Taste of the Catskills Festival
October 7 & 8, 2017, Delhi, NY
open both days at 10am rain or shine!
Jennifer Westwood cut her teeth on Detroit Gospel before hitting the gritty Detroit bars that set her career in motion. She has been a Detroit Music Award winner and nominee in several categories, and has contributed music to multiple Emmy Award winning commercials and documentaries, as well as film. Sharing the bill with rock icon Patti Smith at the world’s largest Masonic Temple marked a highlight of her performance career.
Jennifer’s band mates, Dylan Dunbar and JD Mackinder, make up the Handsome Devils. On guitar, Dylan worked his way up the food chain through the Detroit area blues clubs and has recorded and toured with The Rumpshakers, Whitey Morgan, Dixie Hustler and The Orbtisuns. JD Mackinder has spent the majority of the last 10 years on the road touring the world with Whitey Morgan and the 78s, and Deadstring Brothers (both of Bloodshot Records). JD has also recorded and toured with South Normal, Ryan Dillaha and the Miracle Men, Chelsea Crowell and Hellbound Glory. He has also played bass for Rodney Crowell, Roseanne Cash, Richie Albright (Waylon Jennings Drummer), Fred Newell (Porter Waggoners guitarist), Eddie Spaghetti and had the honor of being the last bass player for the last surviving member of Hank Williams band, Don Helms, before his death in 2008.
There are no musical limitations with Jennifer Westwood and the Handsome Devils. The skill set and accomplishments that each member has earned helps them create a format where no style is out of bounds. Somehow, it all sounds familiar, but unique all the same. Truly a melting pot of musical ability and knowledge, the band makes a statement with each note and the sky is the limit.
Nathan Kalish and the Lastcallers play American roots music. ‘How am I supposed to get Back Home’ is the 7th studio album from songwriter Nathan Kalish, and is the first to feature his new band, the Lastcallers. They began playing together in April of 2014 when Nathan's rhythm section came down with the swine flu while on the road. He asked his new friend and upright bass player, Eric Soules, to fill out the rhythm section. Eric was coming off of a few year hiatus from touring and was looking to get back on the road full time. With no time for rehearsal they hit the road playing a combination of classic country covers and originals. They developed their hybrid sound of bluegrass, country, rockabilly and folk while playing shows around the Midwest almost every night.
After 7 months straight on the road they saved enough cash to buy studio time at Big Iron World in Nashville, TN. Nathan asked his friend and engineer Gordon Hammond to co-produce the record. They spent a few days tracking live, and the recorded result is much like their roadhouse and dive-bar tested show. ‘How am I Supposed to Get Back Home’ is mostly originals with a few rewritten classic covers. The album features Eric and Nathan in addition to some of the best friends and players they have traveled, written, and performed with along the way.
Fourteen months and 270 shows later the band has traveled from sea to sea three times and to most places in between. Nathan Kalish and the Last Callers play all night to packed bars, as well as lazy Monday crowds, and to big cities, and one horse towns, all with the same passion and energy. They have developed a reputation as a hardworking and entertainingly honest band.
After a chance meeting with Roy Acuff, Stevie (then, a young man) was certain he would always be a musician. Born in rural Georgia, Stevie learned the ropes playing country, gospel, and blues. Rebelling against his roots, he immersed himself in the world of rock and the underground music scene of the 80s in Atlanta but never lost the twang of his childhood. Almost three decades later, he has become an accomplished performer and songwriter. Stevie has now released five solo albums and several music videos, produced music with his 1980s swamp rockabilly band, The Tombstones, and made appearances on compilations all over the damn place. In his early days, Stevie penned the college radio anthem and regional hit "Nobody", which was later recorded by rock icon, Stiv Bators. After separating with The Tombstones in the 1990s, he toured as the supporting act for Jason & the Scorchers in Europe, which opened the door for his solo career. Taking a more serious approach to songwriting, he then began to write with as many accomplished song-writers as he could find in every realm of the music world, from street poets to music row regulars.
Stevie's band mates, over the years, have been a veritable whos who of underground and nationally recognized players, featuring members of Circus of Power, Wilco, the Georgia Satellites, and Jason & The Scorchers. Priding himself in his ability to cross genres, he has also had the honor of sharing the bill with the likes of Leon Russell, the Stray Cats, Greg Allman, Willie Nelson, Drive By Truckers, Johnny Bush & the Ramones, just to name a few. After living in Austin off and on for almost 10 years, Stevie relocated to Atlanta, the Ozarks, and most recently, Upstate New York. He is currently touring and heading up his own imprint label Altco Recordings as well as producing and writing for other artists.
The Woodshed Prophets are a quartet of bearded wild-men, hell-bent on world-domination or self-destruction (whatever comes first). The Prophets primarily play original material that is a unique blend of rock & country...what some people have coined as "Power Twang." They’re Delaware-County-local out of Sidney, NY, too, and they always bring it.
The members of the Spectacular Average Boys share a common history. Lifelong natives of their hometown, Oneonta New York, they grew up going to the same schools, have lived together, fought like brothers, driven each other mad, and loved one another like family. The group of twenty-somethings clearly have feet planted in both the past and the present, drawing from folk and Americana roots that are passed down as tradition, while injecting the loud, aggressive elements of the music they were drawn to growing up in the ‘90s. The bittersweet beauty of life in Upstate New York, a life full of back roads and long winters, comes through in their music.
From Blues & Roots festivals to straight-up Bluegrass & Acoustic Festivals, it shouldn’t surprise you to see some form of Tumbleweed Highway there. Nor should it surprise you that they have shared the stage with such Legends as Levon Helm, Arlo Guthrie, Steve Earle, Jim Lauderdale, Garth Hudson, Donna the Buffalo, Dickie Betts, and the Marshall Tucker Band.
Esquela, a proud purveyor of the Bovina Rock sound, is not limited by its rural roots but grounded in them, and uses its provenance as a springboard to sing about universals that fans can appreciate. War, politics, relationships and the banalities of everyday life, provide fodder for the band’s original songwriting while a talented and passionate group of musicians wrap those lyrics in a roots-rock-Americana sound that both beguiles and charms its listeners. Esquela has completed the recording of their third album, Obey the Party (with Eric "Roscoe" Ambel, who is also producing and mixing Obey): their artistic evolution is continually apparent, in soul-stirring, big-smile fashion. The band was out for 6 shows in 7 days in May, anchored by The PlayOff regional performance competition at famed Nashville venue Exit/In; Esquela won the regional “battle” in Nashville and went on to win the whole thing at the finals at The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland on September 12th. Esquela has shared the stage with artists like The Bottle Rockets, Dan Baird and Homemade Sin, Whitey Morgan and the 78’s, Marah, Jason Ringenberg, and Eric “Roscoe” Ambel among many others.
One of our foremost instrumentalists and a true hidden American treasure, Ralph White has taken the back roads in his inspired pursuit of the ancient roots of music. The "folk/noise/avant-whatever genius" (Joe Gross, Austin Statesman) has made many strange travels as an itinerant musician and laborer. Thus his intimate, nuanced musical language has slowly revealed itself, along a path that meanders from the apple orchards of British Columbia to the villages of Zimbabwe and Namibia, from the lonesome moors of Ireland to Australia, Brittany, Peru, Louisiana and beyond. There is also the influence of White's hometown of Austin, Texas, a rich musical crossroads in and of itself.
Along with Danny Barnes and Mark Rubin, White completed the original and definitive lineup of country/bluegrass mavericks (and recent Texas Music Hall of Fame inductees) The Bad Livers. He now performs his singular blend of ancient rural folk music and original songwriting as a soloist. Since touring extensively in North America and Europe, White has kept a prolific schedule of independent releases, where borders are erased and music is the only language.
In addition to his solo work, White has recorded or performed with a diverse group of folk and avant-garde musicians: Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth, Jandek, Jack Rose, Eugene Chadbourne, Michelle Shocked, Sun City Girls' Sir Richard Bishop, Powell St. John, and Michael Hurley.
A revered multi-instrumentalist, and bassist to the stars, Christopher has been a founding member of bands such as the Georgia Satellites, the Yayhoos, Dan Baird & Homemade Sin, and Esquela. He has also collaborated with artist like Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Billy Joe Shaver, Tony Joe White, Paul Westerberg, Todd Snider, and Chris Knight. A prolific and published songwriter, Christopher’s works are utilized by many musicians; one of his songs, "Over the Top," was recorded by the legendary Ray Charles, in fact. Christopher received his honorary Catskill Mountains Local certification years ago, and he’s a good friend to lots of good folks around these parts. We’re always thoroughly entertained when he’s around, and we’re honored to have him.
Tim Ruffo has been influenced by a variety of Outlaw Country icons such as Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash. He also found inspiration from Pink Floyd, Johnny Winter and the Rolling Stones. The August 2013 release "Long Long Day" moves you with the emotions connected to working hard, reconnecting with old friends, lost love, survival and hope. Tim Ruffo has opened up for Gretchen Wilson, Eddie Money and Joe Nichols, Deadstring Brothers, Whitey Morgan and the 78’s, and Hellbound Glory to name a few. In the New Year, Tim aspires to share his music with a larger fanbase in the Northeast part of the country and garner a spot on an indie label. The love of live performing is what Tim Ruffo is all about.
Hummel’s Jug was formed in July of 2013 with the interest of melding Outlaw and Modern Country music with Rock. From Waylon Jennings and Brantley Gilbert, to Jimi Hendrix and CCR, their focus is not based solely on recreating the music of all the great artists they respect and admire, but on writing their own songs as well.
Becca Frame and the Tall Boys are a groove-intensive, acoustic celebration of all things rock, blues, Motown and country: signature takes on beloved classics, and soul-stirring originals. BFTB’s stripped-down direction (featuring virtuoso player Brian Shafer on acoustic guitar, and percussionist Todd Russell on cajon and tambourine) provides a wealth of audible space for heralded vocalist Becca Frame to create within. The Tall Boys effort to create a playfully-syncopated and funky, applicably-dynamic and dramatic, musical jungle gym that Becca Frame can have fun swinging around in. Although BFTB is a brand-new entity, Frame and Shafer have been writing and performing together as a duo for more than 5 years, and the three have been band mates for the last 4-5 years; the band is made up of good friends who have lots of experience making music together.
Technicolor Trailer Park is not just a duo, but a force to be reckoned with. With Mandolin, Guitar, Native American Flute, Harmonicas, Kazoos, and raw unfettered talent, they are sure to bring a smile to your face and put a dance in your step. Playing a wide variety of original tunes, and with an arsenal of covers at their disposal, TTP are sure to delight any crowd.
Searingly passionate, blues-based, folk explosion with local-boy Hank "Coyote" Wagner, Rachel Grundy and friends. Penetrating and truthful, Hank Coyote Wagner’s from-the-gut voice and lyrics can lovingly carry your pups and simultaneously haunt you like a howl in the dark. Partnered with sultry vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, Rachel Grundy, Coyote Love Acoustic is a strike-team of positive vibes, music and passion.
Singer/guitarist/songwriter Paul Ryan, Delaware Academy graduate and long-time Altered Walter front-man, will perform an eclectic mix of nifty ditties (from traditional folk to classic rock), with family and friends, on the Ommegang stage.
(Performing in the Delhi Chamber of Commerce Tent)
Meet “Bells & Motley Olden Music” - Sondra Bromka and John Bromka - musicians, storytellers, folklorists, historians, teachers, playwrights, and historic instrument makers! Each performance is a journey into history, a vibrant cultural immersion for the senses. In the words of a presenter: “their gift is their ability to connect with audiences of all ages & levels, to ignite a love of history, arts, ideas, and traditions.”
For 35 years, music has been at the heart and center of all Bells & Motley’s performances, brought to life by a vast array of instruments that range from early Medieval-Renaissance, to Traditional Folk instruments. Theirs is reputed to be the largest collection of its kind in the Northeast! The Bromkas will bring a great selection with them to this year’s Taste of the Catskills Festival, including hammered dulcimer, harp, hurdy gurdy, nyckelharpa, even an assortment of historic bagpipes. There will be traditional favorites like fiddle, mandolin, banjo, button accordions, bodhran and jaw harp; and then a selection of rare oddities from different parts of Europe.
Inspired by the activities and theme of this festival, NYS Heritage instruments and music will play an important role, as this pays a heartfelt musical tribute to our state’s rich cultural history. Says Sondra: “Our state’s agricultural traditions and historic preservation have been an important part of our childhood upbringing, our historic musical work, and now at our historic home in Marcellus, our ever-growing heritage garden activities and orchards!”