Jan 10, 2014 Russ Tarby Uncategorized
Protest songs have enlivened the musical landscape since at least the 18th century when an anonymous British “lady” published a pioneering feminist tune called “The Rights of Women” sung to the tune of “God Save the King.”
Songs promoting social justice, racial equality and peace continue to raise the consciousness of listeners and to inspire activism.
The seventh annual Liverpool Public Library Folks Music Series, four free concerts which I help produce, will expose its audiences to music ranging from the bi-lingual anti-war songs of Colleen Kattau, to the civil rights anthems of Kim and Reggie Harris, to Jamie Notarthomas’s exposés of crass commercialism and environmental threats. The series concludes with a tribute to progressive American troubadour Woody Guthrie by Oregon folksinger-fingerpicker Adam Miller.
The protest songs ring out starting at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 19, when songwriter Jamie Notarthomas takes the stage at the library’s Carman Community Room, 310 Second St., here in the village. Admission is free; lpl.org; 457-0310.
An integral part of the independent underground music scene since the 1980s, Notarthomas performs an average of 200 shows a year at all variety of venues throughout the eastern U.S. Over the years, his thought-provoking lyrics and electrifying shows have established him as one of the most well-known performers in the region.
On his recent disc, “The Crow Convention,” a song called “Silence” sings the praises of unsung local heroine Kathleen Rumpf, a dedicated prison protestor and anti-war activist. “Silence” is a quiet yet truly revolutionary tune which advocates turning off our TVs, radios and PCs. Another track, “Deet Deet Deet,” makes an onomatopoeic commentary on the gizmos that define life in the 21st century. But the songwriter also tackles the tougher issues on “I Don’t Want to Be Part of That,” a no-holds-barred critique of American materialism.
For a quarter century, Notarthomas has been crafting tunes about the environment, the beauty of nature, love, socio-political issues, spirituality and rapture. The Syracuse New Times identifies him as “one of Upstate New York’s most passionate, politically articulate and visionary performers.” Visit jamienotarthomas.com.
The Folk Music Series continues on Feb. 16, with Colleen Kattau & Some Guys, March 16 with Kim and Reggie Harris, and ends on April 27 with Adam Miller paying homage to Woody Guthrie. See you there!
L’pool Plaza Liquors
Just in time for New Year’s Eve, a new liquor store opened for business. Liverpool Plaza Liquors opened its doors Sunday, Dec. 29, in the strip mall we used to call Carl’s Plaza. Of course, I‘m going back a few decades to when Carl’s drug store was the primary retailer there where the Thrifty Shopper store now stands, at the corner of Electronics Parkway and Old Liverpool Road. The new bottle shop stands at the strip’s other end, near Firestone Complete Auto Care. To contact Liverpool Plaza Liquors, dial 457-5000.
Speaking of Old Liverpool Road, one of the pioneers of that particular boulevard of dreams has died. Frank Montanaro, who established the legendary Le Moyne Manor in the late 1940s, passed away in Syracuse on Dec. 28. He was 92.
Montanaro purchased the estate of architect Ward Wellington Ward and created Le Moyne Manor Restaurant at 629 Old Liverpool Road. Over the years he expanded the original home and added a modern motel, making it one of the most distinguished establishments in the area. Le Moyne Manor, the “House of Banquets,” was the destination to thousands of people celebrating weddings, parties, dinners, meetings, proms and holidays. Montanaro’s first-class operation also showcased some of the finest entertainers to perform in CNY. Montanaro sold his business and retired in 1992.
Two years ago the manor’s present owner, Peter Young Housing, Industries & Treatment, quit the food and hospitality biz entirely. Rev. Young’s operation is an alcohol and substance abuse treatment center which runs vocational programs to teach the under-employed skills needed to get jobs. Young, who is based in Albany, has owned the facility since 1998.
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