Welcome to the Recovery Lounge in Upper Jay where performances always start late and the atmosphere can’t be beat.
As the performers today verbalize, to be here is like being in someone’s big old living room. Not only are we treated to fabulous performances but we get to catch up with neighbors, friends, and folks who live three towns away or further.
Upper Jay Upholstery owner and Art Center artistic director Scott Renderer makes his way to the microphone to introduce the first performer, Grubby Bean, and introduces himself as Grubby Scott. He also points out the new bathrooms which are a welcome sight to most of the audience. You see, to date, the biggest drawback of attending a show at The Recovery Lounge has been the antiquated bathroom—but no more. There are now two, spic and span, newly plumbed audience bathrooms.
But back to the show. Grubby Bean is opening for the band Lucid and some of his numbers draw on some Lucid talent as well. The earthy and eccentric performer tells us he’s had this name since summer camp when he was 8 years old. He says that when he was asked by a member of the Lucid Band to play at The Recovery Lounge he thought, “Oh, this is cool, I’ve never played at a rehab center before.” He pauses. “I guess it’s rehab for couches, hah.”
And today those couches and comfy chairs are filled with some 60 plus folks of all ages: babies, toddlers, young adults, middle-aged and elderly--all enjoying the heartfelt acoustic and vocal music of one Grubby Bean.
The featured event is the band Lucid. Hailing from Plattsburgh and Paul Smiths, this band has, for nearly a decade, maintained the reputation of being the “hardest working band in the North Country”. The band has played backwoods bars, churches, and festival fields. The performance today features a new set of original acoustic music blending blues, jazz, folk, reggae, and funk and the audience is delighted by this varied mix.
Kevin Sabourin (guitar and vocals) does a lot of the talking for the group. Before one number he shares a story about the next original piece. The band calls it Pterodactyl Lips. Kevin admits that the band only recently discovered that the P is silent in Pterodactyl and that pterodactyls do not have lips. The band plays the number despite its inaccuracies and the crowd loves it.
The core of the band has been around for more than seven years, and while here have been lineup changes, Lucid's current roster has remained steady for the past three: James Armstrong (sax and vocals), Andrew Deller (piano, accordion, and vocals), Kevin Sabourin (guitar and vocals), Chris Shacklett (bass and vocals), Ryan "Rippy" Trumbull (drums and vocals), and Lowell Wurster (percussion, harp, and vocals). I am especially impressed by the artistry of saxophonist James Armstrong.
Meadow Eliz, known best for her work in the duo Swimming in Speakers, joins both Grubby and Lucid on several songs for this afternoon’s performance.
There are more exciting events planned at the Recovery Lounge for the spring and summer season. Click through to the Upper Jay Arts Center web site for details. For more arts events in the Whiteface Region click through to the Whiteface events web site.
Kathleen Recchia has been enjoying the arts in the Adirondacks for about 20 years—both as observer and participant (acting, directing, and producing). She also enjoys cross-country skiing, swimming, juggling, and hosting visitors to the area at her bed & breakfast in Jay.