Sunday, February 1, 2015

Strugglin' Downhill with John Cohen

THE HOOT is a great concept. It's a community-based Folk Fest (aren't they all?) spearheaded by Mike+Ruthy, the fantastic songwriting duo from West Hurley, NY. Both have Roots and Blues in their soul and have made a great career with their skills. As friends of my own, I've watch them morph into local stars and visionaries while they raise a family together and produce infectious records. LOCAL is the key word here since West Hurley is a stone's throw from Woodstock and its surrounds.

The Hoot takes place in the Winter and Summer at the Ashokan Center where Ruth's father, Jay Ungar is music honcho. Of course, Jay and Molly are national treasures in their own right, and the family connections spread far and wide throughout the community. The 'community' includes folks like my daughter, Angelina, and me. We were there this weekend along with, what seemed to be, the ENTIRE Ulster County community. Frigid weather didn't stop hundreds of families and other music lovers from all around descend on Ashokan to enjoy several intimate performances, both in the great hall and in the intimate Pewter Shop: a small cabin where it's standing room only.

I'll post pictures from yesterday's highlight for me- A front row seat to watch friends of mine play with a friend of my grandfather, Mike Porco. John Cohen is known by thousands of Greenwich Village aficionados as Folk Revival original and one who was at Gerde's in 1960 when music first arrived. To see him performing with tomorrow's Folk Music preservationists was certainly a treat.

Amy Helm stood behind me as we watched the Downhill Strugglers: John Cohen, Eli Smith, Jackson Lynch and Walker Shepard.

Be sure to check out the trailer for the Folkumentary under construction.
It's about Mike Porco and Gerde's Folk City:

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