Ridgestock 2017 was blessed with a beautiful setting and perfect weather — except for a brief, gentle sprinkle towards the end of the evening. The Ridge, located at 1281 Salt Springs Road
Chittenango, NY 13037, debuted its new amphitheater to the public on Saturday, August 19. With two outdoor stages and their indoor “Tavern” stage, music flowed from day until late into the night.
The Barndogs started the afternoon with a set that featured music from The Who, Janis Joplin, CCR, Joan Baez, Mountain, and Jimi Hendrix. Special guest singers included Joe Whiting, Lisa Lee, Maureen Henessey, Sharon Allen, Riley Mahan, Bill Ali, and Paul Davie. George Newton did his pedal steel magic on some songs as well.
Between sets, Colleen Kattau serenaded the Tavern crowd with her beautiful rendition of Joan Baez songs. The next outdoor stage set kicked off with Grupo Pagan doing Sweetwater, Jefferson Airplane, and — of course — Santana! The Jamie Notarthomas Band brought together such local music luminaries as Tim Burns, Don Martin, Don Williams, B. Kelly Wilcox, Mark Nanni, Lenny Milano, Phil Smith, Ed Gorham as well as performers from other bands who played throughout the day and night.
Then came Canned Heat…..wow! These guys were at the original Woodstock. Starting off with their original “On The Road Again” they continued to play songs from the early years as well as newer material. But of course they did “Going Up the Country!”
A short but sweet mini-set featuring Paul Davie, Tim Burns, Eric Wise, and Brian Welch reminded us of John Sebastian’s and Simon & Garfunkle’s role in the late 60’s festival scene.
Next up: Professor Louie and the Crowmatix entertained a happy, dancing crowd with many songs by The Band. Louie performed with the post-Robbie Robertson version of The Band.
The Bog Brothers (Mike Gridley, Taylor Bucci, Steve Buck, Marc Odin and Mike Lounsbery) gave us a terrific mini-set of old Grateful Dead (“Viola Lee Blues”, “Mama Tried” and “Cold Rain and Snow”) as well as Jefferson Airplane’s “The Other Side Of This Life” — which grooved so hard that bassist Buck broke a string.
The outdoor portion of the evening ended with an all-star jam on the new stage! After that, Skip Murphy & His Merry Pranksters brought us back into the Tavern for music well into the night.
Ample outdoor bar and food stations, as well as artistic vendors kept the crowd fed and “watered!” We’re counting down the days to Ridgestock 2018!