• Music

Charles and Carl’s Highway Hootenanny

Monday April 8 2024 9:30pm

Ticket Info

$18 General Admission



Highway Hootenanny

In the heart of the Big Apple’s bustling streets, where the echoes of folk tales merge with the harmonies of bluesy laments, two troubadours emerge from the urban sprawl, bound for the open road. Charles Ellsworth and Carl M. Banks, the modern minstrels of our time, embark on the grand journey of the “Highway Hootenanny 2024,” a pilgrimage from the rugged coasts of Ft. Kent, Maine, to the languid shores of Key West, Florida. Their guitars, weathered like old sea captains, strum tales of love, loss, and the eternal search for redemption.

With a repertoire as rich as the history lining the Eastern seaboard, Ellsworth and Banks weave original compositions with timeless classics, breathing new life into the American folk tradition. From the soul-stirring ballads of Appalachia to the Delta blues wails echoing through the swamps of the South, their music transcends time and place, inviting listeners to join them on a journey through the heart and soul of America. Guitars in hand and voices seasoned by the miles, they serenade travelers with stories of dusty highways and lost loves. As the sun dips below the horizon, casting a golden glow over the rolling hills of the countryside, Ellsworth and Banks strike a chord that resonates with the weary souls and restless dreamers who gather ’round the campfire of their music. So, hitch a ride on the rhythm of the rails, and let Charles Ellsworth and Carl M. Banks be your guides on the winding road of the “Highway Hootenanny 2024,” where every mile traveled is a melody, and every stop a story waiting to be sung.

Charles Ellsworth

Charles Ellsworth is a NYC transplant by way of the White Mountains of Arizona where he was raised on Mormon hymns and Top 40 country music. He was first exposed to classic and alternative rock in his teens and started taking guitar lessons in the back of a local furniture store.

In late high school, Ellsworth became the bass player for indie-pop outfit Alaska & Me. The band saw success as a regional act surrounding the release of their 2008 EP, “I Will Die In The West,” and toured the West Coast until their 2009 split.

After moving to Salt Lake City for film school, the struggling Ellsworth sold his bass equipment to pay rent. Missing the gigging life, he bought a used Fender Telecaster and began to write his own music, quickly finding a new home in the burgeoning Salt Lake Americana scene. Over the next five years, he released “The Shepherd Lane Sessions EP” (2011); his first full-length album, “Charles Ellsworth & The Dirty Thirty” (2012); as well as a collaborative LP with Vincent Draper titled “Salt Lake City: A Love Story” (2014).

Ellsworth then spent several years touring as a solo artist, spanning the continental U.S. and Australia. He brought his red-dirt rock to Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn in 2015 and has since released several additional albums: “Wildcat Chuck Charles EP” (2015), “Cesárea” (2017), and “Rose Door EP” with Matt. C White (2018).

A storyteller by nature, Ellsworth’s lyrics and near-familiar melodies weave to tell stories of heartbreak and loneliness, while shining a light on the perseverance of the human spirit. A self-proclaimed “recovering toxic sadboy” — Ellsworth’s music has evolved with him. Through sobriety and self-exploration, Ellsworth has shifted from writing songs lamenting “the ones that got away,” to singing honest reflections about what caused them to leave and doing the work to be better. He also has revisited the roots music of his upbringing; melding it with modern influence to create a new, alt-country sound.

In early 2020, Ellsworth recruited several musicians from the Brooklyn music scene — Jared Schapker (Grandpa Jack) and Blake Suben (Dirty Bird) — to help him record an album with Joe Reinhart (Hop Along, Algernon Cadwallader) at his Headroom Studio in Philadelphia, Pa. The subsequent recordings are his forthcoming album, “Honeysuckle Summer,” which is due for release March 5th, 2021.

Charles Ellsworth

Carl M Banks stands at the intersection of craftsmanship and creativity. A solitary troubadour, Carl breathes new life into the folk tradition. Born in St. Louis with the voice of a storyteller and marked by a relentless spirit, he tells tales of love and loss, of struggle and triumph, and of hope and heartache. In 2010 Carl traveled east and found a home among the sky-scrapers and neon signs of New York City. His voice, with deep intonations and subtle inflections, transports audiences to another time and place. His repertoire, rich with traditional motifs, has an undeniably modern approach. 

What sets Carl M Banks apart is his mastery of his guitar synth. With this instrument, he weaves a tapestry of sound that blurs the lines between acoustic and electronic music. The result is a seamless fusion of old and new, of past and present, of light and shadow. From the dimly lit clubs of New York’s Lower East Side, to the bright festival fields of the Middle West, Carl models himself on the traveling blues men of the twentieth century, bringing his music to all corners of the world. 

General Admission

A very limited number of bar stools and table seats are available on a first come first served basis

There is a one drink minimum per show *standing*

There is a two drink minimum per show *seated*


By entering Rockwood Music Hall, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19 and relinquish Rockwood Music Hall from any and all liability. Please note these guidelines are subject to change at any time, without notice.

Rockwood Music Hall
88 Van Ness Street
Boston, MA, 02215