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8 Hudson Valley Music Festivals to Check Out 

Last Updated: 06/13/2019 5:27 pm
click to enlarge At the Huichica Festival in 2018. - PHOTO: BRYAN LASKY
  • Photo: Bryan Lasky
  • At the Huichica Festival in 2018.

Mountain Jam (June 13-16)

Concurrent with the notching of its 15th year, for 2019 the Northeast's biggest jam-centric jubilee makes the move from Hunter Mountain to its new home at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts—the sacred site of the 1969 Woodstock Festival. In addition to regular headliners Gov't Mule (whose Warren Haynes is one of Mountain Jam's organizers) and Michael Franti & Spearhead, the festival's Sullivan County debut features Willie Nelson & Family, Phil Lesh & Friends, the Avett Brothers, Allison Krauss, Toots & the Maytals, Amy Helm, Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds, and more.

click to enlarge Basilica SoundScape 2018. - PHOTO: AMANDA KOELLNER
  • Photo: Amanda Koellner
  • Basilica SoundScape 2018.

Clearwater (June 15-16)

This is a big year for the Clearwater Festival, aka the Great Hudson River Revival: Not only is 2019 the 100th anniversary of festival founder and patron saint Pete Seeger, it's also the 50th anniversary of the sloop Clearwater, which the conservation-themed gathering was originally established to fund. As usual, the roster for the family-friendly fest at Croton Point Park in Croton is formidable: Mavis Staples, Ani DiFranco, Railroad Earth, the Wailers, the Lone Bellow, the Del McCoury Band, Immortal Technique, Chapin McCombs Chapin, the Mammals, David Amram, the Big Takeover, Tom Paxton, DeadGrass, and lots more.

click to enlarge Extraordinary Rendition Band at the 2018 Hudson Valley Brassroots Festival. - PHOTO: GREGORY ORTIZ, PIX BY PAPI
  • Photo: Gregory Ortiz, Pix by Papi
  • Extraordinary Rendition Band at the 2018 Hudson Valley Brassroots Festival.

Solid Sound (June 28-30)

This summer, as it does every other summer, the popular Wilco-sponsored music/arts festival once again returns to MassMoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts. And this year, as always, along with two headlining sets by Wilco themselves Solid Sound will feature performances by several of the members' offshoots: Jeff Tweedy & Friends, Cup (with Nels Cline and Yuka C Honda), and the Autumn Defense (with John Stirrat and Pat Sansone). Also appearing: Courtney Barnett, Tortoise (two sets), the Feelies, Jonathan Richman, Cate Le Bon, the Minus 5, John Hodgman's Comedy Cabaret, Milo, Mdou Moctar, Lonnie Holley, and more.

click to enlarge SolidSound at MassMoCA in 2017. - PHOTO: DOUGLAS MASON
  • Photo: Douglas Mason
  • SolidSound at MassMoCA in 2017.

Hudson Valley Brassroots Festival (July 27-28)

Making its second go on the musical landscape is this Kingston blowout, which happens at Seed Song Farm. "The mission of the Hudson Valley Brassroots Festival is to celebrate brass music in a rural, accessible, and family-friendly environment," say the organizers. "Brassroots 2019 will feature music from eight bands whose influences range from the Balkans to Latin America, New Orleans second line to brass punk and activist anthems." Performing are Brasskill, Black Tie Brass, Drumadics, the Hungry March Band, Zlatne Uste, the Party Band, West Philly Orchestra, Emperor Norton's Stationary Marching Band, Brass Queens, Fly Brass Band, and Desperate Measures Street Band.

click to enlarge Huichica East 2018. - PHOTO: BRYAN LASKY
  • Photo: Bryan Lasky
  • Huichica East 2018.

Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice (August 2-4)

A highly unique and much-loved Hudson Valley music fest, the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice is back this August in its namesake town to fill the mountain air with the resounding sounds of vocal music in its many forms. The three-day soiree starts with a 10-year gala featuring a decade of opera favorites (August 2) and continues with "Lady Parts: Music of the Abolition Movement" (August 3), "Jesus Christ Superstar" performed by students of the Paul Green Rock Academy (August 4), the Florence Foster Jenkins bioplay "Souvenir" (August 3-4), "Music of the African Diaspora" (August 3-4), excerpts from Scott Joplin's "Treemonisha" (August 3), and more.

click to enlarge Ex Hex plays Supertone July 6 at Basilica Hudson. - PHOTO: APRIL GREER
  • Photo: April Greer
  • Ex Hex plays Supertone July 6 at Basilica Hudson.

Huichica Hudson Valley (August 9-10)

An offshoot of Sonoma, California's older Huichica festival is this extremely chill outdoor get-together at Chisolm Farm in Pine Plains, which promises camping, fine wine and other beverages, craft foods, vendors, and even activities to keep the kids out of your hair—all in the midst of live music by some exceptional artists. On the bill for 2019 are legendary Thirteenth Floor Elevators front man Roky Erickson, Destroyer, Purple Mountains, Mail the Horse, Howlin' Rain, Shana Falana, Helado Negro, Garcia Peoples, the Mammals, Bill McKay, and Driftwood Soldier. The psychedelic visuals of the Mad Alchemy Liquid Light Show will augment the evening performances.

click to enlarge Bau at Old Songs Festival in 2015.
  • Bau at Old Songs Festival in 2015.

Supertone (July 6)

In clocking its third year, the Supertone festival, which began at a farm in Columbia County, is taking an urban turn with its 2019 installment. Now set to take place at the magnificent Basilica Hudson, the indie rock/roots offering has a tightly curated lineup in place for its debut at the waterfront venue: Washington, DC, punk trio Ex Hex; Nashville's gritty Thelma and the Sleaze; New York honky tonker Zepaniah Ohora; Kingston punkers El Front; Hudson rockabillies Chops, Sauerkraut, and Krewson; Vermont country band Wild Leek River; North Carolina roots act Hoot & Holler; Nashville tunesmith Jon Hatchett; Southern troubador Riley Downing; and Brooklyn garage/surf outfit Habibi.

Old Songs (June 28-30)

Held at the Altamont Fairgrounds in Voorheesville, this three-day celebration of acoustic-based music and dance has been going since 1981. With three evening main-stage concerts and 100 daytime performances, Old Songs is beloved for its folksy, laid-back vibe, interactive sessions and workshops, and overall inclusive feeling. This year's performers include Emma's Revolution, Bill Staines, Mary Flower, John McCutcheon, Tommy Sands, Archie Fisher, Magpie, Rob van Sante and John Connolly, Lil Rev, Sharon Katz and the Peace Train, Pete's Posse, Beppe Gambeta, Bon Debarras, Musique a Bouches, Mulebone, Bruce Molsky, and many more. Camping options are available.

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