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We Want it Good

by Haven James

Event: Woodstock Block Party II
Where: Maple Lane, Woodstock, NY (679-4406)
When: Sunday, September 26 [1999]
(Rescheduled from Saturday, Sep 18)
09/20/99: Hurricane Floyd Update:  
Party rescheduled for 09/26.

Check back soon for
updates and photos!

Original preview article

Hurricane Floyd update (09/20/99)

Fierce as it was, the hurricane dampened everything but the spirit of the Maple Lane Block Party which was planned for last Saturday. The 2000 ears of corn were stuck in a pasture across a swollen creek, the hay bails intended for parking lot couches lay saturated in a field, the flatbed truck with the staging ended up parked elsewhere along a ditch, and, then there was the minor matter of ferocious winds and no juice in the power lines. The organizers did consider going acoustic from the curbside but the DIN of chain saws in the air made even that option seem impractical.

Plan B is now in effect; the Maple Lane Block Party 2 will be held this Sunday afternoon starting around 3 PM and run through to roughly 9 PM. Most of the ducks are back in line so the hope is that the lineup will be essentially the same as was originally planned. As some readers may have missed last weeks paper due to the deluge, the roster includes Johnny Average and his Rock-A-Billies, The Harry Smiths, Sham's SPIV, Jr.'s Blue Food, Zaloom's Scrubs, the Beki Brindle Band, plus a variety of acoustic acts like Evan Dove and Bruce Ackerman. Matthew's corn with Bear Cafe butter sauce is back on the menu in addition to Taco Juan's millennium munchos, Cody Creek's crunchy greens, ginger beer, and more.

The idea is to get started earlier this time and pray heavily for sunshine. If the weather turns weird again maybe they'll have an autumn leaf party instead after things meteorological quiet down. Look for signs and posters for bulletins or log on at Werewolves on the Web at provided the infrastructure remains functional this week.

WKZE is another good source of information. They'll be Emceeing the party and broadcasting live from Maple Lane on Sunday. Fact is, without KZE-FM many of us wouldn't have had a clue what was going on outside our windows during all this fun with Floyd. The 'other' station, Radio Whatstock, was broadcasting like it was summer in paradise and the Freeman keeps insisting we all had power days ago and everything is just groovy. Makes me wonder why I'm sitting here writing by candlelight on a battery powered laptop with not one orange truck flashing yellow lights anywhere to be found... We did see a few of those out working the last few mornings and then again around lunchtime parked near the Grand Union but then poof, they seem to magically vanish. And on the subject of lights, a personal note of thanks to the angels at Candlestock without whom only darkness would prevail.

Enough with the rant. Odds are we'll all be mostly recovered and ready for a real town party by the time the weekend rolls in and Maple Lane will be the place to do it. In case you're not sure where that is, turn in at Bread Alone across from the Landau Grill on Mill Hill Road just before the Village Green and you'll find the stage in front of part hostess Donna's Glorious Health emporium. Pull up a hay bail in Houst's parking lot and have a good time. Volunteers are still needed for setup and cleanup and donations to help cover rising expenses are also very welcome. Contact pointman, Peter Walther, at 679-0202 or stop in at Glorious Health if you wish to help out.

Hope you all fared well through the storm and do lend a helping han to neighbors in need if you can.

We Want it Good   (original story)

Another Another Woodstock summer survived and it's time again to take a deep breath and get out and celebrate. Starting in the late afternoon and running 'til midnight there'll be a Woodstock festival for, of and by Woodstock people as the second Maple Lane Block Party is set for this coming Saturday, September 18 [1999]. Anyone who caught the premier spring event will surely attest, this is the real Woodstock.

"It's a free festival," chimed event coordinator Peter Walther, poking fun at the big one that first rocked the world. Expanding the contrast, Walther mused a bit more seriously, "We're claiming our name back, [many townsfolk have] felt misrepresented out there to the world."

Years ago in the mid-'60s this Woodstock Festival thing all started on Pan Copeland's field, down by the Glasco/John Joy junction, with the Soundout. Somebody who's name we don't need to mention then got the bright idea, 'hey, we could sell tickets for $5 a head,' and the rest is history.

"We will not let that happen.... Music is becoming important in Woodstock again," Walther observed and looked forward to the upcoming Saturday bash. "It worked once, everybody had a good time, let's do it again."

So that's the plan, right up Route 212 off Mill Hill Road just short of the village green, Maple Lane cuts in at Bread Alone leading to Donna's Glorious Health emporium and Pieces of Mine right before Mower's Flea Market. That section bordering Houst's back parking lot will be closed off and set up with a newly designed elevated stage, lots of lights, a dance area, food service tables and a bunch of hay bails for couches. A great lineup of local talent is set to play music, and there'll be free food and beverages and lots of street theater menagerie to color the day.

"It kind of brings that music back to the center of town, it brings local musicians to a kind of neutral environment; it's hard for young kids and mothers and fathers and everybody to go out to a club for music, and here it is right on Maple Lane," Walther noted.

Block Party I brought folks out of the woods many of us hadn't seen in years. This truly is a party for us. The process is showing that everyone asked is eagerly pitching in with what they can give and what they can do. "It's everybody in Woodstock doing their part to make it happen," confirmed Walther with a very deep smile. If you weren't in the neighborhood to be asked, don't feel bad, there is still time; volunteers and donations are still needed for everything from the setup to the cleanup, not to mention that donations for expenses are very welcome, and, like all real community efforts, it's fun to be involved.

What is locked in is a killer lineup with some very special talent not always seen at local venues. Your gonna have to trust in Werewolves' track record for this one cause we can't spell it all out. The last thing anybody wants is an invasion from parts beyond because they read this name or that, but do be advised, even the bands listed that may or may not seem familiar most likely hold some gems of entertainment greatness. As there is a huge talent pool in Woodstock and part of the idea is to give everyone a shot at playing one of these parties, only a few acts who played the first event are back on the bill but even those who are sport new aspects to their repertoire.

The action will kick off somewhere between 5 and 6 p.m. with a variety of acoustic acts, including artists like Evan Dove, Hope Nemeroff, maybe even Bruce Ackerman, and more. Who plays when has yet to be released but it looks like the closer will be Johnny Average and his Rock-A-Billies. Average has some hot new tunes that are screaming for a record so check it out. Also pending a new release and drawing a lot of attention will be the Harry Smiths. Junior Ellis returns to Block 2 with Ted Orr and Pete Buettner as Blue Food, The Scrubs featuring the guitar wizardry of Chris Zaloom will play and then be joined by our own Beki Brindle. And, back by popular demand, Sham's rockin' SPIV will feed the dancing fires. Of all the bands who played for Block 1, SPIV scored tops at packing the dancephault. Another jewel is said to be on the roster; all in all, it looks like the music will be happening.

WKZE, the only area FM station which consistently plays the music of local artists, will air a live color-cast from the event, and in between the band changes, KZE's DeeJay Stuart Hall will spin tunes over the sound system erected and engineered by Ted Orr and And, Chester Upstate Signs has devised a glimmering stage set to highlight the scene.

Artists and street performers of all varieties are welcome to strut their stuff. Carol White from Pieces of Mine did her stilt moves last time and it's hoped she'll be back to add another touch of circus; perhaps she'll bring some mind magicians with her from the afternoon psychic fair at town hall. And, folks attending the Jack DeJohnette concert at the Kleinert are expected to stroll over, too.

And "Why 2,000 Ears of Corn?" is the question posed on the Block Party poster. Probably because the 1,000 ears donated for Block I were gone before they knew it. So, Sunfrost is harvesting 2,000 this time and the Bear Cafe is mixing up huge pots of their seasoned butter sauce to dress it up. Taco Juan, the man who fed the Woodstock Nation, will be back with his magic rice and beans, and tofu chili. Cody Creek is doing salads, Glorious Health will brew up herbal teas and Esotec is trucking in Ginger Beer for all.

The stage at the Block Party will bear the name "Woodstock" and that's what this festival is clearly all about. Townsfolk are bid to come as they are--Woodstock renaissance mode, a little early Halloween, whatever you're comfortable in that's fun. Bring a lawn chair, a blanket, or pull up a hay bail. "It's the stage of the street, of the people, where the people that live here play for their community, the people who live here," Walther voiced, adding, "It's just for us, but we want it good."

Donna's Glorious Health is both the resident host and command center for the Maple Lane Block Party. Anyone wishing to reach Peter Walther to volunteer or donate anything is urged to contact him via the store or their phone (679-0202). There will be a crew out front the night before and following the event to prep and bus the territory. From carpenters and electricians to pickers and sweepers, all are invited to come on down if you want to help out.

Hopefully fierce Floyd will pass us by but if he does decide to show up this weekend, the rain date will be the following weekend. Remember, this is a free celebration and it's for you so see you all on Maple Lane this Saturday!

You catch Werewolves on the Web where updates and Block Party snap shots will be posted following the event.

Haven James has been a consistent contributor to the Music & Arts scene around the Hudson Valley and beyond for almost a decade through his column, Werewolves of Woodstock, published weekly in the Woodstock Times

A writer, musician, philanthropist, and Mac addict; he lives reclusively, high atop Overlook Mountain with his son and a menagerie of animals, both wild and domesticated. Though currently unmarried, rumors abound as to his intimate relationships with Madonna, Sandra Bernhardt, and Eli Bach; though he insists these notions to be pure hearsay. His identity has remained a mystery to all but the closest of friends as he often travels in disguise and appears unannounced and undercover at concerts and venues in a dedicated effort to get the real story.

Go to the Werewolves of Woodstock page for more articles by Haven James.
Haven James can be contacted at

Posted on September 17th, 1999

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