Catskill Music Scene Compilation VOL 1

Our music scene is a force to be reckoned with and we want to spread the word about what’s happening out here in the Catskills!  Reminder that everyone here is a bookable working artist and would appreciate your listens, views, likes and possible show bookings. The artists listed below are organized in no particular order.  Enjoy!
Organized by Faith Kelly, mastered by Greg Castro

Faith Kelly and Caswyn Moon are on a WILD WEST TOUR and promoting all these musicians along the way. I’m honored to be included in this tribe of talent! !

Saturday August 13 – Creative Compound, Honesdale PA “WOMEN IN THE ARTS” 6:30 – 9:30pm

Sunday August 14 – Cabernet Frank’s, Parksville NY “SKY HIGH Release Party” 7:00 – 9:00pm

Friday August 19 – Creative Compound, Honesdale PA “SKY HIGH Release Party”, with Jillian Nogin 6:30 – 9:30pm

Friday August 26 – Tango Cafe, Hurleyville NY “Cloud Cover – The Music of Kathy Geary and the Songs of Joni Mitchell” 6:30 – 8:30pm

SKY HIGH at Cabernet Frank's
SKY HIGH at Creative Compound
Cloud Cover at Tango Cafe

June 19, 2002 – Kathy Geary and Ian Christopher Roberts on the Stage in the Woods at the Martinfeld Ranch Soltice Music Festival. A cloudy day and rather cool upper 50s for the height of summer but shinning faces all around as we celebrated with music dance and poetry. I was happy to sing my songs and some Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan and a one by Ed Sheeran. If a video turns up I’ll be sure to post it here. Love!

Cloud Cover at the Martinfeld Ranch Soltice Festival June 2022
Cloud Cover at the Martinfeld Ranch Soltice Festival June 2022
Kathy Geary at the Martinfeld Ranch Solitce Festival Jujne 2022
Kathy Geary at the Martinfeld Ranch Summer Solstice Music Festival June 2022

Julian Giaimo, Producer

We’re in the home stretch! Julian Giaimo is mixing five songs and bringing his considerable skills as a Music Producer.

Cloud Cover recorded five songs in a live session at Big Orange Sheep studios in Brooklyn NY in July 2021.

Overdubs were done remotely by some wonderfully talented musicians from far and wide. Ron Blake has been in the SNL Band for years and contributes the sax on “Heaven Is”. Elizabeth Rose, a singer-songwriter in her own right plays slide guitar on “When I’m Awake”. From the west coast, Jeness and Sean Johnson play viola and cello on “Sleeping Outside”.

Finding the right sound for today’s tastes is something I thought I could do on my own. But turns out I needed an extra set of ears to really hear the music. It’s like looking into a mirror and trying to see yourself objectively. Not easy. Julian Giaimo is there for me, I trust his instincts. The vocal sound is critical as my music relies heavily on the classical training I received as an operatic soprano.

After the live session were finished overdubs were recording remotely.

Ron Blake
Ron Blake has been a member of the Saturday Night Live Band for many years and delivers a beautiful sax part for the song “Heaven Is”.

Elizabeth Rose is a singer-songwriter in her own right and plays slide guitar on the song “When I’m Awake”.

Kathy Geary – Jeness Johnson – Sean Lyons live at The Colony, Woodstock, NY 2020
Jeness Johnson and Sean Lyons are classically trained and created perfect string parts for the song “Sleeping Outside” on viola and cello.

Cloud Cover recorded five songs in two sessions at Big Orange Sheep Studios in Brooklyn, NY in July 2021. The owner/engineer is Chris Benham who set up two vocal mics including a Neuman U47 and a Boch digital. The guitar went direct to the console and also through a Matchless guitar amp in a side room. The drums were setup before the session began with maybe ten mics on the drum set from above and below and in front!! The bass guitar also went direct to the console and through a bass amp. The sessions were intense as Kathy was playing and singing under headphones with no room for mistakes. We each were in separate booths with glass to see each other and headphones for the mix. Most songs were recorded in two takes!

Cloud Cover in the Studio
Cloud Cover in the Studio – Sam Smith, Kathy Geary, Matt Kane
Sam Smith, Bass guitar
Sam Smith, Bass guitar
Matt Kane, Drums

We rehearsed at Euphoria Productions in Manhattan on my birthday in June 2021. This was the first time we had all played together! Getting ready to record the debut EP “Sky High”. They had listened to the solo voice and guitar recordings but I didn’t have any charts. Listen to us try to figure out the bass line for “Duality”.

Michael Carvin, Executive Producer
Michael Carvin, Executive Producer

Kathy began meetings with Michael Carvin in early 2021 to launch the project and take his direction for how to do it right. As a master drummer, Michael tapped his protege and long time friend Matt Kane as the perfect musician for the songs. Matt Kane plays the guitar and loves singer-songwriters in addition to bringing the style and technique he learned from Michael Carvin.

The upcoming release of this EP wouldn’t have happened without Michael’s encouragement and guidance on pulling the musicians together, planning the sessions and finding the emotional courage to step up with original music.

Kathy first met Michael Carvin in the early 1990’s in New York City when he took a real interest in the Bleecker St Reality Band with his student David Sokol on drums. He weighed in on stage presence, how to reach an audience and deliver a live performance. When they got back in touch almost 25 years later Michael had moved to Los Angeles but his presence was strong even from across the country.

Much gratitude to Michael for his support and encouragement.

These songs were written in 2020 – 2021 and are my debut recordings of original music with my own lyrics. I’ve written other songs with the lyrics by Ron English but these are my first completely from myself. It’s been a lifetime of performance of great music from the heights of classical art song to the best of rock and roll but writing my own melodies and capturing my own thoughts is something that is unexpected at this point in my life, in my sixth decade! It’s never too late.

The image on the SKY HIGH Cover is a photograph I took one evening driving home on my country road. It’s farmland with cows and eagles and wild turkeys and is my paradise. I left my Manhattan apartment behind and moved here full time after I found a community of artists and musicians that recognized me and gave me a new home.

2019 was a difficult time as my body was diagnosed with anemia. I couldn’t sleep at all for a few months, without knowing why. I was up most nights and that’s when I turned to writing my thoughts in a little notebook beside the bed. 2020 turned the corner and we were all hit with an unprecedented pandemic. The first song I wrote was “Duality”, about the goodness of the world and the mystery of life. In the Bible when God creates the earth “He saw that it was good”. I took that line for myself as I believe God inhabits each of us. So when I say “She saw that it was good” God becomes me and is looking through my eyes. We see the world as we choose to see it. She saw that it was good.

“Sleeping Outside” was a poem I wrote in 1997 as I was travelling home to NY from a gathering in Missouri. When I camp in the woods I usually sleep in a tent. But we were driving home at night and got very tired. So we stopped at a State Park and laid down on the ground under the starry sky to rest. I relaxed into the ground and stared at the stars but was astounded because it looked like they were moving around! I was confused, what was happening? Then I realized there was a large swarm of fire flies overhead and they were so bright that they blended into the shinning stars overhead. You couldn’t tell their lights from the stars. It was so beautiful that I drifted off to dreamland without a care. “And if tomorrow never gets here we’ll never know the difference.” If I died right then it would be alright. I think the guitar music captures the beauty of that night. It’s an alternative tuning I got from a Michael Hedges song “Fusion of the Five Elements” DAEFAE. Notice the half step in the middle of the tuning. Magical. I wrote the guitar part first then laid in the words.

“Heaven Is” is a poem by the artist Ron English. He sent it to me in March of 2020 right after he had come down with Covid. This was the first person I knew who had it and none of us had vaccines. His words are deep with layers of meaning and I didn’t change a word. However I did rearrange the verses and left many of them out to create the song. The first two lines hit me hard “Heaven is the life after the death. Heaven is the air after your last breath.” It’s a complicated structure as a Rondo form in A B A C A D, the A section repeats three times with two alternate parts in between. For me it clarifies the meaning of the verses and follows the emotions of the ideas. The last two lines give me shivers “For those who believe in redemption, get to sin again and again. And walk on water, even when the waters are so deep and the ice is too thin.” This echoes a line from one of Ron’s earlier poems “Thin Ice” – Jesus never walked on water but he was always on thin ice”. Brilliant man.

“When I’m Awake” is about a dream I had of my first husband. I love him dearly still, but it was a lifetime ago. Dreamland is powerful and mysterious.

My cover of Joni Mitchell’s “Woodstock” is based on a performance she did on the “Miles of Aisles” album from a tour through the US. She has done different versions of this iconic song and I was inspired to use her tuning EBDGAD. She has been ever present in my life, in my mind with her astonishing songwriting and lyricism.