As soon as I finished posting our list of Hudson Valley Writers I thought, jeez I should post about Hudson Valley musicians too. I needed some help with this one. I listen to showtunes. Period. So, I emailed a couple of friends who are very hooked into the music scene (read: hip, cool, and unique) so that I could get you a list oflocal artists who sing something other than "Oh What A Beautiful Morning!" from Oklahoma!
Our first list comes from Mark Lerner who is both the bassist for Life In A Blender (that's him, first on the left), a NYC based band that the New Yorker once called "Rife with oddness." I love that. Mark lives in Phoenicia, NY, is a GREAT graphic designer (when he's not playing bass), and is very involved in the community. I've called on him many a time because he's the only guy I know who understands audio cables. He always helps me out, even though it means some sort of Musical Theatre performance will shortly follow. Here are Mark's favorites - with comments!:
The Sweet Clementines - http://thesweetclementines.bandcamp.com/
John Burdick fronts this band. He writes very clever complicated pop songs and is a really inventive guitarist. Based in New Paltz, the 5-piece band, which includes vibes and violin, plays out a lot. Like a gentler XTC or a grittier Prefab Sprout.
Duke McVinnie Band - http://www.dukemcvinnie.com
Based out of Kingston, Guitarist Duke McVinnie’s band includes guitarist Matthew Cullen and cellist-to-the-stars Jane Scarpantoni (Lou Red, R.E.M., Indigo Girls). Large, elaborately arranged stuff.
Breakfast in Fur - http://breakfastinfur.com/
A psychedelic dream-pop band from New Paltz, NY. Densely textured landscapes of drone, jangly guitar and mysterious sounds.
Lovesick - http://lovesickny.bandcamp.com/
Local mover and shaker Mike Amari (he’s the booker for BSP Kingston) fronts this primitive and fun garage trio. Surf and sleazy blues.
Mark Donato - http://markdonato.com
A sweet and literate songwriter from West Shokan, writes in a Loudon Wainwright/Randy Newman/Paul Simon vein, but with a boost from an adventuresome band that injects the clever wordplay with poppy drive.
(Full disclosure: Mark Lerner plays with Mark Donato - which recommends him of course.)
Richard Buckner - http://richardbuckner.com
Folkie weirdo Buckner has lived in many places, but has called Kingston home for quite a while now, and keeps cranking out albums. A gorgeous voice and stream-of-consciousness lyrics.
Our second list comes from Barbara Mansfield, artist, musician, not for profit expert, and all around great lady. Babs says, "It's a mind-blowing embarrassment of riches when it comes to musicians up here--and that's not counting orchestral, opera and jazz pros (and there are plenty of those too)." Here's her list:
Nathalie Merchant - http://www.nataliemerchant.com/splash/
Elizabeth Mitchell -= http://youaremyflower.org
Aaron Freeman - http://www.partisanrecords.com/artists/freeman/
Tracy Bonham - http://www.tracybonham.com
Amy Helm - http://www.amyhelm.com
Adrien Reju - http://adrienreju.com
Simi Stone - http://simistonemusic.com
Amanda Palmer - http://amandapalmer.net
Connor Kennedy - http://mountainjam.com/connor-kennedy/
Thanks so much to Mark and Babs for their great recommendations. Let us know who we missed so we can share!
Amy Wallace - Marketing Director
Coldwell Banker Village Green Realty