Review and photographs by Stanley Johnson
The banks of the Mohawk River in Amsterdam were an appropriate place to listen to songs about the Hudson River during Betty & the Baby Boomers recent concert at Riverlink Park in Amsterdam.
The band – consisting of Betty Boomer and Jean Valla McAvoy on vocals, Steve Stanne on guitar and vocals, Paul Rubeo on guitar, percussion and vocals and Robert Bard on bass – played songs from the four albums that they’ve released over the course of more than two decades together.
They played traditional, old-school folk songs by such legends as Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie, as well as covers of songs by the likes of Phil Ochs and Bruce Cockburn. The band also featured tunes from their recent albums, Where the Heron Waits and Just the Motion.
Singing three- and four-part a cappella harmonies in addition to playing with instruments, the band sang river songs, including the original “Down By the River” (which has been covered by Pete Seeger) and “The Poughkeepsie Whaler,” which related the story of the time when the city on the Hudson supplied sailors to the whaling industry.
During breaks, Lynn Saoirse filled the air with the enchanting sound of the Irish harp.
This week, the Riverlink Park Concert Series in Amsterdam’s Riverlink Park expands this week with the Riverlink Jamboree – starting at 4pm – featuring the Bear Bones Project, the Nellies and Tumbleweed Highway. Admission is free.