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The Ponkiesburg Pickin' Party

If you happen to be in Boerum Hill and wander into a small bar at the tail end of the weekend, you might stumble across a hootenanny going on there—a decade-old institution called The Ponkiesburg Pickin' Party, to be exact. PPP bounced around assorted Brooklyn locales before settling at the Kili bar recently. For the five to 10 musicians who show up, the unofficial rules are simple: Play a song and let someone else have a turn, keep it to a few chords and easily learned choruses so everyone can play along ("I'll Fly Away" is a fave), tote along an unplugged instrument (acoustic guitar, mandolin, fiddle, banjo, harmonica, dobro)—and have fun. It's so informal that anyone can sit in to harmonize or just socialize, and it draws in everyone from lawyers to psychiatrists to real estate agents. As singer/guitarist/participant Doug Hatt puts it, "It's not about skill level, it's about enthusiasm." Sundays, 5 p.m to approximately 8 p.m., 79-81 Hoyt Street, Brooklyn, 718-855-5574,


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