by Arleigh Rodgers
To continue my theme of supporting the Finger Lakes community during the time of COVID-19, I thought I’d highlight a few Finger Lakes-based musicians and artists. Finger Lakes music-focused Facebook groups were the best part of my research, often being the vehicle through which I discovered a few artists myself. Be sure to check out Finger Lakes Music Press, which highlights more artists throughout the region than I included in this post.
These individuals or groups all hail from the Finger Lakes region, whether they tour or produce their work outside this local scale. Below are five specific artists (of many) we can support using the suggestions I gave in my last post!
- Maddy Walsh & The Blind Spots: Described as a “five-piece original glammy poppy punchy moxy rock band fronted by powerhouse female vocals” on their Facebook page, this Ithaca-based band specializes in rock, pop, and indie music. The band members include vocalist Maddy Walsh, guitarist Mike Suave, drummer Aaron Fumarola, and bassist Chris Lee Shacklett. You can find out about their latest album, out on vinyl, on their website.
- The Local Farmers Union: This veggie folk rock band enjoys music, food, writing, travel, hiking, and pretty much anything else — what other description could we expect from a Finger Lakes-originated band? The group picks veggies by day and plays veggie-based original tunes like “Dirt Blues” and “Know Your Farmer” by night.
- kurt.riley+praxis: Riley’s 10-year-long career starts with his his first studio album, “Brighthead,” and takes off into a deal with New Vine Records and performances across New York state. On his website, the 21st century rock-and-roll artist said, ““When I was a teenager, rock and roll saved my life. Ever since, I have felt that it is my responsibility to return the favor.” Information on his upcoming and past work can be found on his website.
- Root Shock: The soulful and uplifting sound of this reggae band brings messages of love, humanity, and social change to their music. Although the band members started up in Syracuse in 2012, their music carries “an almost tangible sense of sunlight.” The band’s powerhouse vocals are brought by Jessica Brown, and the songs also feature Phil Grajko on guitar, Brian Lauri on keyboard, bassist Bill Eppel and drummer Tyre Outerbridge, creating a rhythm that flows easily between dancehall and funk.
- The Beauchesnes: This two-piece, Americana-rock group features longtime music artists Robert Hunter and Ted Walsh. Their first and latest release, “Twilight Interstate,” is an album full of collaborations, among them Chris Merkley or Digger Jones, Driftwood’s Claire Byrne, The Blind Spots’ Maddy Walsh, and saxophone Prometheus Jenkins. Their album is available on iTunes, and more information can be found on their website.