Info about Alan Performances
Updated 12/10/15
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* * * ALAN FRIEND * * *


BigNew Burning_hot BigNew

~~~ Alan's LATEST CD! Click here NOW to buy, hear samples, more info ~~~

*** Old-Time Jam: Click here for info ***
*** Next jam On Hold For Now. ***

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Alan Friend performs and gives workshops in Old-Time Music, Traditional Ballads and more...

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Photo of Alan

ALAN FRIEND sings and plays a variety of instruments including Fiddle player Concertina player
  • banjo
  • guitar
  • concertina
  • fiddle
Banjo player

He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Events Coming Up (Performances, Workshops, Jams, etc.)

Wednesday, April 27, 2016, - Old-Time Jam: - Details.

Guitar player

Wecome to Alan Friend's website! You are visitor number  on my (courtesy of, started January, 2004).



   BAD TIMES & BETTER TIMES Cover image HAD A DOG Cover image
Click CD cover images above NOW to buy, hear samples, or more info.



Click on underlined titles below to hear music samples from Alan's recordings "Bad Times & Better Times" and "Had a Dog."

~~~ Click here NOW to buy or for info about Alan's recordings ~~~



BigNew Updated 1/20/14
  • Brooklyn Folk Festival - Alan, on banjo, vocals and fiddle, is joined by Craig Judelman on fiddle and vocals in May, 2010.

  • YouTube Videos

  • Dark Hollow:An Appalachian Wozeck. - Alan is a musician on banjo, fiddle, concertina and vocals in this off-Broadway production in August, 2012.       
    • YouTube Video - One of the scenes in Dark Hollow:An Appalachian Wozeck; actors-- Nick Mason (singer), Kevin Cash, and the band -- Chris Peifer, Donghyuc Chang, Chuck Dorman, Alan Friend, Davidson Mulkey. Dark Hollow song -- music: Chrisopher Peifer, Lyrics: Elizabeth Chaney.       
    • YouTube Video - Another scene in Dark Hollow:An Appalachian Wozeck; entire cast-- David Dakota Sanchez (singer) and the band -- Chris Peifer, Donghyuc Chang, Chuck Dorman, Alan Friend, Davidson Mulkey. Rye Whiskey song -- traditional.       
    • YouTube Video - An audio slide show of Dark Hollow:An Appalachian Wozeck; Alan Friend is on banjo, concertina and vocal (for Man's Life's a Vapor).

    Dark Hollow:An Appalachian Wozeck got great reviews, below!!
    • TimeOut NY says
      ~ “...powerful, haunting adaptation of Georg Büchner’s 19th-century expressionist drama Woyzeck”

      ~ " best expressed through the use of American roots music scattered throughout the drama, including spiritual- style songs and traditional folk ditties...

      ~ "Rowdy soldiers, ragamuffin townswomen and plenty of onstage boozing provide comedy that balances the harrowing weight of the story."

      Click here to read the entire TimeoutNY review by Sarah Hucal.


    • CurtainUp says
      ~ "Dark Hollow adds a Southern Appalachian twang and an infusion of traditional mountain music performed by supremely skilled musicians.”

      ~ "It’s a stunning and serious pleasure.”

      Click here to read the entire CurtainUp review by Katherine Osenlund.


    • NYTheatre says
      ~ What a crazy powerhouse of a play Georg Büchner’s Woyzeck is.”

      ~ ...a live band and a plethora of haunting songs... like "Pretty Polly" or "Shady Grove" carry deep wellsprings of strength and darkness that the play discovers through a well-controlled atmospheric staging.

      ~ ... it’s a great production that can make you forget why the play is so great, so that you can remember why it’s so damn scary.”

      Click here to read the entire NYTheatre review by Stephen Cedars.


    • The Village Voice says
      ~ ... the atmospheric Dark Hollow... claims a stirring bluegrass band and a song list drawing on terrific traditional ballads”

      Click here to read the entire NYTheatre review by Alexis Soloski.




ALAN FRIEND performs Old-Time Music & Traditional Songs
  • Singer
  • Banjo player
  • Guitarist
  • Concertina player
  • Fiddler
Founding & current member of New York City-based old-time bands The Triple-A String Band & The Better Weather Pickers

Founding member of the former groups Chelsea String Band, Steal the Donut, Buttermilk Channel

Has performed at
  • The New Jersey Folk Festival
  • West Virginia’s Pipestem Festival
  • The Park Slope Old-Time/ Bluegrass Jamboree
  • The New England Folk Festival (NEFFA)
  • The Northeast Music Art and Dance Festival (NOMAD)
  • The Kings County Opry
  • The Eisteddfod-NY Festival of Traditional Music
  • The Brooklyn Folk Festival
  • Jalopy Theatre, Brooklyn, NY
  • Clubs & concerts from Montreal to Washington, D.C.
  • Radio shows
  • Gives banjo, traditional ballad, & old-time string band workshops
  • Contributing writer for the Banjo Newsletter.
  • Recorded and Produced 2 CDs, “Had a Dog” and “Bad Times & Better Times"
  • Executive Board member & past Pres. of Folk Music Society of New York, aka NY Pinewoods Folk Music Club.

Alan lives in Brooklyn, NY.



“I study clawhammer and two finger banjo with Alan. He is a wealth of knowledge and a great teacher.” --Gina Samardge, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, educator, actress.

Old-Time Banjo Alan gives beginning and intermediate level old-time banjo lessons, both clawhammer and finger picking styles. He gears lessons to the proficiency and preferences of the student. Starting with basics, he moves on to left and right hand techniques such as
  • the hammer-on
  • pull-off
  • slide
  • drop-thumb
  • pinch
  • simple roll
  • and more...
He teaches in the context of actual old-time tunes, so that students come away with an ever growing repertoire. Alan stresses learning the traditional old-time way, by ear, but also gives tablature.

You can contact Alan via email at .


“In the short time that I studied banjo with Alan Friend, he gave me a rock-solid foundation of technique and tunes from which to bloom. He breaks things down into manageable steps, and does so with a calm guidance and an easy patience, which inspires students to feel like they are musicians from day one. At every session, I learned a new tune -- first by ear, then with a take-home tablature sheet, and by the last session, I had a substantial repertoire of old time tunes I could play. If I hadn't moved, I'd still be studying banjo with Alan." --Cynthia Bruckman, educator.

Traditional Ballads Alan presents traditional ballads from the United States and the British Isles. He accompanies some on the banjo, guitar, fiddle or concertina, and sings others a cappella.
Clawhammer Banjo A hands-on old-time clawhammer banjo workshop. For beginners, Alan starts with basics, then adds various techniques such as hammer-on, pull-off, slide & drop-thumb. He presents additional, more advanced material for intermediate players. Old-time tunes with these techniques are taught both by ear and with tablature.
Old-Time Jamming Essentials The primary purpose of this "ensemble" instrumental old-time jam session is to learn how to enjoy playing with other musicians. Participants are encouraged to actively listen to one another in order to create a great old-time band sound, paying particular attention to tempo and instrumental blend. Mostly standard tunes are played, starting slowly and playing up to speed as participants become comfortable with the tune. More advanced tunes are chosen for sessions with more experienced players.
Group Singing
Starting with the premise that everyone can enjoy singing, Alan starts by introducing songs with simple, easy-to-learn choruses. Participants are encouraged to sing the melody and add harmony lines as a song becomes familiar. Attendees are encouraged to contribute their own favorite songs as well. Songs are done by ear, without written music. Primarily, traditional songs, rather than commerical pop songs, are done.

You can contact Alan via email at .


“The environment was warm, intimate and welcoming. Fiddles, banjos, a guitar...multi-instrumentalists. We played the tunes fast or slow, depending on what worked. Consensus democracy in action. Sadly, you can't buy a beer at Farmacy...but the tea and desserts are really good." --Mathew M., musician.

Old-Time Jam BigNew
Next jam On Hold For Now.
Wanna JAM? Alan leads an Old-Time jam from 7:30 to 9:30 PM at the Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain the second & fourth Wednesday each month.


CONTACT ALAN TO BE SURE IT'S ON! Bring your fiddle, banjo, guitar, etc. and play at this warm, friendly venue. Acoustic instruments only. Buy delicious desserts and socialize while you’re here as well. The Farmacy is at 513 Henry St. (at Sackett St.) in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. Info: Contact Alan via email at .

You can contact Alan via email at .


Website revised 2/28/16

© 2004 Alan Friend All Rights Reserved.