Tag Archives: Piermont

New collection skims the cream of Caffè Lena’s rich musical history

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Live At Caffè Lena: Music From America’s Legendary Coffeehouse, 1967-2013 is slated for release on Sept. 24.

A review of Live At Caffè Lena: Music From America’s Legendary Coffeehouse, 1967-2013, with buying and streaming links after the jump

I’ve always meant to visit the legendary Caffè Lena, the tiny coffeehouse at 47 Phila Street in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Devonsquare, the sweet-harmonizing folk-rock trio, first piqued my curiosity about Lena and Bill Spencer’s cafe (or caffè, as they dubbed it, using two f’s) with their song “Caffè Lena” on the  1987 album Walking on Ice.

Caffè Lena was a place of mythical proportions to me then. For one reason or another, I never found myself in Saratoga Springs.

After all, I live close to The Turning Point in Piermont, N.Y., a music cafe that is, while 16 years younger than Caffè Lena, has a similar mission and musical profile.

And then there was the Towne Crier in Pawling, N.Y.,  from 1972 until closing in June with plans to reopen soon in Beacon. That gave me a backup option just a bit farther afield than The Turning Point.

So  I never got myself motivated sufficiently to make the trek to Saratoga Springs.

I should have known I was missing out. And now the Tompkins Square record label has  shoved into my face some very real evidence of exactly how much I’ve missed. Continue reading

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Tom Chapin headlines rocking Sandy fundraiser for Piermont TONIGHT!

Veteran singer-songwriter helping to raise money for his own Superstorm Sandy-devastated village

When the doors open at 7 o’clock tonight at The Turning Point, the venerable music club in Piermont, there will be a greater sense of urgency and community than ever inside.

Tom Chapin

A slew of local favorites, including Tom Chapin, a longtime Piermont resident, will rock out starting at 7:30 p.m. to raise money to help get the village back on its feet in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. The Old No. 7 Band, Joe Grunfeld from the Riley Etheridge Band, Becky Deloatch and Billy Procida are also on the schedule. And other guests and favorites are sure to show up and join in.

Tickets are just $25, and available here and at the door. Bring extra cash for a 50/50 raffle, too.

The Turning Point is at 468 Piermont Ave. in the heart of Piermont. Call (845) 359-1089 or click here for more information.

It’ll be a lot of fun and will help a really worthwhile cause.

Chapin Sisters: Sibling harmony at Rockwood Music Hall

The Chapin Sisters: Lily and Abigail Rose (Photos © 2011, Steven P. Marsh)

Abigail Rose Chapin and Lily Chapin have been playing as the Chapin Sisters since 2004, when they followed family tradition and started making music as a trio with half-sister Jessica Craven.

That family tradition runs deep. Their dad is popular folksinger Tom Chapin. He and his brothers, Steve and the late Harry, performed as the Chapin Brothers from the late 1950s into the ’60s before venturing into their own musical worlds. The Chapin Sisters’ grandfather, the late great jazz drummer Jim, was also in the Chapin Brothers band for part of its existence.  Their cousin, Jen Chapin, is also a contemporary folksinger.

Abby and Lily grew up in Rockland County, N.Y., which Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? calls home. Their mom, Bonnie Chapin, even named her longrunning women’s clothing shop in Piermont, N.Y., Abigail Rose and Lily Too, after her daughters. But they got their careers rolling in Los Angeles seven years ago. So while they’ve toured and played the East Coast before, we hadn’t gotten around to catching them live.

More new york area shows coming up

Proud dad Tom Chapin listens from the bar, leaning against the pillar, right.

Last night (Friday, July 15) we got our opportunity to hear the duo at Rockwood Music Hall on Manhattan’s Lower East Side Rockwood Music Hall. And although they have other gigs coming up in the area — one of them just steps from the family home, at The Turning Point in Piermont at 8 p.m. July 19— their proud parents showed up to lend support.

The lightly attended set was a great treat — and far too short.

The sisters have really perfected the vocal harmonies so closely identified with the Everly Brothers and the Louvin Brothers, tackling classic folk themes and timeless relationship-troubles issues in their songs. Both of them have distinctive, strong, well-controlled voices that can come to the fore at a moment’s notice and then effortlessly dive back into seamless harmony. Lily’s voice is the lower of the two, and she’s a more physically expressive performer than her sister, who takes the high parts and has a sweeter, slightly more subdued approach to her performing.

Continue reading

Who needs roadies: Pete Seeger is 90 and still carries his own gear!

Pete Seeger is still carrying his own gear – at 90 years of age! (Copyright 2009, Steven P. Marsh)

Pete Seeger is still carrying his own gear – at 90 years of age! (Copyright 2009, Steven P. Marsh)

The crowd in Nyack’s Memorial Park was getting antsy after dark fell last night. The several hundred people gathered in the park on the banks of the Hudson River were waiting for one man: legendary folk singer Pete Seeger.

He was the headliner for the Health Care for All rally. The organizers kept assuring the crowd that Pete was on the way, racing to Nyack after an appearance in Manhattan’s Central Park. But by shortly after 7, it started looking like the rally’s 7:30 end time would come and go before Pete got there.

The crowd crowded the stage for a glimpse of Pete Seeger.

The crowd crowded the stage for a glimpse of Pete Seeger.

Then someone near the park entrance shouted, “He’s here. Somebody just saw him.” That caused some in the back of the crowd to turn and face the driveway into the park, expecting to see a livery car racing in. Instead, through the gathering darkness strode a rail-thin man in a chambray shirt and jeans, a floppy hat on his had, with two gig bags, one slug from each shoulder.

Yes, it was the 90-year-old folk icon, walking into the park, carrying his own gear. A roar rose up from the crowd, which seemed to double in size as people pushed forward to get a glimpse of Pete.

He apologized for being so late, explaining that this was is fourth event of the day — which he spent racing between his home in Beacon, to NYC to Nyack. And then he launched into energetic performances of  a handful of familiar songs, including a “rap” version of “English is Crazy,” a singalong of “This Land is Your Land,” and a beautiful rendition of his 1950 chart-topper “Goodnight, Irene.”

The energy was intense. And I’m sure that the doubters who left before Pete arrived are kicking themselves for missing out on such a vital performance.

A number of other musicians performed brief sets during the nearly four-hour-long rally, including the Roues Brothers of West Nyack, Tom Chapin of Piermont and Emory Joseph of NYC.

Check out the Nyack News & Views report here.

Click through to the jump for more photos. Continue reading

Pete Seeger, Tom Chapin perform at Nyack health-care reform rally

Pete Seeger

Pete Seeger

Legendary folk singer Pete Seeger and Piermont’s own Grammy Award-winning folksinger Tom Chapin will headline a Health Care for All Rally in Nyack’s Memorial Park tomorrow.

Tom_Chapin_CROPPED

Tom Chapin

Pete, 90, and Tom top a roster that also includes  New York City blues rocker Emory Joseph and The Roues Brothers from West Nyack.

The rally for universal health care was organized by Health Care for All Now and is co-sponsored by The Fellowship of Reconciliation, Rockland Progressive Dems, Spring Valley NAACP, Nyack NAACP, WESPAC Foundation, Organizing for America, and Rockland Women’s Political Caucus.

For further background, click here to read an article from  The Journal News about the rally.

Health Care For All Rally, Sunday, Oct. 4, 4:30-7:30 pm. Memorial Park, 53 Piermont Ave (at Depew Ave.) Nyack, NY. (845) 512-3261 http://healthcareforall.tripod.com.

On the road again: Satan and Adam tour rescheduled

Adam Gussow and Sterling "Mr. Satan" Magee

Adam Gussow and Sterling "Mr. Satan" Magee

As promised, Satan and Adam have worked out their scheduling issues and will be on tour in August. And this is a don’t-miss tour, because it’s probably the last time Adam Gussow and Sterling “Mr. Satan” Magee will be able to play in the Northeast (or anywhere more than a day’s trip from Satan’s Florida home).

Here’s Adam’s explanation:

We have rescheduled three of the gigs from our postponed June tour, and added two new dates.  Although Sterling will still be able to play occasional out-of-town dates from this point on, the word from his sister down in Florida is that all future touring will need to keep him away from home no more than three nights.  This means that our dates in Philly, Portsmouth NH, and Piermont NY are the last time you will be able to see Satan and Adam in those areas, except for possible fly-in dates.  We hope you’ll take this opportunity to show up and pay your respects to the one and only Mr. Satan, guitar-man of Harlem.

Satan and Adam playing on the street.

Satan and Adam playing on the street.

So far, the tour is short and sweet:

8/12:  Virginia Beach, VA – Jewish Mother (9 PM)

8/13:  Philadelphia, PA – World Cafe Live (7:30 PM, with special guest Charlie Sayles)

8/14:  Portmouth, NH – The Press Room (9 PM)

8/15:  Piermont, NY – The Turning Point (8 PM)

8/17:  Atlanta, GA – “blue Monday” party for Atlanta Harmonica Enthusiasts and others (7:30).  For info, please contact Jim McBride: bottle.blues@yahoo.com.  This party is open to the public, but only if you purchase an advance ticket from Jim.  Space is limited.  Potluck + BYOB.

Stay tuned to Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? for updates and an in-depth interview with Adam. And check out Adam’s website for further information about Satan and Adam and Adam’s other endeavors.

EXCLUSIVE: Jon Pousette-Dart was born to make music!

Jon Pousette-Dart (Photo by talisman.com)

Jon Pousette-Dart (Photo by talisman.com)

It’s nice to meet a rock musician like Jon Pousette-Dart who’s really in it for the long haul. He’s been playing music since he was a young boy in Suffern, N.Y.

Jon, who continued to tour and play even when the major-label spotlight shifted away from him in the early Eighties, tells Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? what keeps him going:

“I do it because him have to do it. It’s kind of who I am,” Jon. And while Jon is clearly a smart guy, who no doubt would be successful at almost anything he might tackle, he modestly suggests he has little choice of vocation because “I don’t know if there’s anything else I could do.”

Evidence from Jon's scrapbook shows he was playing music in 1962, when he was about 10 years old.

Evidence from Jon's scrapbook shows he was playing music in 1962, when he was about 10 years old.

Jon, the son of Abstract Expressionist painter Richard Pousette-Dart, began playing musici with friends when he was quite young, even forming a band  called Tony and the Tigers with Tony and Hunt Sales, sons of TV comedian (and neighbor) Soupy Sales. (The Sales boys later comprised the rhythm section on Iggy Pop‘s classic album Lust for Life, before becoming part of David Bowie‘s Tin Machine.)

“I knew even when I was a kid that this was what I was going to be doing,” says Jon, a self-taught guitarist who learned most of his chops from his older sister’s record collection. “It’s always been about being in music for the long run.”

In 1973, Jon formed the Pousette-Dart Band (PDB for short), and quickly was signed to Capitol Records. PDB brought bring Jon’s warm voice to bear on a string of countryish folk-rock tunes like “Amnesia” and a cover of the 1961 rock standard, “Stand By Me.” PDB’s sound was cheeful, bright and overall a little less polished than similar work by the Eagles, James Taylor or even Orleans, another band with New York roots. PDB was perfectly positioned as an alternative to the over-hyped sound of some of the big artists of the day.

The band broke up in 1981, but Jon has continued to perform, as a solo artist and with bands, ever since. He’s managed to stay afloat while dealing with huge changes in the music business. All while, Jon says, his approach to making music remains pretty steadfast. “It really hasn’t consciously changed, it has organically evolved. Over time, you become open and receptive to other things. But I was kind of rooted in roots, blues and rock-and-roll.” And even though he’s a Northerner (born in New York City in 1952, and a resident of its northwestern suburbs on and off for much of his life), he has a deep affinity for the South. “Almost everything I’ve drawn from, musically, is from down South. There’s a real layer of depth in the South.”

The one thing that has changed is Jon’s writing habits. “When I was starting out, I  wrote everything on my own. But then in the early Nineties, my manager brought me to Nashville and got me started collaborating. I really enjoyed that. It opened up a whole new perspective.”

Jon is still actively recording (a new album is due later this year) and playing shows. “Live performance is invaluable to a songwriter. It’s part of the process. You start to play a song out and it shifts and changes.” But finding places to play is the tough part in a market that Jon calls “oversaturated” with bands. So he’s thrilled to be bringing his sound back home to Rockland County with a gig in Piermont tomorrow and in Nyack next month.

The Jon Pousette-Dart Band plays at 9 p.m., Friday, May 1.  At  The Turning Point, 468 Piermont Ave., Piermont, N.Y.; (845) 359-1089. $25. (Also June 13 at Riverspace in Nyack, N.Y.)