Woodstock Playhouse – Fully Handicap Accessible

The Woodstock Playhouse is fully accessible. The outdoor ramp is a soft angle into the building. Bathroom is easy to use. Excellent seating or stay in your chair comfortably.


Woodstock Women’s March

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Woodstock Women’s March Draws Hundreds

Chanting “love, not hate, makes America great,” a throng of protesting marchers wound its way Saturday through the heart of Woodstock a day after Donald Trump was inaugurated as president.

Bearing placards and signs that, among other things, read “Only Love Heals Hate,” “Fight Like A Girl,” and “A Women’s Place Is In the Resistance,” the line of marchers stretched blocks long as it paraded from Andy Lee Field parking lot down Rock City Road to Mill Hill Road.

And while participants did not invoke Trump’s name during the actual procession, billed the “Woodstock Women’s March,” it was clear in interviews the new president was the target of their message.

Barbara Lowry of Woodstock said Trump should take heed. If he doesn’t, Lowry said, “we are not just in bad trouble, we are in deep trouble.”
Leslie Stern, 45, of Woodstock, like many other marchers, said she came out “to show solidarity.”

Organizers say the attendance was probably around 1,000 people who were led in their procession by a Woodstock Police Department patrol car slowly cruising under bright blue skies and amid mild temperatures.

The two-hour event began at 11 a.m. and the procession wound up at Bradley Meadows parking lot where people were entertained with folk songs and protest tunes such as “We Shall Overcome,” an anthem of the African-American Civil Rights movement.

Marchers were expected to wind up at the Woodstock Village Green where a moment of silence was to be held.

Not all of the marchers were women.

Article by Paul Kirby, Daily Freeman, “Woodstock Women’s March Draws Hundreds”

Photos by Jimmy McHugh


Shamsi Ruhe at the Mothership

Shamsi Performing at the Mothership (with Interview)

Shamsi Ruhe is a singer and songwriter with a female folk/alternative music vibe likened to Tracy Chapman and The Weepies.

Ruhe was the lead singer in the band ONE based out of Phoenix, AZ. She was signed to Mercury Records when she was nineteen years old, and subsequently signed by Chris Blackwell to Island Records.

Shamsi Ruhe writes and sings much of her own material. She has worked with Grammy award winning producers Paul Kolderie (Pixies, Warren Zevon, The Go-Go’s, Hole, Radiohead), Dean Jones (Dog On Fleas and The Felice Brothers), and Paul Ebersold (3 Doors Down, Sister Hazel). She also wrote and recorded with a team composed of Grammy nominated producer Rick Chertoff and Eric Bazilian, and Rob Hyman of The Hooters at Rykodisc.

Even though Shamsi was virtually tone deaf in childhood, her mother had dreamed about her while pregnant, envisioning a girl with a huge voice singing in a concert hall. So Shamsi was placed in vocal training with an opera coach at age four.

She grew up in Nashville, singing and writing songs and taking more operatic voice lessons.

Shamsi currently resides and performs in Woodstock, NY.

Article by Aspen Beat
Feature photo by Aspen Beat

Video filmed, edited and uploaded by Come to Woodstock
(with a little help from Jade)


Mountain Jam Festival

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Mountain Jam’s Three Stages allow for Continuous Music

Mountain Jam was originally conceived to celebrate the 25th anniversary of WDST/Radio Woodstock. More than 3,300 people attended the initial one-day event in 2005, reviews of which were overwhelmingly positive. The founders, including Warren Haynes, Gary Chetkof and members of Radio Woodstock, decided to make the event annual. Over time, the festival has grown to include a diverse lineup of smaller artists, as well as large acts including Michael Franti and Spearhead, Widespread Panic, The Black Keys and The Allman Brothers Band. Gov’t Mule, the band Haynes co-founded, has performed at every Mountain Jam thus far.

Mountain Jam’s three stages allow for continuous music each day. The East Stage is the largest, overlooking the main terrain of the resort. Adjacent to the East Stage is the West Stage, near the resort’s chair lift; and inside the Base Lodge a third stage is set up for late night acts and musicians who require indoor amenities. Amenities for event goers include a tent camping area in the Hunter One section of the resort and RV camping farther up the mountain. Various hotels also serve the town year-round, and the Kaatskill Mountain Club hotel and Liftside Condominiums are both within walking distance of the festival.

Some years have seen non-stop rain for almost the entire duration of the festival, while other events have had sunny and temperate weather.

Article by Wikipedia
Feature photo by Dina Kaliko

Photo of Mountain Jam banner by Doug Potoksky
Photo of Tom Petty by Joshua Timmermans
Photo of hula hooping girl by Cory Schwartz, Getty Images
Photo of stage by Bass Feeds the Soul
Photo of Michael Franti by Dina Kaliko
Photo of nighttime stage by Doug Potoksky
Photo of Warren Haynes by Doug Potoksky


Village Green Peace Pole

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Located on the Village Green in Woodstock – Dedicated on September 21, 2008

It was a lovely, sunny day for a gathering of peacemakers to join in celebration for the dedication of the Woodstock Peace Pole .The erection of the Peace Pole is the perfect symbol for a town that stands for peace and love.

The people were engaged with upbeat music performed by local musicians, clergy with their messages of forgiveness and a time to embrace love and VIPs with profound messages of peace on earth, war no more, make love not war, peace now and may peace prevail on earth. This is just some of the usual folly that often happens in Woodstock, New York, a town filled with artists, musicians and tolerant people who have learned the meaning of sharing.

Woodstock is a community that has so many benefits to help others. Why not feel blessed to be here? Whether you’ve come for a day, week or summer visit, or you’re a full-time resident, this community has what it takes to make you long for more. While we are surrounded with the chaos of radiation leaks at Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant and our close proximity to potential disaster, let us all take solace in our Woodstock peace pole with the message of peace in hundreds of languages. Spread the good pollen around the world.

Pole located on the Village Green, center of Woodstock
Dedicated on September 21, 2008
Video of Ceremony

Article by Shelli Lipton, Director, Woodstock Museum
Feature photo by unknown

Photo of march by Lynda Herbeck
Photo of flag ceremony by Jeff Moran, Woodstock Town Supervisor
Photo of dedication ceremony by Lynda Herbeck
Photo of installation by unknown


Maverick Concert’s 100th Anniversary

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Music in the Woods for over 100 Years

Noise and nature will connect once again this summer, as local music lovers unite to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Maverick Concerts in Woodstock. Throughout the summer, Maverick Concert Hall will continue the yearly tradition of a summer filled with classical and jazz music, fulfilling Hervey White’s vision.

Founded in 1916 by Hervey White, a local resident with a love for the arts, the first festival set the stage for the legacy that would soon follow. White’s background in writing financed his dream of establishing his own arts colony where promising artists could showcase their talents. What began as numerous small cabins in the woods, where flocking musicians played music for enjoyment and paid rent only if they could, became an influential festival, where White raised enough money to build the iconic handcrafted outdoor concert hall that has been used since its construction in 1916.

Nothing short of an architectural masterpiece, Maverick Concert Hall is perfectly nestled in nature. Seemingly protected by the trees and time, the hall boasts both covered and outdoor seating, incredibly high wooden beams that allow the music to beautifully echo, and a stage that connects performers and attendees as one.

Continuing a century long tradition is no small feat. Alexander Platt, Maverick’s Music Director explains, “The Maverick has survived an entire century, through wars, hurricanes and depressions both tropical and economic, for three very simple reasons: a devoted audience, which now comes both from Woodstock and the entire region, a devotion to the highest musical quality, and the devotion of an amazing band of volunteers, whether they be our friends, board members, or tustees.”

The time and loyalty that has been put into this affair guarantees the 2015 season is sure to be nothing short of memorable. In honor of the 100th Anniversary, many of the events will celebrate where it all began as a re-creation of the first season. Kicking off the season on the centennial note, a Peter Schickele original, “Maverick” will be performed by NEXUS, a much loved percussion ensemble. Performances by the Shanghai Quartet and Ran Dank will further recognize the sounds of a concert from Maverick’s first season.

The classical and jazz genres that have long been associated with the Maverick festivals and add to its charm and popularity will continue throughout the 2015 season. While many of the musicians on the schedule create original pieces, many will perform classic arrangements by influential composers during the event, including Ludwig van Beethoven, Joseph Haydn, and Daron Hagen.

In comparison, there will also be artists performing the works of Romantic era composers such as Franz Schubert, Felix Mendelssohn, and Robert Schumann. The variation in themes between the classical and Romantic era music, as well as the avant-garde genre by composers John Cage and Henry Cowell, are sure to offer something for everyone.

Jazz at the Maverick is a beloved tradition, and as such numerous jazz events will be hosted. Two Grammy nominated pianists, Eldar Djangirov Trio and Fred Hersch, will be performing. Their repertoires span the spectrum of jazz with influences ranging from modern to swing. Multiple guitarists will be performing a variety of jazz genres, one of whom will also be singing songs by prominent musicians such as Gershwin, Rodgers and Hart, and Cole Porter.

While the music is perhaps the main event at the Maverick festivals, other acts can be seen as well. A salute to White, whose original events often included theatrical performances in addition to music, Actors and Writers, a local group of theatre and film professionals throughout the Hudson Valley, will hold numerous performances throughout the season. In addition to presenting original short plays written by members of the company, they will also perform a reading of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, as well as a reading of Paddy Chayefsky’s Broadway hit, Middle of the Night.

A love for the arts is where it all began. One man’s vision led to a festival that would continue on to reach its centennial. The 100th Anniversary of the Maverick Concerts is right around the corner, a hidden gem in our very own Woodstock, the stage and sounds a sign of the dedication of those who share a love for music and White’s legacy.

Platt simply states, “This year will certainly be no exception, as we bring to Woodstock some of the very best in the classical, world, folk, and jazz scene today. I really can’t wait to get back to my mountain perch, and be with you all again.”

Maverick’s 100th anniversary happened in 2015. Current schedule.

Article by Chantel O’Connor
Feature photo by unknown

Photo of concert hall at night by unknown
Photo of ladies and gentlemen by The Gaede Striebel Archive
Photo of Hervey White by unknown
Photo of the crowd by unknown
Photo of Tokyo String Quartet by unknown
Photo of Zuill rehearsal on the Maverick stage by unknown


Amy Helm, A Woodstock Legacy

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Born into American Musical Royalty

In a recent interview with Woodstock Magazine, Amy Helm shed light on her new upcoming solo album. Slated for a June debut release, Amy Helm and The Handsome Strangers will perform at Mountain Jam and will continue to perform on stages and festivals throughout the year.

This body of work is her first endeavor to front a band, featuring her strong angelic voice as well as her talents on multiple instruments, including mandolin and guitar.

Helm says, “It has taken me some work to meet the physical challenge of singing and playing up front for an entire show.”

Having enjoyed her work with Ollabelle, the band she anchored along with Byron Isaacs, her life’s work has prepared her for a solo album. The Handsome Strangers consists of Byron Isaacs (bass & vocals), Don Littleton (guitar & vocals) and David Berger (drums/percussion).

Amy states that many of the talented musicians that have performed with The Handsome Strangers (or those who frequented The Barn, home of The Midnight Rambles) also appear on or influenced her album, such as Larry Campbell, Teresa Williams, Liz Mitchell, Catherine Russell, Jim Weider and many more.

Born into American musical royalty as the daughter of Levon Helm (songsmith, drummer, mandolin, and vocalist for The Band) and vocalist Libby Titus, Amy Helm is no stranger to public and recorded performances. Not too many entities can call on such a musical pedigree, gracing the roster of The Midnight Rambles (Levon’s realized dream of both a performance stage and recording studio). The Ramble Band, Ollabelle, and Dirt Farmer Band, all working projects of Levon’s that feature performances with Amy Helm.

Originals and a few covers make up this album with a sound, like a fine gumbo, that includes one part blues, a dash of Cajun spice, a touch of classic rock and a bit o’ soulful gospel for good measure.  An early copy of the debut album can be shipped directly to you with three sneak peek mp3s: visit and click on the “Pledge” icon.

When the daughter of Woodstock’s favorite son produces an album with liner notes that read like an entertainment Who’s Who, then our future as the audience is so bright, we gotta wear shades.  We, collectively as a community, wish to thank Amy Helm, as well as the crews and supporting staff that work behind the scenes to maintain what appears so effortless. “The Woodstock community has constantly been supportive of Levon and the endeavors of Levon Helm Studios,” says Amy.

As important as her music career is, Helm’s family values are best demonstrated in her daily life and role as a mom.  Her nurturing abilities are not diluted by busy scheduling.  As we chatted, she created a calming environment while her son enjoyed a mid-week school sick-day and mom’s company.

The Band and Bob Dylan honed an Americana folk sound, which eventually led to Levon Helm’s album “Dirt Farmer” achieving a Best Folk Album Grammy Award in ’08. Amy Helm shared production credits and provided vocals and instrumentation. Worthy of note, former Dylan guitarist/sideman Larry Campbell co-produced “Dirt Farmer,” and provided direction and instrumentation. The world was hungry for this musical meld and lightning struck twice as “Electric Dirt,” Levon’s final album, won yet another Grammy in a newly created category, “Best Americana Album.”

This is a sound and style not learned or simply produced, but seeped and distilled like moonshine. Levon Helm has inspired musicianship as well as agricultural education to young people through Onteora School benefits and The Rambles, and Amy Helm carries on that legacy. It is not uncommon for The Barn to bring students from the local Paul Green Rock Academy and introduce them to live stage performances.

Far from Nashville, nestled in the Catskills, Levon Helm’s dream remains fulfilled, with a cozy performance venue at The Barn, served up homestyle like the Grand Ole Opry. The Midnight Rambles will continue to present eclectic performances with iconic musicians.

Woodstock has a long history as a cultural destination for artists and musicians. As the 50’s brought on the beatnik subculture and bohemian lifestyle, that subculture was adopted by musicians in many parts of America (though the West Coast and San Francisco may have been the cradle of the bohemian stylized culture). As the 60’s transpired, it was not adults with regular jobs and families who influenced the culture, but a restless movement by young people referred to as “hippies.” Free thinkers, radicals and communes filled TV news and periodicals of the time. Vietnam was an unpopular war in a land most Americans could not find on a globe. While a generation chanted for peace, it was peppered with dissent, and the music of the time reflected this.

By 1965, music was changing. Joni Mitchell, Peter Paul and Mary, Joan Baez, and The Mamas and Papas maintained acoustical strumming as accompaniment. Bob Zimmerman, later known as Bob Dylan, brought timeless yet modern folk music to the masses. Steeped in poetry and simple chords, with only a guitar and harmonica for backing, his music grew immensely popular with a youthful audience hungry to call a style their own. Soon, even Bob Dylan morphed by using electric accompaniment.  Perhaps it was under the advisement of then-manager Albert Grossman (a Woodstock producer to many rock acts) that Dylan should tour with this electrified version of a folk band, The Hawks.  Levon Helm was on drums, and Rick Danko, Richard Manuel, Garth Hudson and Robbie Robertson rounded out this backup band, which toured with Ronnie Hawkins, a known rock & roller. This electrified accompaniment (soon to be known as “The Band”) did not sit well with some of Dylan’s audience.

After a European tour, Dylan, who at the time called Woodstock home, was convalescing for nearly a year from a rather serious motorcycle accident he suffered locally, on Striebel Road in Bearsville. Soon his band also settled into Woodstock. The Band assembled tracks at the house they rented called “Big Pink,” where they composed the album “Music from Big Pink.” This pink house in West Saugerties was also where Dylan created the sketch tracks that became known as “The Basement Tapes.” This very successful plethora of tunes honed by Dylan, along with individual members of The Band, was released first as bootlegs, and as a complete album in 2014.

The 1967 “Summer of Love” was rather like an incubation period for bigger things to come. In ’68, entrepreneur Michael Lang got his feet wet in business and concert promotion in Florida, but it was here in Woodstock in 1969 that the town’s namesake concert formed its roots. Township fathers became unsettled, fearing the size of such gatherings in the past, before Max Yasgur’s farm in Bethel became the festival site. Michael Lang and partner Artie Kornfeld swam against the tide of public opinion to orchestrate the largest peaceful assembly of man and most successful music festival of its time.

While there were the hard rockers of the day appearing on the Woodstock festival stage, they were sometimes followed by easy folk and blends of both genres. Music became a melting pot as Jimi Hendrix’s stinging licks were appreciated by the same audience drinking in acoustical melodies. Together, musicians developed their craft and married sounds and styles from Chicken Scratch, Arkansas (Levon’s home), to San Francisco, to New York City.

Since the earliest days of colonization, historic events led to the shaping of Woodstock as a cultural destination sought by artisans, writers, musicians, agriculturists, craftspeople, industrialists, and of course, even you and me.

After English explorer Henry Hudson sailed up the river now bearing his name, word of this lush and fertile area spread throughout Europe. Authors built reputations by writing prose and poetry such as Washington Irving’s “Rip Van Winkle,” a legend that has stood the test of time. In the story, a somewhat lazy ‘local’ downs a few pints with Hudson’s crew and naps for 20 years in the Catskill Mountains near Palenville.  He awakens years later to realize time has passed him by, a somewhat mystical hypnotic effect visitors often still succumb to.

Story and legend were not the only forms of expression that flourished. An entire movement of landscape painting ensued as The Hudson River School was founded by Thomas Cole and brought students like Frederic Edwin Church, known for his huge oil landscape paintings. Not far from us here, across the river at his mansion (Olana), many of his massive works may be viewed. Certainly worth a visit.

While the Hudson River School attracted painters to this area, another venue was born under the direction of Jane Byrd McCall, Ralph Radcliffe Whitehead, Bolton Brown and Hervey White. The Byrdcliffe Arts Colony was founded in 1902 and remains functional today. The center still provides performance stages, art exhibitions, workshops, and classes to foster an environment of artistic culture. It often provided lodging to aspiring artists and musicians– including, in the 60’s, Bob Dylan.

Yet another colony was constructed in 1916 by Hervey White, and Maverick Concerts formed. Still offering performances today and featuring chamber music as a mainstay, there is no limit to the genres they will nurture. It was in 1952 when musician/pianist David Tudor performed a piece created by experimental music composer John Cage. Soon to be referred to as “4’33,” it consisted of 4 minutes and 33 seconds with no written or recorded notes. Instead, the audience listened to ambient sounds of wind, birds, weather, and even the audience-generated noise. Perhaps too avant-garde for me, but exemplary of the freethinking Woodstock is known for. Maverick also created the Young Peoples Concerts and fostered educational programs.

Today Woodstock still stands as a community supporting art, music, and entertainment. This town has been home to many of the greats, and while we mourn the loss of our favorite son, Levon, the torch is carried by Amy Helm. And she carries it well.

Article by Craig McCornock
Feature photo by unknown

Photo of Levon and Amy Helm by Doug Potoksky
Photo of Amy Helm by Connie Ward
Photo of Levon and Amy Helm at the Colony Cafe by Doug Potoksky
Photo of Amy Helm performing at the Barn by Bob Minkin