Daily Dose | Hudson Valley; Chronogram

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Woodstock Concert Series is Free

Posted By on Thu, May 28, 2015 at 9:00 AM

SPIV:UK at 2012s Woodstock Concerts on the Green series
  • SPIV:UK at 2012's Woodstock Concerts on the Green series

I received the schedule for the Woodstock Concerts on the Green series too late to work the info into this month’s summer music festival round-up in the print edition of Chronogram. But, as the summer-long event is now entering its 10th year and has some well-known local acts on the roster, I definitely want to let readers know about it. So here we are.

The run of multi-artist Saturday afternoon events take place on—you guessed right—the town green in the center of Woodstock, kicked off last weekend and runs through September 12. This Saturday’s bill features Pitchfork Militia main man Peter Head, Emily Einhorn and the Peter at Least Ensemble, Dave Houghton and the Neighbors, Zumbi Zumbi, and Michael Hunold and Matt Bowe.

Here’s a peak at the Hickory Smoked Band at last summer’s series:

The Woodstock Concerts on the Green series takes place in Woodstock on Saturdays from 1 to 5pm through September 12. The performances are free. For a complete schedule, visit www.woodstockchamber.com or https://www.facebook.com/woodstockconcertsonthegreen. For more information, call (845) 679-3224.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Daddy Long Legs to Stomp in Hudson and Beacon

Posted By on Tue, May 26, 2015 at 9:00 AM

Daddy Long Legs
  • Daddy Long Legs

Raw-as-dirt Brooklyn blues punk trio Daddy Long Legs have rocked the Hudson Valley before, but it’s been a few years. And since then the band has been blowing up like crazy, unleashing a wild live album, Daddy Long Legs Rides Tonight, on the consistently cool Norton label this month and tearing up Europe and the UK with their winning brand of wailing, roots-gone-wrong garage trash. And this weekend, at long last, the crew of hot-wired turnstile hoppers makes their Upstate return to scorch the Half Moon in Hudson on Friday and Quinn’s in Beacon on Saturday.

Formed in 2010, Daddy Long Legs took their moniker from the nickname of harp-blowing front man Brian Hurd, who started the band as a duo with guitarist Murat Akturk. Drummer and New York scenemaker Josh Styles soon brought his minimal beat to the party and the group cut two ace albums for Norton amid touring with the John Spencer Blues Explosion.

Here’s the band kicking ass at Union Pool in Brooklyn earlier this year:

Daddy Long Legs will perform with the Schoemer Formation at the Half Moon in Hudson on May 29 at 9pm. Admission is $5. For more information, call (518) 828-1562 or visit http://thehalfmoonhudson.com/.

Daddy Long Longs will perform at Quinn’s in Beacon with Ben Collier at 8pm. A $10 donation is suggested. For more information, call (845) 202-7447 or visit https://www.facebook.com/QuinnsBeacon/info?tab=overview.

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Monday, May 25, 2015

The Magic of Spring Faires

Posted By on Mon, May 25, 2015 at 9:00 AM

  • Music and Merriment at Mountaintop School

There’s something so bewitching about the Waldorf way of education. The wooden, silken, woolen toys, the oral pre-literacy tradition, the puppet shows, the time outside in the woods and on farms, the daily rhythms, the breadmaking! There’s a sense of magic to the whole thing. So, of course, the tradition includes community gatherings with such a sense of renewal and allure that there’s even an extra “e” at the end of the name. Two local Waldorf-inspired schools are treating the community to a weekend of spring faires.

Primrose Hill School is situated on a farm, so at their 2nd Annual Spring Faire, families can enjoy the animals (including a bunny hutch) and lots of hay-filled fun (like hay rides and a hay pyramid). Throughout the day, there’s music, dancing with The Vanaver Caravan, and a puppet show. Primrose Hill School is a Waldorf-inspired program for nursery through 2nd grade (and growing a grade each year). They offer a Nature Camp in summer and a CSA. 2nd Annual Spring Faire, Saturday, May 30th, 11a-3p, at 23 Spring Brook Park in Rhinebeck; local food available; free admission. For more information, contact info@primrosehillschool.com or (845) 876-1226.

  • Breadmaking at Primrose Hill School

At Mountaintop School’s sixth annual Music and Merriment Festival, there will be a lot of both with local musicians/parents of students, Neil Rosen and Rachel Loshak, performing, a square dance, and the Niddle Naddle Puppeteers to close the day with a show. In true Waldorf fashion, families come together to make a day full of homemade pleasures: food, crafts, and a raffle of handmade toys. There’s even a Pocket Person who invites children to pick a pocket of her cape and see what tissue-wrapped treasures they can find. Mountaintop School provides a Waldorf Little Ones program through mixed-age Kindergarten, plus a summer program. Music and Merriment, Sunday, May 31st, at 68 Band Camp Road in West Saugerties, 1-5p; $5 suggested donation (proceeds go to Family of Woodstock). For more info contact 845-389-7322 or mountaintopschool@gmail.com.
UPDATE: Due to rain on May 31st, the Music and Merriment Festival has been postponed until the rain date of Sunday, June 7th. Check it out then!
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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Bearsville Hosts Bob Dylan Birthday Celebration

Posted By on Thu, May 21, 2015 at 9:00 AM

Bob Dylan on the cover of the 1969 album Nashville Skyline
  • Eliott Landy
  • Bob Dylan on the cover of the 1969 album Nashville Skyline

The Bard’s birthday is upon us once again: Bob Dylan turns 74 this Sunday. And on that day, to honor the poet laureate of American popular music—as well as raise money toward some great causes—the Bearsville Theater will host the seventh annual Bob Dylan Birthday Celebration, which benefits Woodstock's Crisis Hotline and the John Herald Fund for musicians in need.

Performing Dylan’s songs at the gala this year are his early running buddy Happy Traum, as well as Traum’s fellow local greats Jerry Marotta, Zach Djankian, Shear/Shazar (Jules Shear and Pal Shazar), Eric Redd, the Stacks, Lindsey Webster, and many more. Additionally, there will be raffles to win one of photographer Elliott Landy’s renowned images of Dylan and a signed print of artist Milton Glaser’s iconic pop art Dylan poster.

Here, Happy Traum, Larry Campbell, and others play “Buckets of Rain” at 2012’s event:

The seventh annual Bob Dylan Birthday Celebration will take place at the Bearsville Theater in Bearsville, New York, on May 24 at 8pm. Tickets are $45, $65, and $100. For more information, call (845) 679-4406 or visit http://www.bearsvilletheater.com/about.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Trumpeter Tivey Blows into Catskill

Posted By on Tue, May 19, 2015 at 9:00 AM

Rhys Tivey
  • Rhys Tivey

Bravo to Catskill’s Planet Arts organization for continuing to bring hep jazz events to the Hudson Valley via their ASCAP award-winning one2one series. The next installment of this swinging continuum occurs this Saturday with a performance by trumpeter Rhys Tivey’s quartet.

Currently in its 10th season, one2one showcases “exceptional jazz artists in intimate settings and provides an outlet for musician/composers to present new and adventurous music, as well as innovative interpretations of jazz classics.” In the past, the series has hosted such luminaries as Dave Liebman, Bob Brookmeyer, Rufus Reid, Frank Kimbrough, Greg Osby, Ben Allison, Gary Smulyan, Karl Berger, Joe Magnarelli, and, most recently, Joe Locke. Tivey hails from New York and is the grandson of screen legend Elizabeth Taylor (he played “Amazing Grace” at the late actress’s funeral) and led the resident jazz quartet at Manhattan club Gallagher’s for two years, where he jammed with famed vocalist Jon Hendricks, trumpet king Lou Soloff, and other top players. His newest album, No Voice No More (Independent), features the great pianist Jean-Michel Pilc.

Here’s a clip of Tivey and band recording the album’s “Arjuna” in the studio:

The Rhys Tivey Quartet will perform at the historic Beattie Powers house in Catskill, New York, on May 23 at 5pm. Tickets are $15. For more information, call (518) 945-2669 or visit www.PlanetArts.org.

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Monday, May 18, 2015

Encouraging Kids, to Thine Own Self be True

Posted By on Mon, May 18, 2015 at 9:00 AM

  • Designed by Cheryl Taylor for New Genesis Productions

We all know he wrote some killer, timeless stories, and that we really should love him, but Shakespeare can feel like the vegetable of the theater world: fundamentally important but sometimes challenging to consume. When sharing it with kids, it can be hard to know where to start. Just like vegetables, it takes the right exposure. Then Shakespeare's work opens up into the mad, cross-dressing, murderous, pun-ny drama it was meant to be. The youth theater company in Shokan, New Genesis Productions, provides that wing wherewith we fly.

Best known for its summer intensives, where they present Shakespeare’s comedies to families in all its Elizabethan glory, NGP transforms kids into fine actors with an impeccable understanding of the larger-than-life roles handed them by the Bard. After two weeks of material discussions, character development, voice work, line study, and stage combat with NGP’s artistic director, Lesley Sawhill, and guest directors, in an idyllic forest setting, the actors don traditional costumes and take the Little Globe stage for a slightly abridged production. The open-air theater is not only a perfect tribute to Shakespeare’s outdoor Globe theater in England, it’s also perfect for families, where they watch and wander without disturbing anyone. But what’s more common is to see those small faces enthralled, older kids doubled over at scripted slapstick, and parents marveling at how the understanding in such small voices can make them see Shakespeare anew. The shows are rife with sincerity and learned skill as the young actors prove that all the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.

NGP also runs a school-year session for teens who display a keen interest in developing their acting and/or directing skills. Studying the Meisner method and doing deep text work, teens form a troupe of experienced and committed actors, often taking turns directing each other, and working backstage in various capacities including stage management. Every spring, they present a full-scale production of Shakespeare’s tragedies, usually at Byrdcliffe’s black box theater in Woodstock.

This year, they’ve taken on Romeo & Juliet, guest directed by Phil Mansfield. The production is set in a 1970s NYC club where Verona becomes Club Verona, the house of glam rock. Mansfield feels that’s a power structure that teen actors can relate to. “I want the kids to feel that everyday aspect in their speaking,” Mansfield says. “The fact is, with Romeo & Juliet, you’re kids hanging out on street corner.” Doing serious analysis of the original text, Mansfield directs the actors to say, “Your mutha!” in Iambic Pentameter. And for the first time ever, NGP is partnering with the Paul Green Rock Academy show band (their cream-of-the-crop musicians) to provide live music for Club Verona. Mansfield feels it enables two important children’s arts groups from the community a rare opportunity for collaboration.

Many of the actors involved in Romeo & Juliet have spent years studying Shakespeare together, and Sawhill feels working with different directors is a perfect opportunity for them to stretch themselves and reach further for their potential. Because, as the Bard says, “It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.”

New Genesis Productions presents Romeo & Juliet, May 22-24, four shows only at 7p, 2p and 4p, at the Byrdcliffe Theater in Woodstock; $12 tickets or $5 for children under the age of 12. The show’s run-time is about two and a half hours with intermission. Mostly homemade concessions and wine available. Reserve tickets online.

Don’t miss New Genesis Productions’ plein-air summer shows: The Comedy of Errors, July 10-12; The Two Gentlemen of Verona, July 24-26; The Merchant of Venice, August 7-9; all shows at 5p; tickets are $8 suggested donation, children under 12 are free; mostly homemade concessions and wine available. Check the website for more details and for camper registration info.
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Friday, May 15, 2015

Vassar College Acquires Jacopo Vignali Masterwork Painting

Posted By on Fri, May 15, 2015 at 8:00 AM

The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, the art museum at Vassar College, has acquired the 17th-century Florentine Baroque masterwork painting, The Finding of Moses, by Italian artist Jacopo Vignali.

The Finding of Moses, Jacopo Vignali (Italian 1592-1664) - Signed and dated 1625 - Oil on canvas - 72 ½ x 82 ¾ inches (184 x 210 cm.) - THE FRANCES LEHMAN LOEB ART CENTER, VASSAR COLLEGE
  • The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College
  • The Finding of Moses, Jacopo Vignali (Italian 1592-1664)
    Signed and dated 1625
    Oil on canvas
    72 ½ x 82 ¾ inches (184 x 210 cm.)

"Beyond art history coursework, I think the painting will be interesting to students of Italian culture, the history of religion, women’s studies, and costume,” Yvone Elet, assistant professor of art history at Vassar, says. "Of course, the presence in our collection of both a preparatory oil sketch for the work and the finished painting is a tremendous teaching opportunity."

Vassar already possessed one of only two known oil sketches for the painting. Elet describes the "tremendous teaching opportunity" involved with Vassar's possession of both the sketch and finished product. She explains that the differences in composition, subjects, pose, and colors allow for "rich comparisons."

The Finding of Moses belonged to the Pucci family of Florence from 1625 (when it was commissioned) to the `60s, when it went to a private collection up until last fall, which Vassar says assures its authenticity.

Both the prepatory oil sketch and finished painting are currently on display through the month of August.

Admission to the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center is free and entirely wheelchair accessible. The Art Center is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 10am-9pm and Sunday from 1-5pm. (845) 437-5632; Fllac.vassar.edu

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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Rabbi Dresner on Freedom

Posted By on Thu, May 14, 2015 at 3:20 PM

“At that time I was 6 foot 3 – I’ve become somewhat bent with age – and Martin Luther King was physically not so tall; no more than 5 foot 7 – so I towered over him. But spiritually, intellectually, as a preacher, in so many ways, he towered over me. He was a genius,” said Rabbi Israel Dresner, in a talk at Temple Emanuel in Kingston, New York last Sunday. Rabbi Dresner, who is sometimes called “the most-arrested rabbi in America,” was interviewed by Lawrence Bush, the charismatic editor of Jewish Currents magazine. Now 86, Dresner joined the Civil Rights struggle in the early 1960s.

“How did you handle the fear of going to the Deep South in 1961?” asked Bush.

“Different people have different kinds of fear,” the rabbi responded. “For example, I have no mechanical ability. I can’t hammer a nail or use a screwdriver. I’m more afraid of fixing a doorknob than of marching in Selma, Alabama.”

The event began with Dee Dixon singing songs of the Civil Rights movement, accompanied by the Interfaith Freedom Chorus. Within a moment, the whole audience was singing, too. (Incidentally, Rabbi Dresner explained: “In the 1960s, we didn’t call it the ’Civil Rights’ movement; we called it the Freedom movement.”)

The rabbi, who interspersed his remarks with Yiddish and Hebrew, told a story about Martin Luther King attending a Passover meal: “King had attended a Passover Seder with Rabbi Rothschild in Atlanta, and what most struck him was, after a small child asked the Four Questions, the first thing we say is: ’Because we were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt.’ ‘This was 3200 years ago,’ King said, ’and the Jews still remember their enslavement. And they don’t demean the slaves; they celebrate their courage and tenacity. Negroes (at that time, we used the word ’negroes’) can learn a lot from the Jews.’”

We ended by singing “We Shall Overcome,” in a stirring harmony of voices. The official story of the “Civil Rights” movement – the three-minute yearly montage on TV – has become as sentimental as Mother’s Day, but when I meet living veterans of the movement, I am awed by their spiritual presence.

“Martin Luther King was a mensch,” said Rabbi Dresner. “He was humble. He had a great sense of humor. He didn’t act like a king, despite his name.”
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Ryley Walker Steps into Hudson on Saturday

Posted By on Thu, May 14, 2015 at 9:00 AM

Ryley Walker
  • Dusdin Condren
  • Ryley Walker

This Saturday’s certainly the night for singer-songwriters in the Hudson Valley. On Tuesday, I told you about the upcoming Slaid Cleves show in Stone Ridge, and here I am again to let you know about the same night’s appearance by Ryley Walker at the Half Moon in Hudson. Too many choices sometimes, right? Well, hold that thought with you ’til the depths of next February, when no one’s on the road and your only choices are Tivo or the hazards of open mics. I rest my case.

Anyway, Walker is a young tune-writer on the move. And fast: Still in his early 20s, the Chicago musician has lately been blowing up the blogs with Primrose Green, his third and newest release and first for the hip Dead Oceans label. The title should give you some idea of the sound: pastoral, back-to-the-land acid folk on the order of Van Morrison circa Astral Weeks, Nick Drake, John Martyn, Bert Jansch, John Renbourn, et al. There’s a surfeit of such stuff in indie land at the moment, but Walker does it well and his new record boasts the work of the amazing cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm and some other top players from Chi-town’s underground jazz scene.

Check out the album’s title track and lead single:

Ryley Walker will perform at the Half Moon in Hudson, New York, on May 16 at 8pm. Pigeons open. For more information, call (518) 828-1562 or visit http://thehalfmoonhudson.com/.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Slaid Cleves Sings in Stone Ridge

Posted By on Tue, May 12, 2015 at 9:00 AM

Slaid Cleves
  • Slaid Cleves

Bruce Springsteen’s vivid, character-study snapshots are palpable in the songs of Texas troubadour Slaid Cleves, who even named his high school garage band the Magic Rats in honor of a line from the Boss’s “Jungle Land.” But over the years Bruce has been only one of several laudable influences on the Maine-raised tunesmith. Cleves, who makes an enticingly intimate stop at MaMA (Marbletown Multi-Arts) in Stone Ridge this Saturday, also counts Woody Guthrie, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Chuck Berry, Carl Perkins, Tom Petty, and Tom Waits among his heroes.

Raised in Maine, Cleves busked a bit in Ireland before returning to his home state. His band the Moxie Men made strong waves on the Portland rock scene in the early ’90s, but eventually his acoustic side won out and he beat it down to the singer-songwriter center of Austin. Cleves’s 10th and newest album is 2013’s critically applauded Still Fighting the War (Rounder-Philo Records).

This is the title track:

Slaid Cleves will perform at MaMA (Marbletown Multi-Arts) in Stone Ridge, New York, on May 16 at 8pm. Tickets are $25. For further information, call (845) 687-4143 or visit www.cceconcerts.com.

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