FIRST NIGHT SARANAC LAKE 2017 PERFORMERS, DECEMBER 31, 2016
Please Note: Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis and all sites will be emptied before the next audience is allowed in. As many performances take place in houses of worship, please pay proper respect.
Food and beverages are not permitted in any sites, except where sold at on-site concessions
Amy Gallatin & Stillwaters
Amy Gallatin and resophonic guitarist Roger Williams - 20- and 40-year veterans of the New England music scene - joined forces a few years ago to explore their mutual love of country standards, served up with acoustic treatment in the bluegrass vein. The result is a toe-tapping blend of heartfelt vocals, soaring harmonies and red-hot picking. The two are enhanced on mandolin and vocals by Roger's son JD and veteran bassist Eric Levenson.
http://www.amygallatin.com First United Methodist Church - 9 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Caravan of Thieves
This band is, in its own words, "Gypsy swinging serenading fire breathing circus freaks!" Driving Gypsy jazz rhythms, acoustic guitars, upright bass and violin lay the foundation for vocal harmonies and theatrical, humorous stories. To quote them again, "If Django Reinhardt, the cast of Stomp and the Beatles all had a party at Tim Burton's house, Caravan of Thieves would be the band they hired."
http://caravanofthieves.com Pendragon Theatre - 10 p.m. and 11 p.m.
This Saranac Lake-based quintet features hot rhythms and solos against fast swing tempos and close vocal harmony. Influences include traditional New Orleans jazz, the Boswell Sisters, Anette Hanshaw and Django Reinhardt as well as vaudeville and Hawaiian music of the early 20th century. Mark Hofschneider founded the band in 2010 after his wife suggested he play less clawhammer banjo and more ukulele. He, bassist Russ Mulvey, and guitarists Bobby Davis and Alex Marklund play tight instrumental arrangements to highlight the vocal harmonies of Sarah Curtis and Redia Spada.
http://counterpointmedia.net/crackinfoxy Pendragon Theatre - 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Deep Freeze Contraband
Beth Robinson of Potsdam is the caller of this new contra dance group full of old souls, including her husband Matt Bullwinkel and a trio of Saranac Lakers: flutist Sue Grimm Hanley, fiddler Jeff Couture and percussionist Joe Dockery
Saranac Village at Will Rogers - 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.
"Hearing Hot Flannel is like floating on a tidy raft of trusty timbers down the clear running waters of an old Vermont river in the bright, hot sun. New-Grass music at its finest" - that's how this band of bluegrass musicians describes itself. Fifth-generation Vermont-born fiddler Patrick Ross, who fronts the group, has performed at the Kennedy Center and Library of Congress. Guitarist Doug Perkins also tours with the drummer from the band Phish. Adam Buchwald will be the mandolin player.
http://patrickrossmusic.com St. Luke's Episcopal Church - 6 p.m., 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Jeff Boyer has been excited about bubbles and physics since he was a kid, and has been amusing and educating family audiences since 1993, including three times previously at First Night Saranac Lake. A trained actor, he started Jeff Boyer Productions in 1999 and began creating bubble shows in 2005, soon raising audience participation to a new level.
http://jeffboyer.com Saranac Lake Free Library - 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Jim Griebsch, Filmmaker
This award-winning local independent film and video director presents "Motion Pictures of Saranac Lake's Historic Past," a compilation of rarely seen motion picture footage taken in this village and the surrounding Adirondacks from the 1920s to the 1960s. Included are downtown scenes when early automobiles and horse-drawn wagons shared the streets, ice sports, water sports and visits by President Calvin Coolidge in 1926 and then-Gov. Franklin Roosevelt in 1929. Jim has been working with the Adirondack Room of the Saranac Lake Free Library to restore and digitize the Kollecker film collection, now shown in full HD video, and people have come forward with additional 16mm and 8mm film footage that is being integrated into the collection.
First Presbyterian Church - 6 p.m and 7 p.m.
A battle of wizards will highlight these First Night favorites' performance this New Year's Eve. This family entertainment troupe consists of Matt Paul and Maria DeAngelo of Saranac Lake and Scott Eichholz of Long Island. They specialize in clowning, magic tricks, storytelling, puppetry, balloon animals and audience participation.
http://loonworks.weebly.com/ Adirondack Carousel - 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Maria Zemantauski & Brian Melick Flamenco
Flamenco guitarist-composer Maria Zemantauski has performed in Spain, Italy and across the continental United States. Based in New York's Capital District, she maintains an active career as a teacher, lecturer and performer. She is joined by world percussionist-author-educator Brian Melick, a featured artist on more than 375 commercially released recordings with artists whose styles range from Irish Celtic, jazz and folk to classical, pop Latin and flamenco. As a duo, they are noted for their fiery rhythms and simpatico performance energy.
www.mariazguitar.com St. Luke's Episcopal Church - 9 p.m. and 10 p.m.
A First Night Saranac Lake regular, this stand-up comedian has made numerous TV appearances, highlighted by performances on "Conan," "Jimmy Kimmel Live" and two sets on "The Late Show with David Letterman." Moody was born in Syracuse into a rambunctious Irish household with six siblings, began doing comedy in 1992 and, after six years of performing regionally, decided his apartment was too big and moved to New York City. He's been featured on "Last Comic Standing," "Star Search" (the 2003 reboot), "America's Got Talent" and "Gotham Comedy Live." He's a regular at some of the best clubs in the land and can be heard on SiriusXM
www.moodymccarthy.com First Presbyterian Church - 8 p.m., 9 p.m. and 10 p.m.
This space-folk band of 20-somethings released "Pauses," a full-length album of original songs, in 2015 and more recently moved camp from their hometown of Tupper Lake to Albany. Emily Mitchell and Mark Pratico share vocals as well as glistening guitars and keyboards, Cody Reandeau plays bass, and Broyce Guerette will keep the rhythm on drums.
http://musicmorningpeople.com First United Methodist Church - 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Plattsburgh State Gospel Choir
Founded by students in 1991, this energetic group of singers fuses traditional gospel, urban gospel, contemporary Christian music, European harmonies, Caribbean and Afrocentric rhythms and overtones. It consists of dozens of Plattsburgh State University students, alumni, faculty, staff, and people from the local community, and averages about 25 performances a year.
http://www.plattsburghstategospelchoir.org St. Bernard's Catholic Church - 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.
School superintendent by day, Stephen moonlights as a physical comedian. His fast-paced performances display many classic vaudeville and circus skills including juggling, unicycling, rope walking, object balancing and other feats of daring, bravery and side-splitting foolishness. The high point of each performance is invariably the audience participation. Stephen is now joined in his show by his three sons: Schuyler (age 17), Gabriel (14) and Christian (11) - a true "family circus."
http://www.gratto.net Harrietstown Town Hall - 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Paul Winchell, "Saturday Night Live," "Nick at Night" and the Cartoon Network influenced Sylvia Fletcher to ask for a puppet, practice ventriloquism for hours on end and eventually master the art. She lives in the Saratoga Springs region and tours the world with the Magic Trunk, a box inhabited by a bunch of quick-witted puppets and inanimate objects that she comically brings to life through ventriloquism.
http://www.themagictrunk.com Saranac Lake Free Library - 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.
The Biscuit Rollers
This local all-star blues-rock quintet has performed together only once, as the closing act of Hobofest 2013. Now it's time for Saranac Lake bluesman Steve Langdon, Ned and Liz Rauch (of Tall County and formerly Frankenpine), Dan Spada and Rich Weber to get the band back together for another rollicking closing act.
Video of the Biscuit Rollers at Hobofest 2013: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOsA3Rl0Ocs Elks Club - 10 p.m. and 11 p.m.
The Grip Weeds
This power-pop-psychedelic-rock band from New Jersey writes melodic nuggets that echo the 1960s and '70s. Together for decades and embraced by Little Steven's Underground Garage satellite radio show, the Grip Weeds also moonlight as backup band for '60s legend Mark Lindsay, former lead singer of Paul Revere and the Raiders. Their show in Saranac Lake will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love, including songs from that era along with Grip Weeds originals from their extensive catalog of albums.
http://www.gripweeds.com Harrietstown Town Hall - 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.
The Blind Spots
Powerhouse singer Maddy Walsh fronts this "moxy rock" band from Ithaca, and guitarist Mike Suave may be known to some North Country live music lovers from his days in the South Catherine Street Jug Band. The Blind Spots released its third album of original songs, "Rhizomatic," in 2015, and reportedly is cooking up a fourth
http://www.theblindspots.com Harrietstown Town Hall - 10 p.m. and 11 p.m.
This septet from New York's Hudson Valley began among college peers in 2011 and weathered the challenges of graduations, unemployment and members moving across three states to continue writing songs and touring the Northeast, and in the process won some glowing press and devoted fans. Singers Mary Kenney, Melanie Glenn and Allison Olender shine in rich three-part harmony paired with an eclectic mix of instruments including mandolin (Ryan Chappell), upright bass (Harry D'Agostino), cajon (Dean Mahoney) and saxophone (Christian Joao).
http://www.upstaterubdown.com Elks Club - 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.