LIVE: Clearwater’s Great Hudson River Revival @ Croton Point Park, 6/20/15 (Day One)
Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk
Like Rome in the ancient days, Clearwater’s Great Hudson Revival means many things to many people. Some view it as the very first grand festival to usher in the summer season of roots-Americana, bluegrass and folk festivals. Old Songs, Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, Green River, the Newport Folk Festival and dozens of others here in the Northeast follow in its wake. Many of the same performing artists appearing at Clearwater make the rounds between them. The same for a part of the audience because they festival-hop, seeing old friends year-after-year and enjoying a weekend away from work, responsibilities and, for some, city living.
But symbolically, it’s Pete and Toshi’s Clearwater’s Great Hudson Revival that sets the tone socially and politically for all the rest. If you want to be aware of the latest liberal socio-political trends, that’s the place to be to meet like-minded people and maybe sign a petition or two for the cause. If you want to know what’s being done progressively to make the Hudson River a little bit cleaner, you will get your answers there. If you want to know what corporate entities are taking the environment seriously, you can find that out easily.
(For those who criticized Ford for renting a space and presenting their assortment of hybrid cars, please remember that Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger fought for the unionization of American factories for the benefit of the workers; Ford is a union shop that did not move out of Detroit to lower labor costs like others did. Many of the Japanese manufacturers make their cars in the USA, but in non-union shops in states that offer phenomenal tax breaks. Makes you think, huh?)
And yes, the number one reason that most come to Clearwater is to see the musicians and hear the music. But it’s not just that – it’s the camaraderie of mutually enjoying a performance at one of seven stages throughout Croton Point Park, ranging from the large, Rainbow Stage, with several thousand people, to the small Circle of Song tent stage, with only dozens. Let’s not forget the Family Stage that’s geared toward kids with lots of sing-alongs for the toddler to the tweens.
Saturday’s music events between the rain and shine included African pop (Angelique Kidjo) to Celtic Bhangre fusion (Deli 2 Dublin) with all sorts of singer-songwriters (Neko Case, David Crosby, Citizen Cope, Guy Davis, Tom Chapin, etc…). There was even some exquisite pop delivered by B-52s vocalist Kate Pierson!
It’s all good and happening at any Clearwater’s Great Hudson Revival year after year.