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Valley players have two good friends on the Net
by Werewolves of Woodstock / Haven James

FINALLY, there's an unthreatening place for technophobes and technofreaks of the Hudson Valley to meet on common ground and share their music with the planet via the World Wide Web. Yes, that dark and mysterious cosmos of dementia is now approachable to even the most cyber-challenged among us, due to the efforts of two Steves who happen to share a love of music and a talent at shuffling bits and bytes.

Tuned-In To Hudson Valley Music, which can be found at, is a new Internet venture created by Steve Stiert and Steve Wehr, both professional programmers by day and out-of-the-closet music fanatics by night. Sharing a fairly simple goal, Stiert says that the two "set out to directly target the Hudson Valley and to showcase all the musicians and services in the valley." They launched their site in November and have worked most of the bugs out, as they've continued to add features and attractions including listings of events, venues, and spotlight presentations.

Stiert sings in a club band called Lost Dog Woody; he'd been thinking it would be nice for his band to have some kind of outlet on the web, so that people could give his music a listen. After researching the available resources, he decided to team up with his co-worker, Wehr, to build a place that would suit the needs of his own band and many others confronting the same scenario. "I'm fairly new to music and just discovering my own interest and abilities," he says, "and in doing so, I've really developed a great deal of appreciation for people who are really good at this, and have seen just how much talent there is in this area. With that spirit, we set off trying to find a way to let people show it off a little bit, in particular trying to target groups that don't get a lot of exposure, lesser known names."

Though Steve and Steve are not intent on discouraging any nationally known artists from participating, they "really want to focus on local and ... community musicians," says Stiert, "and not just rock, either." Noting that a number of rock sites are already out there, the Steves intend to include everything from barbershop quartets, choirs, classical, opera, folk, rock, you name it.

Financing is pretty easy, too. "Most of the things we offer are free," says Stiert. "We're trying to create a site that isn't really commercially motivated, so there's a lot of things we offer for free. If they've got a band or a service or they're a solo artist or whatever, they can list their name and how people can contact them; if they've already got their own page, we'll put up a pointer to their page."

So far, Tuned In has got an events page that lists upcoming performances and links to a national music calendar service, so that anything posted locally also gets picked up for nationwide notice. Artists can submit their performances by phone, email or letter, and the listings are free.

The site also features albums by local talent and hosts a monthly giveaway promotion providing band bios and such, plus "real audio/sound bites of the music" for people to hear through their home computers. This month features the new album of a Werewolves favorite, Bar Scott, Confession, plus Ash Can Flash's Nothing's As Real. Last month Woodstock's own Older Than Dirt was the prize, and Stiert notes that the response to the giveaway program has been so great, they'll probably bump it up to four albums a month in the near future.

To participate, all a band needs do is provide two CDs, one to give away and one for audio processing for the site, plus whatever pertinent information they'd like listed. If the band is already on the web, they'll be linked to the page, but if they're cyber virgins, the Steves will build them a page for an embarrassingly low cost. The only charges involved at all to most participants are to defray the charges for storage of the sound files on the server, and relatively speaking, that ain't much.

"We really want to become a focal point, so we're going to try as much as we can to share events with others around the web," says Stiert. "We also want to develop interactive areas where people can dialogue a little bit, just get musicians talking, and we're always looking for news about events that go on." Neither Steve is a journalist or writer per se, so they're depending on public participation to make this work. It's a site for the Hudson Valley, by the Hudson Valley ... you get the idea.

If you already have Internet access, tune into the site for all the valley news. They have section headings on Bands, Artists, DJs, Services, HV Albums, Events, Classifieds, Articles and CD Giveaways, and post other music links of interest. You can e-mail them from the Tuned-In site or directly at or contact them by phone at 339-1364 (Stiert) or 246-9643 (Wehr). This is a new venture and the Steves are open to suggestions and participation on most any level, so don't be shy.

Originally printed in the Woodstock Times Thursday, January 29, 1998.

New web site promotes Hudson Valley musicians
by Philip H. Farber

What: Tuned-In to Hudson Valley Music web site
Rating: (out of 5)

FOR freelance writers and computer geeks like myself, the Internet has become the preferred outlet for creativity. Text is cheap on the 'net, and graphics are easy to deal with as well.

Now, with the increasing popularity of "streaming" technologies like RealAudio, the opportunities for aspiring musicians are likewise expanding. The sign of the changing times in our area is the new Tuned-In to Hudson Valley Music web site,, which offers area bands a place to promote their sounds before the international audience of the Internet.

The brain child of Steve Wehr and Steve Stiert, music fans and technophiles from the Saugerties area, Tuned-In offers resources for bands, DJs, and audiences. By surfing your way to their home page, you can find information listing for Hudson Valley bands, reviews, events calendars, articles, CD giveaways, band pictures and stories, classified ads, free talent listings, and, best of all, sound clips that will play through your computer's speakers with very short download times.

The Steves are to be congratulated on their techno-informative efforts. It's a great site, with a clean, colorful design, and plenty of unique information and resources. It's just in its formative phase now, and it's a great opportunity for musicians, writers, and web enthusiasts to get involved. The site encourages all kinds of musicians to participate, not just rockn'rollers (though they are amply represented).

"Most web pages on the 'net today are about rock bands," Steve Stiert says. "I want to see more focus on classical performers, high school marching bands, barbershop quartets, and certainly there's room on the web for more polka bands!"

Fire up your modem and surf over to Tuned-In. It's free to visit, free to list band information, and deserving of support. Give them your music reviews, photos, band stories, and anything else related to Hudson Valley music you've got on your hard drive (I'Il be giving them some items culled from my own computer archives). Let's put the Hudson Valley on the Info-highway map!

Originally printed in the Kingston Daily Freeman Friday, December 11, 1997.