Grand Picnic | Grand Picnic

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Folk: Traditional Folk Folk: Contra Dance Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Grand Picnic

by Grand Picnic

New York's GRAND PICNIC plays HIGH-ENERGY CONTRA DANCE MUSIC combining the rhythmic drive of old-time Southern tunes with French Canadian and New England fiddle music.
Genre: Folk: Traditional Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Saint Joseph's Reel / Pulaski Skyway / Little Red Brick House in
5:30 $0.99
2. Dean Street
2:48 $0.99
3. Peter's Jig / Where's Marco / Smart Young Man
5:04 $0.99
4. Druttjenkarl Leken (Drunkard's Dance) Swedish Hambo-Mazurka
2:55 $0.99
5. Romanian Invirtita / Grasshopper on a Sweet Potato Vine / Old Gr
6:34 $0.99
6. Judith's Waltz
3:56 $0.99
7. Raise the Devil / Hayride / Raise the Devil
3:28 $0.99
8. Bunch of Rushes / Bonaparte's March / Butcher's Row
5:14 $0.99
9. Canadian Waltz
3:39 $0.99
10. Puff Adder Quickstep
3:15 $0.99
11. The Mouse in the Cupboard / I Lost My Love / Scollay's Reel
3:40 $0.99
12. Grand Picnic / Johnny in the Swamp / West Virginia Gals
4:39 $0.99
13. Galician Waltz
3:03 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
One evening in the late Fall of 1989, the five members of Grand Picnic met at "the loft" on Dean Street, half a block off Flatbush Avenue in the beautiful borough of Brooklyn. Excitement was building over the unique sound the band had been developing at local dances over the previous few years, and the boys decided it was time to record. As they made their way home that night, none suspected the adventures that lay ahead.

Rehearsals began. The band quickly discovered that creating music for listening (and posterity) was much harder work than delivering the unrestrained live performances that dancers find so exciting. Hundreds of tunes were considered, hundreds rejected. A metronome was hooked up to an old guitar amp and dubbed "Mr. Mazer," in honor of Michael's rigorously rhythmic childhood accordion teacher. The band spent hours practicing with Mr. Mazer to find the right tempo for each cut.

Eventually recording sessions began--at the elegant Bones Tones studios overlooking Prospect Park. Engineer and owner Hank Bones' kitchen was invaded and occupied, and amid the tasteful Hawaiian decor, sessions continued sporadically for over a year. In 1991, the recording was finally released. While neither technically nor musically perfect, the tape successfully captured the Grand Picnic energy, and was universally deemed to be fun listening.

A decade later, Grand Picnic is still known for its exciting and innovative approach. But band members, who all originally lived within a few blocks of the loft, have moved and changed jobs, and a majority have married and produced heirs. Obstacles to new recording projects abound.

The tape, meanwhile, sold out three editions. Many have told us that it is among their favorites. Quite a few have written to us to buy a new copy because they'd worn out the first. It has proven surprisingly popular with children--even other people's children. Original Grand Picnic tunes have been learned and played by musicians from the Pacific Northwest to North Carolina, Denmark, and the coast of Brittany.

Bowing to popular demand, we are proud to reissue this classic album of high-energy contradance music in cleaned-up digital splendor. We hope you enjoy it again, or perhaps for the first time!

Grand Picnic



to write a review


This is a great CD!
This CD has a range of stuff on it, from Swedish to Romanian to Old Timey, slow and beautiful to toe-tapping and heart-pounding. All of this music is alive and just screaming to be danced to. I have listened to it over and over.

Eric Eid-Reiner

Great CD with a unique blend of styles
Wow! What a cool CD! How often do you get this mix of French-Canadian, old-time, and more?!! Nicely played, and contains some really great tunes!

(If you want to hear more French-Canadian music that I recommend, check out and


I really enjoyed listening to this wonderful CD.
All of the songs on this CD are exciting and fun. The rhythms are incredible, and the musicians make the music 'come alive'. I really loved "Puff Adder Quickstep", but every song on this CD is a treasure! The CD is wonderful.

Eileen Franch

Grand Picnic
This is a wonderful CD. A nice combination of energetic, driving contra tunes, and lovely waltzes.

You played at my July 4th party years ago in Taghkanic New York. Paul Rosenberg was the caller.

You were GREAT and still are.

Best regards,

Lauren Ostrow