Heritage Music Concerts in Saugerties, NY

Folk Music Concert Series

"From the Mountains to the Valley" is a concert series celebrating the unique musical history of the Hudson Valley and Catskill mountains. All concerts take place on Sunday afternoons at 3:00 at the Dutch Arms Chapel, 16 John St. in the village of Saugerties, NY

Spring 4/29/07 "Catskill and Hudson Valley Folk Songs"
including songs by Henry Backus the "Saugerties Bard.” Rich Bala, folk balladeer will present a program which will include songs of the 19th Century songwriter (1798-1861), Henry Backus, who was called "The Saugerties Bard". He was the composer of romantic, regional and historic songs such as “"My hearts in Old Esopus" and “Explosion of Steamer Steindeer “. Rich Bala performs authentic, traditional folk music that weaves a tale of living history about our nation's people and heritage.

Since 1986, Rich has performed at coffeehouses, festivals, concert series, schools, museums, libraries, and historic sites from Boston, Massachusetts to Beaufort, North Carolina. Rich has taught courses, using folk songs to illustrate various aspects of history, at many Elderhostels, teacher training workshops, and conferences sponsored by The NY State Historical Association in Cooperstown, NY, and also at the SUNY Field Campus in Ashokan, NY.

Fall 10/14/07 “Songs of the Hudson River Valley”
Husband and wife team Kevin and Carol Becker on vocals, guitar, mountain dulcimer. Start with deep roots in traditional folk music, add musical versatility, mix in both historical and contemporary themes, all seasoned with a healthy dose of good-natured humor, then enjoy a performance by Kevin & Carol Becker with Rich Keyes.

Performing together regularly for over ten years, Kevin, Carol, and Rich have developed a unique sound that combines breathtaking vocals, instrumental dexterity, and a synergy that comes only from an intimate knowledge of each other's talents. That sound starts with Kevin's intricate finger picking on guitar, augmented by his impeccable harmonica playing. Carol's soaring vocals, clear, bright, and pure, stand out when solo and form compelling harmonies with Kevin's soothing, comforting voice. It's all anchored by Rich's solid rhythms on upright bass and his driving bluegrass-influenced banjo. They feature other instruments as well, notably mountain dulcimer, recorder, bodhran, Appalachian limber horse, and various whistles.

Their repertoire ranges from historical ballads to songs of social significance, from traditional folk songs to compositions by contemporary artists. Original material and instrumentals add to the variety. Their easy manner and relaxed stage presence encourages audience participation, and contribute to their uplifting and entertaining performances. Besides appearances at coffeehouses and festivals, Kevin, Carol, and Rich perform at schools, libraries, and historic sites such as Phillipsburg Manor, Mount Gulian, and Eleanor Roosevelt'Val-Kill. Their latest CD, This Hudson River Valley, is a collection of songs that tell the history, celebrate the people, and reflect the grandeur of the Hudson Valley.

Past Concert
The first of the Heritage Music Concert series took place on September 24, 2006, at the The Dutch Arms Chapel.This concert featured Bob Lusk, local folksinger/folklorist and fiddler Regina Scheff. Included were songs of the Scotch-Irish immigration of the 1700’s, the French & Indian war, songs of the quarrymen and lumberjacks, square dances and fiddle tunes. A lot of the material drew from the research in folk music done by Norman Studer, Norman Cazden and Herbert Haufrecht during the 1950’s at Camp Woodland in Phoenicia. NY The Chapel is the former home of the Seedling Nursery School. It was also know as a local coffeehouse back in the late 60's. In recent years it has become a popular listening place for the John Street Jams.

Bob Lusk is an Irish Musician living in Ulster County, New York. He is a popular performer of a variety of folk traditions. For many years he has researched traditional music of New York State. He is a long time member of the Hudson Valley Folk Guild, and a former staff member of Sing Out! Magazine, the country’s premier folk music magazine. A veteran of both the Irish and American folk circuit, Bob is an experienced balladeer and multi-instrumentalist. He sings in a strong baritone, from rousing pub song favorites to tender love songs and accompanies himself on guitar and banjo.

Regina Scheff is a traditional fiddle player with an exquisite musical sense. She has been playing for 20 years and studied at the Folkloric Music Center in Kingston. She regularly plays for English Country Dances and has performed for both the Elmendorf and Wilderstein historical restoration projects.

The concert was enthusiastically received by all who attended. Much thanks to Steve and Terri Masardo from the Chapel for helping to make this happen.

Editors Note: You can contact the organizers of the Heritage Music Concerts by post at: 61 Wurts Street Kingston, NY 12401
by phone at:845-338-8587
or by email:heritageconcerts@aol.com

Check out other York Staters posts about music here. -N

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