Mad. Sq. Music: Above Ground series

I will be performing in Madison Square Park (23rd and 5th ave) on July 1st at 12:30PM for a 45 minute set.  Perfect for your lunch break!! It is part of a summer series. I am excited to be on a real concert stage!!

Mad. Sq. Music: Above Ground is the newly curated, free concert series featuring an array of New York-based musicians from your local subway stop brought to you by Madison Square Park Conservancy. Above Ground introduces a new artist each week at 12:30PM on the Oval Lawn.

here's a photo of the brochure that my friends Phyllis and Len put together for me

here's a photo of the brochure that my friends Phyllis and Len put together for me

I am so excited to be a part of the wonderful programming at Madison Square Park through the Madison Square Park Conservancy which brings Art and Music and Landscape directly into Manhattan.

check out the rest of the summer performer lineup of the best of subway street performers!

June 24 — The Side Project

July 1 — Cathy Grier

July 8 — Mr. Reed

July 15 – Bandits on the Run

July 22 — Mariachi Flor De Toloache

July 29 — Underground Horns

read more about it

Live recording Tara Hill Blues night

I always bring my portable H4N to record my performances. I use mostly for my own archives. Since I'm taking a break I thought you'd enjoy hearing this performance of mine at Tara Hill Tavern. thanks to Sid Moskowitz for putting together these gigs.  

image by Leonard Eisenberg

image by Leonard Eisenberg

Tara Hill Tavern April 28, 2015 Here is the list of songs I performed, including a fun spontaneous jam with accordionist Curtis Becraft, on my song Easy come Easy Go.

Little By Little - Junior Wells

What Fools Do - Cathy Grier

Down On My Knees - Cathy Grier

Raised On Robbery - Joni Mitchell

Easy Come Easy Go - Cathy Grier, (special guest Curtis on accordion)

Good Thing - Cathy Grier

me and Curtis image by  Carla Lynne Hall

me and Curtis image by Carla Lynne Hall

Winter has come to NYC, blues gig Sunday

I'm bummed I won't perform in subway today, but the idea of trudging my gear through slushy sidewalks to sing in Times SQ, keeps me home with the pups. I will practice 4 my gig Sunday. NY'ers it will be fun. In the new year I am happily returning to some of my Blues Roots. I hope to see you at the following clubs where I'll be gigging with my Strat and blues harp: If you're on Facebook here's the link to the event page and if you're not, here's the lowdown:

  • Sunday January 11th 7:30 pm 45min set: Eastside Cantina 1629 2nd Ave, btwn 84th and 85th st, New York, New York 10028 
  • CANCELLED apologies Sunday January 18th 8:15 pm 45min set: Eastside Cantina 1629 2nd Ave, New York, New York 10028
  • Tuesday February 10th 10pm 45 min set Tara Hill tavern 108th st and Broadway Blues Tuesday's

and I look forward to having some surprise guests to join me for a song or 2!

Hunter Anthro Bash music video

One day when performing in Grand Central I met Jonathan Shannon assoc. professor of Anthropology at Hunter College. He invited me to perform for a fall Anthro Bash at the college.  I went and had an amazing time.  Here is my song 'Comin' Back To Me' filmed by student Anna Auguste.

Thanks Anna. It was wonderful performing and sharing my stories and songs of Love and Social Justice.

Song For a Dog #TBT

Recorded November 19, 2010 Rock n Roll Rescue, a benefit for Art For Animals at Club Helsinki in Hudson, NY with Laurie Anderson, her talented rat terrier Lolabelle who played the keyboard conducted by Elisabeth Weiss dog trainer. Other artists included Joy Askew with ANA Milosavljevic and the MC was none other than Tom Davis of Saturday Night Live fame.

But I also want to make a lovely shout out to Elisabeth Weiss who is a recent New York Magazine edition showcasing her skill in training dogs in a fun and exciting way.

Since meeting at the Art For Animals event, I've had the pleasure of working with Elisabeth, and have created clips of her training sessions, plus she has taught my poodles some lovely behavior skills (that's my Etta in the training session clip).  Bravo Elisabeth for your well deserved press.

Here's the clip I made of Lolabelle performing with Elisabeth at the Rock N Roll Rescue benefit:

Busker Ball @Spike Hill with Frank Ames on harp

The 7th Busker Ball was held at Spike HIll in Williamsburg on July 24th.  I met Frank in the subway and invited him to sit in with me on my songs Easy Come Easy Go and Good Thing.

Thanks to Theo Eastwind for putting together these shows. He tirelessly brings attention to busker rights and supporting us however he can, and is a wonderful singer songwriter performer in his own right.

filmed by Vmala

15th year Blueberry Festival for community spirit

I love summer in upstate NY,  it's a time as a subway performer when I look forward to the many "above ground" performances and volunteering work that I do.  And this weekend it's the 15th annual Blueberry Festival held on the grounds of Old Austerlitz Village, in Austerlitz, NY.  The Blueberry Festival helps to fund the amazing relocation and restoration of the many gorgeous 19th Century homes found on the site.  Crafters and Artisans set up booths to showcase and sell their wares in many of the 19th Century traditions. Spinners spin, Pottery and Brooms, rugs and looms, petting Zoo for the kids young and old.  And lots of entertainment. 

Since 2003 I have been the entertainment coordinator, sound reinforcement company, engineer, MC and basic all around grunt to ensure the entertainment is non stop and well...entertaining! I also will be performing at 1pm

here's a clip I created from 2012 to get you in the Summer Blueberry mood.


The annual Blueberry Festival is held the last Sunday of July since 1999 and starts at 9am with Blueberry Pancakes-using local ingredients, real butter, milk and maple syrup. Proceeds go to support the mission to present our community's rich history through preservation and education.

My friend Cindy noted that the event is rain or shine and over the years we've had plenty of both. She wrote "There are so many things to do in case of rain!  Pancakes, gift shop, music, other activities under the tents.  Maybe suggest umbrellas and raincoats--I like the motto of the Adirondack Mountain Club--"There is no bad weather, only bad equipment--that could be modified-- into something that suggests comfort and fun in the rain with your wellies and mackinaws.  Bring your boat.  Nice thing to do in the rain." 


Lou Reed Tribute

Lou Reed was part of the soundtrack of my life. His music inspired a generation. 

This past July I was invited to Lake George to perform at a benefit at Sandy's Clam Bar for a dear friend Ray Jett.  I met Ray years ago in Key West where I was living and performing.  His old music partner Pete Jarvis (still performing in Key West in the Pete + Wayne) informed me that Ray was in a nursing home with late stage Alzheimer's. The benefit was for his family and the intense cost to care for him.  How could I say no?

I reunited with Wayne Hammond (he played bass on my Retracing CD in 1998) and met cool guitarist songwriter Margo Macero.  Really fun to meet a young female guitarist with so much groove and talent.

This clip was recorded and posted by Upst8MusicFanZone

Posting videos of local bands that perform in the Capital District, Upstate New York Area... a wide variety of music... something for everyone. These are amateur one shot, one take, live on the fly videos from the fan perspective. If you know a band performing here that you would like to see video of, please drop me a message and tell me about them.

Amazing Grace live at Club Helsinki

I invited bassist Dan Kleederman to join me for the wonderful opportunity to support a great cause, a benefit concert for Habitat for Humanity in Hudson, NY at Club Helsinki. Dan and I were the opening act. It was a great night that featured great musicians who also call Hudson home: Tommy Stinson, Melora Creager, Meshell Ndegeocello, and Melissa Auf der Mauer. Hence the name for the benefit Home Bass: 4 Strings, 4 Hearts. It was fun performing with another musician on stage.

"Comin' Back to Me" w/ Dan Kleederman live at Club Helsinki

I invited bassist Dan Kleederman to join me for the wonderful opportunity to support a great cause, a benefit concert for Habitat for Humanity in Hudson, NY at Club Helsinki. Dan and I were the opening act. It was a great night that featured great musicians who also call Hudson home: Tommy Stinson, Melora Creager, Meshell Ndegeocello, and Melissa Auf der Mauer. Hence the name for the benefit Home Bass: 4 Strings, 4 Hearts. It was fun performing with another musician on stage.


Comin' Back To Me words and music by Cathy Grier SESAC singerfish publishing

One Billion Rising Campaign

In response to more than a billion women who experience violence on the planet, playwright Eve Ensler and her amazing V-Day organization have created One Billion Rising. On February 14th, I'm joining V-Day in a global strike to demand an end to the violence. I honor Eve Ensler, she inspires me everyday. She travels the globe in pursuit of ending violence towards women and girls. V-Day contributions create safe houses, schools, education and much more.

Inspired by Eve and One Billion Rising I wrote a song called Rise Up. It is featured on the One Billion Rising website

On the 14th, I'll be performing in NYC's Grand Central Station mezzanine 12-3pm (above 4/5/6 platforms + near shuttle corridor). At 6:00 pm I'll join a group in Union Square march towards ABC Home and perform my song on the steps of the shore. Later at Hammerstein Ballroom an amazing party 8pm-12am will take place (more info here). 

Also on Friday the 15th @8pm for my friends in Columbia County NY, I'll be performing my song at Stageworks 41 Cross Street, Hudson, NY during a fund raiser for The REACH Center  and One Billion Rising. The event features the play The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler. I will be also perform musical interludes throughout the play. For tickets please call the Stageworks box office at: 518-822-9667 or use the link here to directly purchase tickets 


words and music by Cathy Grier

One Billion Rising

I'm here to tell a story

something precious and fine

about a woman who made a difference in our lives

She's got a new plan

we're gonna make a stand

one billion rising up to end violence across the land

Rise. Rise Up   

Rise, One Billion Rising

mothers fathers, sisters brothers 

sons and daughters rising up, we're gonna rise up high

lifting our heads, waving our hands 

making a choice to raise our voices across the land

Rise. Stand up    

Rise, One Billion Rising


The ONE BILLION RISING campaign began as a call to action based on the staggering statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. With the world population at 7 billion, this adds up to more than ONE BILLION WOMEN AND GIRLS. On February 14, 2013, V-Day’s 15th anniversary, activists, writers, thinkers, celebrities and women and men across the world will come together to express their outrage, strike, dance, and RISE in defiance of the injustices women suffer, demanding an end at last to violence against women.  

"Dancing insists we take up space, and though it has no set direction, we go there together. Dance is dangerous, joyous, sexual, holy, disruptive, and contagious and it breaks the rules. It can happen anywhere, at anytime, with anyone and everyone, and it's free. Dance joins us and pushes us to go further and that is why it's at the center of ONE BILLION RISING," said Eve Ensler, V-Day Founder and Artistic Director. “With beautiful music and infectious lyrics from Tena Clark, amazing vocals by a talented group of V-Girls, and Debbie Allen’s bold choreography, Break The Chain is sure to inspire women and men worldwide to rise.”

The campaign is growing every day in the lead up to February 14, 2013, with women and men around the world signing on. To date, thousands of activists, over 13,000 organizations around the globe, and 176 countries have committed to participate and hold events.  From the International Rescue Committee, to NOW to the AFL-CIO, to OXFAM Australia, to Sangat South Asia and Lila Pilipina, to Amnesty International USA, thousands of organizations are spreading the word amongst their millions of members in an effort to make the campaign the largest volunteer mass action ever.

The Back Of The Busk webseries

Back Story to the clip: Last October, Mithun Bhat and Nick Capezzera saw me performing in Grand Central and filmed my performance for their up and coming web series, "The Back Of The Busk." In turn I filmed them for my Inspiration Project. The next day, Mithun and crew traveled to Union Square to interview me for their episode.

It's fun to see how my episode turned out. In it I sing my songs: What Fools Do, Good Thing, Through My Eyes, and Comin' Back To Me.

Check out inspirations from Mithun, Michael, Nick, and Hardy the rest of the film crew, and to help in better context, one from Music Under NY musician Delpin Tardio whom I mentioned in the Back Of The Busk interview.

Cathy Grier aka NYCSubwayGirl sings

The best way to show why I perform in the subway and in public spaces, is to share some of my experiences.

I am usually the one performing and filming so I don't get a chance to show you what I do.  These clips were taken in various locations around NYC above and below in public spaces. With some surprise spontaneous guest performers.

Performing songs Question Of Desire, Dedicate, Cool Trick, Comin' Back To Me, What Fools Do- words and music Cathy Grier Singerfish publishing SESAC with Amazing Grace-traditional, Love Is In Need Of Love Today-Stevie Wonder

Summer is here radio shows and concerts

Here's a clip I made of a recent interview on WGXC community radio in Hudson NY before a concert I had at the Hudson Opera House. I was interviewed by program director Tom Roe and teen DJ Jack Ross-Pilkington June 8, 2012.  Jack surprised me with his questions and quick mind. Here's a little excerpt including my song "What Fools Do"

I am excited to be performing again at Joe's Pub 425 Layfatte St, NYC wednesday August 8th 7pm. Mark your calanders it's been 2 years and the last time it sold out. 

Winter Walk Hudson, NY

what a wonderful event performing at Hudson New York's 15th annual Winter Walk.  The street became a sea of pedestrians of all ages and number of feet (many many 4 legged kind).  I sang in a wonderful design, furniture and home goods store called Culture+Commerce Project.  I had a speaker on the sidewalk and people either looked in through the storefront windows or joined inside the warm shop.  It was fun to perform for people whose reason to be there was the event, to stroll, to come upon chance moments of performance, the stilt walker, the tango dancers in the bodega window, the saxophonist in a hair salon, lovely. Community in all it's splendor. And me performing in a store. Passers by would fill into the shop, spill onto the street. Straying from my original repertoire with a nod to Brenda Lee's 'Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree,'  spontaneous dancing and singing filled the air, but when later I sang Dylan's Like A Rolling Stone" I turned to see and hear a crowd singing along, loud 'How does it feel?" I reminded people that years ago most homes had a piano and people spent hours singing along to favorite tunes. At that moment we were a big family home for the holidays and sharing in our love for music to possibly help ignore our differences, if but for a moment. 

Here's a clip of me performing and the various people that stopped by.

CG @winter walk 11.jpg

Culture+Commerce Project Warren St Hudson, NY

I kept repeating "I'm performing here where industrialized steel meets reclaimed wood, and the NYCSubwayGirl is singing out from the underground to the metaphorical one above ground." In the subway, rushing commuters are on a mission, and many give a smile, a thumbs up, and shrug of shoulders as if to say..."if I only had more time....", Winter Walk provided a welcome change. Participants had plenty of time and the people showed it with their support and love of the event.  I was also happily surprised to find up the street, Paul and Marc Mueller of Mecca Bodega, my Music Under New York buddies, a wonderful duo of hammer dulcimer and various percussion performing on a sidewalk to dancing children and enthralled listeners.  Small world, Hudson is a special town and for a moment between the festively decorated main street USA, known as Warren Street and happy togetherness, there was a glimmer of what we are all capable of. Occupy Love leapt into my mind of possibilities.

subway documentary, my early years

In the category of nothing is ever lost in the age of YouTube, I recently discovered this trailer from documentary film maker Jason Scianno, entitled Legends Of The Underground.  I am featured along with many other subway performers I've known over the years and luckily whom are still performing. Filmed between 1999 and 2001. It captures the beginning of my performing with the Music Under NY program.  Not sure when or if this film will ever be distributed, but Jason does a great job of capturing the essence of street performing.