Striking the chords for live music's return
This newspaper and website for years maintained a "Local Live Music" calendar, a roundup of the upcoming musical performances scheduled at the area's clubs, breweries, coffeehouses, restaurants and concert halls. It was always arduous and time-consuming to put together, but rewarding in offering a glimpse at how rich the Finger Lakes/Greater Rochester area is in musical talent, in breadth, depth and diversity.
The shutdowns necessitated by the advent of the novel coronavirus all but ended live music for a time, and the isolation that remains necessary amid the state's gradual reopening has made live music's return a slow, similarly gradual process. Small venues without much in the line of outdoor space are holding off, for instance.
But venues that have outdoor space sufficient for social distancing — outdoor venues like Lincoln Hill Farms in Gorham or Roseland Waterpark in Canandaigua; bars/restaurants with patios like The Lovin' Cup in Henrietta or José & Willy's in Canandaigua — have struck the opening chords in the gradual return of the area's live-music scene.
"The response has been heart-warming," Danny Deutsch, owner of Abilene Bar & Lounge in Rochester, said via email. Abilene started up with a low-key, socially distanced event on its outdoor patio featuring local band Anonymous Willpower on June 19. It followed it up the following week with shows by the Adrianne Noon Trio and Brody George Schenk, and the Noone trio is returning this Friday night. A number of other shows are planned for the near future, all depending on weather.
"Old customers ... and some new, stopping in to hear music, check on us and how we’re holding up … and all playing by the rules," Deutsch wrote. "Mask wearing in full effect while in the bar ordering drinks … and then head outside to enjoy the patio ambience. I've been pleased. Abilene's customers have been conscientious and caring of other customers and of my staff, and it's made for a very cool scene."
He allowed that "it's been different, that's for sure" — but they're "thrilled to be back enjoying live, original music" for "smallish but super enthusiastic crowds."
We're looking forward to the day when we can start up that arduous, time-consuming Local Live Music calendar again. But in the meantime, here's a taste of what the region offers over the next week or two for music lovers:
• July 2: Paint Crew (drum and bass duo) — Thursday, July 2, at 7 p.m. on the outside patio at Abilene Bar & Lounge, 153 Liberty Pole Way, Rochester. Cover: Tip jar.
• July 3: Adrianne Noone Trio (featuring Noone, Chuck Salvaggio and Chris Clinton), Friday, July 3, at 7 p.m. on the outside patio at Abilene Bar & Lounge, 153 Liberty Pole Way, Rochester. Cover: $5.
• July 3: Dirty Blanket (bluegrass) — Friday, July 3, at 7 p.m. at Lincoln Hill Farms, 3792 Route 247, Gorham. Doors open at 3 p.m., with tickets limited on a first-come, first-serve basis at the door; $15 adults, $5 children.
• July 3: Jackson Cavalier (one-man band, folk-rock) — Friday, July 3, 5-8:30 p.m. on the patio at The Lovin' Cup, 300 Park Point, Henrietta. (Free show)
• July 3: Xarika (solo acoustic) — Friday, July 3, 6-8 p.m. on the porch at ReInvention Brewing, 9 N. Main St., Manchester.
• July 4: Classic Rock All-Stars (featuring Phil Naro from Talas, Michael Hund from Ted Nugent's Derek St. Holmes Band, Ron Rocco from Black Sheep, and A.D. Zimmer from Lou Gramm's band) — Saturday, July 4, at 6 p.m., in the parking lot at Fanatics Pub & Pizza, 7281 W. Main St., Lima. Tickets: $75 per vehicle, 585-624-2080 or 315-473-2411.
• July 4: "July 4 at the Farm" featuring multiple performers — noon to 11 p.m. at Lincoln Hill Farms, 3792 Route 247, Gorham. The fundraiser for Camp RocStar features Zach Eberts, 1 p.m.; Brianna Collichio, 1:30 p.m.; Max Doud, 2 p.m.; Own the Night, 2:30 p.m.; Calvin Isham, 3:30 p.m.; Cooper Scotti, 4 p.m.; Primrose, 4:30 p.m.; Judah, 5:30 p.m.; BB Dang, 7 p.m.; and Shackwater, 9 p.m. There will also be fireworks at 9:45 p.m. Tickets (at the door only): $15 adults, $5 children.
• July 4: Red, Hot & Blue — Saturday, July 4, 6-9 p.m. at Brews & Brats at Arbor Hill, 6461 Route 64, Naples.
• July 5: Craig Synder — Sunday, July 5, 2-5 p.m. at Twisted Rail, 169 Lakeshore Drive, Canandaigua.
• July 5: The Uptown Groove — Sunday, July 5, 2-5 p.m. at an Open Barn concert at Muranda Cheese Company, 3075 State Route 96, Waterloo. (Featured food truck is Pizza Posto)
• July 7: GA029 (blues/R&B/rock) — Tuesday, July 7, at 7 p.m. on the outside patio at Abilene Bar & Lounge, 153 Liberty Pole Way, Rochester. Tickets: $15 ($13 in advance at Abilene or https://abilene.showare.com.
• July 10: Brian Lindsay Band (rock) — Friday, July 10, at 5:30 p.m.on the outside patio at Abilene Bar & Lounge, 153 Liberty Pole Way, Rochester. (Happy-hour show)
• July 10: Evan Meulemans (reggae, Americana, blues) — Friday, July 10, 7-8:30 p.m. on the patio at The Lovin' Cup, 300 Park Point, Henrietta. (Free show)
• July 11: Alex Goettel (singer-songwriter, member of The Byways) — Saturday, July 11, 6-8:30 p.m. on the patrio at The Lovin' Cup, 300 Park Point, Henrietta. (Free show)
• July 11: Amanda Ashley (pop/rock/soul singer-songwriter) — Saturday, July 11, 6-8 p.m. on the porch at ReInvention Brewing, 9 N. Main St., Manchester.
• July 11: Tas Cru & The Tortured Souls — Saturday, July 11, at 6 p.m., in the parking lot at Fanatics Pub & Pizza, 7281 W. Main St., Lima. Tickets: $50 per vehicle, 585-624-2080 or 315-473-2411.
• July 12: Cool Club & Lipker Sisters — Sunday, July 12, 2-5 p.m. at an Open Barn concert at Muranda Cheese Company, 3075 State Route 96, Waterloo (featured food vendor is 4J's NVR Specialty Sauces)
• July 12: Music of the Stars — Sunday, July 12, 2-5 p.m., Roseland Drive-In at Roseland Waterpark, 250 Eastern Boulevard, Canandaigua. Only presale tickets will be redeemed; tickets are $40, $55 or $70 depending on tier. Buy tickets at roselanddrivein.com or call 585-396-2000.
• July 14: Jeff Riales & The Silvertone Express — Tuesday, July 14, at 6:30 p.m., in the parking lot at Fanatics Pub & Pizza, 7281 W. Main St., Lima. Tickets: $50 per vehicle, 585-624-2080 or 315-473-2411.
• July 17: Big Eyed Phish (Dave Matthews tribute) — Friday, July 17, 6:30-9 p.m., Roseland Drive-In at Roseland Waterpark, 250 Eastern Boulevard, Canandaigua. Opening act: Mike Cosco and Julie Dellarie. Tickets are $45, $60 or $75 depending on tier. Buy tickets at roselanddrivein.com or call 585-396-2000.
• July 17: The Occasional Saints (New Orleans blues/swing) — Friday, July 17, at 5:30 p.m. on the outside patio at Abilene Bar & Lounge, 153 Liberty Pole Way, Rochester. (Happy-hour show)
• July 19: Nate Michaels — Sunday, July 19, 2-5 p.m. at an Open Barn concert at Muranda Cheese Company, 3075 State Route 96, Waterloo. (Featured food vendor is Lake Country Food Truck)
A 'Little' online music
Not all venues are equipped to offer the live experience, of course, but some continue to offer what's arguably the next best thing in a digital age with livestreamed concerts. The Little Theatre in Rochester continues a nearly full slate of shows, just online at its Facebook page. Maria Gillard, adjunct instructor of music at Finger Lakes Community College, is performing every Monday in July as a residency, with 7 p.m. concerts July 6, 13, 20 and 27. Also coming up for the Little: Classical Guitar Night at 7 p.m. July 5; Alex Goettel at 7 p.m. July 9; and Crossmolina at 8 p.m. July 11.
SummerWrite lit camp moves online
Concerns over high traffic in a small space and sanitizing requirements with a small staff has led Writers & Books to opt not to open its University Avenue facilities in Rochester to the public this summer. W&B has moved all of its adult workshops online and now plans to conduct its annual literary-themed youth summer camp, SummerWrite, entirely virtually. It began offering SummerWrite programs June 29 and will continue rolling out the reading and writing enrichment camps — most of them five-session Monday-through-Friday programs, offered through Zoom — through Aug. 28.
A complete list of the programs, with cost and registration links, is at wab.org. For an example, next week's SummerWrite programs include "Acting Exploration," "Musical Theatre Book Club," "Fiction in a Flash" (about creating very short fiction), "Take Space, Make Space: Storytelling Through Dual Language Poetry," "Writing a Fiction Series," "Produce a 90-Second Newbery Film" and more.
Talk to us
FRONT-ROW SEAT is a column that showcases the area’s art, music, theater, film and general all-around creative scene. If you’re a musician (or venue) with an upcoming live (or online) performance or album release; or if you have any information in the arts/entertainment sphere to report, please send your information to L. David Wheeler at firstname.lastname@example.org.