NORTH CREEK In our hectic world, with time at a premium, overscheduling the norm, and electronic communication replacing human contact, its tough to get a good dose of relaxation. But not to worryan antidote has emerged!
The fourth annual Upper Hudson Bluegrass Festival promises to be a memorable shindig. At the Ski Bowl Park, Friday to Sunday, Aug. 24-26, nine bands will put on a remarkable show. The bands include: The Gibson Brothers, Goldwing Express, Smokey Greene, Al & Kathy Bain, Acoustic Blue, String Dusters, Bear Tracks, Dave Nichols & Spare Change, and John Hudson & Friends. The music starts Friday at 2:30 p.m. and continues nearly nonstop until Sunday at 5 p.m., with only a few essential breaks for field pickin.
If youre not familiar with bluegrass music, it may be worth a listen. Its upbeat tempos, acoustic purity ,and relatable lyrics induce a much-needed happiness that soothes away stress. And next weekend you can experience all that and more in North Creek.
The term bluegrass comes from Kentuckian Bill Monroes band, The Blue Grass Boys, who appeared on the Grand Ole Opry in 1939. The genre formed from a fusion of old-time country, blues, gospel, and Scots-Irish traditional music. It featured distinctive vocal harmonies, melodic turns by each instrument and jazzlike improvisation. Then in 1945, banjo player Earl Scruggs, now 83, brought a fresh sound to bluegrass with his original three-finger picking style.
TV and film soundtracks of such films as The Beverly Hillbillies, Bonnie and Clyde, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, and the classic hit song Dueling Banjos from Deliverance brought bluegrass to wider audiences. Fans grew as festivals began springing up in the 1960s to become popular weekend retreats for unwinding and connecting with friends.
Festival co-chairs, Joel Beaudin, of North River, and Rusty Leigh, a lifelong Johnsburg resident, along with Lloyd Burch, Larry Carr, and Mary Lou Cole recently formed Upper Hudson Festivals Inc., a not-for-profit organization. Their mission is to entertain by offering top-quality music while bringing new people and business into the area. Theyre also committed to awarding community grants and promoting musical arts through local school programs. Looking to the future, they are currently securing bands for next years extravaganza.
Along with great music the festival next weekend will feature many great concessions. The Barnsider Restaurant will have BBQ, burgers, dogs and salad. Capri Pizza, The Snow Train Ice Cream Stop, The Brownie Scouts, with homemade baked goods, and The Adirondack Store, with handcrafted fudge, will be on hand. Danbys Four Corners Store will sell instruments, sheet music, picks, and strings, while other vendors will also offer a variety of products.
There will be raffles galore, with prizes such as a Dave Nichols custom-inlayed Martin Guitar, a 2006 and 2007 CD collection of festival bands, and cash from the daily 50-50.
Joel and Rusty welcome you to bring a lawn chair and come have a great time while soaking up some end-of-summer hometown fun, listening to bluegrass, and letting lifes whirlwind pass on by.
All-festival tickets at the gate will be $35. The three-day ticket includes camper parking (no hook-ups), water fill, and septic dumping on Sunday. The gate will open on Thursday Aug. 23, at noon and the area will close Monday at noon. Single day tickets will be available at the gate for Friday only $15, Saturday all day $25, (after 5 p.m., $20,), and Sunday all day $12.
The Ski Bowl site has proved to be an excellent location for the festival. The picturesque mountains, the town beach, the Carol Thomas walking trail to North Creek, tennis and basketball courts, a toddler play area, seating under the pavilion, and an improved stage all make for a comfortable and friendly setting.
While in town, you might consider taking a ride on the Upper Hudson River Railroad, a tour of Barton Mines, a raft trip through the Hudson River Gorge, a visit to the displays at the Tannery Pond Community Center, mountain biking on the cross-country ski trails at Garnet Hill Lodge, or just stroll along Main Street.
Again this year sound will be provided by Green Mountain Music (Pete n Cora Bolster,) Masters of Ceremony will be Kathy Bain and Don Hudson.