As usual, the summertime scene is jam-packed with all kinds of music festivals all throughout the Greater Nippertown area, and right up at the top of the list is next weekend’s marvelous Clearwater fest at Croton Point Park in Croton-on-Hudson.
Clearwater’s Great Hudson River Revival is a fabulous, two-day festival of music and more – with all proceeds going directly to support the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater’s ecological and environmental research, education and advocacy. The fest boasts seven different performance stages, and they brimming over with music both days from 11am til 8 or 8:30pm.
And the line-up of performers this year is especially awesome. The roster is chockfull of veterans like Pete Seeger, David Bromberg, John Sebastian, David Amram, Jorma Kaukonen, Bernice Johnson Reagon and Arlo Guthrie, as well as some of the brightest stars on the current music scene – namely the Low Anthem, David Wax Museum and the Felice Brothers.
There’s also the great British singer-songwriter Billy Bragg, Native American queen of song Joanne Shenandoah and jazz trumpet titan Dave Douglas and his band Brass Ecstacy. There’s Josh Ritter, the Indigo Girls, David Wax Museum and, well, the list just goes on and on…
One of the great things about the Clearwater fest is that it’s all about family, and there’s a strong tradition of passing the torch to the next generation. Last year, Steve Earle was one of the headliners. This year, his son Justin Townes Earle will be playing. Singer-songwriter Jen Chapin is on the bill this year, and so his her uncle, noted children’s performer Tom Chapin. There’s the Mother Daughter String Band, which features two pairs of mother-and-daughter musicians. And blueswoman Thomasina Winslow will be on stage this year, carrying on the tradition of her late father Tom Winslow, who was a longtime Clearwater regular.
In fact, there are a couple of very special performances – dubbed “Clearwater Generations” – slated to take place on the Rainbow Stage over the course of the weekend. At 7:15pm on Saturday, June 18 you can hear the cross-generational sounds of Pete Seeger & Tao Seeger; Arlo Guthrie & Sarah Lee Guthrie; Bernice Johnson Reagon & Toshi Reagon; Jay Ungar & Ruthy Ungar Merenda; Lyn Hardy & Ruthy Ungar Merenda. Another one is slated for 6:55pm on Sunday, featuring Pete Seeger & Tao Seeger; Peter Yarrow & Bethany Yarrow; Tom Chapin & Jen Chapin; David Amram & Alana, Adira and Adam Amram.
Of course, the family activities aren’t all on stage; they’re in the crowd, too. It’s a truly family friendly festival with plenty of children’s activities – although in the wake of the recent news reports regarding former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Rep. Anthony Weiner, you might want to steer the kids away from Slash Coleman’s session titled “Stupid Things Guys Do” (1pm on Sunday in the Story Grove).
Advance tickets for a one-day pass for either Saturday or Sunday are $70; at the gate, they’re $85. Weekend passes are $95 in advance; $140 at the gate. Weekend tickets and camping are $150.
MORE UPCOMING FESTIVALS FOR 2011:
Rhythm On the Ridge @ Maple Ski Ridge, Rotterdam, June 11
Art On Lark @ Lark Street, Albany, June 11 FREE
Capital Pride Parade & Festival @ Washington Park, Albany, June 12 FREE
River Street Festival @ River Street, Troy, June 18 FREE
Wilco’s Solid Sound Festival @ MASS MoCA, North Adams, June 24-26
Old Songs Festival of Traditional Music and Dance @ Altamont Fairgrounds, Altamont, June 24-26
Freihofer’s Jazz Festival @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, June 25-26
The WGNA CountryFest @ the Altamont Fairgrounds, Altamont, July 9
Green River Festival @ Greenfield Community College, Greenfield, July 16-17
The Big Up @ Sunnyview Farm, Ghent, July 28-30
Bluestock Music Festival @ Hunter Mountain, Hunter, August 26-28
Jazz at the Lake: Lake George Jazz Weekend @ Shepard Park, Lake George, September 17-18, FREE