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Country Karaoke at Hill Country Barbecue

Cowboy karaoke: You are the country music star at Downtown’s Hill Country

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This karaoke night has both kinds of music — country and western.

Hill Country Barbecue Market, a newly-opened meat joint in Downtown, is now offering a weekly karaoke night that will allow Brooklynites to get their Hank Williams or Loretta Lynn on.

“It is karaoke that pays homage to all the great original American forms of music,” said Jessie Scott, who is the director of Hill Country Live. “We’ve got Western swing, honky tonk, and Southern rock.”

Every Wednesday night, the band Empire Beats will back up wanna-be singers as they croon their way through decades of Americana. The organizers are hoping to bring something new to the borough’s long roster of karaoke nights.

“This a good place for singers to work on their chops, especially if they like twang, which is something Brooklyn doesn’t have a lot of,” said Mark Boquist, who is bandleader and drummer for Empire Beats.

Just like the Hill Country region of Texas, which these days is as rock and roll as it is country, Empire Beats throws a few well-known rock and soul songs into the mix as well, including songs such as the Beatles’ “Come Together,” Steely Dan’s “Deacon Blues,” and Van Morrison’s “Brown-Eyed Girl.”

The band currently boasts a repertoire of about 150–200 songs, and plans to add more each week. Boquist encourages singers to let the band know what tunes they want to see added to the song book — though some tunes might take longer to nail down than others.

“If it’s reasonable, we’ll learn it,” said Boquist. “We probably won’t learn ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ in a week, but we might.”

Country Karaoke at Hill Country Barbecue Market [345 Adams St. between Fulton and Willoughby streets in Downtown, www.hillcountrybk.com, (718) 885–4608]. Wednesdays at 8 pm. Free.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at dfurfaro@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at twitter.com/DanielleFurfaro.
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