The Kennedy Center

Roosevelt Dime


To listen to the music of Roosevelt Dime is to take a journey through American roots music. Inspired by Appalachian string bands, Memphis soul, New Orleans Dixieland, and the musical melting pot of Brooklyn, which they call home, the band has forged a sound they’ve come to call Steamboat Soul. After years of thrilling audiences at festivals and venues across the country, the band has fully captured the energy and musicianship of their live performance on Full Head of Steam (2014).

Andrew Green (banjo, guitar) and Eben Pariser (electric bass, gutbucket bass) met at Oberlin College and continued their musical collaboration after settling in New York City. Tony Montalbano brought his distinctive drumming to the band shortly after, and Seth Paris (clarinet, saxophone) added his background in big band and West African brass music to fill out the diverse sound. The band developed by busking in the streets and subways, where they learned what it took to stop someone in their tracks, turn them from a stranger into a listener, from a listener into a sidewalk lindy-hopper.

The songs on Full Head of Steam, which were recorded primarily live and direct to analog tape, provide the setting for incredible performances by some special guest collaborators (Chris Eldridge of the Punch Brothers, Red Molly) as well as some of New York City’s top players (Bruce Harris and Sam Hoyt on trumpets, David Farrell on piano). It is the writing that takes center stage and sets Roosevelt Dime apart though. With Green and Pariser penning the tunes and sharing lead vocal duties, they can conjure The Band and Dr. Dog on “Calvary” as seamlessly as Professor Longhair and Jackie Wilson on “I Want Mo!” not to mention bringing new life to the traditional songbook with a wailing version of “St. James Infirmary” and their clave-propelled “Cocaine Habit Blues.”

Roosevelt Dime has recently been featured in The Philadelphia Folk Fest, Musikfest, No Depression, On Your Radar with WFUV’s John Platt, and official showcases at the International Folk Alliance in Memphis 2011, Toronto 2013, and NERFA 2013.

Watch Past Performances

Video 12/30/2013: Roosevelt Dime

This four-piece band blends elements of acoustic jug-band blues, classic New Orleans soul, and neo-folk to create their original sound: “Kings County Steamboat Soul.”

  Roosevelt Dime