Decoration Day, Volume 3


For many of us at Mason Jar Music, the music of the 1990s was the backdrop to our coming of age. It was our introduction to pop culture and the soundtrack to our middle school dances. This year, continuing our annual Decoration Day cover series, we’ve asked a few of our favorite local Brooklyn artists to re-imagine a 1990s song of their choosing. Together with the Mason Jar Music House Band, we’ve crafted this humble homage to a few of the great turn-of-the-century artists, including Smashing Pumpkins, Macy Gray, Cher and Lauryn Hill. 

The Decoration Day series began on a whim three years ago after a last minute studio cancellation inspired co-founders Dan Knobler & Jon Seale to record an EP of some their favorite songs. In what has become a celebrated Mason Jar Music tradition, the collective unites friends and collaborators for one weekend each spring to record a group of themed cover songs to be released around Memorial Day.

Check out all three volumes of Decoration Day on NoiseTrade or Bandcamp

duckduckduck, duckgoose

by Mason Jar Music House Band
album Homeowners Association EP

Mason Jar Music House Band - Homeowners Association EP

For a while now, the band that backs up many of the artists that come through Mason Jar Music has been myself on guitar, Jason Burger on drums, Zack Rosen on bass, and Jake Sherman on keyboards. We really like playing together.

With that in mind, Jason and I spent a whole bunch of afternoons at his place jamming and looping and assembling some instrumental ideas to bring to the MJM House Band. When the time came to record, we settled on three tunes and brought in a killer horn section with members of Antibalas, TOO MANY ZOOZ, and EMEFE. These were very fun to play and record and we hope they are very fun to listen and dance around to.

- Dan


The Mason Jar Music House Band is:

Jason Burger - Drums & percussion
Dan Knobler - Guitars
Zack Rosen - Bass
Jake Sherman - Organ, wurlitzer, rhodes, and synths

Jas Walton - Tenor sax
Ray Mason - Trombone
Matt Muirhead - Trumpet
Leo Pelligrino - Baritone sax

Cover photo by Colm O’Herlihy

Source Bandcamp

This week I had the pleasure of reuniting with some old high school friends to record a new version the new year’s classic “Auld Lang Syne” at my parents’ house in Macon, Georgia.

Reading a translation of the ancient Scottish lyrics definitely brought on some bittersweet reflections of relationships come and gone. 

Katrina and I compiled some memories from the year into this video collage, and (MJM co-founder) Dan mixed the track from his fiancee’s dad’s house in Nashville. 

Thanks to everyone who has supported us this year! I hope this music gives you a chance to reflect on the beautiful and difficult moments from 2013 and look ahead to the blossoming new year. 

- Jon


Produced by Mason Jar Music 

Recorded at the Seale family home in Macon, Georgia, December 2013. Additional lyrics by Jonathan Seale.

Hampton Vernon - Vocals and Drums

David Pope - Vocals, Piano, Guitars

Jonathan Seale - Vocals, Bass, Percussion

Jenni Seale, Joe Reiff, Josiah Seale, Angela Kilby - Group Vocals

Ryan Whitehead - Saxophone

Recorded by Jonathan Seale

Mixed by Dan Knobler

Filmed by Katrina Sorrentino and Sasha Arutyunova

Edited by Katrina Sorrentino and Jonathan Seale

Merry Christmas and happy holidays from Mason Jar Music and Josh Garrels!

Produced by Mason Jar Music

To watch the film, visit

Recorded live at the Barracks Row Theater in Washington, D.C. on December 9th, 2012.

Josh Garrels - Vocals
Russell Durham - Violin
Char Prescott - Cello
Jon Seale - Vocals
Jenni Seale - Vocals
Gabriel Gall - Keys

Recorded by Jacob Blumberg
Mixed by Jonathan Seale

Video by Sasha Arutyunova and Katrina Sorrentino
Edited by Jonathan Seale and Katrina Sorrentino

New Relatives EP “The Signs That Mock Me As I Go” Produced by MJM


Sometimes things just work out nicely. About a year ago MJM composer/arranger Ian Davis was booking an acoustic European tour with singer Katie Vogel and their band Relatives. I had recently done a few gigs with some very fine Irish musicians who were accompanying Chelsea Crowell on her US tour. One of those fine gentlemen, Colm O Herlihy, is a very kind and talented guy who made a lot of connections for Ian and Katie in Ireland and a great time was had by all.

That relationship is continuing to bear fruit: Colm just launched a label, MDR Recordings and signed Relatives as one of their first acts. However, Ian and Katie were in the midst of production on a new EP which wouldn’t be finished in time for their Irish tour, so they approached me about recording a stripped down, acoustic duo album.

We set up shop for two days in Katie’s living room - just four mics, a gut string guitar, and two voices - and spent a few hours cutting four tunes. That EP, The Signs That Mock Me As I Go, was released this week on MDR Recordings and Ian and Katie are touring Ireland again this month.

- Dan

New EP from Mason Jar Music: Decoration Day, Volume 2

When on Memorial Day weekend, 2012, a long-standing recording session at Mason Jar Music was cancelled at the last minute, MJM co-founders Dan Knobler and Jon Seale decided to make the most of the lost time. Inviting a handful of artists & musicians from the burgeoning Brooklyn indie-folk community into the studio, they set out to pay tribute to some of their favorite American music. The result was Decoration Day, a six track EP of songs written over a 200 year span of American history.

Exactly one year later, the Mason Jar Music collective returns with Decoration Day, Volume 2 - featuring a new outfit of up-and-coming talent, this time giving a nod to 1960s- era soul. The six-track EP pairs Josh Garrels, Nick Hakim, Emily Elbert, Flearoy, and Gabriel Garzón-Montano with an impeccable MJM house band and a 4-piece horn section featuring members of The Dap-Kings, Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires, EMEFE, and The Westerlies. The album was recorded in three days, live-in-studio at Mason Jar Music on Memorial Day weekend, 2013.


Produced by Mason Jar Music

Recorded by Dan Knobler, Jon Seale, and Jacob Blumberg at Mason Jar Music in Brooklyn, NY on Decoration Day Weekend, 2013
Mixed by Dan Knobler & Jon Seale
Mastered by Jacob Blumberg

The Mason Jar Music House Band:

Dan Knobler - Guitar
Zack Rosen - Bass
Jason Burger - Drums & Percussion
Jake Sherman - Organ, Wurlitzer, Piano

Jas Walton - Tenor Sax
Billy Aukstik - Trumpet
Freddy DeBoe - Baritone Sax
Willem de Koch - Trombone

Vocals on Don’t Let Me Down: Nick Hakim, Emily Elbert, Gabriel Garzon-Montano
Background Vocals on Don’t Let Me Down: Stefan Weiner, Cameron Scoggins, Fox Schwach, Hannah Read, Jon Seale
Additional Background Vocals: Jon Seale, Stefan Weiner, Emily Elbert
Vocals on Grandma’s Hands recorded by Josh Garrels in Portland, OR

Cover photo by Sasha Arutyunova

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Photo © Sasha Arutyunova 2013 Photo © Sasha Arutyunova 2013 Photo © Sasha Arutyunova 2013 Photo © Sasha Arutyunova 2013

New video + MJM Producing new acoustic Relatives EP

Below is a great little video of our friends Relatives (MJM arranger/composer Ian Davis and singer/songwriter Katie Vogel) performing “Widower.” The song will be released on a forthcoming acoustic EP produced by Mason Jar Music for MDR Recordings (a new Irish label started by our good friend Colm O’Herlihy), and the duo will be touring through Ireland in late July to support the release.

The video was filmed by MJM photographer Sasha Arutyunova and was recorded around one mic: a vintage Gefell m70 courtesy of our friend Arno at Sacred Sound Studios in Dresden, Germany. Relatives’ new press photos above were also taken by Sasha. Enjoy!

- Dan

Watch the video below:

Photo © Katrina Sorrentino 2013 Photo © Sasha Arutyunova 2013 Photo © Sasha Arutyunova 2013 Photo © Sasha Arutyunova 2013 Photo © Katrina Sorrentino 2013 Photo © Sasha Arutyunova 2013 Photo © Sasha Arutyunova 2013 Photo © Sasha Arutyunova 2013 Photo © Sasha Arutyunova 2013 Photo © Sasha Arutyunova 2013

Here’s a belated selection of photos from The Sea in Between Documentary Release Tour: Southeast, Feb ‘12.

Virginia Beach, VA
Garner, NC
Atlanta, GA
Birmingham, AL
Nashville, TN

Photos © Sasha Aleksandra Arutyunova & Katrina Sorrentino 2013

Much more from this tour on our Facebook page! Check back next week for photos from our final film tour through the Midwest.

Photo © Sasha Arutyunova 2013 Photo © Sasha Arutyunova 2013 Photo © Sasha Arutyunova 2013 Photo © Sasha Arutyunova 2013 Photo © Sasha Arutyunova 2013 Photo © Sasha Arutyunova 2013 Photo © Sasha Arutyunova 2013 Photo © Sasha Arutyunova 2013 Photo © Sasha Arutyunova 2013 Photo © Sasha Arutyunova 2013

MJM Produces Letters from an Old Trunk by the Whiskey Collection

After a joyous release show at Rockwood last weekend, we are very happy to share the first first full length from our friends The Whiskey Collection. Letters from an Old Trunk was produced and recorded by Mason Jar Music last summer.

Drawing on inspirations ranging from Bill Monroe to Thom Yorke, The Whiskey Collection crafts sound like an artisan moonshiner.

Stream the album below:

A few years back, Jon and I were playing at the Knitting Factory with our band Flearoy and had the great privilege of sharing a bill with The Whiskey Collection. The group of 5 classically-trained Juilliard students playing energetic, thoughtful folk and bluegrass blew us away. Since that night all the members of the Whiskey Collection have become integral parts of the MJM community and the band has expanded to include myself and Matt Porter.

The band is in the running for The Deli’s NYC Artist of the Month, so if you dig the music, please take a second to vote and show your support.

- Dan

Photos © Sasha Arutyunova 2013