Live music and the great outdoors – this is what Gardiner, in the shadow of “The Gunks”, is all about to my husband John and I. And although Gardiner is not well known for being a music mecca, we have stumbled, through trial and error, upon a way to enjoy live music and learn more about Gardiner’s surrounding area at the same time.
We started close to home when the live music wafted over to our property on the Wallkill River from Robibero Winery (714 Albany Post Road, New Paltz); it’s an easy drive around the river to check out the music, wines and sweeping views. Then, Base Camp (2809 Route 44 55, Gardiner) opened, and we loved sitting on the big Adirondack chairs, soaking in the sun after biking in the Gunks, having great beers, food from the food trucks, and the music was sweet and so close to home. They may not have music next summer, but we’ll see what next season brings. Gardiner Brewing Company, at Wright’s Farm (699 Route 208, Gardiner), which has live music every Saturday and Sunday nights, has become our go-to place because the folks and the music there are great! The owners post a list of who is playing for the entire month in-house on their bar and also on Instagram. Once we bag the list of the bands, we look them up on social media and see where else they may be playing. Then, when we go hear a band that we really like, we’ll go check on Instagram or Facebook to see where else they are playing next. Sometimes they’re booked to play at a venue close to Gardiner.
In any case, looking up bands brings more local venues to our attention. For example, we found Brooklyn Cider House (155 N. Ohioville Road, New Paltz) where the pizza is amazing, the apple ciders are fantastic, the pond soothing, and the setting sun delightful. BTW—Their orchard is organic so be sure to check them out when apple picking time comes around. “Ugly Apples Tasted Better” is their motto. Another venue, not too far away from home, is The Groovy Blueberry (1 Water St, New Paltz) which has live music on the weekends in the afternoons. We bike down from Gardiner on the newly resurfaced rail trail, get some exercise, and then listen to live music. Pretty Groovy!
Sometimes we go further afield and will head up North: Keegan Ales (20 James Street, Kingston), where there always seems to be great music outdoors under the tent in their parking lot, along with their great brews. If you are looking for a unique musical experience, try Widow Jane Mine (668 Route 213, Rosendale) for a concert in a cave. We’ve been there a few times and have never been disappointed. Bring a chair and be prepared for some drips from the condensation from the cave’s rock ceiling overhead. All part of the experience. Radio Woodstock Sunset Sessions are a Friday night treat with innovative cross-platform entertainment at various venues; OPUS 40 (356 George Sickle Road, Saugerties) is a must-see unique venue with a 6.5 acres environmental sculpture park built entirely by artist Harvey Fite; at Walkway Over The Hudson (Highland side) we saw a Reggae Band with a sweet little 4-year-old drummer playing along; Stone Ridge Orchards (3012 Route 213, Stone Ridge) is a 200-year-old historic working farm where we saw Joelle & River and Megg Farrell as well as a Blues Festival; Maverick Concert Hall (120 Maverick Road, Woodstock) offers chamber, classical, jazz and contemporary music; Arrowood Farms (236 Lower Whitfield Road, Accord) is a sustainably-minded farm brewery, distillery, food and event destination just over the ridge that hosted some festivals like The Dirt Farmer Festival (2018) with Amy Helm (Levon’s daughter) Larry Campbell and Theresa Williams. And of course, The Colony (22 Rock City Road, Woodstock), a restored 1929 theater, never disappoints. For our next installment of Follow the Music, our quest for live music will take us South of Gardiner. Mountains, Music and Fresh Air… Ahhhhh