Various Artists Tribes Hill: We’re All Here (2010, Tribes Hill Records)
Tribes Hill is a thriving lower Hudson Valley-based label that also functions as an industrious non-profit collective of diverse folk musicians deeply committed to bringing people together through song. We’re All Here, the organization’s fourth release, furthers their mission by packing 34 quality tracks onto two CDs. It’s a troubadour smorgasbord; young and old, slick and quirky, political and personal, trad and experimental. Although acoustic string instruments abound, Tribes Hill is certainly not shy about allowing the occasional drummer into the party or letting the funky guitarist plug in. The house concert may still draw the cops.
While the divergent styles promise something for everyone, there are strong connecting threads on We’re All Here: All acts promote the Pete Seeger-inspired template of strength through community, all are New York-based, and all are hell bent on getting you to sing along. And you will. To Abbie Gardner’s aching waltz “Crazy in Love,” Phil Dollard’s crustily wise “Whirligig of Time,” Marc Black’s jazzy “I Love My Coffee,” Red Molly’s testifyin’ “Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning,” young buck Anthony Da Costa’s funky “Love Is Not Enough,” David Goldman’s unapologetically rocking “Blue Collar Town,” KJ Denhert’s sleekly sexy “Beautiful,” and the synthy, echo-laden harmonies of Eddie Denise’s “The Equation.” There are, of course, many other song wielders, some who want to charm, some who wish to inspire, a couple who seem intent on annoying you, but you’ll be glad you let them in. When the grid goes down, these folks will rule. www.tribeshill.com
A more serious and committed Hudson Valley musical figure than Decora does not come to mind. Everything the 32-year-old does and says comes with a breathtaking level of locked-down, unwaveringly intense focus.
With its open-air format, where attendees picnic in the parks and watch the stars emerge during performances, and its $5 youth tickets, the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice is the perfect place to share with children a love of music and theater, in a variety of styles.