'Clearwater' Sails Into Hudson River Revival
The Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, America's flagship environmental organization, announced the schedule for its 2009 Great Hudson River Revival today at a press conference here at Croton Point Park, the site where the annual festival will take place on Saturday and Sunday, June 20 and 21.
Headlining the main Hudson, Rainbow and Dance music stages on Saturday will be contemporary blues star Susan Tedeschi and 1960s folk legend Richie Havens, plus Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, Philadelphia indie pop band Dr. Dog and A.C. Newman.
On Sunday, the headliners on the three main music stages will be Arlo Guthrie, Pete Seeger and Tao Rodriguez-Seeger, Elvis Perkins in Dearland and Manchado.
Clearwater will be celebrating a number of auspicious occasions this year, including the 40th anniversary of the launch of the sloop Clearwater, the 90th birthday of Pete Seeger and the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's voyage up the river on the Half Moon.
Fittingly, new festival director Jon Dindas invited back a number of longtime folk-centric Clearwater favorites to share the festival stages along with a bevy of top acts and musical artists who will be making their first appearance at the festival.
"Honoring tradition while looking toward the future has always been a major part of the Great Hudson River Revival, and it was my intention to create a line- up this year that would appeal to all kinds of people interested in great music and environmental awareness," said Dindas.
Among the festival first-timers this year are veteran vocal group The Persuasions, Grace Potter and The Nocturnals, aforementioned acts Dr. Dog, Elvis Perkins in Dearland and A.C. Newman, as well as acclaimed singer-songwriters Alejandro Escovedo and Allison Moorer, plus bluegrass/ jamband acts Old Crow Medicine Show and Cornmeal.
Pete Seeger and his grandson (and frequent collaborator) Tao Rodriquez- Seeger will be performing at various times on both Saturday and Sunday. The Clearwater Festival will also feature a number of superb storytellers and family-oriented entertainers, as well as juried crafts, a Green Living Expo, a working riverfront, environmental education sites and the Circle of Song, where audience participation is the focus. The entire festival is wheelchair accessible and staffed with American Sign Language interpreters.
"I've performed at the Revival a dozen times or more, but it's less of a stage and more of a home for me," said Rodriguez-Seeger. "When you get all the families together, sharing the beauty of the Hudson River and committed to protecting our community, that's a great way to spend a weekend. Of course, the music is not bad either." Mike and Ruthy Merenda, who will also be playing at the festival this year,
DART also spoke at the press conference, and
the trio then performed Pete Seeger's "Quite Early Morning" for those assembled, with the glittering Hudson River serving as an appropriate background
The revenue raised by the Revival goes to support Clearwater's numerous educational programs and its work toward environmental and social justice— as well as keeping the Clearwater afloat. This year's Clear-water festival comes on the heels of the starstudded concert event celebrating Pete Seeger's 90th birthday, The Clearwater Concert: Celebrating the Next Generation, held on May 3 at Madison Square Garden.
Clearwater's Great Hudson River Revival is once again being co-sponsored by Westchester County Parks. "It is with great pleasure that we welcome back the Clearwater Hudson River Revival at Croton Point Park," said Westchester County Executive Andrew J. Spano in a statement. "This festival of music and recreation brings with it the message of preserving and protecting the Hudson River for generations to come."