Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk
Billed as a “Music & Environmental Festival,” Clearwater’s Great Hudson River Revival is an annual, family-oriented gathering. The festival’s socio-political-environmental agendas bring needed attention not only to the revitalization of the Hudson River, but also to solar & green energy use, organic & natural food, zero waste, recycling, etc.
It’s the music, however, that brings in the crowds for the two-day affair. With music issuing forth nearly non-stop on seven stages spread throughout the grounds, the festival musicians offered up a potpourri of musical genres that ranged from the progressive bluegrass of the Punch Brothers featuring mandolin master Chris Thile to the Cajun dance music of Louisiana’s Jesse Lege & Bayou Brew.
The diverse line-up of music at Clearwater also crosses national borders and cultural boundaries, presenting performers from such far flung places as Mali (Tinariwen), Sudan (Alsarah & the Nubatones) and Eastern Europe (Balkan Beat Box), serving up a truly global gumbo of international musical styles.
Throughout the jam-packed, two-day smorgasbord of music, you could also find a healthy dose of alt-rock (Deer Tick, Josh Ritter), roots-Americana (Spuyten Duyvil), old-time jazz (the Preservation Hall Jazz Band), blues (Joan Osborne with the Holmes Brothers), singer-songwriters (Melissa Ferrick), jam band groovemeisters (Donna the Buffalo), klezmer (the Klezmatics) and bucket-loads of folk music of all kinds – from Holly Near to Jill Sobule – spread out among the many stages across Croton Point Park.
The general consensus by both the public and the presenters was that this years’s Clearwater’s Great Hudson River Revival was simply one of the best, both musically and weather-wise … with lots of sun, comfortable temperatures and not a rain cloud in sight over the course of the fabulous festival weekend.
Rudy Lu’s review and photographs at Nippertown