Mamie Minch and C.W. Stoneking

I really love music. I think it’s kind of obvious, since having a music blog is a pretty good indication of that statement… Sometime I forget just how much I love music though (especially if I’ve been to a string of mediocre concerts), so it’s always nice to go to a really great show and have my love refreshed. It was most definitely refreshed on Monday… I went to a show which was held on the deck of the Saugerties Lighthouse in historic Saugerties, NY. The musicians were Mamie Minch and C.W. Stoneking, both of whom are amazing blues singers and guitarists, respectively. The former hails from Brookyln, the latter from Australia.

It’s easy to forget how cold it gets by a large body of water such as the Hudson River, especially in the evening… I had forgotten, but I was promptly reminded as the sun began to set on Monday. I developed goosebumps, although they weren’t entirely due to the cool breeze floating off of the water. The main reason I developed goosebumps was because it was such a wonderful experience to be surrounded by great spirited people, gathered together for old-timey music and to share food, drink, and conversation. Patrick, who runs the lighthouse B&B, hosts concerts, movie screenings, and other shows on the deck throughout the summer (last year they even held a contra dance there!). The concert on Monday was organized by a man named Stuart Hall. Stuart used to be a DJ at a radio station here in the Hudson Valley, called WKZE. Unfortunately for me – and all of the other listeners who loved his show as much as I did – he has since left the station. I can’t be too sad though, because he’s busy bringing great musicians to my neck of the woods, such as the two mentioned previously. The enjoyable evening’s musical festivities marked the last concert of the year at the lighthouse, due to the approaching cool weather.

I had never seen Mamie Minch before Monday, although I had heard good things about her music. Now I can see why… She was absolutely delightful! Mamie’s guitar playing is damn good, and she has a voice that is well suited for the bluesy style in which she sings. I also love her songwriting… She played a bunch of originals, including “Fortified Wine Widow” and “Astroland Tower,” in addition to playing a few covers, such as Mississippi John Hurt’s “Make Me A Pallet On Your Floor” (which I thought she sounded great singing), the old traditional “Frankie and Johnny,” and the last song of her set, a hilarious little number called “Mermaid” which was written for her by Al Duvall. I encourage you to check out his site as well, he’s amazing.

(Interesting fact: Mamie is originally from Deleware and currently resides in Brooklyn, as I mentioned earlier. Unknown to Stuart Hall when he approached her about performing at the lighthouse, her aunt and uncle have a house about a half mile from there! Although it was Mamie’s first time performing at the lighthouse, it was not her first time there).

C.W. Stoneking opened his set with a track off his CD King Hokum called “Way Out In The World.” That’s exactly where I felt like I was, too… Way out in the world, surrounded by water, the smell of salty seaweed wafting off the river… As C.W. Stoneking played, the audience showed their enthusiasm by stomping their feet, nodding their heads in time to the music, and even hollering upon occasion. C.W. Stoneking is an excellent musician, and I love his voice and style. I saw him for the first time at The Rosendale Cafe a few months back, and when Patrick told me about the show at the lighthouse, before I could control myself, I blurted out (rather loudly I admit), “Oh my God!!! I LOVE C.W. Stoneking!!!” Some people who I know and were in my vicinity at the time cringed, and later made fun of me for my “outburst.” But hey, at times like that, I really can’t control myself… Besides, I really do love C.W. Stoneking, and Mamie Minch now too. I thoroughly enjoyed my time “way out in the world” as Mr. Stoneking says, even if it was really only spent in the small town of Saugerties.

I took a few videos, but because it was so dark (the only light coming from two lamps set up on either side of the stage), they unfortunately came out too dark to see anything. I decided to upload them to YouTube anyway, since both musicians sounded terrific and I wanted to be able to share the experience of being there with everyone.

Mamie Minch: Old Dog

Mamie Minch: Mermaid

C.W. Stoneking: Jungle Lullaby  (My personal favorite)

C.W. Stoneking: Jailhouse Blues

C.W. Stoneking: Handyman Blues


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