Category Archives: House Concerts

Tas & Mary Ann, Benefit for Local Living Venture

Featuring music by Rick Bates (aka Tas Cru) & Mary Ann Casale

Saturday, November 4 at 7:00 PM

At Robin McClellan’s 
(The Hermitage)
in Sanfordville.

These two talented and generous musicians are once again playing to raise money, this time for the benefit of the Local Living Venture. I hope you will come and listen to their beautiful music and support the tireless work of the Local Living Venture. The suggested donation is $10 and reservations are not required.

Mary Ann’s CD “Restless Heart” continues to garner critical acclaim:

“You can’t put a label on her music. It is blues & folk with a fine dose of soul & jazz. Twelve fine songs that are worth listening to.”
~ Eric Campfens, Barn Owl Blues, The Netherlands

“With a real ‘when music was music’ vibe running throughout, this singer/songwriter in bluesy trappings hits it out of the park with just the right sound & fury.”
~ Chris Spector, Midwest Record, Lake Zurich, IL

“Whatever the styles, Mary Ann’s vocals will snare you with their honest emotion.”
~ Music Morsels Reviews

Tas Cru’s new album Simmered & Stewed is a collection of previously recorded material that has been re-mastered with new instrumentation, backup vocals, and a new sound. Like a fine wine, or a delicious stew that has mellowed over the years, Simmered and Stewed proves that some songs get better age. It is available on the VizzTone label.

For more information click here to go to my website where you will find directions.

I hope you’ll be able to come out and listen to great music in support of a great cause!

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Alex Smith

Saturday, June 3
7:30 PM

Robin McClellan’s
(The Hermitage)

$10 Admission

Alex is coming back for another concert! Everyone who plays here brings something unique and for me, Alex superpower is his songwriting. Not to diminish his skills on the guitar and his great pipes, but Alex is a master storyteller. Walking confidently in the footsteps of Bill Morrisey, Greg Brown, John Hartford, and, of course, Stan Rogers, he captures people in their relationship with each other and the place they live.

Since his appearance last November, Alex has recorded a live album at the legendary Caffè Lena’s, scheduled for release in mid-July. He is also on track for 200 shows this year though that hasn’t stopped him from preparing for a new studio album, “Fuel, Air,
Compression, Spark.”

Alex grew up in Long Lake, in the heart of New York’s Adirondack Park, and his music strives first and foremost to echo the culture of that area. He builds songs from a blend of traditional folk harmony and strikingly modern lyrics, confronting today’s most pressing issues with grace while paying homage to the musical tradition of the region.

Alex’ characters, though fictional, live and breathe a balance between beauty and imperfection. His stories draw on the triumphs and hardships of friends, relatives, and neighbors near and far, and he has worked tirelessly to carry the music of northern New York to audiences nationwide.

I hope you will join me in celebrating his return!

Robin
“Alex is a wonderful poetic writer who captures words full of meaning, matching them with creative music that creeps quietly into the past at the same time as dancing with the present, and sneaking a peek at the future.”
    – Bob Everhart, Country Music News International
“Alex is a natural storyteller with a rich voice who is creating poignant songs rooted in the heritage of his Adirondack home.”
    – Sarah Craig, Caffe Lena (Saratoga Springs, NY)

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Quartet Z

Contrasts

Music Old and New,
Near and Far,
Known and Novel

Benefit Concert for Potsdam Music Friends and Keene Valley Music

featuring
Quartet Z and Friends

Saturday, April 29, 2:00 pm
at my home in Stockholm

Program

Britten – Phantasy
Tann – The Walls of Morlais Castle
Telemann – Quartet in D minor from Tafel-Musik II

Potsdam-based Quartet Z is delighted to welcome guest artists to present a unique program of chamber music. I am equally delighted to welcome you to join all of them for a program of music that encompasses a wide span of both time and space.  Benjamin Britten’s Phantasy for oboe and strings (1931) was written in London and takes the listener on a delightful journey within the piece.  The Walls of Morlais Castle, written by Adirondack-based composer Hilary Tann, was inspired by the contrasts between the ruins of Castle Morlais (in Wales) and the surrounding landscape.  Finally, the unique instrumentation of Quartet Z will bring a new perspective to Telemann’s  Quartet in d minor from Tafel-Musik II (published in Hamburg in 1773).  This jovial work, somewhat reminiscent of a dance suite, is regarded as one of Telemann’s most innovative works.
Quartet Z
Laurel Kuxhaus (oboe)
Theresa Witmer (soprano saxophone)
Christina Xydias (cello)
David Katz (contrabass)

Guest Artists
Elaine DeWar (violin)
Peggy Wheeler (viola)
Esther Rogers Baker (cello)

Light Refreshments Following
Donations to  Potsdam Music Friends or Keene Valley Music Appreciated

For directions to Robin’s house, click here

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2 House Concerts in November: Alex Smith 11/5, Mary Ann Casale and Tas Cru 11/12

Mary Ann Casale and Tas Cru

House Concert Benefit

for
Local Living Venture

Saturday, November 12 at 7:30 PM

At Robin McClellan’s (The Hermitage)
in Sanfordville.

Suggested Donation: $10

These two talented and generous musicians are once again playing to raise money, this time for the benefit of the Local Living Venture. I hope you will come and listen to their beautiful music and support the tireless work of the Local Living Venture. The suggested donation is $10 and reservations are not required.

“You can’t put a label on her music. It is blues & folk with a fine dose of soul & jazz. Twelve fine songs that are worth listening to.”
Since they last played here, Mary Ann has released her CD “Restless Heart” to critical acclaim:

~ Eric Campfens, Barn Owl Blues, The Netherlands

“With a real ‘when music was music’ vibe running throughout, this singer/songwriter in bluesy trappings hits it out of the park with just the right sound & fury.”
~ Chris Spector, Midwest Record, Lake Zurich, IL

“Whatever the styles, Mary Ann’s vocals will snare you with their honest emotion.”
~ Music Morsels Reviews

Tas Cru’s new album Simmered & Stewed is a collection of previously recorded material that has been re-mastered with new instrumentation, backup vocals, and a new sound. Like a fine wine, or a delicious stew that has mellowed over the years, Simmered and Stewed proves that some songs get better age. It is available on the VizzTone label and releases Nov. 12th. Pre-release copies will be available at this show!

For more information click here to go to my website where you will find directions.

I hope you’ll be able to come out and listen to great music in support of a great cause!

Alex Smith

Saturday, November 5
7:30 PM

Robin McClellan’s
(The Hermitage)

Admission: $10

Sanfordville

As Alex Smith winds down his packed fair weather tour—performing over 150 concerts across the US and as far away as Vienna and Barcelona—he is returning home to the North Country. And he has agreed to play here at the Hermitage! I’m really looking forward to hearing what he’s put together over his touring season and I’m sure he’ll be playing some songs off his new album, Close to Home.

For those of you who haven’t had the privilege to hear Alex, this is a great place to do it. Alex is a lot like Stan Rogers whose sonorous baritone voice and moving lyrics captured life in Cape Breton and the Maritimes. Both of them are young (tragically Stan died before he turned 34 in 1983), both write about a sense of place, and both bring a sense of wisdom and authenticity usually only gained over many years.

Alex grew up in Long Lake, in the heart of New York’s Adirondack Park, and his music strives first and foremost to echo the culture of that area. He builds songs from a blend of traditional folk harmony and strikingly modern lyrics, confronting today’s most pressing issues with grace while paying homage to the musical tradition of the region.

Alex’ characters, though fictional, live and breathe a balance between beauty and imperfection. His stories draw on the triumphs and hardships of friends, relatives, and neighbors near and far, and he has worked tirelessly to carry the music of northern New York to audiences nationwide.

I hope you will join me in celebrating his return!

Robin
“Alex is a wonderful poetic writer who captures words full of meaning, matching them with creative music that creeps quietly into the past at the same time as dancing with the present, and sneaking a peek at the future.”
    – Bob Everhart, Country Music News International
“Alex is a natural storyteller with a rich voice who is creating poignant songs rooted in the heritage of his Adirondack home.”
    – Sarah Craig, Caffe Lena (Saratoga Springs, NY)

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Quartet Z: Benefit Concert for Potsdam Central Schools’ Music Friends

Quartet Z are

Laurel Kuxhaus, oboes
Theresa Witmer, saxophones
David Katz, bassoon, contrabass
Christina Xydias, cello, piano
And Special Guests

Music by
Fasch, Gershwin, Pärt,
Schickele, Wolfe
and premiering a composition by
Paul Steinberg

 Saturday, May 14, 4:00 pm
at the home of Robin McClellan

You may remember these fine musicians from last year, performing then as the Unnamed Quartet. I’m looking forward to having them return again this year, now christened Quartet Z. I understand why they have chosen the enigmatic name Quartet Z, as describing their music is virtually impossible.I can tell you though, that they create some of the most beautiful and interesting music you will every hear.

I hope you will join me for this benefit for the Music Friends of Potsdam Central Schools.

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Mary Ann Casale’s CD Pre-Release Party with Tas Cru

Sunday, March 6
2 PM
Robin McClellan’s

Admission $5 or non-perishable food item to Food Pantry

CDs will be available (God willing and the Creek don’t rise) for $10

I hope you will join me to help celebrate the imminent release of Mary Ann Casale’s newest CD, Restless Heart.

This concert is close to my heart. I remember listening to Mary Ann in the seventies, in the days of the Wild Oat and Django’s (two legendary establishments that brought great music to Potsdam). She set aside performing in public for 30 years and only started writing songs and performing again a few years ago. Even with her talent, it takes a lot of courage and strength to swim in today’s current of talented local musicians all vying for space on the stage. But she is a musician’s musician and has benefited from the support of many local performers who she plays regularly with. Key among them is international bluesman and producer of this CD, Tas Cru, who will join her for the release.

Restless Heart is her second CD and you can hear a sample at: http://www.maryanncasale.com/

Once again she is doing this as benefit for the local Food Pantry. I always find it terribly ironic that hunger is as much an issue in this agricultural area as it is in cities, but it is. Equally ironic is that it is starving musicians who volunteer to help raise money for food pantries. It’s difficult to compete for money with the presidential candidates and national causes, whose ubiquitous fundraising emails crowd our inboxes, so food pantries, with no budget for real fundraising, can’t keep up with the needs.

So come on out and enjoy yourself while helping out your community!

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Alex Smith – CD Preview Party

Close to Home

Friday, November 13
7:30 PM

$10

Robin McClellan’s, Sanfordville

I’m honored that Alex wanted me to host one of his regional CD preview parties. I’ve known his father, Mason (Tim) Smith, and his uncle, Everett Smith, for many years. They are a part of this region’s folklore both being, among other things, boat builders, while Mason writes plays and novels set in the area. His mother was a historian and the Director of the Adirondack Museum for many years. Following in their path, but not necessarily in their footsteps, Alex writes songs that bring history to us in a way that connects it to the present and he delivers them in a deep, resonant voice belying his youth.
Alex Smith Promo Two - scaled
He grew up in Long Lake, in the heart of New York’s Adirondack Park, and his music strives first and foremost to echo the culture of that area. He builds songs from a blend of traditional folk harmony and strikingly modern lyrics, confronting today’s most pressing issues with grace while paying homage to the musical tradition of the region.Smith’s characters, though fictional, live and breathe a balance between beauty and imperfection. His stories draw on the triumphs and hardships of friends, relatives, and neighbors near and far, and he has worked tirelessly to carry the music of northern New York to audiences nationwide.

I hope you will join me in celebrating the imminent (it doesn’t look like it will be quite ready by 11/13) release of his newest project, Close to Home.

Robin
Alex Smith Promo Three - scaled
“Alex is a wonderful poetic writer who captures words full of meaning, matching them with creative music that creeps quietly into the past at the same time as dancing with the present, and sneaking a peek at the future.”
    – Bob Everhart, Country Music News International
“Alex is a natural storyteller with a rich voice who is creating poignant songs rooted in the heritage of his Adirondack home.”
    – Sarah Craig, Caffe Lena (Saratoga Springs, NY)

For more information about Alex and his music, check out these websites:

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RE-stock 2015 – Mary Ann Casale and Tas Cru

House Concert to Benefit Local Food Pantries

Featuring music by Rick Bates (aka Tas Cru) & Mary Ann Casale

Sunday, November 1 at 2 PM
(Note that daylight savings time ends 10/31!)

At Robin McClellan’s house in Sanfordville.

These two talented and generous musicians are once again playing to raise money and food for the food pantries. This is the fourth year that Rick and Mary Ann have performed to benefit the local food pantry. I hope you will come and listen to their beautiful music and support the less fortunate in the community. The suggested donation is $10, but non-perishable food items will be gladly accepted instead. You can reserve a seat in advance (and make an extra donation to the food pantry if you so choose) hereme and rick robin's

Since they last played here, Rick has released his CD “You Keep the Money” which is the hottest debuting blues album of 2015. Released December 30, 2014, it has been either at or near the very top of every major blues chart through mid-May, 2015 and is still getting extensive worldwide airplay.  It actually debuted at # 1 on the Roots Music Report and eight of its 12 songs have been in the top 25. The album debuted on the prestigious Living Blues chart at #2.  Blues djs and reviewers agree that this album shows Tas Cru “at the peak of his formidable talents as a performer and songwriter.”  –Graham Clark

As I write this, Rick is still on tour with his Band of Tortured Souls and will return only a few days before he plays here so make sure you ask him about the tour, I’m sure his stories of life on the road will be entertaining.

Mary Ann is back in the studio recording Restless Heart. Almost two years in the making,a fine line-up of musicians join her on this project with a whole new sound as genres collide in a mix of blues, folk and jazz. Rich vocal backing add to the soulful sound she is known for.

For more information click here to go to my website where you will find directions and click here to reserve a seat in advance.

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Peter Phippen, World Flute Specialist

Concert Benefit for the Alzheimer’s Association
Friday October 23, 7:30 PM
Trillium Yoga Center, 25 Market St., Potsdam
Admission – $12

When Peter called me a few days ago and said that he wanted to play here, I was thrilled. I met Peter only through an email introduction from a mutual friend so his call was out of the blue. I have always liked the kind of ethereal music he plays, but his version is some of the best. He refers to his approach as “experiential,” but this term falls short. He draws on a number of folk traditions to create music that bridges the space between earth and spirit.

Like so many of the musicians who have played here, he is a native son, growing up only a few miles from here. And like so many of the musicians who have grew up here, Peter left the area to make ends meet as a professional musician. Thankfully, the community hasn’t left his heart and he returns to bring his music to us. In the past, he has played at SUNY Potsdam and twice at the Norwood Village Green as well as touring elementary and high schools in the region.

As I was putting the concert together, I thought this would be a perfect fit for the new Trillium Yoga Center in Potsdam. I contacted Shannon Miller, Jeanne Benvenuto and Teri de la Vega and they were thrilled to host the event. Another connection is that the Yoga Center is located in the building that once housed Northern Music where Peter was once a regular customer. I will miss hosting, but the stars were clearly aligned!

In addition, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Flutist_Peter_Phippen[1]-4

Bio

Grammy Award nominee and four-time Native American Music Award nominee, Peter Phippen is a nationally and internationally respected world flute specialist, recording artist, scholar, educator, and producer. In his approach to world flute performance, he is an experiential, natural folk musician with a penchant for creative and artistic musical improvisation.

Currently, two of his songs, “Night Song” and “Lullabye,” were featured on the Digital Download Compilation, “Native American Flute Music for Meditation” released on Canyon Records of Phoenix, Arizona. As of Sept. 22nd, 2015 “Native American Flute Music for Meditation” is #48 on iTunes World Music.</div>

Critical Acclaim

“Traditionally, the Native American flute has a sound that could be characterized as haunting. Few flutists, however, bring as much warmth and richness to a single tone as Peter Phippen does. His playing is earthy, improvised and impressionistic, offering listeners a beautifully serene atmosphere for meditation and reflection.” – Music Design

“Like a call in the wild, the alluring, soothing, hypnotic tones of the wind instruments lulled and enchanted.” – Dunn County News, Menomonie, Wisconsin

“Phippen’s tune, Lascaux is a shaman’s dream.” – RJ Lannan Zone Music Reporter

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Paul Meyers and World on a String Trio: Benefit Concert and Master Class


Benefit Concert for the Potsdam Humane Society

Saturday July 11
7 PM
at Robin McClellan’s
$12

I hope you will come out and enjoy some wonderful jazz for the benefit of the Potsdam Humane Society. I know there will be a lot of competition for your attention on Potsdam Summer Festival weekend but I can assure you that this is a rare opportunity. To see for yourself, check out this video of the trio that was shot at the Jazz Masters Series at Sara’s Wine Bar, March 29, 2015.  Not only will you experience superb music, but a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Potsdam Humane Society’s wonderful work  providing shelter and medical care for homeless animals in our community.

Paul Meyers Vanderlei leo traversa 01a

The trio is Paul MeyersVanderlei Pereira and Leo Traversa. Paul is a world-renowned jazz guitarist who has played with a long list of jazz greats and toured with Jon Hendricks and Andy Bey. Vanderlei is a Brazilian drummer, percussionist, composer and educator based in New York City and leads the Brazilian jazz group Blindfold Test. Leo is a musician, educator and author with broad experience in various musical cultures and the author of Afro Caribbean and Brazilian Rhythms for Bass.

Can’t tear yourself away on Saturday evening? The trio will also be performing at the Edwards Opera House on Sunday, July 12 at 5 PM. For more information about that show, go to the Edwards Arts Council’s website.


Master Class in Brazilian and Latin Music/Jazz!

Saturday, July 11
3 PM
at Robin McClellan’s
Cost: $30

Led by the amazing Brazilian drummer and percussionist Vanderlei Pereira from Rio de Janeiro, the group will give a 2 hour masterclass demonstrating a wide variety of Brazilian styles and rhythms, from samba and bossa nova to baiao, chorinho, afoxe, frevo and more. As Vanderlei says: “I believe that the key to performing Brazilian and Latin music authentically lies in the ability to hear and analyze the various rhythms of each genre and to understand the connection between the percussive and tonal instruments in the ensemble.”

The group will demonstrate examples of these styles and will talk about some of the important ideas to apply to their own instruments. We’ll have group participation also, with attendees learning the rhythms of the styles by clapping patterns from the important percussion instruments that are the foundation of each style. There will be handout that can be taken home with the rhythms explained and practice patterns for guitar, piano, bass and drums/percussion, as well as a list of great resources, CDs and books, that can be used to continue working on the music.

This video gives a taste of the musicians and some of the music styles they’ll be teaching.

The trio is offering a discount package: Class and concert for $35! 

To reserve a spot for this class, go to http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1771561.

For more information please contact Paul Meyers at paulclarkmeyers@gmail.com (973-722-1354).

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