Monthly Honky Tonk Jukebox show coming to Bloomfield
It’s easy to tell how much fun the monthly Honky Tonk Jukebox show is just by watching the members of the 339 Band rehearse at Liveburgh Studios in Glenshaw.
As the band shuffles through Merle Travis’ hilarious ‘“Shut Up and Drink Your Beer” — “Shut up!/And drink your beer/There’s a man still asleep ‘neath the table in the rear” — Pete Freeman’s pedal steel glides smoothly and effortlessly among the other instruments of the band while Buck Chutz’s guitar hits with just the right amount of echo to evoke a smoky Nashville country bar band.
It’s that image that was in Honky Tonk founder Jon Bindley’s mind when he began thinking about the concert series.
“I moved to Nashville after college and it’s huge down there,” said Bindley, a resident of Pittsburgh’s Morningside neighborhood and namesake of Bindley Hardware Co., a band named after his family’s longtime Pittsburgh business. “The American Legion Post 82 in Nashville does an amazing Tuesday night honky tonk. Those were definitely part of the inspiration.”
This month the series, which is just over a year old, will shift from its longtime home base at the Allegheny Elks Lodge on the North Side to the Liedertafel Singing Society in the city’s Bloomfield neighborhood.
“We just wanted to spread the love all over town,” Bindley said. “PIttsburgh is a city of neighborhoods, so it’s nice to give those different neighborhoods that opportunity to share in the fun, and to explore new venues and new challenges.”
In a city where the musical community is relatively tight knit, cross-pollination among bands is not at all uncommon.
“You see a lot of the same folks and share a lot of the same interests,” Bindley said. “A couple of us started talking about, ‘Hey, we should do a honky tonk sometime where we can play a lot of these songs we all like.”
A rotating cast of guests sit in with the band each month, and Bindley said bringing musicians from all over the region into one room has been a wonderful experience.
“You don’t always get to see your friends’ shows, so it’s kind of an excuse to get together every month and expose different writers to different players and have a scene kind of grow out of it,” he said. “Some of the people who are now playing in the band are ones who’ve come up to me at shows and said, ‘Hey, I play, how can I get on?’ and that to me is really great.
“People who came as fans to enjoy the music now participate, and that’s really cool,” he said.
The Honky Tonk Jukebox will take place from 7:30 p.m. to midnight Nov. 30 at the Liedertafel Singing Society, 410 S. Mathilda St. in Bloomfield.
Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, [email protected] or via Twitter .