Rockwood Music Hall is a cozy, intimate venue known for great acoustic and semi-acoustic sets from some of New York’s best not-yet-discovered musical artists. Think Norah Jones and you’ll get the vibe. It’s hushed, with rough brick walls and melting candles on little tables adding to the ambiance. Speaking of Jones, you might run into her here, or actors Peter Sarsgaard and Maggie Gyllenhaal.
Owner Ken Rockwood is a veteran indie music guy who carefully chooses artists who fit the club perfectly. You may not have heard of all the artists on the bill, but you can be sure they passed muster with him. The original Rockwood became so popular—and so crowded—that the owners recently expanded into the space next door, adding two new rooms. The original space has a pie-slice-shaped stage that’s only 9’ x 9’ but manages to include a beautiful baby grand piano. There’s never a cover but there is a one-drink minimum—luckily the wine list is impressive and if money is tight, you can choose always order tea for $3. A tip bucket is passed around during each set, with $5 suggested as a donation.
The new space has cool lighting, an upstairs balcony, a bigger stage area and lots more room for people to hang out in and see the music acts. The sound in both rooms is pristine. There also a tiny third room lounge with a bar and a closed-circuit TV screen running a live feed from one of the other rooms. Check out a recent performance at Rockwood by James Maddock with band: David Immergluck (of Counting Crowss), Oli Rockberger, John Shannon, Drew Mortali & Aaron Comess (of Spin Doctors):