for good measure

Photos and article by Wanda Callagy

For me, this past year was musical. I was able to see and hear several genres…blues to reggae and jazz. I learned more about taking photos, met some wonderful new people, and I do believe I smiled and laughed and loved more.

In this chapter, it is impossible for me to list and show all the folks and places I have crossed paths with. But here is a few. And kindly, watch for more in the days and moments ahead.

home and club helsinki on 11-3-13 NY Hall of Fame 316
Michael Packer hosting a Blues Hall of Fame event at Club Helsinki in Hudson
Billy Harrison @ a Blue Monday jam @Pauly's Hotel in Albany
Billy Harrison @ a Blue Monday jam @Pauly’s Hotel in Albany
mardi gras 009
Blues Maneuver celebrating Mardi Gras at the Andes Hotel, NY
Listened to music on the streets of Lisbon, Portuagal
I traveled to Lisbon to hear music in the streets
Traveled on the Blues Express to enjoy Mark Tritico and all members of Blue Hand Luke in Cooperstown,NY
Mark Tritico and other members of Blue Hand Luke played on the Blues Express in Cooperstown,NY
Attended a practice with Laurie and Rusty Wright and band members in Michigan
Near my home town in Michigan, I attended their rehearsal and finally met Laurie and Rusty and bandmates after hearing the Rusty Wright Band on Sonny Rock’s Local Licks program
Visited the Mohawk Valley to meet some members of the Blues Society there, and saw Tas Cru and his band join in with friends there.
I ventured to Utica to attend a Mohawk Valley Blues Society event hosted by Tas Cru and his band, and met and listened to many talented artists who shared their day with me.
I caught Zan Strumfield in Troy at More Bread and Jam in Troy.
I caught Zan Strumfeld at More Bread and Jam.
Leslie Barkman at a Roadhouse jam without her piano
And Leslie Barkman at a Roadhouse jam without her piano

I attended fundraisers seeing musicians play for a friend’s medical bills, for disaster and homeless relief, and a veterans’ shelter. I shared information learned about health risks such as cancer and suicide prevention as musicians supported these causes and encouraged hope.  I watched  many play for hours in remembrance of a friend. I attended multiple competitions in the Capital area to see bands win a great gig or to earn the honor to compete in the International Blues Jam in Memphis. I attended the Live Capital Area Music Awards and listened to local artists play Indy to Country. I was a guest to see Sly Fox and the Hustlers play with Blues Traveler and  I  spend hours when driving able to listen to original music….Charlie Smith, Shadowland, Gus Mancini and the Sonic Soul Band, and Gregory Nash to name just a few produced new sounds and CDs.   I am hearing more and more about artists sharing their craft in schools, libraries, and civic centers with both young and old. Rich and poor. From and in all neighborhoods.  North, South, East and West.

I listened to many radio stations, from Woodstock to Windham, seeking more original and local music. From all of this experience I have been able to catch some music history and learn about some of the ‘greats’. I had never been to a radio show when Steve Daub invited me to visit his ‘Stormy Monday’ blues program. There, I found Louie & the Cromatix attending the show. I had seen them once before at an event in Tannersville, but it was so much fun for me to be there ‘live’ and see the students and Steve  working with the acoustics and mics and connections..

On the radio
On the radio
on the radio with louie and sly fox and blues traveler 010
Louie and Miss Marie
on the radio with louie and sly fox and blues traveler 014
Adding Frank Campbell and Gary Burke to ‘the mix’.
on the radio with louie and sly fox and blues traveler 013
Beauty up close

While there, I heard of the band’s upcoming events. To name a few they were  traveling to Siberia to tour, and to Bearsville, NY  to honor the late Rick Danko, and they played  from several CDs, including Wings of Fire on Woodstock Records. I was able to hear that loved accordion and felt like a child in a candy store wanting to take it all in.

My  year in review? Magical. Thankyou to each and every one of you who let me ‘see and hear’ your gifts.  Music really is everywhere.  And there is plenty for everyone to enjoy.

This issue is dedicated to Liz and Paul and facing the fear of jumping off cliffs.   Congratulations.

One thought on “for good measure

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