drinks.


The best jukebox in New York City and all tunes are personally selected by James "The Hound" Marshall.

April and Billy were enjoying the Friday night at Lakeside Lounge.

As Nat pours a drink I realize it's about showtime. Time to head to the back room.

Appearing for one night only: Chris Erikson and the Wayward Puritans!

Here's the bandstand in the Aloha Room. Time to find a seat.

And I'm in luck, because this fun group of people invited me to join them at their table. They're visiting New York this weekend from Canada and heard about the Lakeside Lounge from a friend. From left: Kevin, Bruce, Linda and Pam. I had a blast with them and want to thank them not only for the seat, but for the friendship. Please keep in touch!

And here they are, Chris Erikson and the Wayward Puritans, setting up. From left: Chris Erikson—guitar and lead vocals, Jason Mercer—bass and backing vocals, Jay Sherman-Godfrey—guitar and backing vocals and Diego Voglino—drums.

Okay, the set list is on the stage, looks like it's show time!

And they're off, they started the show off with an instrumental tribute to Johnnie Johnson, Chuck Berry's original piano player, who Chris and I have both met on separate occasions.

Most of the rest of the set was comprised of Chris' original tunes, which are great. Think Creedence Clearwater Revival meets Steve Earle with swampy undertones, raw rock 'n' roll and chiming dual guitars. Wonderful original  songs and a great show.

Drummer Diego pounds the skins.

Chris, Jason and Jay. Check out guitarist Jay Sherman-Godfrey's website here: Jay Sherman-Godfrey.

Guest vocalist Cliff Westfall joined the band for the last couple of numbers.

The band was called back for an encore from the crowd. A great live show by Chris Erikson and the Wayward Puritans!

After chatting with Chris and the band, there was one last thing I had to do before I left.

Photobooth photos! Goodnight everybody!

The Lakeside Lounge is a place that you could easily miss in the mass of bars and things going on in the East Village and it’s your loss if you do. It’s a cozy bar that is split into two rooms. The front room has a full bar, friendly bartenders and a working vintage four shot, black and white photo booth. Plus they have the best jukebox in New York City. The jukebox features artists as varied as: Big Joe Turner, The Troggs, Link Wray, George Jones, the Small Faces, Bo Diddley and the Chocolate Watch Band. The jukebox tunes are personally selected by musicologist and Lakeside Lounge owner, James "The Hound" Marshall. Check out his blog here: The Hound Blog.

In addition to being a great bar, the Lakeside Lounge is known for live music. They have bands appearing here every night of the week with no cover charge in the back room, which is dubbed, the Aloha Room. Some of the bands that have played here through the years include: Steve Earle & the Dukes, Fleshtones, Marshall Crenshaw, Ryan Adams and ? & the Mysterians and tonight, Chris Erikson and The Wayward Puritans, who put on a stellar show. Chris told me they’re working on a CD, and I’ll keep you updated on that, as time goes by.

Lakeside Lounge
162 Ave. B, (Near 10th St.)