Alchemy Shutters Its Doors

November 30th, 2009, 10:40 am by Greg

The Woodstock cafe/music venue/bookstore/art gallery known as Alchemy closed its doors for good on Saturday (November 28), just a week short of what would have been its six-month anniversary.

When the coffeehouse held its grand opening celebration back on June 4, things looked rosy for owners Nick Martin and Stephanie Izarek. “Our hope is that Alchemy will serve as a fun and vibrant gathering place for local residents and tourists alike,” Martin said, “a space that encourages creativity, community, consciousness, the free exchange of ideas and generally, the pursuit of living the best life possible.”

Operating under the slogan, “Revive the vibe,” Alchemy hosted some wonderful performers, but even the Woodstock dream wasn’t enough to carry the coffeehouse through these tough economic times.

A message posted on the cafe’s Facebook page on Saturday morning stated, “Alchemy Friends: We will be open today from 2 until 5 for a closing sale on books, handmade merchandise, original art, jewelry, etc. Please consider stopping by for deals on your holiday shopping and to say a farewell to Alchemy…”


Alchemy opens

June 5th, 2009, 1:24 pm by Sara


“Revive the vibe” is the battlecry of the brand-spanking new acoustic music venue Alchemy, formerly owned by Albert Grossman and located on the Bearsville Theater complex at 297 Tinker Street in Woodstock.


It’s a bright, airy space with a small stage, huge windows and a capacity of about 100, as well as the casual, friendly feel of a spacious living room. Coffees, teas, baked goods and more are served in the back room. Colorful paintings of jazz, blues and rock greats by George Frayne (aka Commander Cody) adorn the walls.


Alchemy is hosting live acoustic music at least four nights a week, including upcoming performances by Commander Cody & Professor Louie (June 6), the Bowmans (June 12), Ramblin Jug Stompers (June 19), Happy Traum (June 20), the Kennedys (July 10), Uncle Monk (July 11) and Tracy Bonham (August 8).


Alchemy co-owners Stephanie Izarek and Nick Martin enjoy a relatively calm moment before opening the doors tonight (June 5) for the official grand opening performances. Woodstock needed a new music venue, and Alchemy fills the bill nicely.

COMMANDER CODY’s “Dopers, Drunks and Everyday Losers”

June 3rd, 2009, 3:07 pm by Greg


(Blind Pig, 2009): Since the Lost Planet Airmen flew off into the sunset, the Commander’s musical career has been hit and miss, and this one’s better than most.

This time around – his second stint with the folks at Blind Pig – Cody revisits a lot of his back catalog. Unfortunately, the remakes of both the Airmen songs (“Wine, Do Yer Stuff,” “Semi Truck” and “It’s Gonna Be One of Those Nights”) and tunes from his early solo albums (“Lone Ranger” and “Seven Eleven”) suffer by comparison to the originals.

The problem is primarily due to lackluster vocals, which are desperately in need of some of the wild abandon that Billy C. used to throw down. Guest vocalist Circe Link steps up to the microphone for the classic “Down to Seeds and Stems Again,” and while she certainly won’t make you forget the original version, it might have been a good idea to give her a go at some of the other selections, too.

The new material fares best here, whether it’s a cover of John Hiatt’s rousing on-the-road gem “Tennessee Plates,” the swingin’ end-of-the-night honky tonker “Last Call for Alcohol” or the hard-to-believe, semi-mariachi version of “The No No Song.”

The Commander will be doing a rare solo performance at Alchemy in Woodstock on Saturday, June 6, splitting the bill with a solo shot from Aaron “Professor Louie” Hurwirtz, who also served as co-producer and organist on this album.

Commander Cody: Dopers, Drunks and Everyday Losers

Alchemy: New Woodstock Music Venue

May 20th, 2009, 11:15 am by Greg

Considering the great wealth of musicians who live and work in the Woodstock area, it’s always been somewhat surprising that there aren’t more live music venues around town.

Wonderful old places like the Joyous Lake and the Brass Rail are long gone, but now it finally seems as though there’s a new kid in town for live music.

Alchemy is the name of the brand spankin’ new coffeehouse/bookstore located in the Bearsville Theater complex at 297 Tinker St., Woodstock. And in addition to fresh, healthy food and free wifi, Alchemy is also offering lots and lots of great acoustic music. Wednesdays are open mike nights, while a free, emerging artist concert series takes place on Sundays.

Here’s the line-up of Alchemy’s first month of shows, all of which start at 9pm:

Fri. June 5
Two venerable Woodstock musicians come together for a magical night of music.

A rare solo piano show; the Commander and the Professor. As leader of the legendary band Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen, Cody should be in the Rock hall of Fame. Meanwhile, producer of The Band and leader of the Crowmatix, Louie should be in the Woodstock Hall of Fame.

Sun. June 7 KAT LARIOS
Minimalist music from this colorful Kingston based ukulele player.

Fri. June 12 THE BOWMANS
Fast rising Americana twins that sing like angels. The renowned Malcolm Burn produced their recent CD “The Bowmans.”

Sat. June 13
Former Woodstock resident triumphantly returns with a brilliant new CD featuring her amazing voice and compelling songs.

Fri. June 19
Featuring former Blotto members and a jug, Woodstock has always loved jug bands, this will be no exception. 78 RPM music for the 21st century.

Sat. June 20
A Woodstock guitar legend if there ever was one, Happy returns to his former manager Albert’s house. This is an event not to miss.

Sun. June 21 NAKED
Julia Nichols’ gorgeous voice leads this eclectic tribe of musicians from Woodstock.

This exotic singer has toured with Pink Floyd and Sting, sings her own Brazilian-based tunes with a voice that will make your jaw drop.

Sat. June 27
Killer tunes and musicianship power this well loved local act that has captured the heart of Woodstock.

And beyond:
Sat. July 11 UNCLE MONK (featuring Tommy Ramone)
Fri. July 31 OLIVIA MAXWELL with RICHARD LLOYD (of Televison)
Sat. August 8 TRACY BONHAM
Fri. August 14 SWATI

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