Hudson Valley Resort and Spa
By Krystal Glushein
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I’d like to give justice to Rock n Roll Resort Saturday with this review but too much has passed. There’s been too much suspense, too much grief, but still, some of the music and events hangs in my memory. The morning was full of coffee and eyes squinting in the sun. Lagging limbs and tired smiles. Like a typical festival morning, most the people awake at 8am had yet to go to bed. Half were determined never to sleep. The hotel staff were as helpful and welcoming as usual and succeeded in finding a way to cook the bacon I so desperately insisted on having.
My Saturday music started off with The Kind Buds… again. If you hadn’t of already caught on, I love the Kind Buds. This performance had them in the Manhattan Theatre and at one point, the stage was full of girls in pretty colors with their hula hoops while The Kind Buds played the song “Spin, Spin, Spin.” It was absolutely budding with uplifted spirits. A perfect kick off for Saturday.
Following The Kind Buds, in the Manhattan Theatre was a band I was really excited to catch. The Adam Ezra Group is a six piece band that does a lot of good with their music and songwriting. When you hear the voice of Adam, the talented percussion, the song of the violin, and bring it all together with the support and collaboration of the rest of the band, your ears have brought to you a sound that is both unique, but comforting.
At some point, Adam decided that the crowd deserved a more intimate experience and came right out into the audience with his band and played among us. It was one of my favorite of many moments. My favorite song by this band is “Let Your Hair Down.” Most of us with our hair up, feel like we should have a response to the sweet lyrics of a man, calling gentle instruction to a beautiful woman. This song can be found on the Better Than Bootleg Vol. 2 CD. I know this because after the show, the Adam Ezra Group gave out CDs to their audience in real love and gratitude. Thank You Adam Ezra Group. I haven’t stopped listening to it once a day since.
At this point in the day, I decided the elevator hadn’t been ridden enough. I grabbed a friend and took the gravity tunnel to the basement to visit the friendly and healing vibes of the Holistic Village. They had set up a center in the basement for people to come and have tea, coloring, massages, crystal healing, and some cuddle puddling. I met a couple of fellas who had just arrived at the Resort and had yet to venture much and discover what there was to discover. Well, my Cheshire Cat grin was in full force after hearing that. Suddenly “I worked for Rock n Roll Resort” and I “gave haunted tours” to attendees. They hadn’t been there long so they were easy to convince. What I hadn’t expected was that a few others would overhear my offer to give a haunted tour and before I could say, “I’m kidding!” I had a healthy group of 5 or 6 people excited to follow me to the hall of cement with fingernail marks raked into the walls. I really had no idea what to do. There was no haunted tour and I did not work for Rock n Roll Resort. Luckily, the sound of swing, jazz, and a killer voice came to my rescue as my new friends and I walked into the resort lounge.
The Mary Jane Jones band is full of brass, full of class, and has some nice ass. Coming out from the elevator and hearing the voice of Mandy, the lead singer, was like hearing the bell on a large farm to come have dinner. I literally flew across the floor to the Main Ballroom when I heard her voice. I frequent Northampton, Massachusetts for the music and the people. I had heard Mary Jones Band before at Bishops Lounge so I knew this band could make a big group dance… and hopefully help my tour group forget they were on a tour. In brutal honesty, I must admit that I basically ditched a group of people for a bunch of horns and some red lipstick.
In the end, my group didn’t mind that I had bullshit them to follow me around. As I discovered, they were big fans of jazz. Rock n Roll Resort was full of odd coincidences and connections. I didn’t make a point to be present for music again until Banooba played the Empire Lounge at 11pm. WOW. If you have not seen them, and I mean SEE them, you are doing yourself a great disservice. That band had it all. Theatrics, diversity, skill, talent, patience, and stage presence. I danced in the front row and witnessed in awe what that singer can do with those notes from that mouth of his. Jason Murden didn’t just sing. He ran around the stage with such energy, I remember thinking of him like a younger and upgraded Jagger. Banooba will be a band I will be following as much as I can from now on.
At this point in the night, I was given a fork in the road in the form of conflicting schedules. Twiddle was playing in The Manhatten Theatre. I have plenty of friends that follow Twiddle, but I’ve never seen them. However, Demse vs. The Cheatcode Nebula was playing in the Main Ballroom. I’m a fan of Demse because he’s the drummer and founder of The Alchemystics. We had recently been introduced a couple months ago and I felt honored when he arrived at Rock n Roll Resort and he made a point to share a hug and tell me about his show at 11:45. I can not tell you the relief I feel inside in knowing that I took the road and the hallways that led to Demse vs The Cheatcode Nebula. The room seemed empty but the space was full to the brim with sound, lights, and energy. It was surreal. I felt like I had stepped into an alternate and better dimension and it even included a fog machine.
On stage I recognized Demse on drums with headphones and focus. In front of him was what I assume to be The Cheatcode Nebula. I view DJs with awe because in my mind, a DJ is a person who took ADHD, sound, video games, computers, and too much money and turned it all into a twentieth century masterpiece. It’s really a hit or miss thing, you’re either really good, or you have still a lot more to play around with until you get “there.” I’m not an expert and I am technically ignorant, but The Cheatcode Nebula was all “there” for me. And with Demse added to battle, support, and lead, the stage in front of me went from being “there” and entered into a place for me I describe as “galactic.”
To go up in the line up at the same time as an act like Twiddle is a hard room to fill, but it didn’t take long before I noticed that others were entering this world my feet jumped around in. The fog cleared at times and I could see more and more people had came in as the show played on. Demse vs. The Cheatcode Nebula didn’t give to their audience only music. They gave to us creation and awareness on such a high level in the small span of just 45 minutes.
I have never been exposed to acts like Demse vs Cheatcode Nebula before, but I wasn’t surprised to see special guests come up on stage to rap and lay down lyrics and lines in collaboration. Live music like this is a gift to witness. Its a once in a lifetime opportunity every single time. I just had no idea exactly how special this show really was.
I figured I’d catch up with Demse later, and left as soon as I could tell it was winding down. I have a hard time staying for finales at a music festival. Most of the time an encore isn’t possible out of respect for the next act and I always hate being stuck in a large crowd packed like sardines, filing out through one small door or pathway.
I walked passed the elevator and ran into The Kind Buds. Immediately I forgot where I was going, who I was looking for, or why my level of energy often needs to be toned down. I exploded rainbows and appreciation all over Bud, Budd, and Kitty. Of course they were all smiles and Thank Yous, but they went beyond the gratuity a band gives to a fan. They invited me to a private party and dubbed me their roadie. I have never been a roadie. I think starting out with The Kind Buds is the start of a great career!
The Kind Buds were heading up to the 8th floor to give a private performance for a man who had missed their show because he was in the hospital. He had broken his leg skateboarding and he was crushed that he had missed The Kind Buds. So with tapestries, a projector, and guitars in hand, The Kind Buds and their roadie came in to surprise the broken budhead.
The party was full of his friends and those in the hall that were blessed to hear the goings on. The group was very hospitable and welcoming, excited to be part of such a giving experience. We all sang along and listened closely to The Kind Buds as they played for THREE HOURS. The mood and love in the room was just the right ingredients needed to provide such fuel for the musicians. Kitty told us stories all night that made us laugh, smile, and hug each other. Being the roadie and guest of The Kind Buds is another one of those top ranking favorite moments that just kept piling up for me through out the whole weekend.
I stayed with Bud, Budd, and Kitty for a bit longer and we laughed and talked and they shared with me their excitement to be going to Chicago. They will be playing at Hyatt Regency Chicago on July 3, 4, and 5 to celebrate 50 years of the Grateful Dead. Their happiness is always so contagious and before I knew it, I was declaring I would be there. The Pied Pipers always at their work.
I left The Kind Buds with such love in my heart and appreciation for the universe I live in. My eyes could hardly stay open and I traveled around the Resort, always taking the long way back to my room. Saturday was the last night. With feet dragging, I admitted that all good things may come to an end. This was my kick off for the summer of a life time. And Rock and Roll Resort was the best strategy to kicking it all off. Next year I will mini golf. Next year I will go on a hike and take an extra day and night to explore the area. Next year I will have an actual haunted tour planned. Next year, I will be at Rock n Roll Resort again.
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