Midweek Live Music Sets In Saranac Lake
It’s March! Time to get out of the house a bit! Luckily, the Waterhole has announced a series of free Wednesday night concerts to keep us busy throughout the spring.
It’s a slower time of year, so the Waterhole’s booking agent Eric Munley (who also plays mandolin in the Blind Owl Band) told me he was trying to scale things down to make sure the lineup was appropriate. He booked smaller acts than the venue usually gets: a mix of local artists and newer artists playing the ‘hole for the first time.
Each band will play downstairs starting around 9 p.m., though sometimes it may be closer to a 10 p.m. start. The Waterhole usually has free music on Thursday nights, but Saranac Lake has a thriving pool league that plays on Thursdays at bars throughout town. So to avoid that, Eric moved the concert series to hump day.
The series started at the end of February with a band called North Funktree, which I heard was a pretty great show. Shaun Ondak, ROOST’s new promotions and digital marketing manager, attended and took some cool photos. I was sad not to make it because I looooves me some funk, but since I quit drinking coffee, I have been finding it tough to stay out late and get up early.
March 5 - Sven Curth
This week’s Wednesday night act was Sven Curth, who grew to popularity with local legends JIM. JIM still plays a rare date here and there, but Sven mostly plays solo dates nowadays.
He describes his act as “an irreverent sort of introspective-honky-tonk-blues music that lyrically manages to cover concepts from the vaguely interesting to the uniquely ridiculous.” It’s true; he has songs that lament the sub-urbanization of America, ones about failed relationships, and others that are relatively silly, like “F ‘em if they can’t take a joke.”
Watch a video of his song Jesus Loves Tractors.
March 12 - Back Porch Society
The Back Porch Society sounds like they should be actually be playing on someone’s back porch on a lazy summer day. They’re a duo from Keene Valley that has been laying together for at least six years, and they have bluesy string sound reminiscent of old-school blues acts like Mississippi John Hurt and Blind Willie Johnson. Both Russ Cook and Brad Hurlburt played in Roadside Mystic, a band that seems to be at least taking a break right now if they didn’t break up entirely.
Check out video of the Back Porch Society playing a live show.
March 19 - Lowell and Sabo of Lucid
You know Lowell Wurster and Kevin Sabourin as percussionist and guitar player for local jam band Lucid. They play a lower-key duo act when Lucid is busy or when a venue is looking for a smaller version of the band.
March 26 - St. John’s Revival
These guys are a newer band featuring members of Vasudo, a Connecticut band that played in the area a few times but has since broke up. Eric told me St. John’s Revival plays bluesy jam music. They don’t have much of a Web presence yet, but you can check out Vasudo’s Reverb Nation page to get an idea for what they might sound like.
April 2 - Annie in the Water
Annie in the Water is a three-piece Albany-based band with a big love for the Adirondacks. They have a variety of musical influences and describe themselves as “a high-energy jam group that blends blues, hip-hop, funk, rock, reggae and bluegrass to deliver a unique sound and an unforgettable performance.” There’s a lot going on in that description, so it might be better to just check out some videos to get an idea for their sound.
Check out the video they recently recorded at the Adirondack Mountain Club Loj in Lake Placid. It’s guitar player Brad Hester performing a cover of a Dispatch song called “Flying Horses.”
Here’s a video of the whole band’s sound, playing their song “Hey, I’m on my way.”
April 9 - Sirsy
Sirsy is probably the biggest name on the bill for this music series. They’ve been big on the Albany music scene for a long time, forming in 2000. I used to hear about them when I lived in Albany all the time, though I can’t quite remember if I ever got around to seeing a show - I think I might have heard a bit of them at LarkFest one year. Eric said about the same thing - he and his band mates see Sirsy’s name every place they’ve place at.
Despite that renown and the fact that the band is known for touring extensively, this is somehow the first time they are making their way up to the Waterhole.
The band is a duo consisting of Melanie Krahmer on vocals, drums and flute and Rich Libutti on guitar and bass. According to their wikipedia entry, “During their live shows Krahmer also plays bass on a keyboard with her drumstick and Libutti plays bass pedals with his feet.” They do mostly originals but also play a few interpretive covers.
Check out Sirsy's video, which was shot entirely by the band’s fans on their cell phones. How cool is that?
April 16 - Cooter and the Crawlies
Cooter and the Crawlies are a super fun band made up of three musicians from the Saranac Lake area. They play punk that borders on surf music at times and often sounds like it belongs in a horror movie.
They’re not for everyone, but they are good musicians and their live show has a lot of energy. You should check ‘em out!
Here’s a video of them playing at BluSeed studios.
April 23- The Remsen Social Club
The Remsen Social Club will close out the series. They are a bluegrass band from - you guessed it - Remsen, just north of Utica on the border of the Adirondacks. Their tag line on Facebook is “bastardizing bluegrass since 2011,” they bill themselves as “a different style of bluegrass than most people are familiar with,” and they list their genre as “punkgrass,” “folkgrass” and “amerigrass.”
Eric said they’re a newer band, and it will be their first time playing the Waterhole.
PATIO PARTY TIME!
That gets us through until May 1, when the Waterhole’s popular Party on the Patio free Thursday night concert series starts up for the summer. Summer! And music outside! I can’t wait! But this Wednesday night series will be a nice distraction until then.