By PATRICK DEWEY • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
The Cooperstown Concert Series kicks off its 52nd season Saturday, November 6 at 8 p.m. at the Otesaga Resort Hotel with the Nashville-based band Roanoke.
Led by Taylor Dupuis (vocals) and Joey Beesley (guitar, vocals), Roanoke blends Americana, rock ‘n’ roll, and a variety of other musical influences with vocal harmonies.
Concert series Board President Jim Hill said Roanoke is rapidly gaining notoriety and came highly recommended. Board member Jeff Katz said their style is unique, blending a 70s rock sound with a modern Americana influence. According to the band’s website, music publication Literally Darling said Roanoke’s “… roots run deep with the heart of country music, the soul of the blues, and the grit of Americana music.”
The website also cites the Huffington Post describing the band as “brimming with optimism, youthful exuberance, and creative energy.”
Beesley called a Roanoke show “an immersive experience” and said the band constantly strives to meet the goal of putting on a show that connects with the audience.
“The description ‘mystic rock’ fits Roanoke in part because some of our lyrics are influenced by our spirituality and our perception of the vast universe,” Beesley said. “Writing is about how open you are to the process and letting the song come out.”
He said he and Dupuis remain the band’s main songwriters. And while Roanoke began with an emphasis on folk and Americana music, personnel changes along the way found the sound changing, as well.
“Those influences remain, but we’ve gradually incorporated more of a classic rock sound into the mix,” he said, citing Fleetwood Mac, Led Zeppelin, and Jefferson Airplane among their influences. “Getting into the rock genre added new life to the songwriting process. Anyone familiar with the folk sound of our first album will find our more recent material grittier and higher-energy.”
“We’re looking forward to the chance to play to an East Coast audience again,” he said. “One of the things I enjoy about touring is the chance to explore each new town where the band performs.”
The pandemic gave the band the chance to write new material that will feature in the Cooperstown Concert Series show.
“This gig in Cooperstown is not in support of a full new album, but we’ll have a couple of newer songs,” Beesley said.
The Cooperstown Concert Series was founded in 1970 and since 1979 has been an independent nonprofit with the mission of promoting cultural growth in Cooperstown and the surrounding area. Katz said around 2008, the series, which had had performances of dance, classical, and other arts, began focusing on popular music from jazz to blues to folk and everything in between. Katz, who has been involved with the series since 2005, says he loves seeing community members come together in a fun and relaxed setting.
“The series has brought so much joy to so many and that’s one of the best things about it” Katz said.
Both Katz and Hill are proud to say that the concert series is entirely volunteer-operated.
They said while this makes the organization unique compared to others, and many volunteers are highly devoted, maintaining a consistent volunteer presence is an ongoing challenge.
Tickets are available online at cooperstownconcertseries.org/ or at the door. Any coronavirus regulations that have been most currently recommended by the CDC will be in place at the performance.