What it is, and how it began.

The 7 Train Sessions is a series of guerrilla-style concerts in living rooms, in trains, and on rooftops, showcasing some of New York's finest bands and singer-songwriters for a community of friends and capturing unique archival footage. The series is run by Amy Merrill and James Rickman.

The 7 Train Sessions began with a simple format: 10 bands playing two songs apiece in a townhouse under the Court Square 7 Train station. The first show was commissioned by The Work Office, a multidisciplinary art project disguised as an employment agency and informed by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) of the Great Depression.

Amy applied for a grant to produce a show. The grant amounts were also modeled off the 1930s rejuvenation efforts: they offered a budget of $23.50 to produce the work. 

Inspired by the music and turnout (and flush with that $23.50 paycheck), James and Amy kept organizing shows, and a seasonal pattern developed. By the end of its third year, over 100 acts had participated -- breakout Brooklyn bands, Broadway and film composers, visiting musicians from Melbourne and Madrid, a one-man band, and a long list of side-musicians taking their turns center stage (click here for our full performer archive).

Bakers have sold their goods, artists have hung their work, local liquor brands have donated their product, and nonprofits have raised funds from the audience. Performers often end up collaborating, either on the spot or out in the world, having met at the 7 Train Sessions.

Shows are free and promoted solely through our mailing list. To sign up, click here. We hope to see you at the next one.

James Rickman, co-founder and curator.  Photo by Amy Sly

James Rickman, co-founder and curator. 

Photo by Amy Sly

Amy Merrill, co-founder and curator. Photo by Amy Sly

Amy Merrill, co-founder and curator.

Photo by Amy Sly

Sponsors & Partners, Past and Present.

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