The name has changed, but apparently it’s full steam ahead for the big music fest planned for this summer at Winston Farm in Saugerties.
The Hudson Project, as it’s now being called, has also been downsized a bit from four to three days. The fest is now slated to run from Friday-Sunday, July 11-13, at the site of the 1994 Woodstock festival. Concert promoters MCP Presents announced that the fest will feature “the ultimate fusion of over 85 genre-defying musical acts.” The fest will feature four musical stages as well as an interactive performance area for local musicians and performance artists.
Rolling Stone magazine declared Opus 40 in Saugerties to be “the best outdoor performance venue in the Northeast.” But it’s actually so much more than just a concert venue. A massive monument to the creative (and obviously obsessive) vision of sculptor Harvey Fite, Opus 40 is a work of art in itself, featuring thousands of tons of bluestonee, capped off with a nine-ton monolith that stands upright in the center of the sculpture with Overlook Mountain as a backdrop.
In recent years, there haven’t been many concerts at Opus 40, but the environmental sculpture will once again host a day of glorious music on Saturday, August 31 when the Felice County Fair takes over the grounds.
And if you want a bit of homegrown, Louisiana-flavored soundtrack to fuel your revelry, this – the fifth album in a dozen years from Nippertown’s premier zydeco combo, Captain Squeeze & the Zydeco Moshers – is a fine place to start.
The album starts out with “Aura du Bayou,” a brief, atmospheric bayou blues wail featuring Ryan Dunham’s howling harmonica and the slippery slide guitar of James Rissacher. But soon enough accordionist Greg “Captain Squeeze” Speck and his son Alex Speck on frottoir are whipping up their high-energy two-stepping Louisiana groove.
But it’s Jessica Springsteen, the Boss’ daughter, not Bruce himself.
You see, hitmaker John Fogerty is performing in concert at Saugerties’ HITS-On-the-Hudson at 5pm Sunday, and “HITS” stands for “Horse Shows In The Sun.” And the $50 general admission ticket to see Fogerty also allows the ticketholder free admission to the Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix Horse Show, which begins at 1:30pm at the same venue.
Jessica Springsteen is apparently a longtime equestrian enthusiast who will be riding and competing in the horse show.
The Fogerty concert is being co-promoted by the Bardavon Opera House in Poughkeepsie. And in an email to The Poughkeepsie Journal this week, Bardavon executive director Chris Silva wrote, “Bruce Springsteen has appeared onstage with John Fogerty on a number of occasions in recent years. So your $50 general admission festival seating ticket will not only get you entry to both the equestrian events and the John Fogerty concert, but it MAY even include a glimpse or a tune or two from The Boss himself. No promises, but anything is possible.”
Hmmmmm… Do we smell a jam session? Or just a desperate marketing ploy?
Gates open for the horse show at 12noon. Gates open for the concert at 4:15pm. General admission tickets are $50 with proceeds to benefit the Family of Woodstock.
Opus 40, the Saugerties sculpture park carved out of bluestone over the course of 37 years by Harvey Fite, is for sale.
Fite’s stepson, Tad Richards and his wife have been caretakers of the estate for the past 23 years but are looking to retire. They, and the town of Saugerties, hope to transfer the park to an organization that will continue to care for the mammoth stone structures and keep it open to the public.
We recently received the following letter from Connor Kennedy, a sophomore at Saugerties High School in Ulster County:
“Recently, our school has been afflicted with serious budget problems; one that has left us with a 1.6 million dollar deficit. After the end of this year, the few creative programs that we have are going to lose money. The Drama Club, for instance, is unfunded already. They get no money from the district, and only in their second year, they aren’t going to get very far.
“So I have organized a benefit concert to aid the art departments here at Saugerties High School. I have recruited some of the finest musicians known around the Hudson Valley, some of which are known well around the world, to perform at this Concert for The Arts on January 29.”
Connor isn’t kidding. He’s got some excellent musicians to donate their talents to the benefit concert, including the Alexis P. Suter Band (a Brooklyn blues band who are regulars at Levon Helm’s famed Midnight Rambles) and the Organiks (a Woodstock supergroup featuring Jay Collins and Bruce Katz of the Gregg Allman Band, as well as drummer Randy Ciarlante of the Band).
Additional local bands and musicans are scheduled to perform throughout the show – which takes place at 7:30pm Friday at the Saugerties High School – and who knows what special guests might drop by to perform.
Priced at $15, tickets are on sale at WDST-FM, as well as at Barcone’s Music in Kingston and MusicWorks in Saugerties.
Last Friday, Rob Skane cranked up his guitar as a member of Cosmo Vinyl’s Army to pay tribute to the Clash at Valentine’s in Albany. And on Saturday, Michael Eck was sharing the stage with the likes of Jonathan Edwards paying tribute to Phil Ochs at Space 360 in Hudson.
So what do you get when you sit ’em both around a table in the spotlight at the Muddy Cup in Saugerties at 7pm Thursday, June 4?
“Rob will be doing his patented garage.folk.rocknroll,” explains Eck. “As you may know, my solo dates of late have been a crap-shoot. I’m just as likely to play a relic from the Mississippi Sheiks or Blind Lemon Jefferson, as I am to pull out something from one of my own records. Hell, last time I called up the ghost of Crying Sam Collins and did Townes Van Zandt on the ukulele.
“Pretty much what I can guarantee is loud, out-of-tune singing
and the banging of fretted instruments. The rest is up to you.”
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When I struck out in my own music language, I took a step out of the world of serious music, according to most of my teachers. But I didn't care. I could row the boat by myself, you know? I didn't need to be on the big liner with everybody else.