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Festival Review: Sixth Annual Rats Nest Run-In (American Pinup, Koffin Kats, Kyle Trocolla and more)


I visited and reported on this show last year and had such a great time I vowed to make the trip back up to New York’s Catskill mountains just outside of Albany to revisit it this year, and I am happy I did.

This was the sixth annual Rats Nest Run-In but only the second for me, it’s a counter culture car show which features predominantly pre 1965 vehicles that are rebuilt by their owners from spare parts of numerous other cars that have been pieced together in all sorts of interesting and imaginary way’s.

The crowd and the mood of this marvelous event is also decidedly counter culture and as diverse as the cars, it’s a really nice mix of old and young hot rodders ranging from infants to the infirmed, there are families with children, psychobilly greasers, and crusty punks walking the large field filled with an endless number of cars, one more interesting than the other.

Dozens and dozens of vendors line the field hawking car parts, tattoo art, retro-rockabilly clothing, and all sorts of interesting crafts and wares that catch your eye, I could have spent a whole day just shopping, but I had bands to see.

Large crowds gather and disperse from the stage (An old semi trailer) as the bands, burlesque performers, and pinup girl contest make their way on and off like clockwork giving the crowd some sort of new sonic or visual adventure every 30-40 minutes or so.

Upon my arrival on Friday I caught a set by The Bothers, a Brooklyn based Rockabilly Roots band that really had it together, they were tight, fun and looked the part with their slicked back hair, high cuffed jeans and tight t shirts…Another great Rockabilly act was Lara Hope and The Arktones featuring Matt Goldpaw of the Arkhams on stand up base, While front gal Lara belted out song after song in a sweet rockin’ voice that was undeniably fitting for this show.

Later when the show moved inside I caught a stellar set by solo artist Kyle Trocolla that blew us all away with his alt country sound and punk lyrics, I am a fan of this genre and I was delighted by this heartfelt gravel voiced set…Next up on the inside stage we saw another new band (new to me anyway) called Pitchfork Militia who delivered a very high energy set and entertained the audience with antics like using a toy fire truck as a guitar slide. Then came The Creepin Cadavers who were an all out Psychobilly assault that was pure high energy fun…And one of my new favorite bands as of that night is The Grizzly Band who came up from Texas and delivered a phenominal alt country set complete with steel guitar, truckers caps, and long beards, all of which added to their authentic sound and feel, and the last band of the evening was again an unexpected surprise called Those Crosstown Rivals who do a punky southern rock, that included hints of classic southern rock with the edge of punk and hints of country that never leaned to much in any direction, lets just say I liked them.

Saturday brought more of the same, so many interesting cars, burlesque and side show acts, and more great music by acts like the rockabilly band Whiskey Kill who did a killer classic rockabilly set, and a really fun and really good Surf band called The Sci Flies who played all the old surf classics while wearing matching Fly masks, later both on the outdoor stage, and again on the indoor stage, American Pinup performed remarkably flawless sets that brought the crowds right to the front of the stage to hear their sets, American Pinup also played this event last year and is an obvious crowd favorite. Finally the night was topped off by the Koffin Kats who as they always do delivered an hour plus of high octane Psychobilly that brought the house down with their unmatched onstage showmanship and operatic vocals that place them at the top of their genre…Thus the evening came to an end.

Sunday we all licked our wounds from the night before, waited to long in line for breakfast then sat in the sun with a lemonade and watched repeat performances by Whiskey Kill, American Pinup, The Bothers and Lara Hope and The Arktones…while awaiting lunch at the free, That’s right free Pig Roast and Tiki Pool Party…by this time much of the crowd had dispersed and headed home leaving maybe 500 or so of us left to enjoy the roasted pigs, nurse our hangovers and listen to more really great music.

This was once again a wonderful weekend and I hope to attend it again next year…I just hope my liver can survive it.



Rats Nest Run-In announces 6 new bands

The annual Rats Nest Run-In car show (and music festival) has announced six more bands that will be joining the fun on August 21st-23rd, 2015 in East Durham, NY (upstate, near Albany).  The new announcements include The Koffin Kats, The Grizzly Band, Kyle Trocolla, Whiskey Kill, Dressed For The Occasion, and The High Five Revival.

In addition to the Rat Rods car show, burlesque, a pin-up contest, a tiki pool party, and pig roast, a number of rockabilly, psychobilly, and americana bands will play over the 3 days. The newly announced bands will be joining American Pinup, Creepin’ Cadavers, Those Crosstown Rivals, Pitchfork Militia, Lara Hope and the Ark Tones, and The Bothers.

We will keep you posted as more information becomes available. Head over here for DyingScene’s rundown of last year’s event.



Rats Nest Run-In announce first bands for 2015 edition

The annual Rats Nest Run-In car show (and music festival) has announced some of the bands who will be gracing the stage this August 21st-23rd, 2015 in East Durham, NY (upstate, near Albany).

In addition to the Rat Rods car show, burlesque, a pin-up contest, a tiki pool party, and pig roast, a number of rockabilly, psychobilly, and americana bands will play over the 3 days. This year, attendees will be able to catch American Pinup, Creepin’ Cadavers, Those Crosstown Rivals, Pitchfork Militia, Lara Hope and the Ark Tones, The Bothers, and more to be announced.

We will keep you posted as more information becomes available. Head over here for DyingScene’s rundown of last year’s event.



Show Review: The Rats Nest Run-In (American Pinup, Slaughterhouse Chorus, etc)

Last weekend I took a road trip with a couple friends to a tiny town called East Durham NY about 2 hours north of New York City close to Albany for the 5th annual Rat’s Nest Run-In car show knowing that one of my favorite bands American Pinup was playing, and thinking an old time car show would be a nice outing. As it happened it was an all-out amazingly good time that exceeded all of my expectations.

The Rats Nest Run-In which I thought was a strange name pertains to “Rat Rods” which if you don’t know (I didn’t) is an old rusted Frankenstein of a car or truck that is most often created by its owner and many times out of junk…They are amazing, the creativity of these guys who are both young and old really blew my mind, and was something to see. And next to the cars comes the party, put 2,000 or so Hot Rodder/Psychobilly types together with an amazing line up of music and cheap beer for three day’s and you are in for a good time…The Trophy’s were pinstriped bottles of Moonshine!

The Show featured about 20 or so bands who started around noon playing outdoors until about 7 or 8 pm along with a Burlesque show and pinup girl contest followed by a full fireworks show at nine. The music and more Burlesque then continued in the indoor lounge which held approximately 450-500 people and rocked until about four in the morning, so I’m told ( I didn’t make it until the end) and it featured a really great mix of old style Rockabilly by bands like Whiskey Kill as well as more modern Psychobilly by The Creepin’ Cadavers a Killer alt-country band called Slaughter House Chorus, as well as a really great punk set by Bourbon Scum, not to mention a couple of awesome sets by American Pinup which was of course my reason for driving 2 hours north to begin with. Another band who has become my new favorite band since this last weekend was New Hampshire’s Dressed For The Occasion who have a great heartfelt punk and roll kinda country sound that really doesn’t choose a genre. Remember that name…Dressed For The Occasion, If my spidey senses tell me anything it’s that they may be the next Gaslight Anthem on the horizon.

After the show I was able to get ahold of organizer Travis Myers. That’s right the same Travis Myers from Altercation Records who is responsible for Upstart Fest, The Altercation Punk Rock BBQ and The Altercation Punk Comedy Tour who simply said in his rough Bronx accent “ Hey if you like really cool cars, and you like really great music you came to the right place kid” And that pretty much sums up the weekend, hundreds of really cool and interesting cars coupled with a really great line up of bands will make for an incredible time, and I look forward to attending next year’s Rats nest Run-In which I am told will be held again at The Blackthorne Resort in the tiny town of East Durham NY around the same time next August.