“A muggy summer evening on Ludlow Street, a packed house, and a serving of artistic delights–what you get when you mix AWoW with the Lower East Side.” said Jim Rodgers, as the crowd from the Living Room spilled onto the street. 


Billy Barrett
Billy Barrett

Sarah Fearon kicked off the successful evening of performers with a funny set of stand up. She offered her theories, with a twist, on the subjects of the economy, yoga, being a people person, optimism, hoarders, why she can’t read the newspaper, and why she will be shopping for a “smart clone.”


As the crowd filled to standing room only, the cocky slink of Curtis Mayfield’s Superfly rumbled through the crowd. It was Billy Barrett time. Highway Star’s his anthem and he loves to sing it. Last night he tracked the bloated stretch of an LA Superfly. “Coulda killed him, didn’t…” so now in the May swelter of a New York City nightclub, we can all have a good laugh about it.


Tara O'Grady, Niamh Hyland, Tami Lynn, Sasha Papernik and Jack O'Connell
Tara O’Grady, Niamh Hyland, Tami Lynn, Sasha Papernik and Jack O’Connell

Singers/songwriters Tara O’Grady and Sasha Papernik collaborated on vocals and piano. These songbirds have modernized the music of their cultures and given them new life. Sasha joined Tara in beautiful harmony on a soulful version of “The Water is Wide,” from Tara’s first album Black Irish. Pianist Sasha, whose parents were born in Moscow, Russia, then treated the audience to a song from the famous Russian cartoon, “Cheburashka.”  You can hear Sasha live with her ensemble at Cornelia Street Cafe on July 8th at 8:30pm and Tara with her full band at Swing 46 Jazz & Supper Club on June 19. 


Koro Koroye
Koro Koroye

Three unscheduled guests added spice to the event: Karyn Oliver–part Joan Osborne, a touch of Janis Joplin and a bit of EmmyLou Harris – effortlessly oscillated from bluesy to country with two songs, “Candy Dish” and “Right Now.” Her musical inspiration comes primarily from the eclectic mix of music to which she was exposed while growing up in the musically diverse culture of Washington.  Tami Lynn, who scored a big hit in the seventies with the song “I’m Gonna Run Away From You,” sang a soulful, “Smile,” while AWoW favorite and spoken word artist Koro Koroye performed two of her poems, “Michele” and “What’s In A Name.”


Awow co-founder and Irish born singer/songwriter Niamh Hyland, beat-boxer Anand Gan and guitarist Art Lamonica followed. Demonstrating her versatility and wide range, Niamh sang the blues, stylizing two tunes with smoky overtones and emotional punch. The songs “When the Moon Hangs Low” and “Ray Anne” were co-written by Niamh, Anand and Arthur.


Silbin Sandovar
Silbin Sandovar

Singer/songwriter Silbin Sandovar performed “Loving In The Worst Way” and “Beggars” The first tune is newly written and has not been recorded yet. The second is on my album “Brian & Silbin and Friends”  “Good times, very cool event,” said Silbin and the end of the evening.



Jim Rodgers read from his novel Long Night’s End, where Johnny Gunn is back playing with his band on the Bowery, drinking heavily and trying miserably to forget the recent tragedies visited upon the good people of Sunnyside, Queens. It appears, however, that Johnny’s own self-destructive behavior is the real threat to his survival and that of his family.  Another slice of the dark side from the urbane Mr. Rodgers. 


Liam O'Connell and Henry O'Connell
Liam O’Connell and Henry O’Connell

 The O’Connells, no strangers to AWoW Showcases, closed out the show. Henry hammered out some piano loops while his brother Liam beat-boxed and rapped “If Your Mother Only Knew.” Film and television actor Jack, O’Connell—Henry and Liam’s father—got into the act, performing a monologue from the Lyle Kessler play “Orphans” which just completed a shortrun on Broadway, while Henry knocked out Paul Desmond’s “Take Five” on the piano.  Jack’s character, Harold, tries to explain the dangers of going too far for financial gain. It’s a  story about his orphaned protege who dies from pneumonia after selling his last two newspapers that he wore for insulation during the winter.  Later in the evening Jack said, “As a father I thought the use of this metaphor could also be applied to the music industry and the “Rap” world that my sons have flirted with. 


Charles R. Hale and Tara O'Grady
Charles R. Hale and Tara O’Grady

With that, the evening, which Liam O’Connell called, “high energy, high attitude,” came to a close.  Future AWoW events include “The Ethiopian Street Children’s Benefit” a collaboration with the HOpe Charity at the Fitzpatrick Grand Central Hotel on June 19, 6pm–Niamh, Koro and Honor Finnegan will be performing–and an AWoW Showcase on June 25th, 7pm at The Cell Theatre. 






Thursday, February 28, 12:30 PM, Lehman College, Black Box Theatre, Bronx, NY. “Listening for Distant Voices with Charles R. Hale.”  Free event.


Sarah Fearon
Sarah Fearon


Friday, March 1, 9:30PM, Metropolitan Room, 34 W. 22nd St. “Sarah Fearon in ‘Comedy Night.'”  Tickets $12



Stella Pulo
Stella Pulo

Sunday, March 3, 1PM, Swifts Hibernian Lounge, 34, E. 4th St., NYC. Gregory de la Haba and “Bodega de la Haba Presents Brunch with authors Rob Sedgwick and Kevin O’Hara.”



Sunday, March 3, 7-8:30 PM, Abingdon Theatre, 312 W. 36th St., NYC. Stella Pulo in “Shrimp Shells in My Cleavage.” Admission $20, but a $5 discount if you use the code “shrimp.”


Peter Quinn
Peter Quinn


Thursday, March 7, 7:30PM, Tribeca Cinemas, 54 Varick St., NYC. Peter Quinn in “Men at Lunch.” Tickets $20, which, according to the sponsors, includes film and party (Heineken and Tullamore Dew, 9-11) 




One of the objectives of Artists Without Walls is to “promote members’ careers in the arts, whether they have already established themselves or are at the beginning of their artistic career.” 
With that in mind we’ve created an event called “Night on the Town” when members and friends can support a fellow artist by attending one of our artists’ events. Not only is it a nice show of support, but it’s also an opportunity for members to share an enjoyable evening together.  


imagesAnd so, we’re asking members and friends to join us for Artists Without Walls’ member Sarah Fearon’s comedy performance on March 1, 9:30 at the Metropolitan Room, located at 34 W. 22nd St. in Manhattan. Sarah, along with a select group of top comics, will be performing her latest stand up material, born of her numerous attempts at maintaining sanity in an insane world.


You can call the Metropolitan Room to make reservations at 212-206-0440, (Tell them you are booking to see Sarah Fearon). The weekend shows at the Metropolitan Room sell out fast so don’t wait to make reservations.  Tickets are twelve dollars.


Sarah is a very supportive of other artists and is often seen at members and friends’ events. It’d be great if we could show Sarah the same support she shows others. And, I’m betting it’ll be an evening filled with laughs and merriment. Who couldn’t use a night like that.