Tag Archives: environmentalism

What Bearsville, Kirk Bromley, and Donald Fagan have in common…

Bearsville (left), Woodstock (right) and the foot of Mount Guardian in the center.

Bearsville (left), Woodstock (right) and the foot of Mount Guardian in the center.

I’m in Bearsville.

I love Bearsville.

Bearsville is the even artsier town, nestled in the little valley in the Catskills Mountains of New York, where Woodstock lives.

It is also where my heart lives. Where I became Coyote. Where I was a magic boy in the hills. I’m sitting at a tiny plaza on a river in between a group of restaurants called “The Bear”, “The Little Bear”, and “The Saloon”. The compound also houses The Woodstock Barn, and WDST-Woodstock Radio,  in a separate building, once used by Todd Rundgren as his video studio.

WDST at night. The gorgeous vast wood building once housed Todd Rundgren's Video studio.

WDST at night. The gorgeous vast wood building once housed Todd Rundgren’s Video studio.

All of this is about a mile from Bearsville Studios (some of my favorite music in the last 50 years recorded there), and about two miles from The Byrdcliffe Colony.   The Byrdcliffe Colony was once an utopian colony where they made furniture and searched for American style Christian nirvana. Now it’s an arts colony that houses theater and writers and musicians.   I saw The Fugs play in yet another awesome old structure on Byrdcliffe land (my fate as a granola eating, tree hugger was sealed that night).  I have stayed there with my old theater company, and made art, and observed raccoons successfully busting into the theater at night.   Further up that road is sophisticated rock God, Donald Fagan’s house, previously owned by Bob Dylan. This is on Mount Guardian. Up the mountain, on State land, but not far from Mr. Fagan and his neighbors on a little flat, level area in the woods in between but just far enough away from hiking trails…is the spot where I lived in a tent, not once, but twice, for entire summers, while I worked at “The Bear” and in the restaurant across the stone plaza that is now called The Saloon, where I sit now…having a nice glass of local whiskey, and some kale salad, and fries, served by adorable young waitresses, serenaded by crickets and post-millennial hippies with guitars.

The Woodstock Barn. I want one ,Mommy.

The Woodstock Barn. I want one ,Mommy.

Here, working in the kitchen, in the 90’s, and sleeping at night on the mountain (getting coded, numeric love messages from my wife in my tent, on a beeper), I once cooked tuna and tofu for the singer, Jewel, and her band as they workshopped new music. About 20 years later I read a book by Lenedra Caroll, Jewel’s mom, that blew my mind, and is still doing so.

A fantastic book about new paradigms (for Westerners) in business and financial sustainability in connection with world sustainability.

A fantastic book about new paradigms in business and financial sustainability that connect with world sustainability and the evolution of consciousness.

Ari, my friend and my band’s official arranger, is a maniacal fan of both Donald Fagan and Todd Rundgren. Cari Cole, my indie music entrepreneur mentor, who recommended Lenedra Caroll’s book to me, is also Donald Fagan’s vocal coach. She is also how I met Ari, who took the same course with her as I did.

Donald Fagan has the same taste in Mountains and voice coaches as me. Go figure.

Donald Fagan has the same taste in magic mountains and voice coaches as me. Go figure.

midnight

Sarah K. Lipman and Josh Spafford in the Inverse Theater postcard for “Midnight Brainwash Revival.” That I was cast as Coyote, a singing trickster of many guises…said a lot about who I was becoming.

On Mt. Guardian, I was howled at by a coyote, who sat 5 feet away from me, on a full moon night, my last night that I worked at this restaurant that I’m sitting at. I had a fire going, it was too big, I was too loud (high on 50 year old Anejo from my last night party thrown by my bosses at the restaurant) cracking logs on trees to break them.  The coyote easily creeped up on my blind side, sat next to my bonfire, and howled what in human language amounts to “shut up asshole”.   I can be an asshole, and often need to be told to shut up.

2014-11-02-nametag_asshole-thumb

A few years later, my friend, playwright Kirk Bromley, later asked me to play the role of Coyote in his millennial play, Midnight Brainwash Revival.  Kirk can be an asshole.  I once told him to shut up.

It was in Kirk’s theater company, Inverse, that I met Rachel Grundy.  She’s never an asshole, but sometimes tells me to shut up.  We were friends long before I found out she played sax and could sing on key.  I was starting to play my own tunes when I found this out about her.  We’ve been friends and band mates ever since.  Before that I was in a band with Christine Mascott.  She was in Kirk’s first play at Todo Con Nada.  We later did a rock opera about a guy on acid.  This newsletter sounds like I’m on acid.

Panoramic view of The Saloon from the wood fire burning courtyard, complete with hippies busting out guitars after dinner.

Panoramic view of The Saloon from the wood fire burning courtyard, complete with hippies busting out guitars after dinner.

I stopped here tonight almost by chance. I came up here to go to court in Shandaken, to refute a speeding ticket I got while driving home with Coyote Love, from a show in the area. So I had to drive back upstate to plead my case. Thankfully, my 71mph in a 55mph zone was reduced to a $75 parking ticket.  The road through Bearsville holds great memories for me to drive down and I felt compelled to come see what they made of these restaurants and to grab a bite.  I thought about all of these connections as I sat here. And there you go. This is why I believe in a spirit-that-moves-through-all-things. This is why I am coyote. This is why God spelled backwards is dog. HOWOOO

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Last Scheduled NYC Show ’till the Fall!!!

Last chance to catch Coyote Love live in NYC this summer!

We are playing a bunch out of town this summer but we are only doing one NYC show while we work on new arrangements and finish these blues recordings.  Saturday night at 78 Below.  And we want you to see it!

We are out to impress you with our musical prowess, and we are out to impress the management with the huge throng of people crowding in to see us!  So come on down!!!  Best venue to see us in New York.

Leslie’s got the place is done up real nice, the sound is off the hook, there’s food and great drinks all night and we play for no cover at all.

Sat July 13th

78 Below

78th and Columbus

NYC

9:30pm

Current Round of PR Pics, Chosen By You Guys

Thanks so much to you who weighed in your opinions about our PR Pics shot by the lovely Jane Stein.  Based on the responses we got, we are going to use this as the #1 pic for now –

Coyote Love Rooftop 1

photo by Jane Stein

And this one as the follow up pic –

Coyote Love Pic

photo by Jane Stein

Like everything else regarding our blues album, we didn’t strike gold on the first try and we don’t think we found the vibe for the “it” photo.  Jane, Rachel and I all agree we should try again to get the “one”.  But these pics are fantastic for now, and have set the tone for the styling of the shot that we are going for.

Music Every Day Grows Wings in Roxbury

Due to the great time and the successes the kids had when we donated The Music Every Day Educational Project, to the Central school in Roxbury, NY this May…we’ve been invited back to work with 40 more students in the fall!  Coyote Love Entertainment, LLC has partnered with The Greater Roxbury Learning Initiative Corporation (GRLIC), and The Roxbury Central School have applied for a partnership grant so that Music Every Day will ride again!

Music Every Day kids

Students Perform their version of “Music Every Day”

This would be the project in its dream scenario, we’d be integrated with the Language Arts, Choral, and Band classes during the school day for the better part of a week and the kids would perform the following week with Coyote Love as support (and warm up band).  Everyone gets paid and we go away happy and with some lovely video footage to share with the kids, the staff involved, and the world, when we are through.

This partnership and the program we donated in May are inspired by the humanity, energy, and generosity of spirit of the late Terry Doyle, a radio DJ from the Catskills who did a lot to promote us Coyotes on the radio.   And now the project will bring music to even more kids’ lives up there.  He would have loved that.

Cross your fingers for us because the grant application went in two weeks ago.

Upstate Blues Intensive with Moonie Pusey and Mike D

Thanks to the generosity of costume designer Karen Flood and her gourmet chef husband, Henning Nordanger, we are going upstate next week to do some intense blues writing and development to add more songs to the comically late blues series that we have been promising you.  We’ll also be forced to try some of the food at the restaurant that they recently opened together, “Henning’s Local”.  OH FUDGE!

Moonie is a mean blues picker, and Delta inspired blues boogie machine Mike D is the guy I learned the blues with when I was 14.  This collaboration has been a long time coming.  For Mike and I, working with the guy we used to go see live with one of our favorite bands, (Steel Pulse) is a dream come true.  The fact that we get to do it up in Karen’s cathedral-ceilinged, hardwood-floored costume shop while drinking beer, taking nature walks, eating gourmet food and wading in streams is beyond sublime.

But the point of it all is that you need new music to listen to.  You want to be inspired.  And you know that good blues heals the soul.  We want to give that to you.   No matter how long it takes.  This trip brings us all that much closer.

Another Stage For Rachel

Rachel is going through another stage…or rather across one, with the play she is doing at the Brick Theater, in ultra-hip Williamsburg, with our pals from Dysfunctional Theater Company (members of the cast also appear in our soon to be released video for “Blame It”).

Go see Rachel and the Dysfunctional team yuck it up in this comic look at sci-fi culture.

Final Defenders - Play

Dysfunctional Theater Company’s “Final Defenders”

The Brick Theater Inc. and Dysfunctional Theatre Company present

Final Defenders

by Patrick Storck

as part of the Game Play Festival

Dates:

Thursday July 11 – 8pm

Thursday July 18 – 7pm

Saturday July 20 – 4pm

Friday July 26     – 9pm

at The Brick, 579 Metropolitan Avenue (between Union & Lorimer; L to Lorimer, G to Metropolitan)

Tickets: $15

www.dysfunctionaltheatre.org

If you are up on New York culture, The Brick represents the “Indie Theater” movement that grew out small (or large) off-off-off Broadway Theaters like Todo Con NADA and the Theatorium on the Lower East Side (Which by the early 2000’s were priced out of the neighborhood that they helped make cool).  Rachel and I met through Inverse Theater Co, which was right at the front lines of the Indie Theater movement in the late 90’s and early part of the millennium.  So go see her and be a part of Coyote and New York history.  BTW, the bar up the street from the Brick Theater serves free wood oven pizza with your beer.  What?

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