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Articles and News

Hudson Valley music news and musical happenings.

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Mountain Jam Lineup, Jonny Monster Band Revue, Live Music Picks
February 2, 2012

Greetings! And welcome to this week’s Reservoir Music Notes. They announced the preliminary lineup for Mountain Jam this week. The usual suspects are back (Warren Haynes, Michael Franti), but this year’s festival will be headlined by Stevie Winwood! Also new to the Jam this year will be The Word, a new band consisting of sacred steel ace, Robert Randolph, John Medeski, and The North Mississippi Allstars! They should have called it The Wow! Other new acts added this year will be Lukas Nelson (Willie’s son), The Carolina Chocolate Drops, and local bands, Sister Sparrow and The Dirty Birds and Connor Kennedy. AND Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue will return for the third time. Sounds like they’ve done it again!
Jonny Monster BandFriday night, I took my own advice and went over to The Bearsville Theater for the Jonny Monster Band, and they were even more impressive than the first time I saw them! Jon opened their set solo acoustic with a resonator guitar, doing a short set of old school blues. Not as comfortable onstage without his band and electric guitar, he nevertheless managed to pull off a very competent set. Gotta give him props just for doin’ it, ya know!  Then the band came on, and you could tell immediately that they were all at home now! Roaring into their set, I was struck by how good the rest of the band were. At my first exposure to Jonny, the guitar playing was so mindblowing that I barely noticed the rhythm section! Chalk it up to the element of surprise! This time, knowing what to expect, I had the room to relax and listen to the whole band. Drummer Roger LaRochelle is a dynamic powerhouse who never loses sight of the groove and fits Jonny’s guitar playing perfectly! Bassist Pete Newman just stands there playing the exact right notes. This is a band of equals! But, of course, the focus is always on Jonny, as it should be. He’s the one who’s making you sit there thinking, “Can this kid really be as good as I think he is?”. Over and over again, Jonny Monster answered that question with a resounding “Yes!”. I’m telling you, catch them once and you’ll be hooked!
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Johnny Otis and Etta James Pass, Jonny Monster Band Profile, Live Music Picks
January 27, 2012

Greetings, and welcome to this week’s Reservoir Music Notes. The great Johnny Otis (“Willie and the Hand Jive”) and the great Etta James passed away this week. Ironically, Etta was said to have been discovered by Johnny. Two more immortal legacies go into the history books!
This week I’m profiling one of the most exciting young guitarists around, Jon Klenck, AKA Jonny Monster, and it’s not hard to see where his name came from - He is a monster guitarist! I’ve already written about how the Jonny Monster Band blew my mind on New Year’s Eve at Backstage Productions in Kingston. In that article, I said that if you drew a line from Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughn to Jonny Monster, you’d be overstating the case, but not by much! To those two illustrious axeslingers, let me also add Johnny Winter, because that influence is also there in Jonny Monster’s playing. But that’s the league this kid is playing in! He’s really that good!
And Jonny’s no Jonny Come Lately to the Blues music he plays so skillfully. He’s done his homework, as evidenced by his occasional solo acoustic shows where he goes back to the roots of the Blues, performing material by the likes of Robert Johnson and Leadbelly.
Based in New Paltz, the band consists of Jonny on guitar and vocals, Pete Newman on bass, and Roger LaRochelle on drums and vocals. They play all over the Hudson Valley and New York City, and last year opened for Johnny Winter at The Bearsville Theater. I wasn’t there, but I’m sure Jonny held his own in the showdown with Johnny, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the student bested the master! And now The Jonny Monster Band triumphantly returns to The Bearsville Theater this Friday night, January 27, for a free show in the Artist in Residence series. This show is on “Don’t Miss” status!
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Bearsville Sessions Revue, Grateful Dead and Patti Smith News, Live Music Picks
January 26, 2012

Greetings and welcome to this week’s edition of Reservoir Music Notes. Could it be? Is Winter finally here? Most people I know were trying to trick themselves into believing Spring was already here, but Mother Nature said, “Not so fast!”.
I braved the cold last Friday night to go to The Bearsville Theater for the fifth installment of The Bearsville Sessions series, and I was very happy I did! Bearsville Sessions V focused on the British Invasion of the early 60’s, the musical movement that brought us The Beatles, The Stones, The Dave Clark Five, The Searchers, The Kinks, The Animals, et al. Even though I was an Elvis fan at 5 and was exposed early on to the original great masters of Rock n Roll, this was the music I cut my teeth on as a teenager, and it still holds up! The Bearsville Sessions Band is a collection of great local musicians, and they always have some cool special guests on tap. This week was no exception, as one of the highlights of the night was luthier extraordinaire, Joe Veillette’s version of the Unit 4+2 classic, “Concrete and Clay”. Keyboardist and guitarist Ross Rice also outdid The Zombies on “Tell Her No”! In fact, quite a few of the performances this evening outdid the originals, and that’s sayin’ something! Most of it was due to the band’s versions rockin’ a bit more than some of the originals. A lot of this music was overproduced on record, (IMHO), due to many of the original groups being assigned staff producers who didn’t really understand Rock n Roll, or were learning on the job. So now, with the passage of half a century, a good little rockin’ band can actually match or exceed some of those great records we grew up with, just by rockin’ it harder! Drummer Eric Parker was on fire, as was guitar player, Adam Widoff. Oh hell, the whole band was on fire, including the background singers! My thanks to Jodie Sleed at The Bearsville Theater for making it all possible. A splendid time was had by all!
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Live Music Picks for this Week
January 12, 2012

Greetings readers! Once again, we lost two pretty important people this week. Fred Milano of the original Dion and The Belmonts passed away January 3rd at 72, and we also lost Tommy Ardolino, the drummer for NRBQ. Two great groups that lost original members this week. I guess everybody’s getting to that age.

I have nothing profound to propound about this week, so I’m just going to get straight to my live music picks.
Have a great week!

Fred Perry is the owner of Reservoir Music Center on Route 28 in Shokan, and founding member of Alt-Country supergroup, The Brooklyn Cowboys, is from a 3rd generation musical family and lives in the Hudson Valley, where he does what he can to promote live music.

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New Year
January 5, 2012

Well, it’s a new year, and I’m experiencing a mild case of post-annum depression. Either that, or I’m struggling to recover after going out two nights in a row, but whatever it is, it was worth it!
First though, let me wish everyone a healthy, happy, and prosperous new year. The new year starts in January because it’s the first month following the Winter Solstice, when the days start getting longer after December 21, the shortest day of the year. So it really is a time of renewal and rebirth.
I started my New Year’s weekend off by driving up to Tannersville to see my old pals, The New Riders of the Purple Sage, at the Orpheum Performing Arts Center. The OPAC has been closed for 25 years and this was the first event there since they re-opened, and let me tell you, it must have inspired the band, because they were on fire! By the time they got to the third song, “Louisiana Lady”, I was convinced it was the best I’d ever seen them play. It was a shorter set then they usually have played at The Bearsville Theater in past years, but thoroughly enjoyable all the same. They ran through most of their hits, skipping only “Lonesome LA Cowboy” and “Glendale Train”, and closing with Bob Dylan’s “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35”. The new OPAC theater is a beautiful building and a great place to hear music and I hope they are planning to present more shows in this venue.
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Have a Happy Holiday -- Enjoy Live Music.
December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas y'all and a Happy New Year, Merry Kwanza, Happy Hannukah, and Festive Festivus. This is my first blog for, although I've been writing it for a year, and all past blogs are archived on my website. I'd like to thank the two Steves for taking me into the HVmusic family and posting my blog on their site.
My next one will be posted during the first week of January, and weekly thereafter. I will be writing about music and music related topics and every week will recommend live music events for my readers. I hope I can bring a little joy and music into your lives in the process.
This week’s live music picks will also extend through Wednesday, January 4, 2012, and since there is so much going on for the holidaze this week and next, we’re gonna get right down to the real nitty gritty right now!
Friday, December 23- THE JOHNNY MONSTER BAND does a rare Friday night before Christmas at American Glory BBQ in Hudson. I’ve heard the barbecue is off the hook, and The Johnny Monster Band is one of the better blues bands around.
Monday, December 26 – Christmas is over, but it’s still a legal holiday, so that makes it a great day to drive to Manhattan and catch the DISCO BISCUITS at the Best Buy Theater. Now, I am not really familiar with this band’s music, but I’ve heard they’re really good. If in doubt, check them out on the web first.
Tuesday, December 27 – THE FAB FAUX, the best Beatle band in the business, is at City Winery in Manhattan. Consisting of A list players from Late Night TV, The Fab Faux faithfully recreate The Beatles, often doing material that The Beatles themselves never performed live! They often do full British versions of Beatle albums for each of two sets. I’ve seen them do “Rubber Soul” for the first set and “Revolver” for the second! I’ve also seen them do “Sgt. Pepper’s”, “Abbey Road”, and singles like “I am the Walrus” and “Strawberry Fields”, and they play every instrument that was used on the original records! No synthesizers here! As the band likes to say, “It’s not a tribute, it’s a recreation”! Disco Biscuits continue at the Best Buy Theater and our own BEN ROUNDS hosts his regular Tuesday night open mike at The Catamount Restaurant in Mt. Tremper.
Wednesday, December 28 – PHISH start a 4 night run at Madison Square Garden, culminating with New Year’s Eve. Disco Biscuits finish up at Best Buy, and ROSS RICE AND THE VERY SEXY TRIO return to The Catamount for one of their biweekly Wednesday night shows.
Thursday, December 29 – THE PATTI SMITH GROUP kicks off their annual 3 day run at The Bowery Ballroom in Manhattan and Phish continues at The Garden.
Friday, December 30 – Our New Year’s weekend begins in style with a multitude of shows. Patti Smith and Phish continue at their respective venues, and GOVERNMENT MULE starts their annual year end shows at The Beacon Theater in Manhattan, finishing up on Saturday night. Punk/glam rock legends THE NEW YORK DOLLS are at Irving Plaza, and, closer to home, Country-rock legends, THE NEW RIDERS OF THE PURPLE SAGE, christen the new Orpheum Performing Arts Center in Tannersville, THE WAILERS are at The Chance in Poughkeepsie, 3 is at The Bearsville Theater, and THE BIG TAKEOVER, the Hudson Valley’s premier Reggae band, is at The Black Swan in Tivoli.
Saturday, December 31, New Year’s Eve – The Master, CHUCK BERRY, makes a rare appearance at B.B. King’s in Manhattan. Phish, Patti, and Government Mule finish up at their respective venues. Local favorites, THE FELICE BROTHERS are at Club Helsinki in Hudson; Ramble veteran, ALEXIS P. SUTER is at The Falcon in Marlborough; The LINDSEY WEBSTER BAND is at The Bearsville Theater; The best band in the Hudson Valley, PITCHFORK MILITIA, is at the new BSP in Kingston (with Johnny Monster Band opening); ROBERT BURKE WARREN is having a busy New Year’s Eve by playing an afternoon family show at The Bearsville Theater as UNCLE ROCK, then growing up by nightfall to play a New Year’s Eve Dance Party with THE CATSKILL 45’S at The Kleinert Center in Woodstock; and I don’t know who’s at Harmony in Woodstock, but it’ll probably be good and owner, Sha Wu will probably lay out a scrumptious buffet for his loyal patrons, so at least stop there for a nightcap. Happy New Year!
Monday, January 2, 2012 – LITTLE FEAT returns to The City Winery in Manhattan, though sadly without their MONSTER DRUMMER, Richie Hayward, who lost his battle with liver cancer last year. Tonight is the first night of a three night run, which concludes Wednesday, January 4.
Have a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hannukah, a lovely Kwanza, a Happy New Year, and a festive Festivus! See you next year!

Fred Perry is the owner of Reservoir Music Center on Route 28 in Shokan, and founding member of Alt-Country supergroup, The Brooklyn Cowboys, is from a 3rd generation musical family and lives in the Hudson Valley, where he does what he can to promote live music.

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