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It’s Music Festival Time in New York State by Michael Kornfield,

Itrsquos Music Festival Time in New York State by Michael Kornfield AcousicMusicScenecom

Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn

Music festivals abound in New York State in late June. Among those of note are Clearwater’s Great Hudson River Revival (June 20-21 in Croton-on-Hudson), Old Songs Festival (June 26-28 in Altamont), American Roots Music Festival at Caramoor (June 27 in Katonah) and Rockland-Bergen Music Festival (June 27-28 in Tappan).

Now in its 46th year, Clearwater’s Great Hudson River Revival is slated for Saturday-Sunday, June 20-21, at Croton Point Park in Croton-on-Hudson in New York’s Hudson Valley. A wide array of music, dance, storytelling and family-oriented programming will take place on seven sustainably powered stages.

Artists slated to perform during the weekend include David Amram, Joseph Arthur, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Neko Case, Tom Chapin, The Chapin Sisters, C.J. Chenier & the Red Hot Louisiana Band, Citizen Cope, Julie Corbalis, David Crosby, Guy Davis, Ani DiFranco, The Dirty Stay Out Skifflers, Edukated Fleas, The Felice Brothers, Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn, Dom Flemons, Fred Gillen, Jr., Guster, Kim and Reggie Harris, The Johnson Girls, The Kennedys, Angelique Kidjo, The Klezmatics, Bettye LaVette, The Lone Bellow, Shelby Lynne, Los Lobos, Magpie, The Mavericks, Matuto, Mike & Ruthy, Ric Palieri, Tom Paxton, Piedmont Bluz, Kate Pierson (of the B-52s), The Pine Hill Project featuring Richard Shindell and Lucy Kaplansky, Joel Rafael, Toshi Reagon & Big Lovely, Linda Richards, Joanne Shenandoah, Todd Snider, Carolann Solebello, Matt Turk, Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, Vanaver Caravan, Walkabout Clearwater Chorus, Josh White Jr., and Wild Asparagus, among others.

Produced by and benefiting the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Inc., a nonprofit member-supported organization launched by Pete Seeger and others to preserve and protect the Hudson River and its tributaries, the festival celebrates environmental activism and education and supports its efforts on behalf of the environment and social justice and keeping the sloop Clearwater afloat. Besides lots of music, the festival features a Green Living Expo, riverfront activities, environmental workshops and exhibits, and booths run by educational and activist organizations. For an extra fee, visitors will be afforded opportunities to sail the Hudson on the Clearwater, a world-renowned floating classroom and symbol of effective grassroots action. A juried Handcrafters’ Village and a participatory Circle of Song are also on the docket. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

The 35th Annual Old Songs Festival takes place June 26-28 at Altamont Fairgrounds in Altamont, approximately 10 miles west of Albany. Produced by Old Songs, Inc., a nonprofit organization based in the New York State Capitol Region that seeks to keep traditional music and dance alive through the festival, as well as monthly concerts, dances and educational programs, this festival features a variety of folk, Celtic and world music.

Main Stage concerts are slated for Friday and Saturday evening, as well as Sunday afternoon, and will feature such artists as Brother Sun, Calan, Ellis, Bing Futch, Anne Hills, Jez Lowe, Quebec’s Yves Lambert Trio, Joel Mabus, Dennis Stroughmatt et L’Espirit Creole, Alan Reid & Rob Van Sante, Philadelphia-based Celtic ensemble RUNA, Ontario’s April Verch Band and Ken Whiteley & The Beulah Band, and more. A number of other stages will feature music and dance throughout the weekend. A very participatory event, the Old Songs Festival includes more than 120 workshops, classes, sessions and performances. Attendees also are afforded opportunities to take part in “sacred harp” or shape-note singing, choral harmony singing and open mics, as well as lots of festival performer-led and impromptu jam sessions. The relaxed, family-friendly festival also features a dedicated children’s area, as well as a wide array of artisans, vendors and food.

Individual day tickets and all-festival tickets (with or without camping) are available at the gate. For more information, visit

Lucinda Williams will headline the fifth annual American Roots Music Festival at Caramoor, a family friendly celebration of acoustic music, on Saturday, June 27. Set on 90 acres of gardens and Italianate architecture in Katonah, Westchester County, NY – 40 miles northeast of New York City — the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts is well known for its summer music festivals. is delighted to again be a Cultural Partner of the festival and will have a presence there.

Caramoor_June27-2015Opening for Williams in the evening program beginning at 7:30 p.m. will up-and-coming Oklahoma-based singer-songwriter Parker Millsap. Artists slated to perform during the afternoon (12-6 p.m.) include Kristin Andreassen Band, Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams, Jessy Carolina & The Hot Mess, Mason Porter, Cole Quest and the City Pickers, Spuyten Duyvil, Matt Turk, and Walkabout Clearwater Chorus. Also scheduled is a social music hour — an old-time music workshop featuring some of the artists mentioned above and patterned after one that Spuyten Duyvil’s Mark Miller has led here and at other music festivals. Folks attending it are encouraged to bring their instruments or just gather round to learn about several old-time musicians and sing their songs.

“Caramoor is a nature paradise and the music takes place in several locations on the grounds so that folks can experience some of the environmental beauty as well,” says Maggi Landau, the festival organizer. She notes that during the daytime artists will be performing acoustic, unplugged sets in the Sunken Garden – “a quiet grove with the audience sitting on the ground literally at the feet of the artist” – as well as on the larger Friends Field. The evening concert featuring Lucinda Williams will take place inside the Venetian Theater for which there is reserved seating.

Daytime only tickets (excluding the evening performances) and full-festival tickets, (including reserved seating for the evening concert) may be ordered by calling (914) 232-1252 or visiting

Attendees are advised to bring their own chairs/blankets for the daytime performances. Although limited food and beverages will be available for purchase, folks also can bring their own and enjoy picnicking on Caramoor’s spacious lawns.

The second annual Rockland-Bergen Music Festival takes place Saturday-Sunday, June 27 -28, at German Masonic Park, 120 Western Highway in Tappan. Gates open at 10 a.m., while music extends from 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m. each night, rain or shine. Artists slated to perform over the weekend include Aztec Two-Step, Arlon Bennett Band, Bluebirds of Paradise, Jen Chapin, Tom Chapin Trio, Shawn Colvin, Guy Davis with Professor Louie, KJ Denhert, festival presenter Joe D’Urso & Stone Caravan, John Eddie, Steve Forbert Jeffrey Gaines, Spook Handy, Garland Jeffreys, David Johansen, The Levins, James Maddock, Willie Nile, John Sebastian, Frank Tedesso, The The Band Band, and many others. For more information, visit Hosts Mid-Summer Song Swaps at Huntington, Falcon Ridge Folk Festivals

And mark your calendars for these two upcoming festivals at which will host pre-arranged unplugged song swaps: Huntington Folk Festival (Sunday, July 26 in Huntington) and Falcon Ridge Folk Festival (July 31-Aug. 2, with a pre-fest day July 30 in Hillsdale).

Tom Paxton headlines the 10th Annual Huntington Folk Festival at Huntington, Long Island’s Heckscher Park on Sunday evening, July 26. The evening concert on the park’s [Harry] Chapin Rainbow Stage will be preceded by openers No Fuss and Feathers Roadshow and an afternoon of unplugged showcases and song swaps, from 12 noon to 6 p.m., featuring more than 30 artists and acts from the New York metropolitan area and beyond. Artists confirmed to perform at the tent include Annika, Mark A. Berube, Blair Bodine, Michael Braunfeld, Meghan Cary, Greg Cornell and the Cornell Brothers, Curtis & Carla, Generations: Mike & Aleksi Glick, Phil Henry, Jay Hitt, Karen Hudson, Josh Joffen, Stuart Kabak, Kalinec & Kj, Judy Kass, Cecilia Kirtland, Scott Krokoff, Mara Levine, The Levins, Lisa Jane Lipkin, Kirsten Maxwell, Lois Morton, Mark Newman & Naomi Margolin, James O’Malley, Elaine Romanelli, Shawn Taylor, Robinson Treacher and Bob Westcott.

The free event, co-presented by the Folk Music Society of Huntington and the Huntington Arts Council, is part of the 50th Annual Huntington Summer Arts Festival produced by the town of Huntington, presented by the Huntington Arts Council, and sponsored in part by the New York State Council for the arts, the County of Suffolk and Canon U.S.A. More information, including a detailed schedule, will be posted on next month, as well as on will also host late-night song swaps under a big tent at Pirate Camp during the 27th Annual Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, July 31-Aug. 2 (with a music-filled pre-fest day on July 30). One of the Northeast’s most popular music festivals, Falcon Ridge takes place at Dodd’s Farm on Route 7D in Hillsdale, NY, located in the foothills of the Berkshires, near the tri-state corner of New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Falcon Ridge features dozens of artists performing on several stages, a dance tent, children’s music and activities, and a wide array of crafts, food and other vendors. Among the artists performing this year will be Ray Bonneville, Brother Sun, Judy Collins, The Duhks, Ellis, IlyAIMY, Martyn Joseph, Jay Mankita, Nerissa & Katrina Nields, Pesky J. Nixon, Jim Photoglo, June Rich, Garnet Rogers, Roosevelt Dime, The Slambovian Circus of Dreams, Ralph Sweet, Annie Wenz, Susan Werner, George Marshall with Wild Asparagus, and the 2014 Emerging Artists Showcase performers voted “Most Wanted to Return”: Caitlyn Canty, Matt Nakoa, Hayley Reardon and Jean Rohe.

One of the true highlights of the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival – for those who opt to camp on-site and stay up through the early morning hours – are the impromptu jams, after-hours song circles and unplugged mini-showcases that help foster a sense of “folk” community and provide a different kind of festival experience.

2015 marks the fourth year that will partner with Pirate Camp, which was informally launched by Stuart Kabak and the late Jack Hardy more than a decade ago to provide a warm and welcoming haven for sharing music, food and camaraderie. Prior to 2012, had for many years joined with Tribes Hill, a lower Hudson Valley-based nonprofit organization uniting musicians and their patrons, in hosting late-night music under a big white tent.

More information about Falcon Ridge and the tent @ Pirate Camp will be posted in coming weeks.

updated: 7 years ago