Music Made in Woodstock
The Bearsville-Woodstock music community has roots dating back more than 100 years. It had a particularly active scene in the 1960’s and 70’s, and its legacy continues. When guitarist/singer-songwriter/producer Larry Campbell first came to town in the 1980’s, he discovered “a Utopian music scene. There didn’t seem to be any egos involved. There was an aura of the hippie scene that could actually come to fruition through music. And it seemed to permeate the whole town. Everywhere you went, there was this camaraderie and this easy flow of relationships.”
Bob Dylan and Albert Grossman both began to live here in the mid-60s, serving as beacons to troubadours and instrumentalists alike. Since then, all genres of music have resonated throughout this community—much of it played right here at the Bearsville Theater: folk, rock, blues, jazz, reggae, country, funk, gospel, punk. Many pundits say the roots-hybrid Americana sound was born down the road at Big Pink, the West Saugerties house where The Band and Dylan created The Basement Tapes and The Band recorded their acclaimed debut album, Music From Big Pink.
Though millions of dollars have been generated from music derived in the area, the simple joy of creation is the region’s real musical legacy. As long-time resident Happy Traum said of the genesis of Mud Acres: Music Among Friends, the prescient Americana album recorded by the Woodstock Mountains Revue: “We said, ‘Let’s do the music we love to do when we’re sitting around at parties,’ so we made an album of songs that convey the sense of closeness, personally and musically, that we feel, as well as the fun of doing something for its own sake as opposed to doing it for financial or other ends.”
Today, this musical DNA is embedded in the rustic wooden walls of these Bearsville buildings. This creative spirit birthed 30-plus years of concerts and generations of musical communities, and it continues to inspire the vision of the Bearsville Center.
To celebrate this creative spirit, the walls of the Bearsville Theater pay tribute to many names, both well known and lesser known. This culminates in our ‘Music Made in Woodstock’ mural, shown here, containing photos of over 80 musicians who have made significant musical contributions during their time in Woodstock. The key to this mural is here (LINK)
Bearsville Theater itself has been host to many legendary artists, including, as well as those above: David Crosby, Graham Nash, Judy Collins, Bob Weir, David Bromberg, Dave Matthews, Lindsey Buckingham, The Band, Hot Tuna, The Pretenders, Steve Miller, The Wailers, Allman/Betts Band, Donald Fagen, Tab Benoit, Dixie Dreggs, Phoebe Snow, Blondie, The Black Crowes, Joan Osborne, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Smithereens, Toots and the Maytals, Ricky Lee Jones, Suzanne Vega, Peter Wolf, Blues Traveler, John Sebastian, Martin Sexton, Psychedelic Furs, Felice Brothers, Dar Williams, Conor Oberst, John Hall, Robbie Dupree, Blind Boys of Alabama, Bobcat Goldthwait, Aztec Two Step, Dick Cavett.