the weekend of August 13-14, 2011, I was delighted to attend the First
Out In The Woods Festival, and am pleased to share these photos,
shown mostly in the order taken
before the Festival start, and below,
Tom Goss had just taken advantage of the water slide.
Below right, Tom Goss, John Small, John's partner, Paul
Festival organizer Steve Sims and Mackenzie Parrish doing opening announcements
first act, Roger Kuhn, shown below with Norine Braun; below left, Scott
Free (taken by John Small)
Scott Free; Below left, Tom Goss & Steve Sims being deciders; right,
Lucas Mire and Terry Christopher
Jeremy Gloff, Norine Braun, Ron Waite soaking in the sounds; (right)
Morry Campbell, John Manion
Below left, Jeremy James & his husband Joshua Routhier;
Below right, Dan Manjovi and Roger Kuhn
Sister Funk, with Tom Goss; Below, Peepa and Denise Troy
Norine Braun and her partner Alice Fraser; below, Steve Sims, monitoring
John Small (pic from his FB page); upper right, long-time GLBT music
supporter Ron Waite, who took copious notes for an article on the event
left, Tim Ruppert, and Sean McLaughlin (of Homo Radio, on WRPI); upper
right, John Small; below, audience shots
Tom Goss, and, a shot "borrowed" from John Small, a better
photo of Tom
Below, Jeremy James, and below him, Morry Campbell
to Morry on his wedding, August 15th!
getting dark as Terry Christopher closes the first day's music
Below, group shot (I'm not sure who took this, but it was much better
left to right: Scott Free, Robert Urban, Jeremy James, Steve Sims, Terry
Dan Manjovi, Jeremy Gloff, Alice Fraser, Tom Goss, Morry Campbell, Roger
Norine Braun, Arjuna Griest, Lucas Mire
the show Sunday was Dan Manjovi; below, me and Robert Urban and Ron
avid audience: Jeremy Gloff, Morry Campbell, Arjuna Griest
Below, Arjuna Griest on stage
brought us a special treat, her impromptu "band"...Norine
Braun, Lucas Mire and Dan Manjovi
they did a romping parody of the Cee Lo Green song, retitled "Frack
Robert Urban; below, Susan Souza
Scott Free and Steve Sims; Below, Lucas Mire
Sunday closing group shot: Jeremy Gloff, Terry Christopher, Arjuna Griest,
Lucas Mire, Robert Urban, Susan Souza, Norine Braun, Alice Fraser
an unexpected treat, at the WRPI Studios in Troy, Sean McLaughlin and
interviewed Jeremy Gloff, Lucas Mire and me live on Sunday night
Urban contributed the following photos:
Robert created this marvelous homage to Easton Mountain, Click to view
Waite wrote an excellent review capturing the Festival experience.
I thank him for allowing me to share it here.
In The Woods
By Ron "Ran" Waite
In The Woods" was an event held on August 12 and 13, 2011, with
a few purposes: to show off the facilities at
Easton Mountain (in Greenwich, NY), to bring together 15 LGB (there
were no trans individuals at this year's show)
musical acts so they could network, and for the audience to enjoy a
musical extravaganza. It was history in the making,
and an incredible experience for all that participated. This was a veritable
smorgasbord of musical styles, as different
as the personalities of each of these talented artists. In one location,
where else could you see acts that came from
Vancouver, Canada; New Haven, CT; Washington, DC; Tampa Bay, FL; Atlanta,
GA; Chicago, IL; Northampton,
Sturbridge, and Boston, MA; Albany and New York, NY?
Despite a few technical glitches and some delays, the two days went
on without many hitches.
First up was Roger Kuhn, who set the bar
for all other performers. I have to admit that I love his deep smoky
voice, and the red boots that he was wearing were to die for! With bubbles
floating through the air, he received
rapt attention from the audience during his acoustic set. He performed
several songs including "Cradle Me
(With Love)" and the delightful "What's Your Name," both
from his CD "Proof." We did find out that he's a
yoga teacher, in his off stage life, and that he's working on a new
CD, which will include some Sanskrit
rock and roll chant music--HOT.
Scott Free won the prestigious "Outmusician
of the Year" at the OMAs in 2009. He is an activist with a heart
Playing both the guitar and the harmonica he sang songs that cover a
wide gamut of topics: a song dedicated
to a deceased singer that he idolized, his gay marriage song "Two
Great Dads," a love song to his husband, a song
for the over 50 set, and a wonderful song that every person at Easton
Mountain could relate to "Not Good Enough."
He ended his set with "The Muffin Song (No One's Ever Been In Love
With Me)." Scott writes songs that command
attention, make the hairs on the back of our necks stand up and make
The only band to perform at "Out In The Woods" was the high-energy
Sister Funk. As they stated, "We play
a lot of Pride
celebrations and Women's festivals, but we're enjoying being out with
the guys-isn't that the way it should be?"
We were treated to songs from their catalog and their new live CD. "Get
My Whiskey On" was a brand new song,
which had the audience out of their seats and dancing on the lawn. Sister
Funk had driven three hours, played their
45 minute set and then had to drive back for a gig that evening in Connecticut.
They must have really wanted to play
at Easton Mountain-and I, for one, am glad that they did!--Excellent.
As a change of pace, next was John Small, a
performer that this reviewer was not familiar with until today.
John played both the guitar and the mandolin. John brought a mellow
style to his musical stories and songs.
His song about a trip that he took to Nashville, entitled "Roaches"
was absolutely hysterical. His songs
"Burnin' The Midnight Oil" and "Allyns Apple Farm"
were some of the songs taken from his CD "Demo's &
Rough Mixes." He ended his set with a cover of Michael Martin Murphy's
"Wildfire, which was well suited
to his voice and musical style--Calming.
Tom Goss was "psyched" to be
back at Easton Mountain. He presents himself extremely well, sings loud
and has a lot of emotion in his voice. We learned a lot about him from
his comments between songs-including that a
gnat had flown up his nose during one song-but he continued singing-what
a pro! Playing both the guitar and
the keyboards he sang about marriage equality, DADT, love, loss and
celibacy. During the following weekend
he said he would be filming the video to the uptempo "It's All
Over," I can't wait to see him dancing! You can
check Tom out on YouTube-he has a number of videos to view there--Multifaceted.
Award winning singer/songwriter, Norine Braun,
is from Canada. After honoring the indigenous people of the
Easton Mountain area, she also pointed out, "This is the first
ever Out In The Woods festival, the inaugural event-
we're making history!" Culling tunes from her eight CDs, she led
the crowd through an eclectic set of musical styles.
She played the guitar, while her life partner, Alice Fraser, played
the keyboards. Her acoustic version of "These Boots
Are Made For Walking" had everybody singing along. She sang a few
songs from her latest CD to a prerecorded track
and ended with a unique ditty entitled "Sprack Chica Boogie"--Outstanding.
Jeremy James is a Capital district favorite;
he grew up in Arkansas before moving to New York State. He explored
the culture war between red and blue states in the song "Home"
and wrote the song "Mr. Rochester" about the
book Jane Eyre. The song that got the biggest reaction was "Good
Christians," about the hypocrisy in the Baptist Church.
During the last verse he inserted a few lines from Lady Gaga's "Born
This Way" (could a gay crowd go without a
Gaga mention?--NOT). He ended his set with a rousing cover of Bruce
Springstein's "Hungry Heart" and even played
with the lyrics and threw in a couple of references to Easton Mountain--Creative.
Let me start by saying that Morry Campbell
is one hell of a guitar player. With dragonflies floating through the
air, he led
us through a set of songs from his CD "Long Way Home" and
added a couple of brand new tunes. He let us know that
he was getting married the day after the festival ended, and he shared
the deeply personal song he had written
for his wedding. His requisite cover "Leatherwing Bat" came
from hearing it sung by Judy Collins and the Muppets on TV.
He sang the beautiful "Fly Fishing In My Head," and ended
his set with his version of "Summertime," appropriate for
time slot, as the sun was setting--Wonderful.
Day one ended with the talented singer/songwriter Terry
Christopher. Accompanied by Dan Manjovi on keyboards,
he started with Marc Cohen's "Walking in Memphis." He followed
this song with the brand new "Let the Rover Roll"
and a number of songs that he had not previously recorded, like "Man
Enough" (a blue-eyed soul number), "Fireflies in the
Garden" and "Wade in the Water." Unfortunately the sound
died in the middle of "Swoon," but he started the song over
from the beginning and we loved it. He dedicated his last song "Elevation"
to Harry and Steve of Easton Mountain.
He provided the ending to a wonderful day of music-- Awesome.
Later that evening, several of the performers participated in a sing-along,
while we were gathered around a campfire.
This was like being blessed with a backstage pass, which came with the
price of admission. It provided another great
opportunity to mingle with these phenomenal musicians.
Day two started with the talents of Dan Manjovi.
Dan is a Renaissance man: actor, singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist
and who knows what else. He remarked that he had gotten "great
energy from all the musicians I met here."
We heard songs from his two CDs and he performed some new songs, like
"Kiss My Face" and a song for his
husband "No One More Beautiful Than You." He honored us with
the song "Something's Coming My Way"
that he had written for the movie "Precious" and covered George
Harrison's "Here Comes the Sun." He ended
with a song specifically written for this event: "The Quest of
Arjuna Greist started her set with a spoken
word piece called "Normal." Her political and feminist approach
her pieces provided an interesting alternative to what we were hearing.
Later, when asked about the humerous aspects
of her pieces, she said that "when people are laughing, they don't
mind being preached to as much." She sang songs
about colonialism, hydrofracking, bullying, transwomen, Matthew Shepard
and even Jerry Falwell. She apologized to all
individuals of Irish decent before singing "Oh, Tranny Boy"
and at JD Doyle's request,
she graced us with "Talkin' Anniversary Blues"--Imaginative.
Award winning singer/songwriter, producer, Robert
Urban, won the coveted "Outmusician of the Year" at
OMAs in 2006. His enthusiastic vocals and instrument playing (switching
between guitar and keyboards)
elevated the atmosphere at Easton Mountain. He welcomed us "to
all things artsy, fabulous and gay." His tunes
included "The Mirror of My Soul" (a song for same-sex weddings),
a couple of songs that he had co-written
with Marshal Zarne, plus "Can't Keep Putting Me Down," and
"Ode to Central Park." He ended his set with a
cover of Jimmy Somerville's "Coming" from the movie "Orlando"--Spectacular.
Susan Sousa offered a revealing and personal
collection of songs. With her wonderful, strong voice she asked
us to guess which songs had been written before or after the breakup
of her 16 year relationship. Songs like
"Don't Break Me," "Hesitation," "Stronger Than
Myself" and one of her favorites: "Letting Go," were
extremely introspective. She remarked "I often write about other
people's relationship. I've only been
in 1 ½ relationships
yea I'll give her
½." She introduced the audience to two new songs,
"testing them out," as she put it: "Nothing To Keep Me"
Lucas Miré offered us an acoustic
guitar performance. This was a sweet, soulful set that only a southern
gentleman could provide. Since he's working on his third CD, he sang
a few songs from his previous CDs
and some songs from the upcoming collection. "Fill In All The Blanks,"
was based on the saying on a t-shirt and
"Francis" recalls a time in his life when he had a best friend,
boyfriend and boss who were all named Francis.
Lucas has established a relationship with the band Girlyman, which has
led to some fine musical collaborations
in his songs. He has good taste in his friends--Terrific.
The last act of the event was quiet and reserve Jeremy
Gloff. After being introduced, he announced,
"I usually have a hot babe introduce me. I am here to promote my
latest CD," then he put on some dark shades
and adopted his gregarious stage persona. Singing along to a prerecorded
track, we were treated to dance
songs from a total club kid. Before singing "Beautiful Boy"
he yelled out "this is for all the beautiful boys and
girls at Easton Mountain." After singing "Never Grow Old"
he asked "Let's make a pact to never grow old?"
As he sarcastically quipped, "The end of this festival should end
with something emotional and deep"--Fabulous.
The staff of volunteers from Easton Mountain ended this musical festival
with an impromptu group dance-they
had worked hard and Jeremy Gloff provided the dance music that they
needed and deserved. A few of us
just "butt danced" in our seats and it was all good. "Out
In The Woods" ended as the party that it was intended to be!
again, Part 4 of my July OutRadio show was a salute to all the artists
performing at the Festival, you can listen from the main
photos are shown 75% of original size, if you want any full size shots
just let me know
a HUGE salute to Steve Sims and his volunteers for making
this first event amazingly successful and entertaining
In The Woods Facebook Page Easton