Oldtone Music Festival expands to four days

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HILLSDALE, N.Y. — The Oldtone Roots Music Festival, in the space of just one year, has blossomed from a one-day affair in 2015 to a four-day event that spans the entire weekend of Sept. 8-11.

According to promoter Kip Beacco, it was almost out of the control of he and the other people putting together the show.

"Well, we started planning it, and we started thinking about the bands we wanted to be here," said Beacco, a Stockbridge, Mass., native. "And when we started working with these performers and their schedules, we realized that we had too many bands for one day.

"We had too many for two days. So we pushed it out to four days."

Beacco and fellow musicians Jim Wright and Matt Downing are the co-founders of the event.

This is the second year of the festival, which presents traditional folk, country and jazz music.

In 2015, said Beacco, the festival was in Wassaic, N.Y.

This year, the festival has relocated to the sprawling, 150-acre Cool Whisper Farm in Hillsdale.

The farm is on Route 21 just east of Hawthorne Valley School.

More than 20 bands and individual performers will appear on two stages over the four days.

There will be camping sites available, as well as day parking, and vendors will be offering locally grown food and other items, said Beacco.

The event will also offer free swing dance and contra and square dance lessons, as well as a host of workshops for musicians. There will be events for children throughout the weekend.

"We're trying to make a very family friendly event," said Beacco.

Pressed for a way to describe the performers, Beacco noted that "it's a mix. We have what I'd call pre-1950s bluegrass bands, early country music, early jazz music, and Cajun music.

"It's a lot of traditional types of music," he said. "And we've found that we have a big audience for it."

Performers include the Foghorn String Band, described as the "gold standard" for string combos in the country; Tuba Skinny, a band best known for recreating the old-time New Orleans sound; banjo great Tony Trischka; bluegrass mandolin maestro Mike Compton and roots music master Bruce Molsky and the Mountain Drifters.

Beacco, an accomplished musician in his own right, will be performing with two of the bands in which he is in: The Lucky 5 and The Hayrollers.

"I don't know if it's a great idea," he said. "Between everything else I have to do that weekend, it's a lot. But that will hopefully, be the easy part."

IF YOU GO ...

What: The Oldtone Roots Music Festival

When: Bands start at 3 p.m. Thursday, and the last set of the weekendlong event begins at noon on Sunday.

Where: Cool Whisper Farm, 1011 County Road 21, Hillsdale, N.Y.

Cost: Day passes range from $10-$48; camping passes range from $75-$100

Information: www.oldtonemusicfestival.com

Contact Derek Gentile at 413-496-6251.


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