2014 HUDSON RIVER CLEARWATER FESTIVAL

By Steve Kelman

If the diverse world class music wasn’t reason enough to attend the recently held Clearwater Great Hudson River Revival Festival then a myriad of activities at the event, really something for everyone with a pulse- would have provided all the incentive necessary.

In recent years the festival has benefitted from Mother Nature’s weather generosity and this year was no different with warm temperatures and abundant, almost too abundant, sunshine.

                                                                                              Audience

                                                                                              Audience

This year’s festival, held as it is always at Croton Point Park, Croton on Hudson, was also all about honoring the life and legacy of Pete and Toshi Seeger, without whose efforts over the course of several decades, this event would not exist.

Toshi Seeger ran the festival from 1978 through 1992.

There were several tributes held throughout the festival, a very moving tribute to Seeger’s music was presented by the international music and dance company Vanaver Caravan where choreographed dancing accompanied soulful renditions of such Seeger classics as “Where Have all the Flowers Gone” and “Guantanamera.”

During the festival’s closing ceremony musicians David Amram, Josh White Jr., Margo Thunderbird and Rick Nestler honored the Seegers.

“Pete and Toshi are with us in spirit,” David Amram told the large gathering.

“What you see here is their legacy.”
Songs performed during the closing ceremony included Nestler’s “The River that Flows Both Ways” and “Amazing Grace.”

Nora Jones                                                                    Tom Paxton

Also amazing was the festival’s (Sunday) line-up which included the David Bromberg Band, Tom Paxton, Lucinda Williams, a trio fronted by singer Nora Jones called Puss n’ Boots, Bettye Lavette, Rory Block, African American old time string band The Ebony Hillbillies and Brother Josecphus and the Love Revolution, a New York City group with a New Orleans sound and a lot of soul.

    And among this year’s many activities:

  • A solar powered merry go round for the enjoyment of youngsters
  • A Solar Kiosk for recharging cell phones
  • A stop at Back Yard Music, one of the festival venders, to try out a dulcimer or a lap harp
  • Watch a pottery demonstration
  • check out (and purchase) original hand printed art on t-shirts
  • Or even visit an in festival, farmer’s market that offered everything from locally grown produce, (the strawberries were to die for) local honey plus homemade cookies and donuts.

There was also plenty to eat with a variety of food venders offering up everything from Chicken Tikka Masala at Chutney Masala Indian Bistro Indian to organic hot dogs from Papa Dogs.

At the Clearwater festival there is always so many things going on at one time… some performer of group to see, something great to eat, even a musical instrument to try out! 

                                                                                     Closing Ceremony

                                                                                     Closing Ceremony

(WFDU Disc Jockey Vince Scelsa retired in 2015)