By Michael Turton
One of the best things about this time of year is getting together with good friends and Philipstown.info welcomes back a true friend of Cold Spring – The Listening Room – just in time for the holidays. A special edition of The Listening Room will be held at Philipstown.info’s office space at 69 Main Street on Wednesday, Dec. 22 from 7:30 to 9:30 pm. The musical lineup for the free show promises to be as eclectic as it will be entertaining. Slated to perform are favorites Stacy Labriola, Open Book, Ken and Jeannie Veltz, Natalie Amendola, Todd Giudice, Mark Grossman, David Ray and Dan Fleming.
The Listening Room features music “in the round” – though not in the physical sense. It’s a trademark format that pleased audiences during lengthy runs at The Depot and Whistling Willies: featuring three singer-songwriters performing in each of three rounds of music. In just a little over two years The Listening Room welcomed more than 200 artists from across
the Hudson Valley and beyond to its stage. Ken Veltz created The Listening Room and is putting together the Dec. 22 show which will also be broadcast live on Cold Spring Radio. “It’s a great idea for sheer entertainment value – not just for the Hudson Valley community but the whole world via Internet radio. With the social media marketing that each artist brings it could viral. It’s a fabulous partnership” Veltz said.
Gordon Stewart, publisher of Philipstown.info, sees that partnership as an extension of the online newspaper’s ongoing efforts to bring the community together. “We’re a physical part of our community as well as a virtual one. Our space at 69 Main Street is already home to Cold Spring
Radio, and is the Cold Spring Exhibition Space for the Garrison Art Center. ‘Philipstown Talk’ originates there as well. We’ve offered display space to the Putnam County Historical Society – and there’s even a piano for anyone wanting to play, or just practice. We’re pleased to help bring back one our community’s great institutions — The Listening Room.”
Veltz, himself a singer-songwriter, has performed in venues all across the U.S. while touring with his band, which also just happened to be his entire family wife Jeannie, son Drew and daughters Allison and Laura. He’s excited about bringing The Listening Room to 69 Main Street. “I think this will be the best setting yet and the truest listening environment we’ve had.” Veltz says that the music on Dec. 22 will be vintage Listening Room. “This is a very diverse group of people, as is their music, and there will definitely be some holiday songs included in the show.” One of those songs is bound to be Dan Fleming’s “Christmas Time in Cold Spring” which was inspired by a snowy night on Main Street two years ago.
Veltz also thinks that the return of The Listening Room could be good news for Main Street – if business owners see it as an opportunity to promote what they offer. “Shop keepers who have a vision can benefit from what this can bring to the town. When we started The Listening Room people said it wouldn’t work because Cold Spring goes to bed at 10 o’clock – but there were nights when we had a full room after midnight.” In recent months, during public workshops to develop a new Comprehensive Plan for the village, the widely varied and inconsistent days and hours of operation at shops were frequently identified as an economic weakness that must be remedied if Main Street is to become more vibrant. “If The Listening Room proves successful once again, which it likely will, it will be interesting to see whether or not local business owners ‘hear’ the potential it offers them” Stewart said.
Seating is limited for the Dec.22 version of The Listing Room and no reservations will be accepted. Music lovers are urged to arrive in advance of the 7:30 start time.
Photos courtesy of Ken Veltz