The Songs at Mirror Lake Music Series has announced that The Pines Inn will, once again, be the Whole Note (Title) Sponsor for the 2014 season. This is the sixth year that The Pines Inn has committed to supporting the music series. In addition, Adirondack “By Owner” returns as the Half Note (Presenting) Sponsor for the fourth consecutive year. The Pines Inn Songs at Mirror Lake Music Series presented by Adirondack “By Owner” is held at 7 p.m. on seven Tuesdays throughout the summer at Mid’s Park on Main Street, Lake Placid.
These weekly performances, running from July 1 through Aug. 12, feature local, regional and national acts in the scenic and historic setting of Mid’s Park on Main Street, Lake Placid, New York. The series features local and regional emerging artists in a variety of musical genres and provides valuable exposure to these up and coming acts. The music series is also an opportunity to introduce residents and visitors to a diverse range of musical genres in a scenic and relaxing setting.
In its ninth year, The Pines Inn Songs at Mirror Lake Music Series presented by Adirondack “By Owner” is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that is comprised of a volunteer committee with all expenses covered by sponsorship and donations. It is truly a community inspired initiative that has produced a lineup that includes the following upcoming performances:
• Tuesday July 1, 2014 - Southern Soul Night with JJ Grey & Mofro - brought to you by Curtis Lumber
Over the course of six albums and a decade of touring, JJ Grey’s grimy blend of front porch soul and down-home storytelling has taken him around the world and back again. Beating the streets on nearly every continent, he and his band Mofro have sewn a continuous thread of laying-it-on-the-line shows that move folks to dance and at times to tears.
JJ was raised in North Florida by a typically Southern extended family that valued hard work and self-reliance. This upbringing permeates his no nonsense approach to writing and performing and has given him an abundance of material to write about in his songs.
“A friend of mine once said that we’re all characters if we’re given enough room to be one. I guess I was lucky enough to be surrounded by people who had plenty of room cause Lord knows I know some larger-than-life ones. I’ve had a lot of laughs and good times with those characters. We’ve shared some hard times too.”
These characters and JJ’s own triumphs and struggles, make regular appearances throughout his lyrics. “Looking at his show now, it’s remarkable to think how far he’s come, and to realize the creative spirit and force of will it’s taken to get there,” says longtime producer and friend Dan Prothero. “But it’s also remarkable to see him up there singing about the worst of it, and smiling a smile that has come from accepting the good with the bad. In recent years I think he’s come to realize that the fighting stance that seemed to get him where he needed to go back then wasn’t getting him where he needed to go now, and so he changed. Letting go and letting it all happen is at the heart of his creative process now.”
“The best songs I’ve ever wrote, I never wrote. They wrote themselves. The best show I ever played, played itself and had little to do with me or talent. To me those things come from the power of an honest moment and I guess I’m trying to live in that power and not force life to cough up what I want. That power is always there whether I’m aware of it or not. Force is the opposite. It requires effort and comes at a great cost. The cost has always been my freedom to truly enjoy what I’m doing while I’m doing it.”
April 2013 brings the release of JJ’s sixth studio album, This River. Named for the St. John’s River -- a centering point for his childhood near Jacksonville, Florida -- This River flows from freewheeling celebrations (“Florabama”) to dark inner journeys (“Somebody Else”), from late night, beer-soaked testimonials (“Your Lady”) to heartfelt ballads of the almost-forgotten (“The Ballad Of Larry Webb”), and ends with the title track and a singularly devastating vocal performance. With Dan Prothero at the helm as producer,
JJ and the band once again returned to Retrophonics Studio in nearby St. Augustine, Florida and muscled out some of JJ’s strongest material to date.
“We set up much like we do for our shows, and cut the tracks as close to live as possible,” says Grey, “there’s something about everybody getting into one room and playing together. It brings some spark that can sometimes get lost in the shuffle of too much overdubbing.”
JJ’s band Mofro has also been a decade in the making. Over that time, great players have come and gone, but according to JJ, the present incarnation -- with Art Edmaiston on saxophone, Dennis Marion on Trumpet, Anthony Farrell on organ and piano, Todd Smallie on Bass, Anthony Cole on drums and Andrew Trube on guitar – is “the crème de la crème”
“These musicians I get to play with make it look easy. I’ve learned so much from them about music and about life in general. It ain’t always easy to keep a core together when you do so many shows a year, year after year, but I truly hope to keep these guys together as long as possible.”
Many of Grey’s songs reflect his love for the North Florida wilderness in which he grew up. Having watched his native home be decimated by egregious development, and this has often figured heavily into his lyrics. He now works with groups such as The Snook & Gamefish Foundation and the St. Johns Riverkeepers, but still doesn’t consider himself an environmentalist.
“I guess I’ve never really believed that there is an environment that’s separate from me I reckon that my connection to the environment, which I could call my home, is part of the connection to myself. I believe that whatever I do to my home and everything in it, I in-turn do to myself.”
From his early days playing cover music behind chicken wire at a Westside (Jacksonville) juke joint to playing sold-out shows and some of the largest music festivals in the world, it’s been a long road. But JJ has no illusions about where he’s headed or where he’s been. When prompted with questions about his past accomplishments or future plans, JJ lays down a little backwoods wisdom:
“I’m just a salmon swimming up stream. Going back home I reckon. I don’t know why and I quit caring why a long time ago. I guess there is no ‘why’ that my mind could understand anyway. All I do know is that I’ve enjoyed and I’m still enjoying every second of just being here and doing whatever it is I’m doing.”
Tuesday, July 8, 2014 - Alt Americana Night with Poor Old Shine
• Tuesday, July 15, 2014 - Adirondack Fusion Rock Night with Lostdog
• Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - Blues Night with Quinn Sullivan
• Tuesday, July 29, 2014 - Reggae Night with The Alchemystics
• Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014 - Funk Night with Sol Driven Train
• Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014 - Jamgrass Night with The Deadly Gentlemen
The Pines Inn is your ticket to old world charm in the heart of the Adirondacks. Guests enjoy comfortable and quaint accommodations in this historic hotel and are within walking distance to all the splendor and opportunities the Lake Placid region has to offer. The Pines Inn provides personalized customer service and ensures every guest a unique experience including a relaxing veranda and on site seasonal restaurant – Duncan’s German Grille, a fabulous place to start or finish the evening. Raise your stein in year-round celebration of Oktoberfest to the beat of Oompah Music and revel in a homemade feast of authentic German bratwurst and schnitzel served by a fraulein in a dirndl. Duncan’s serves dinners on Friday and Saturday nights and Friday night Duncan’s Grille also features a fabulous Fish Fry – A real Local favorite!
Admission to the music series is free, so grab a blanket and head on down to Mid’s Park on Tuesday’s for a fabulous time. With our beautiful new band shell, performances are rain or shine. Those who would like to volunteer to assist with the concerts should contact Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on The Pines Inn visit www.thepinesoflakeplacid.com. For more information on Adirondack “By Owner” visit www.adkbyowner.com. For more information on The Pines Inn Songs at Mirror Lake Music Series presented by Adirondack “By Owner” or to become a sponsor/donor please contact them on Facebook or visit at www.songsatmirrorlake.org/.