Ian Flanigan
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Ian Flanigan

Saugerties, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2007 | SELF

Saugerties, New York, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2007
Solo Folk Acoustic




"UK interview: Ian Flanigan"

Ian Flanigan
by Mike Barnard September 10, 2019

Ian Flanigan
Local to upstate New York, Ian Flanigan is a celebrated Kerrville New Folk Festival finalist, emerging artist for Falcon Ridge Folk festival, and an alumni of the Dripping Springs Texas Songwriter Festival. We caught up with Ian to chat about ‘Broken Wings’, taken from his EP Give Me Colour.

My style is probably described as alternative acoustic, somewhere between traditional acoustic and adult contemporary.

First up, what got you into music?
My mom and I used to write songs for fun when I was a kid, we would trade lines back and forth… and it just grew from there.

Were there any particular bands or artists you took inspiration from?
When I was a kid I was given Eric Clapton ‘Unplugged’ that album really set the corse for the first few years of what I wanted to try to emulate. Growing up, a lot of local talent and artists inspired me along with my guitar teacher, Chuck Massassi who taught me how to structure songs.

Later in life, more new age percussive style guitarists like Kaki King, Joey Eppard, and Andy McKee really inspired me to try to infuse some of those techniques with some of the more soul folk acoustic I had been trying to write in.

How would you describe your style?
It changes a bit every year, I hope it always continues to grow. The Give Me Color EP is a little more indie/soul-folk sounding to me… I was able to collaborate with Justin Guip—he is an amazing engineer and producer—we found a really great flow and completed the record in four days. My style is probably described as alternative acoustic, somewhere between traditional acoustic and adult contemporary.

If you could collaborate with any living artist, who would you choose?
Eric Clapton, Derek Trucks, and Alicia Keyes.

Tell us about your new single ‘Broken Wings.’ What’s it about?
Each song in this new EP is dedicated to a women in my life, ‘Broken Wings’ is inspired by my mother and the gratitude that I have for her sticking by my side. Sometimes it’s the really simple wisdoms and messages that we need to remember to overcome the hardships.

When did you write it, and where did you record it?
I wrote the song this past winter and had the great honor of recording it with Justin Guip at Milan Hill Studio, here in the Hudson Valley.

How does ‘Broken Wings’ represent your style?
It’s one of those songs that grew into a collaborative effort between Justin and I. Originally I had written it as more of a somber acoustic style, which is typically my style, but I’ve been making an effort to branch out. It’s not a good representation of my overall catalogue, it doesn’t fully represent my style, but that is the beauty of a single, it can stand on its own and represent an idea or inspiration I had and wanted to try out at that time.

‘Broken Wings’ is taken from your forthcoming EP Give Me Colour. Can you talk us through each song?
Each song on the EP really speaks for itself. I try very hard to write songs descriptive enough yet vague enough to invite the listener into the lyrics. I will say each song was written with a connecting theme of finding the silver lining through some of life’s difficulties through the ones you love. For me each song was written about a specific woman in my life, my mother, my partner, and to my step daughter. Describing the album takes the individual’s own experiences of the music away. I’m always open to feedback and to hearing the listeners experience.

What are you hopes for ‘Broken Wings’?
I hope people listen and find some value to the message and find their way to listening to the whole EP. Maybe even like it enough to share the music and further the vision.

What other plans do you have for the rest of the year?
I’m actually planning to tour the USA with my family in an RV. I’ll have a mobile rig and book as many venues as I can. I just want to meet more people to connect to and see what I can do in a large national community.

Finally, if you could wish for one thing to happen for you this year, what would it be?
A serious booking agency in the US and Europe. I’m just trying to work and write as much as possible!

Listen to Give Me Colour on SoundCloud below. For news and tour dates go to ianflaniganmusic.com. - ZapBang Mag



We stumbled upon Saugerties musician Ian Flanigan during a preview of the Hudson Valley Balloon Festival over the summer, and were entranced by his soulful fingerpicking and sweet, honest songwriting. Named Hope Rocks’ Artist of the Year, Flanigan balances his husky Mumford & Sons-esque voice with delicate, heartfelt strums on his latest EP, “Give Me Color,” a proclaimed “collection of songs dedicated to all the women in my life, for their love and support.”

HVNY caught up with Ian before the release of “Give Me Color” at the Falcon on September 6:

1. What does this new EP mean to you?
Ian Flanigan (IF): What it means and what it represents are two different questions ... Every song on this EP represents, in its own way, overcoming some struggle or hardship, each song painted in an uplifting light. And to me, it’s meaning is more for bringing positivity to trying times — be it change or growth, both inward and outward —and finding that positivity in the ones you love.

2. How did it feel to play during the 50th anniversary of Woodstock weekend?
IF: I felt incredibly grateful to be included, it was great to see so many local musicians on the bill as well. Growing up in an area where the original festival is so celebrated, it’s a real honor to have been a part of the anniversary at the place where it all started.

3. You’re a Hudson Valley native, how has growing up in this area influenced you + your music?
IF: ...the land and the mindset. It’s a great place to be a kid and to raise a family. It can be tough to spend your early 20’s in any small town. I’ve been leaving and coming back either moving entirely or just for shows since I was 17 and every time I come back I feel a deeper appreciation for it. We have a very special kind of land out here that’s close enough to anything you need. It’s a direct shot to main veins of travel across the country, and airports are close by. Where in 10 to 20 minutes you can drive and also be totally isolated in some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country. The Hudson Valley has always inspired my music ... giving me space to write and having communities that do support the arts. I don’t come from a musical family but we had a few painters and I was raised with the understanding that being an artist or a musician was as noble of a career as anything else and that the arts are an essential part of life. I can only speak for myself but I’m very grateful to call the Hudson Valley home.

4. What/who are some of your inspirations?
IF: I’ve always been into acoustic music. Always. I had an Eric Clapton album “Unplugged” when I was a kid. That solidified a lot of what I wanted to be one day. I was a big fan of the Brushfire Records scene which was Jack Johnson’s label back when I was in high school. There have been plenty of genres that inspire and influence me but to be honest, I’ve never listened to catalogues of music. I’ve always just been writing and trying to do my own thing. A lot of my influences are from the local musicians that were around me growing up and while performing. My guitar teacher Chuck Missasi was my main influence for my guitar playing. He and I spent years together and I’m planning on going back for lessons this winter with him again.

I worked with Jimmy Eppard for about 7 years building bass guitars at Spector... picking up little licks from him. His insight towards music was inspiring. Martin Sexton’s live show also really inspired me. Also, Joey Eppard’s music inspired me a lot when I was first getting into writing. The whole Eppard family has influenced me a lot. I’d confidently say they’re one of the most talented families to ever exist.

The Paul Luke Band was a big influence and brought me up over the years into a ton of different audiences. They’ve been together for 40 years and I’ve been lucky to play with them on and off for almost 7 years now.

5. Any advice to share with local, budding musicians?
IF: I’d say go to as many open mics as you can and go out to meet and support other artists shows as often as you can to try and build your community and collaborate. That way you can grow/create your audience by working together. It’s all about community. Without that, being a musician can become very isolating and lonely. And without that support it can be hard to find the confidence you need to be heard. Doubt can really kill your art.

If you’re a songwriter my advice is always work a day job that takes your body and not your mind, preferably with as few distractions. Light labor jobs are the best you can do your job and write your next song in your head. You have to be able to write all the time. I record instrumental tracks I’m working on with my cell phone in order to listen and write wherever. If you have to interact with people all day it can be hard to get much work done. It’s not about making a lot of money, it’s about creating the best music you can push yourself to make. Stay grateful for the work even if the job isn’t what you dreamed, because it’s funding the dream. So work hard and stay humble.

I’ve learned there’s no one right way to pursue a music career and there is no universal bar for “making it.” Everyone has a different vision of success or happiness. There is a niche for any art/music in this world, you just have to find it. Music is all I’ve ever truly pursued and will continue to pursue. So I’ve never tried to have another career to fall back on and I never will. However, I would never advise a young artist to not peruse a different, more lucrative career as a fallback, or a way to fund your music career. I just know not having a safety net has kept me pushing and working harder than any thing else could. I’m never too far away from having to go pick up side work. I might have to this winter! But again, it’s about writing the best music we can while we’re alive and whatever it takes to do that is what you have to do.

For complete tour dates and more info, visit: www.ianflaniganmusic.com - HVNY

"Ian Flanigan Channels the Spirit of the Hudson Valley With His Music"

Ian Flanigan Channels the Spirit of the Hudson Valley With His Music
The Saugerties musician embraces the notion of the road less traveled in his indie folk album, Give Me Color.

When Hudson Valley musician Ian Flanigan wants to write a song, he goes to Phoenicia. He likes the quiet of the Ulster County town, which he retreats to for the natural serenity of its rippling brooks and verdant forests.

“I go there every other day,” he admits. “It’s where I like to be and where I like to write music.”

Phoenicia isn’t too far of a jaunt from Saugerties, where Flanigan grew up. It was there that he first picked up a guitar – at age 11, no less – and later fell in love with music as a teenager. Since then, he’s plunged headfirst into singing and songwriting, so much so that it’s become integral to his raison d’être. Music is his mode of expression, his way of processing, and his toolkit to connect with the world around him. As he composes songs, he reflects upon the experiences in his life and the emotions surrounding them. He channels those feelings into words, melodies, and lyrics and ultimately creates the indie folk music that the Hudson Valley loves.

“It’s mostly the place in life that I’m at,” Flanigan says of the inspiration behind his songs. “It’s what I’ve gone through in the past or what people around me have gone through. I’m feeding off the people around me and learning from their experiences as well.”

Most recently, Flanigan funneled those experiences into Give Me Color, his new, five-track album of songs he hand-selected from 15 of his latest compositions. With a release on September 6, the record is a shining example of the artist’s soul-filled, folk sound. It’s also a reflection of his current place in life, a positive one which celebrates community, love, and support.

“I wanted to release something positive that would leave you with a good feeling,” he explains. “I spent the last year writing these songs, and it was a big collaborative effort to see [the album] come to life.”

Collaborative, it was indeed. Flanigan worked alongside Justin Guip, the three-time Grammy-winning engineer and producer behind Levon Helm and Hot Tuna, to craft an EP that resonates across genres. He also relied heavily upon Ayla Rector, his girlfriend and co-founder of Nightcap Entertainment, the couple’s entertainment consultation group.

Ian Flanigan

With its happy and sweet track list, Give Me Color is an upbeat progression from Flanigan’s other albums, which include Shades of Blue and Lead Feather, along with Ian Flanigan Trio Live Woodstock, NY, a compilation album engineered at The Colony in Woodstock. While the artist’s signature indie folk sound remains a constant throughout his albums, the message changes, jumping from wistful escapism to unshakeable homesickness and the vivacity of love. All the while, his smoky, husky voice hooks unassuming audiences, who can’t help but fall for his easy, foot-tapping refrains and magnetic melodies.

Speaking of those audiences, they live everywhere from his home base in the Hudson Valley to further afield in Texas and West Virginia. Locally, The Colony in Woodstock and The Falcon in Marlboro are some of his preferred venues for performances, due largely to their communal aura and intimate design.

“Being a solo musician 90 percent of the time, I feel I can connect better and engage with the stories behind the songs in a smaller venue,” he says. That being said, he appreciates the energy of larger venues, along with the opportunities that those spaces allow him to vary his set list and react alongside the crowd.

“A show is all about the people who come and the time you have with them,” he observes.

Looking ahead, Flanigan has quite the lineup of to-dos on the horizon. To celebrate the release of Give Me Color, the musician has local performances scheduled at The Falcon and Hudson Valley Garlic Festival in September. After that, he’ll make his way to Texas for a few shows and the Dripping Springs Songwriters Festival. Although life on the road comes with its own set of challenges, Flanigan welcomes any opportunity to share his music with audiences both old and new.

“Wherever people are willing to have me, I’ll go,” he says. “I feel really grateful to be playing music at all.”

Whether on tour or at home in the Hudson Valley, Flanigan will continue to work on new material for his next album. He has quite a fair stock of lyrics and melodies already, and he hopes to use them as a foundation upon which he can collaborate with other artists.

“We have some seriously talented people in the Hudson Valley,” he enthuses. “I’d like to collaborate and produce [with them].” - Hudson Valley Magazine

"Saugerties’ Ian Flanigan gets set to release new EP"

Before settling into singing with a rumbling voice like a far-off train and before dedicating hours to the recording studio and crooning into microphones across the country, hometown hero Ian Flanigan would write songs on the fly, alternating lines with his mother, as they drove each day.

Flanigan’s rambling string-picking — ebbing then swelling to a frisson in the listener’s chest — is something like the loping roads of West Saugerties. Presumably, this presence is a far cry from Flanigan’s fledgling songs, composed at 11 years old and stored on an SD card somewhere. Now retired, Flanigan’s mother continues their tradition accompanying him on tour to Connecticut and will soon join her son on the Midwest portion of his 2019 tour following the Sept. 6 release of his newest EP, Give Me Color. The project is a collaboration with three-time Grammy winning engineer and producer Justin Guip.

Before the album’s release party that day at The Falcon Underground in Marlboro, Flanigan will perform at the Bethel Woods’ 50th Anniversary of Woodstock celebration on Aug. 18. Flanigan was named Hope Rocks’ Artist of the Year, is a celebrated Kerrville Grassy Hill Folk Festival Finalist, Emerging Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Artist, and selected songwriter of Dripping Springs Songwriter Festival.

“Musically he was one of the most, if not the most, talented little students I had and then grew into a man that was unbelievable,” said Chuck Misasi, Flanigan’s childhood guitar instructor, to whom Flanigan said he “owe[s] [his] right hand.” “He wore a guitar out, that’s how much practice he had … I would show him something, he would come back totally prepared and then some. Whatever I showed him, he kept developing in, to the point that I was in amazement. I never saw anything like it. As far as a person, he was the greatest little kid growing up, and he developed into a really good human being and a nice man. No one put the effort that he put in. I was amazed by him.”

On the songs on Give Me Color, Flanigan attempts to strike a universal emotional chord. Flanigan said while the lyrics on his previous albums were gnawing at him to be written, those on this album were composed more deliberately — simultaneously for the women that bring wholeness to his life and for the everyman.

“There’s a way of trying to say something that you hope somebody likes it, and there’s a way of writing something that you like,” said Flanigan. “If you write a song that can both be for yourself and someone else, you keep those songs. It has to be true, but to connect to more than you.”

The woman depicted in “Picture You” — “backyard dancing,” black dress-clad, messy-haired and high-heeled, is, Flanigan said, meant to evoke our own wives, girlfriends and partners that we have waited for, or are still waiting for, for “all of [our] lives.”

For Flanigan, that woman is his girlfriend and business partner Ayla Rector; also serenaded on the album are Flanigan’s stepdaughter Kamea and mother, Cathy.

“We were actually going to try to make a video compilation of a ton of home video footage from fan’s weddings, family gatherings, first dates, etcetera for the music video, but we didn’t get enough submissions,” said Rector of the track. “[But] each song is a reminder of a moment of our time spent together. ‘Picture You’ is very special because it’s all the good, totally pure love.”

The Saugerties Times sat down with Flanigan recently to talk music and life.

Saugerties Times: Who influences your music?

Ian Flanigan: I’ve been asked this before and I feel that I’ve always answered it wrong. I’ve always taken it as “which artist entirely inspired you.” I’ve realized that it’s really more techniques … rather than genres. Lyrically and melodically, I was inspired a lot by Ben Harper, he’s a big influence. Guitar-wise I’ll say it like this. Vocally, it’s a thing that’s so personal; it’s more a thumbprint than a collage. But guitar-wise, I was really kicked off by Justin King — is the first one, a local guy Joey Eppard — he really inspired me when I was a kid, Jack Johnson and Nick Drake for the picking patterns. The whole Eppard family, I worked with Jimmy Eppard — Jimmy has taught me so many amazing things. I wish I could see him more. I got to play with him and the Paul Luke Band for many years. … Honestly, the Paul Luke Band got me in front of a lot of audiences and I still love playing with them today. Those guys have always been great friends and have taught me a lot.

Tell me about the process of putting this album together.

I wrote like 15 songs for the album and I selected these five — there’s another [album] that’s going to come out. Some were a little more worldly and political, and then half were very much more love songs, more person to a connection with another person. Then I kind of decided [that] I just wanted to make something a little lighthearted. [The whole process] was probably a year, and you’re seeing about half of what’s there. I worked with a guy named Justin Guip, who is an amazing engineer — he’s a three-time Grammy winner with Levon Helm and Hot Tuna and he’s just an amazing musician. I met him and totally clicked right away. He’s a rhythm guy, a drummer, in the pocket, and I’m more of a melodic guy. Together, we really just made a great team.

Do you remember who gave you your first guitar?

Well, I guess my parents gave me my first guitar when I was like nine, it was an Art and Lutherie. I got that when I was a kid, nine or 10, but I was always about lyrics even when I was a kid. I only got really into the guitar to back up the lyrics I had in my head.

Which local venues are your favorites to play?

I really want to play shows where I can connect with people there. One show like that is better than ten where people didn’t expect music that night. I’d rather have a mutual understanding that we’re listening to music … I used to play Main Street [Restaurant] almost every other weekend, I must have played there a hundred times. Hope Rocks is my favorite, that’s the festival that everyone should get to and support. There are no festivals around addiction or depression in the country, it’s one of the only ones and its right here. And the Garlic Festival. I should say that’s my favorite. This will be my fourth year, I think. I can’t believe that.

You mentioned “The In-Between” is your favorite song on “Give Me Color.” Could you tell me what it’s about?

I was watching my stepdaughter one day, I’m not her biological father, and I wanted to write a song that would relate to her one day — [to tell her] how family is a choice, not necessarily by blood. I’m an only child and I’ve gotten to choose my family as my friends in life. I wanted to write a simple song to show her that just because we’re not blood, there’s no difference in families. I just like how it came together. I like them all, but that one is probably the most personal.

Why have you chosen to stay here in Saugerties?

I like the land, I like the fact that I can drive 10 minutes and I’m out in the middle of nowhere and I don’t know, it’s just home. That’s it. I’ve tried to move a lot, and every time … it’s a really great town. I don’t want to offend other neighboring towns. I really like Phoenicia, I drive through Bearsville on Route 20 a lot. There are a lot of good writing roads here. I take a right at Lebear in Woodstock and I drive up to Phoenicia and I take a right on 214 and go to Tannersville and come back down to Palenville. That’s my loop, that’s probably where I’ve written most of my music.

So, now you’ve made it, do you have any advice for burgeoning musicians?

The advice that I heard when I was young is to write undeniably good music, and no matter what your genre is, if you stay authentic to yourself, one day it will work for you. You just have to keep pushing and failing and keep pushing and failing and pushing and failing … Also, get a job that takes your body not your mind. I always chose a job that took my body and not my mind, because I could write music on the job. If you want to make the best music you can make in your lifetime, you have to write as much music as you possibly can. If you have a job where you have to interact with people and use your brain, that can take a lot of mental energy.

The schedule for Flanigan’s tour, with venues spanning from Maine to Texas, is available at www.ianflaniganmusic.com. Give Me Color will be available on Spotify, and anywhere music is sold. - Hudson Valley One

"Musician Ian Flanigan sets the stage for success"

Musician Ian Flanigan of Saugerties has a lot going for him right now.

The guitarist and vocalist is being co-managed by Bill Dunn, a Town of Poughkeepsie resident and former Marist College student who has been involved in the Hudson Valley music scene for years.

And on May 1 he released a new single, “Picture You,” produced by three-time Grammy winner Justin Guip, a drummer and recording engineer who worked extensively with the late Levon Helm and more recently has been performing with Hot Tuna. Guip operates Milan Hill Studio in Milan.

Flanigan has a string of shows coming up in Ulster County, at The Pines in Mt. Tremper — May 17, 24 and 31. And he’s got the goods to back up all the buzz.

Ian Flanigan
Ian Flanigan (Photo: Ayla Rector/Courtesy photo)

Imagine Tom Waits as a member of Mumford & Sons playing songs by the Lumineers, with a hint of Chris Stapleton. That’s my impression of Flanigan, whose smoky barroom voice provides contrast to the melodic plea he unleashes with an urgency.

Flanigan paints plenty of pictures on “Picture You,” and he frames each one with meditative finger-picking that evokes John Martyn. At the same time, lyrics slip in and out of one another while mood and meaning rise and fall. Momentum comes from chord progressions that could likely prompt a double take from Sting.

Overall, Flanigan offers the kind of optimism that is hard-won after losing on the kind of bets that alter the trajectory of a life — bets you make on yourself, bets you make on others, bets that fail to deliver more often than they come through.

Guip, as he typically does when behind the board for a recording, sharpens the focus and stresses clarity.

And then there is Dunn, known far and wide in the Hudson Valley for his radio career. Dunn has been tireless in his support of Flanigan, which tells me a lot about this musician and the opportunities that are waiting for him.

Adding to all of this is Dunn's partner in a new music management venture, the Overt Music Group, which is managing Flanigan. Geordie Gillespie has more than 30 years of experience in the music industry, having worked at Virgin Records, Sony Music and the Walt Disney Company.

And, oh yeah, you may have heard of some of the musical acts that Gillespie has worked with — the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Amy Winehouse, Gorillaz, Jamiroquai and Fiona Apple.

You can learn more about Flanigan at www.ianflaniganmusic.com.

The Pines is tucked into a cozy corner of Ulster County, at 5327 Route 212, Mt. Tremper; and you can learn more about this restaurant and music venue by sending an email to info@catskillpines.com, calling 845-688-7311 or visiting www.catskillpines.com.

Flanigan will perform at The Pines at 9 p.m. on May 17, 24 and 31. Show time is 9 p.m. The Pines asks that you kick in a $10 donation, which goes to Flanigan.

Also: With all the news about Woodstock right now, let's not forget that the Mountain Jam music festival has a new home this year, on the site of the 1969 Woodstock festival.

Held for years at Hunter Mountain in Greene County, Mountain Jam will be held June 13-16 at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, which sits on the property that hosted the Woodstock Music and Art Fair Aug. 15-18, 1969.

Phil Lesh, Gov't Mule, Willie Nelson and the Avett Brothers are among those scheduled to perform. Visit www.mountainjam.com for information. - Poughkeepsie Journal/USA Today

"Woodstock 2019: Bethel Woods ready for party 50 years in making"

Fifty years later, the sight is fresh in John Fogerty’s mind.

Flying in a helicopter high above Sullivan County on Aug. 16, 1969, the musician gazed upon a field inhabited by hundreds of thousands of people.

“I was up in the air coming over a hill when I first saw that sea of humanity,” Fogerty recalled during a recent interview with the Poughkeepsie Journal and USA Today Network. "It took my breath away.

“But I knew, in the back of my mind,” he said, “I was concerned that it all stay peaceful and orderly and not get everyone into a state of panic or stampede or anything like that happening — and it didn’t.”

The Woodstock Music and Art Fair that weekend made history. Drawing around 450,000 people to the Town of Bethel, the festival is considered by many to not only be perhaps the most famous concert in music history, but also the crowning achievement of the 1960s counterculture.

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This August, 1969 photo shows Richie Havens as he performs during Woodstock in Bethel, N.Y. The photo is only one of hundreds made by photographer Mark Goff who, at the time, worked for an underground newspaper in Milwaukee, Wis. Some were published, but the negatives were filed away at his Milwaukee home and barely mentioned as Goff raised two daughters, changed careers and, last November, died of cancer. Dozens of Goff's Woodstock shots are being displayed 50 years later.
This August, 1969 photo shows Richie Havens as he performs during Woodstock in Bethel, N.Y. The photo is only one of hundreds made by photographer Mark Goff who, at the time, worked for an underground newspaper in Milwaukee, Wis. Some were published, but the negatives were filed away at his Milwaukee home and barely mentioned as Goff raised two daughters, changed careers and, last November, died of cancer. Dozens of Goff's Woodstock shots are being displayed 50 years later. (Photo: Mark Goff Photography, Leah Demarco/Allison Goff via AP)

Its golden anniversary will be marked by four consecutive nights of events, beginning Thursday, at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, which sits on the original festival site. And, like Fogerty 50 years ago, organizers and local officials are hopeful the weekend will be celebrated peacefully and without incident.

Officials are expecting upwards of 100,000 visitors to Bethel for the weekend, and travel restrictions will be in place for anyone who does not have a ticket to the shows. State police have been working with Bethel Woods and local government for eight months on a security plan, those details for ensuring safety have not been shared.

The four-day celebration is a culmination of a 2019 year that has seen myriad efforts to honor Woodstock, including some that failed to materialize. Most notably, the Woodstock 50 festival, scheduled for this weekend and organized in part by original Woodstock co-founder Michael Lang, was cancelled last month after months of turmoil.

Fogerty will cap the event, headlining Sunday’s show. The weekend will begin with a free performance from Arlo Guthrie and a screening of the Academy Award-winning Woodstock documentary on the famed festival field Thursday. Ringo Starr and Carlos Santana will headline shows on Friday and Saturday, respectively, at Bethel Woods’ 16,0000-capacity pavilion before Fogerty.

Each day Friday through Sunday, Bethel Woods has also scheduled performances from local musicians and activities for visitors, with food trucks and other artisan shops on the site.

Laurel Spuhler of the City of Poughkeepsie is heading to see Santana with eight family members who are traveling from Michigan, Oswego and Long Island.

“I’m super excited because you’re seeing history,” she said. “We can just lay down all the business in our lives and enjoy music together.”

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Ensuring safety, preventing traffic
While Woodstock, on Aug. 15-18, 1969, is remembered for its artistry and the unity of those in attendance, it’s also remembered as being perhaps the largest free concert in history. Thousands arrived before fences and ticket booths were set up, and their vehicles clogged the roadways leading to the secluded Sullivan County spot that was, at the time, farmer Max Yasgur’s alfalfa field.

Though police have not detailed how they will secure the famously insecure perimeter around the property — Bethel Woods’ fences and metal detectors for usual events surround its venue, not the festival field or parking areas — it has said checkpoints will be in place to allow only ticketed visitors on site and troopers will divert vehicles before they approach.

State police have warned visitors to avoid the Route 17 and 17B in Sullivan County, predicting traffic to be worst on Route 17 westbound between the Thruway tolls in Harriman and Exit 104 for Route 17B in Monticello. Peak traffic times westbound are expected to be between 1 and 7 p.m. each day, with eastbound traffic peaking between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m., as each night’s festivities end.

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And, Bethel Woods instituted a travel pass system to help sort those who belong on site from those who don’t.

One travel pass was to be sent out to each ticket purchaser, with an additional travel pass supplied to anyone who purchased more than four tickets, Bethel Woods said. Different travel passes were sent out for each night.

A Bethel Woods spokesperson said all passes had been mailed to all those who registered for them as of Friday afternoon. Other travel passes will be available at the Bethel Woods box office until Wednesday. Anyone showing up with tickets but without a travel pass will be diverted to a remote box office on Pucky Huddle Road to verify they belong on site.

The Town of Bethel is prohibiting vehicles on or near the venue from parking on roadways or shoulders. Cars will be towed to keep roads clear for traffic and emergency vehicles.

Traffic information on the weekend can be found on local radio stations, Sullivan County government’s social media, and alert.ny.gov.

Though non-ticketed visitors will not be welcome to visit Bethel Woods on their own this weekend, a shuttle will be available for those who simply want to step onto the festival field.

The bus will run to and from the Woodstock monument from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, leaving from two locations: Swan Lake and the Monticello Raceway. “They will be short trips back and forth,” said Roberta Lockwood, president of Sullivan County Visitors Association.

Woodstock weekend: How police aim to reduce Bethel traffic, maintain safety

Woodstock 50: How concerns of safety, security have put peace and love on the ropes

John Fogerty co-founded Creedence Clearwater Revival in 1967.
John Fogerty co-founded Creedence Clearwater Revival in 1967. (Photo: Getty Images)

Headliners prepare for party
Fogerty in 1969 performed with his band, Creedence Clearwater Revival. Sunday, he’ll play solo, finishing a bill that will begin with opening acts Grace Potter and the Tedeschi Trucks Band.

"There were so many wonderful things that the original Woodstock represented," Fogerty said. "That's why there is such a mystique. Young people want to know, 'What is that?'"

Woodstock, Fogerty said, has served as " a very good role model. That generation was probably at its best right then at Woodstock. ... That was a pretty good civil, cultural event that those people should be proud of and I think they represented the generation very well, as a matter of fact."

Santana (Photo: Roberto)

Fogerty and Santana were also scheduled to perform at the Woodstock 50 festival. Both dropped out of the planned show days before its official cancellation. After failing to obtain permits to be held at two New York venues – Watkins Glen International raceway in Schuyler County and Vernon Downs racino in Oneida County — organizers made one final attempt to stage the show in Maryland before ultimately failing.

Bethel Woods, too, failed in an attempt to put on an anniversary festival. The planned Bethel Woods Music and Culture Festival was cancelled in February without notice and replaced with the scaled down event that will be held this weekend.

Santana willl perform at Bethel Woods on Saturday with the Doobie Brothers as opening act. Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band take the stage Friday with Woodstock veterans Blood, Sweat and Tears and Edgar Winter opening the show.

Guthrie’s free concert Thursday is 50 years to the day that he played the 1969 festival.

Speaking of the original festival, Guthrie said to the Journal, "When I was there the thing that made the biggest impression on me was how many people could be in one place at one time under the worst conditions and still have a great time and enjoy themselves."

He pointed out that many times a large-scale event is viewed as historic only in hindsight — and historic moments are often tragedies.

"It's very rare that you will find a party being historic to begin with," Guthrie said. "And that was what Woodstock definitely was for me."

What else is happening at Bethel Woods?
While the headlining acts don’t begin playing until the evening, there are a variety of activities each day for those who arrive early.

The parking lot opens at noon, which is also when the Museum at Bethel Woods, and its special anniversary exhibit, will open.

The gates to the grounds then open at 2 p.m. Food trucks, hammocks, a beer garden, artisan marketplace and a range of other offerings are sure to generate a communal atmosphere and festival feel.

Art and writers workshops will be offered, and hammocks will be placed around the grounds.

Two stages of musical performers will also fill the afternoon.

Guitarist and vocalist Chogyi Lama is the grandson of the late guitarist and vocalist Richie Havens, who opened the 1969 Woodstock festival. Lama will perform on the Alfalfa Stage, named in honor of the former alfalfa field.

The stage will also feature a list that includes Ulster County musical acts Lara Hope & the Ark-Tones, Ian Flanigan and Murali Coryell, son of the late jazz guitarist Larry Coryell.

"I feel really honored to be a part of it," said Flanigan, a Saugerties resident. "I take it very seriously. It's a big deal to me. I'm just doing my best to prepare the best hour of music I can bring to it."

John W. Barry: jobarry@poughkeepsiejournal.com, 845-437-4822, Twitter: @JohnBarryPoJo

Travel Alert
Travel restrictions will be in place during the Woodstock anniversary weekend celebration at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in Bethel, Sullivan County. Here's what you need to know:

Only those with tickets for the events at Bethel Woods will be allowed within a perimeter set by state police, with troopers controlling roadways leading up to the venue.

A shuttle service will be running for visitors who only wish to visit the Woodstock monument at Bethel Woods.

The Town of Bethel will prohibit vehicles on or near the venue from parking on roadways or shoulders. Cars will be towed to keep roads clear for traffic and emergency vehicles.

Traffic information on the weekend can be found on local radio stations, Sullivan County government social media and at alert.ny.gov.

Social media accounts to follow include:

Twitter: @SullivanCntyGov, @BethelWoods, @SullivanCats, @NYSPolice

Facebook: @SullivanCountyGov, @BethelWoodsCenter, @Sullivan Catskills, @NYSPolice - USA Today

"NYS Music Exclusive: Ian Flanigan Debuts New Single “Picture You”"

Upstate New York singer/songwriter Ian Flanigan today debuts his single “Picture You,” produced by three-time Grammy winner Justin Guip (Levon Helm, Hot Tuna). Flanigan’s songwriting features husky vocals and evocative lyrics that highlight the rural landscapes of his compositions.

“Picture You” seamlessly weaves intricate acoustics and lyricism across supportive cello arrangements and skillful percussion. The song in its entirety is concise, persuading the listener to play it on repeat. “When the world feels like it’s about to break…” the melodious bridge sings out to the listener “…I picture you,” illustrating the comfort in familiarity—a feeling the listener will become familiar with after falling in love with “Picture You.”

Flanigan’s sound — an eclectic blend of progressive folk and percussive finger-style — is reminiscent of the road less traveled, paved with poignant lyrical truths of his past. Ian is a celebrated Kerrville Grassy Hill New Folk Festival finalist, and Emerging Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Artist. Flanigan has had the pleasure of sharing stages with Corey Glover (Living Colour), Sean Rowe, The Pedrito Martinez Group, Session Americana, Chris Knight, and Dwight Yoakam. Follow Flanigan on Spotify and Facebook, and listen to “Picture You” and watch “Give Me Color.” - NYS Music

"Local guitarist, Santana could reunite at Woodstock site 49 years after living together"

Boiceville-based blues guitarist Murali Coryell, whose parents lived in Carlos Santana's apartment when Coryell was an infant in 1970, now finds himself on the same daylong bill as the legendary musician and Woodstock festival veteran.

Coryell will be among numerous acts performing Saturday, Aug. 17, at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts — which is adjacent to the field that hosted the 1969 festival — as the center in Sullivan County celebrates the 50th anniversary of Woodstock.

Coryell said he got an email from Bethel Woods asking if wanted to be on the bill with Santana and the Doobie Brothers, and "it took me all of one second to say 'yes.'"

Coryell will perform at 2 p.m. on Bethel Woods' Alfalfa Stage, where local talent will be featured. The weekend's headliners, including Ringo Starr on Aug. 16 and John Fogerty on Aug. 18, will perform in the center's main amphitheater.

Coryell said his parents — his father was jazz guitarist Larry Coryell, who played with Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis and Santana — lived with Santana in a San Francisco apartment along with their 1-year-old son.

"My dad was popular but poor and needed a place to live, and they were kind," Coryell said. "It's amazing."

Coryell said his father and Santana met when they both lived in New York City and played at such venues as the Scene Club and the iconic Filmore East.

"They loved each other's playing," Coryell said. "Jimi Hendrix really liked my mom, so that might have been another thing."

Coryell's father died in 2017.

Coryell said he crossed paths with Santana in the 1990s at Tower Records store in London, and "he gave me backstage passes to a concert he was playing."

Coryell said Santana told him, "I want you to thank your father for exposing me to the inner worlds."

Coryell has no recollection of living with Santana in San Francisco but recalls seeing Santana's wife, jazz drummer Cindy Blackman, playing with his father in clubs in New York City when he was a teenager.

Coryell said he hopes to meet up with Santana at Bethel Woods and that he's extended an invitation for the guitar legend to perform with Coryell's band, which features Dorian Randolph (drums), Jeff Anderson, (bass) and Peggy Stern (keyboards).

Coryell said his 90-minute set will highlight material from all nine of his albums, including his latest, "Made in Texas."

"I'm just going to play my best songs for the event and evoke the spirit of the Woodstock," he said.

Other local performers scheduled to play at Bethel Woods on the anniversary weekend include Ian Flanigan of Saugerties, performing at 4:30 p.m. Aug. 18; Kingston-based rockabilly act Lara Hope and the Ark-Tones, at 3:30 p.m. Aug. 16; and Chogyi Lama of Woodstock, at 4 p.m. Aug. 17. Lama is the grandson of Richie Havens, who performed at the original Woodstock festival in 1969.

Flanigan, a singer-songwriter, will play on the Terrace Stage, which will feature local acoustic sets and non-musical performances.

Flanigan said he, too, found out by email that Bethel Woods was interested in having him play.

"They wanted to see if I'd like to get involved," Flanigan said.

And, like Coryell, he didn't hesitate.

"Woodstock has been a pretty huge part of life growing up in the Hudson Valley," Flanigan said. "I just feel really honored to be part of a day that's celebrating it."

Flanigan said his musical influences include Bob Marley, Jack Johnson and especially Eric Clapton.

Flanigan said the Hudson Valley is a great place to be a musician and a great place to write.

"There's a lot of inspiration around, a lot of people making great art, and a community that supports us," he said.

Flanigan, a lifelong Saugerties resident, said even though he was born many years after the original Woodstock festival, he recalls watching Woodstock '94, which drew 350,000 people to the Winston Farm in his hometown, on television with his grandmother.

"I remember watching on the TV because my parents went to it," he said.

Editor's note: This story was amended n Aug. 9 at 9:28 a.m. to correct the spelling of Chogyi Lama's name and to add his relationship to Richie Havens. - Daily Freeman

"Ian Flanigan’s “The Inbetween” Named October “Best Song Of The Month”"

Ian Flanigan, an alternative/indie/folk singer/songwriter based in Saugerties, New York, has won the SongwriterUniverse “Best Song Of The Month” Contest for October, for his song, “The Inbetween.” This song is included on his EP called Give Me Color, which he released independently in September (2019).

“The Inbetween” is a heartfelt, intimate ballad that is well written and performed. It starts softly with an acoustic guitar-based arrangement, and then builds to a full chorus with strings added. This recording provides a fine showcase for Flanigan’s deep, soulful lead vocals, and there are good harmony vocals added in the chorus. “The Inbetween” was expertly produced by Flanigan with engineer/producer Justin Guip at his Mylan Hills Studio. Guip is a Grammy Award winner who is known for working with Levon Helm, Hot Tuna and other artists.

Flanigan was born and raised in Saugerties, NY, which is near Woodstock, and two hours away from New York City. He learned to play guitar (his main instrument) and he also plays piano. When he was 18, he moved to Florida, where he joined a band and toured some. After that, he made his way out to Colorado, where he focused on writing songs, gigging and building instruments.

Early on, Flanigan recorded demos of his songs. Then in 2017, he released his first album, called Shades of Blue. He also moved back to Saugerties, although he frequently tours and performs shows in several states. Flanigan is managed by his wife Ayla Rector, whose company is Nightcap Entertainment.

Here’s a video of Ian Flanigan performing his song, “Give Me Color.”
For his song “The Inbetween,” Flanigan discussed the writing of it. “I wrote that song about cohabiting, about family being a choice,” he explained. “I was looking at my stepdaughter, and I was thinking about life and what it means to be able to choose your family. Some of the lyrics are: ‘There’s nothing in you that’s different in me, same kind of lost in the same old sea. But inbetween you’ll find who you are and you learn to let go.’ And ‘Faith, just like ocean tides, it’s under the waves, that crash upon your shoreline, and always will remain when can’t trust the wind to guide you home’.”

In recent years, Flanigan has become a full-time artist. “My wife Ayla is my manager and we’re a family business,” he said. I bought a Class C motor home (24 feet) and we travel to shows. In the past year, I’ve played shows in Pennsylvania, Maine, West Virginia, Kentucky, Texas and North Carolina.” Flanigan plays both solo shows and with his band, and he’s shared stages with John Fogerty, Dwight Yoakam, Grace Potter, and the Tedeschi Trucks Band. - SongWriter Universe


Give Me Color (2019)

Live in Woodstock - Live Album (2018)

Shades of Blue (2017)

Lead Feather (2015)



Best of the Hudson Valley’s 2019 "Best Vocalist/Best Artist" and SongwriterUniverse’s "Best Song of the Month Winner," Ian Flanigan “inspires a nostalgic sentiment akin to wistful escapism… emotional without being weepy, vulnerable without being pitiful, and conceptual while still remaining relatable” (Gallagher, SUNY editorial). Flanigan’s sound—an eclectic blend of progressive folk-pop and percussive fingerstyle—is reminiscent of the road less traveled, paved with poignant lyrical truths of his past.

“Imagine Tom Waits as a member of Mumford & Sons playing songs by the Lumineers, with a hint of Chris Stapleton. That’s my impression of Flanigan, whose smoky barroom voice provides contrast to the melodic plea he unleashes with an urgency. Overall, Flanigan offers the kind of optimism that is hard-won after losing on the kind of bets that alter the trajectory of a life—bets you make on yourself, bets you make on others, bets that fail to deliver more often than they come through” (John Barry, Poughkeepsie Journal).

Local to upstate New York, Flanigan’s songwriting features his rich, husky voice and evocative lyrics highlighting the rural landscape of his compositions. Each song serenades the unity of life and an affinity for atonement—a sound that’s provocative, and familiar. Flanigan is a celebrated Kerrville New Folk Festival finalist, Emerging Artist for Falcon Ridge Folk festival, alumni of the Dripping Springs Texas Songwriter Festival, and Hope Rocks Artist of the Year. Flanigan has had the pleasure of sharing stages with John Fogerty, Grace Potter, Tedeschi Trucks, Corey Glover, Bob Schneider, Sean Rowe, The Pedrito Martinez Group, Session Americana, Chris Knight, and Dwight Yoakam.

Ian’s arrangements and compositions have been described as “rhythmic, engaging, compelling and very creative” (Bob’s Music Box), while his voice has been praised time and time again as having a “great depth and richness“ (Podcart), as well as “unique and powerful” (Argentina TOP/VIRAL HITS) with a “smoky Waits vibe... leaning towards pop folk” (Austin Town Hall).

His most recent release, Give Me Color receives accolades both internationally and regionally, marking the success of a milestone collaboration with three-time Grammy winner and Hudson Valley local, Justin Guip (co-producer, engineer, percussionist). “Quite honestly, I can’t remember when an acoustic guitar took my breath away, and it’s safe to say that has never happened within the first 10 seconds of hitting play on a track before. The distinctive choppy chords broke into vibrant finger strumming mesmerism which introduced Ian Flanigan’s reverberant whisky-soaked vocals in ‘Give Me Color.’ The nostalgic tonality of the track offers plenty of aural escapism while the lyrics set up sweet semantics which doesn’t resonate as saccharine due to the sheer authenticity that they were penned with. Any fans of Chris Cornell and Eddie Vedder definitely won’t want to let Ian Flanigan’s talent, passion, and propensity to weave aural alchemy on a fretboard pass them by” (Praise for Give Me Color, Amelia Vandergast of A&R Factory).

Band Members