Congrats: Chris Shaw

March 5th, 2012, 2:00 pm by Greg
Chris Shaw

Chris Shaw

Chris Shaw – one of the Adirondacks’ premier singer-songwriter-storytellers – has been named executive director of the Adirondack Folk School in Lake Luzerne.

Last year, more than 800 students attended classes at the Adirondack Folk School. The school is now entering its third year, offering more than 200 classes in such diverse subjects as cabin building, songwriting, stone wall construction, Dutch oven cooking and blacksmithing.

Shaw has long been a force on the Nippertown folk scene with both his solo shows and as co-founder of the annual Christmas show, Mountain Snow & Mistletoe” with his wife, folksinger Bridget Ball. But Shaw’s musical prowess has carried him far beyond “local favorite” status, and he has toured the country as a representative for Taylor Guitars and has played such prestigious venues as the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Chautauqua Institute, the Smithsonian and the Philadelphia Folk Festival.

“I¹m thrilled to have this great opportunity to be a part of AFS, and finally come back home!” said Shaw, a Lake George native and a 1972 graduate of Lake George High School.

We’d like to add our congratulations to Chris on his new endeavor.


Bridget Ball, What Is Your Favorite Holiday Song?

December 6th, 2010, 12:00 pm by Greg

Bridget Ball

“My favorite holiday song? Which day? For which holiday mood?

Goofy? ‘Jingle Bell Rock.’

Kids? ‘Jingle Bells.’

Goofy kids? ‘Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.’

Sweet and sentimental? ‘Silent Night.’

Overall? ‘Silent Night.’ I love the fact that it was written during WWI (The War to End All Wars) and that its performance was a uniting force during a season where the message is Peace on Earth. Written for guitar. It’s a natural for folk musicians.

That’s my answer for today, anyway. Ask me again Monday after this year’s Mountain Snow!”

Bridget Ball joins Christopher Shaw and the Mountain Snow Orchestra (John Kirk, Kevin McKrell, Brian Melick and Tony Markellis) for their annual “Mountain Snow and Mistletoe” concerts at The Egg in Albany at 8pm on Saturday and at 2pm on Sunday. Tix are $24.

Related stories: Mountain Snow and Mistletoe concert review, 2009; Bridget Ball’s Five Firsts; Christopher Shaw’s Five Firsts

LIVE: Mountain Snow & Mistletoe @ The Egg, 12/12/09mas

December 14th, 2009, 11:41 am by Greg

John Kirk, Kevin McKrell, Chris Shaw, Bridget Ball

John Kirk, Kevin McKrell, Chris Shaw, Bridget Ball

In the middle of Saturday night’s show, Chris Shaw explained, “People don’t like their traditions messed with.” And, dangling participle be damned, he’s right.

So a lot of this year’s Mountain Snow & Mistletoe show relied on the tried and true – from Bridget Ball‘s rousing rendition of the ever-hopeful opening and closing number “Light a Light” to Shaw’s masterfully understated tale of the Christmas that almost wasn’t and the generosity that saved it, “Ten Dollar Christmas” – a song that still makes me weep with joy every year when I hear it.

If Ball and Shaw act as the good, homespun parents and ringleaders of this musical family, the members of the Mountain Snow Orchestra are well aware of their roles in this “pageant,” and they over the years they’ve brought more and more to their parts. Kevin McKrell plays the black-sheep bad boy always ready with a quip. Percussionist extraordinaire Brian Melick plays the endearing clown. And John Kirk, well, plays just about every musical instrument with strings on it.

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October 1st, 2009, 9:26 am by Greg


NAME: Chris Shaw

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … “Meet the Beatles.”




5. THE FIRST BAND I WAS EVER IN WAS … Christopher John’s Hat

Chris Shaw will perform at the Warrensburg High School at 7pm on Saturday, October 3. The concert will benefit Warrenburg’s Richards Library.

Comin’ soon…

September 2nd, 2009, 11:43 am by Greg

Chris Shaw and Bridget Ball

Chris Shaw and Bridget Ball

It’s a veritable concert cornucopia at The Egg in Albany this year. Yet another big batch of shows has just been announced for the 2009-2010 season. Highlights include Dar Williams with the Nields (Saturday, October 24), comedian, late night talk show host and former Metroland receptionist Jimmy Fallon (Saturday, November 21), the Derek Trucks Band (Sunday, December 13), Dan Zanes & Friends (Saturday, January 23), Karla Bonoff and Janis Ian (Sunday, April 18) and Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks with John Hammond (Friday, April 23). And after a long run at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Chris Shaw and Bridget Ball‘s annual holiday concert “Mountain Snow and Mistletoe” has left Troy, headed across the river and landed at The Egg for shows on Saturday and Sunday, December 12-13. Tix for all of these newly announced shows at The Egg will go on sale to the general public on Friday, September 4.

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BERGGREN/KIRK/SHAW’s “North River/North Woods”

August 11th, 2009, 11:02 am by Greg

nrnw(Sleeping Giant Records, 2009): You don’t have to be a mountain man or woman to enjoy this collection of Adirondack folk music. If you’ve done any camping or hiking in New York State’s great mountains (or even if you’ve just admired the majestic view on postcards), you’re likely to feel connected to this music. Embracing the outdoors and the simple charms of homespun tunes, three of the area’s most beloved songsmiths – Dan Berggren, John Kirk and Christopher Shaw – team up for the first time on this album.

Well, actually, the trio is only playing together on seven of the album’s 17 tracks, but you get the idea because the rest of the selections are duos or solos.

Berggren’s focus is songwriting. While the majority of the tunes are traditional, Berggren contributes a half dozen of his own tunes to the disc, including the captivating spoken word tale of the “Cremation of the Old Floyd Place.”

Kirk’s focus is on the instrumental end of things. The CD showcases the multi-talented player’s considerable skills on fiddle, mandolin, guitar and flute, as well as some fancy clog-dancing percussion on the French Canadian medley of “Reel St. Joseph/Mason’s Apron.”

Shaw, meanwhile, is the strongest vocalist of the bunch, and it’s a shame that he didn’t step up to sing lead more often here. Still, “Ballad of Blue Mountain Lake” is the album’s highlight, and it has more to do with Shaw’s knack for insightful narrative singing than it does with the contributions of such high-profile special guests as Rory Block and the Band’s Garth Hudson.

Put these three veteran musicians together, though, and the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, as evidenced by the deeply heartfelt a cappella offering, “River Driving.”

A few other special guests drop by to add their own seasonings to the mix, including the Finest Kind’s Ann Downey (who steps up to sing “Log Driver’s Waltz”) and fiddle phenom Cedar Stanistreet (who teams up for Kirk for another of the album’s best tracks – the achingly gorgeous twin fiddle lament “Be Thou My Vision”).

The best music is the music that you make yourself – a communion with with friends or strangers. But if you can’t make your music, this might be the next best thing. Come gather ’round the campfire.

Dan Berggren, John Kirk and Christopher Shaw (and Cedar Stanistreet) will celebrate the release of “North River/North Woods” with a concert at the Ndakinna Education Center in Greenfield Center on Saturday, August 15, as part of the ongoing Down to the Earth performance series.

Be Here Now: The Dog Days of Summer, 8/1/09

July 30th, 2009, 10:00 am by Greg

Dogs are great!
Museums are great!
But let’s face it, dogs and museums don’t usually get along all that well.

Well, that all changes at the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake on Saturday, August 1, with the museum’s very special “Dog Days of Summer” program.

After all, how often do you get a chance to bring your pooch along to a museum?

Saturday’s Dog Days celebration will revolve entirely around man’s best friend with an abundance of activities throughout the day, including a canine obstacle/agility course, dog dancing sessions (might Bow Wow Wow show up to provide the music for this one?), working dog demonstrations (including the chance to meet Judd, a six-time Iditarod sled dog), a pooch parade and a brown bag lunch with curator Hallie Bond, who will discuss famous – and not so famous – dogs of the Adirondacks.

And Christopher Shaw, Adirondack singer-songwriter-storyteller-and-all-around-good-guy is slated to perform a pair of shows of specially selected canine-centric songs and stories at 1 and 3pm.

Of course, you’re encouraged to bring along your pooch. There’s even Doggie Day Care, so you can wander the grounds while the staff looks after Fido!


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