Tag Archives: McCauley Mtn. Music Fest

10,000 Maniacs, from left, Jeff Erickson, Jerome Augustyniak on drums, Mary Ramsey, Steven Gustafson on bass, and Dennis Drew keys.

McCauley Mountain hosts 2nd Annual Music Festival


Top: 10,000 Maniacs lead vocalist, Mary Ramsey Middle: 10,000 Maniacs, from left, Jeff Erickson, Jerome Augustyniak on drums, Mary Ramsey, Steven Gustafson on bass, and Dennis Drew keys. Bottom: Katie Keating

Some young fans who enjoyed he music and the dampness were, from left, Seamus Birtle, Schuyler Uzdavinis, Katie Case, and SaraBelle Helmes. Photo by Jamie Lawson

The Second Annual McCauley Mountain Music Festival took place this past Saturday, August 6. Regardless of what meteorologists were predicting for the weekend’s forecast, crowds braved the weather for the sake of the music.

Positioned between the grill area and the Biergarten, this year’s event began with Jon Liebing warming up the crowd under the side stage tent while The Nards featuring Paul Case did a sound check on the main Chalet Stage.

After Paul Case and the Nards finished their set, the audience was treated to a special collaborative appearance by Katie Keating and Jon Liebing at the side stage.

As Mark Doyle and the Maniacs took the stage, the rain started to fall gently down onto the field. Fans remained unfazed by the slight rainfall as they continued to dance and enjoy the music.

Front: Travis and Chip Kiefer, Felicity Davey, Nick Bankert, Maggie Morelli. In back are John Morelli and Gary Staab

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10,000 Maniacs bassist… An interview with Steve Gustafson

Steve Gustafson, the bassist and a founding member of 10,000 Maniacs is currently the Tech-ni-cal Director of the Sharmann Theater, and an adjunct professor at Jamestown Community College where he teaches Theater Production and The Business of Music.

Married in 1987, Steven lives with his wife and two children in a house he designed and built on 70 acres of land in the countryside of Southern Chautauqua County.

In the week leading up to the August 6, 10,000 Maniacs performance at the McCauley Mountain Music Festival, I had the opportunity to conduct the following interview with Gustafson.

DA: Have you spent any time in the Adirondacks or in Old Forge?

SG: We haven’t spent much time in the Adirondacks, besides driving through them. I’ve never been to Old Forge.

DA: I have been reading some very favorable reviews about your sold out City Winery shows including a review by Dave Astor in the Huffington Post where he makes a plea to have 10,000 Maniacs inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

What are your thoughts on this? Is this something that the band has been aiming for over the past 30 years?

SG: It was nice of Dave to write that. I was more excited about his review of our new songs. Quite honestly, we don’t give the Hall of Fame much thought.

The past 30 years has been a riot and we always enjoy playing our music, but our aim is to write good songs, make good recordings, play well at our shows, and laugh a lot.

DA: After 30 years of making music, does it ever get repetitive and/or tedious? Or is it always something new for you?

SG: Traveling can get tedious. Have you been to an airport lately? I enjoy visiting other cities and cultures.

A wonderful side effect of being in a successful band is the places you go.

I’ve been to 19 countries around the world and to 46 of the 50 United States. After 30 years we’ve almost seen it all.

DA: You have recently posted some songs from your new album on reverbnation.com, can you tell me a bit about the creative process with this album?

SG: The creative process doesn’t change much. When writing a song, you’re looking for melody, rhythm and words that people can relate to.

The basic recording process hasn’t changed much though the equipment is a little different.

Still, the most important part of the process is having a good song and using good microphones.

For this new album, we recorded the basic tracks to 13 songs over four days in a theater in Jamestown.

We did the overdubs at our rehearsal studio in an old furniture factory and we’re mixing it at a small studio our sound engineer owns.

It’s a lot like the first records we recorded way back in 1982-83. Cheap and fast.

DA: What was the band striving for? What is your favorite new song to play, and why?

SG: We strive to be in time and in tune, then capture the emotion.

We’ve been playing 3 to 4 of the new songs in the set. I enjoy playing them all.

There are some unfinished songs that I look forward to playing live.

DA: When and where will listeners be able to purchase the new album?

SG: No decision has been made as to when the album will be released. We’re still working it. This summer tour got in the way of recording. For the time being, listeners will have accept free streams.

DA: Your songs have always crossed over multiple musical genres, and you essentially pioneered college and alternative rock, which—besides each other—musicians have helped to inspire you to make and continue to make such ground-breaking music?

SG: We each take influence from different places. When our band started in 1981 we were listening to The Clash, Bob Marley, The Cure, Talking Heads, stuff like that. One of my favorite albums from that time is The Gang of Four’s Entertainment. It changed my life.

DA: Which songs do you consider to be the most technically difficult to play, and why?

SG: If it’s difficult, I don’t play it.

DA: Over the past 30 years, the way music has been produced and marketed has obviously changed drastically, what do you feel has been one of the largest changes in the music industry, and do you feel that the change has been for the better?

SG: Record companies thought they were pretty smart in 1985 when they started using the new digital format and printing CDs. Everyone went out and bought all their favorite albums again and the companies made a lot of money from it, but they shot themselves in the foot while they were looting the store. P2P file sharing crashed their model. The companies are no longer the purveyors of good taste. Youtube is.

DA: Could you offer some advice to aspiring musicians on what it takes to have a decades-spanning multi-platinum career?

SG: Wanting to be famous is for freaks. You should want to be good at what you do. You have to work very hard, sacrifice everything and get lucky. You have to write good songs and be willing to sleep on floors and sell your plasma to eat. We did.

DA: I have always been curious to find out about embarrassing on-stage moments. Would you be willing to share an embarrassing on-stage moment with the readers?

SG: Have you seen me perform on stage? Total embarrassment.


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Performing at McCauley Music Festival Mark Doyle & Maniacs pay homage to rock guitar’s pioneer masters

A second band of maniacs has been scheduled to perform at the McCauley Mountain Festival on Saturday, August 6—one that’s very different from the 10K variety—they are Mark Doyle and the Maniacs, a talented quartet out of Syracuse.

The eponymously named outift is the brain-child of Grammy-award winning producer and guitarist, Mark Doyle.

Signed to RCA in the early ’70s with his first band, Jukin’ Bone, Doyle has has gone on to record and tour with artists as varied as Meat Loaf, Judy Collins, Leo Sayer, and Hall & Oates.

He also contributed backing vocals and arrangements to Bryan Adams’ hit “Straight From The Heart.”

Later he became a producer for the New Kids On The Block.

In describing “Shake ’Em On Down,” his first record with The Maniacs group, Mark said he reached back to his earliest musical influences, specifically Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Peter Green and Kim Simmonds.

“Old heroes die hard, and these were mine back when I was a teenager and first started playing the electric guitar. I’m sure [they] had their own heroes—‘authentic’ blues men like B. B., Albert, and Freddie King, Otis Rush, Hubert Sumlin and Buddy Guy, but I did not yet know of them, and only discovered them translated and morphed through the brilliant playing of those four English kids,” Mark said.

Their most recent album, “Comin’ Home,” was created as a way to preserve and respect the great music of the British Blues Boom era of the Sixties.

With an impassioned line-up that includes Frank DeFond on drums and percussion, Michael P. Ryan on bass and vocals, and Terry Quill on harmonica, second guitar, and vocals, this quartet has set out to preserve the pioneering sounds of Blues, Rock and British Blues.

And they are anxious to bring their performance to McCauley’s Old Forge audience.

“We’re thrilled to be a part of the festival!” wrote Greg Jackson, the band’s manager, on Facebook.


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You’ll know ’em when you hear ’em: Lucid coming to McCauley Fest

Lucid, a band formed in Plattsburg, NY, has been honing its act in the recording studio and with live performances across the North Country for the past seven years.

They are scheduled to take the stage at the McCauley Music Festival between 7 and 8:30 p.m., on Saturday, August 6.

“Our sound is catchy yet eclectic. The songs get stuck in your head, and there is a very distinct tone,” said Andrew Deller, the band’s keyboardist.

“The influences and the styles we play are wide ranging. But always at the center of it all is a thick thread of rock tying everything together. Our music has a little something for everybody,” he said.

And audiences can be very appreciative. “We get applause, we get hooting and hollering, and sometimes nakedness. They’re always dancing,” Deller said.

Releasing their first album “Miles Deep” in 2005, the group says it focuses on the Three P’s—performance, production, and partying.

The band prides itself in being “the total package,” Deller added.

They can fit onto a postage stamp for an acoustic show, throw down in a backwoods bar for six hours, and pack a hall or pack a field, he said.

Deller’s bandmates are James Armstrong on sax, Kevin Sabourin on guitar, Ryan “Rippy” Trumbull on drums, and Lowell Wurster on percussion. All contribute on vocals.


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McCauley Fest: Popular local musicians to share stage too

Case, Liebing, and Notarthomas looking forward to great day of music

Other Native Upstate musicians that are known for great live performances and enthusiastic followings—and who will be performing at the McCauley Music Festival on Saturday, August 6—are Jon Liebing, Jamie Notarthomas, and The Nards featuring Paul Case.

Paul Case

When asked about the festival, Paul Case said he is excited that such a day of music is being held locally.

“It’s a great thing to come to Old Forge,” he said. “And we’re looking for it to take off and be a great success. There’s going to be some really great music, and because it’s a day-long event we’ll try to get as many locals on as we can and see what happens.”

When asked about the headline act, Case described 10,000 Maniacs as “a staple of American music.”

Jamie Notarthomas

Singer/songwriter Jamie Notarthomas has been key in the region’s underground music scene since the late ’80s, performing an average of 200 shows a year throughout the eastern U.S.

Over the years, he has become known for thought-provoking songwriting and electrifying performances. Continue reading

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Push underway to induct 10K Maniacs into Rock Hall— but not before next week’s Old Forge performance…

The McCauley Mountain Music Festival is just around the corner—Saturday, August 6, to be exact—and area music lovers are anticipating a great show by contemporary music legends, 10,000 Maniacs, which will be headlining the day-long, multi-band event in Old Forge.

“I’m very excited about how things are gelling together for this, and we’re very pleased with current ticket sales,” festival promotor Felicity Davey, of the Adirondack Tourism Association, said.

The festival, now in its second year, has added a second stage Continue reading

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10,000 Maniacs: Multi-platinum selling band to play at McCauley

The 2nd Annual McCauley Mountain Music Festival is planned for Saturday, August 6 and will feature headliner band, 10,000 Maniacs.

One of the most critically acclaimed bands of the last three decades, 10,000 Maniacs-which was formed in 1981 in Jamestown, NY-continues to perform in front of sold out audiences.

The multi-platinum band was founded by Robert Buck, Dennis Drew, Steven Gustafson, John Lombardo and Natalie Merchant in the fall of 1981. Jerry Augustyniak joined in 1983.

Along with artists such as R.E.M., the band is credited with defining college rock and creating the first wave of alternative rock bands and what became known as the alternative rock format on FM radio.

Today, original band members Drew, Gustafson, and Augus-tyniak are joined by Jeff Erickson and Mary Ramsey.

“We are very excited we were able to book a band of this caliber at McCauley for this summer’s concert. The band is currently in the midst of their 30th anniversary tour and we are extremely happy they were able to fit us into their tour schedule,” said Nick Bankert, co-organizer of the Music Fest.

Bankert said that other bands will also be playing at the festival and a complete line-up will be announced soon.

The Music Fest will run from 2 to 11 p.m. Food and legal beverages will be available for sale on-site and rustic camping will be permitted on Saturday night.

Tickets are $25 and are currently available on-line at: mccauleymusicfest.com.

Major sponsors include Adirondack Café, Adirondack River Outfitters, Souvenir Village, Paragon Productions, PM Electric, and Van Auken’s Inne.


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