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See you tomorrow @ The Conservatory at Bethel Woods

Hey Songwriters and Friends:

We are starting our monthly meetings at the Conservatory at Bethel Woods tomorrow, Saturday April 25, from 2-4 pm.  I hope we can focus on the SC Songs Project…however, it will be great to see everyone and hear what you’ve been doing.

BTW – I’m leading a songwriter panel in NYC on May 20.  More info later.

See ya tomorrow:)IMG_6840


We’re Back for Spring Gatherings

We’re Back for Spring Gatherings

Hi Songwriters and FOS (friends of songwriters)

Please join us for our next two spring gatherings, Saturday, April 25 and Saturday, May 16, both from 2-4 pm at the beautiful Conservatory at Bethel Woods.


So looking forward to seeing you all.  PLEASE let me know if you have written any new Sullivan County Songs for our SC Songs Project.



Good times:)

Update on Bethel Woods and All-Day Folk Fete @ The Dancing Cat

Update on Bethel Woods and All-Day Folk Fete @ The Dancing Cat
Hi All
November 29 Celebration at the Conservatory at Bethel Woods
As you know, we have been given the Conservatory at Bethel Woods all fall.  It’s been an amazing space (which rhymes, of course, with amazing disgrace).  Our last gathering of the fall at the Conservatory will be Saturday, Nov 29.  We have invited staff from Bethel Woods to join us and listen to the song rounds.  It’s a great opportunity for them to see and hear the enormous diversity, creativity and spirit you all contribute.   Please plan to come on Nov 29 and bring your best, your works-in-progress, your community spirit. Kathleen Christie (Executive Director of Arts & Humanities @ BW) really enjoyed her visit last week and I believe we got high marks, although I haven’t seen a report card.IMG_0558
New December Space at the Bethel Woods Museum
Kathleen has also graciously looked into giving us another space at BW.  She has offered us one of the classrooms in the Bethel Woods Museum for Dec 6, 20 and 27.  We cannot use this space on Dec 13 because it’s already booked, however….
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The Dancing Cat’s All-Day Folk Festival, Sunday December 14
Stacy Cohen contacted me today, asking if I’d like to participate in the all-day folk festival she is creating at The Dancing Cat, December 14.  She also asked me to let you all know and to please contact her if you would like to participate.  I am waiting to hear how long the sets will be and if there is any compensation.  I’ll get back to you on this when I hear from her.
So — that leaves Saturday December 13 as our only “homeless” day in December.  I’ll keep working on this and if you have any suggestions, please let me know.
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Your CD Featured on Our Blog – and Guest Blogging.
It’s so much fun to see and hear our personal recording projects.  I’m happy to post your releases (old and new) on our blog.  Please please please send me your cover pics, description and any reviews or blurbs I can copy and paste along with the url for purchasing your songs.  If you’d like to give me a copy that I can listen to and add my own words, again, I’m happy to do so.  AND if you would like to write about another’s cd AND/OR do some blogging, you are highly encouraged to do so.  Do not underestimate the power of the blog.  It’s a reference point, historical document and a great way for others (like BW) to see how we have been progressing.
Sullivan County Song Project
Barry, Jon, Ramona/Andre have SC songs in the works.  I’ve got some ideas working.  Any others?IMG_0284
Invite Your Peeps Nov 29
That’s all the news for now.  Please invite your friends/family for Nov 29, if you like.  It will be a celebration of our fall gatherings – which have been truly inspiring.
To those of you we have missed seeing this year, we would be thrilled to have you drop in and play a few songs when you feel the spirit.  You are missed.

Debbie Fisher Palmarini’s “Rose Mountain” and Songs Fill The BW Conservatory

Songwriter peeps…

We have had another splendid two Saturdays at the magnificent Bethel Woods Conservatory.


That’s Kathleen Christie, Bethel Woods’ new Executive Director of Arts and Humanities, with her back to the camera.  Ms. Christie, an bubbly, upbeat soul, planned to join us for “fifteen minutes.” She’s a busy lady.  For some reason, she found herself unable to leave until after she’d sampled one full round of songs…maybe one hour later.  But who’s counting?

From left around the circle:  Jon Naberezny, Stuart Kabak, Vic Kunitsky, Ramona Jam, Andre Turan, Brewster Smith, Craig Martin, Mike Jung. Les Morels, our French friends and Mia’s pal, Rahmira, are listening in the background.  More on the songs below.

Debbie Fisher Palmarini CD Release: “Rose Mountain”

Debbie Fisher Palmarini has released “Rose Mountain,” her cd of original songs backed by a large band.Screen Shot 2014-11-08 at 9.32.35 AM

Karen Hudson was raving about it so I had to get me one. It’s super cool.  A throwback to the “live” studio sound of the 70’s, centering on Debbie’s powerful vocals and heartfelt lyrics.  She’s got a BIG band, too.  For details, great pics and the music, please check out Debbie’s website:  She’s a beauty.

The Songs:

October 25, 2014:

Ramona got a new baby Martin.  Mike did his original arrangement of Gentle On My Mind; Ramona and Andre performed their co-write, Heartbreak Purgatory; Debbie played Rejoice; Stu contributed Captain Jack and the Cat Who Would Be Human; I played Close Up on piano; Mike played his original tune, Blossoms Fade; Ramona and Andre played Ramona’s tune Flying Horses Roundabout; Debbie sang (So Much) Noise; Stu proffered Blame The Gun; I played Friends In High Places, Mike: Transit, Ramona and Andre performed their re-write of Enjoy The Ride, Debbie gave a spirited performance of Weep For Your Children; Stu amazed us with Always Have Always Will; I belted I’m Too Beau’ful (For You); and Mike gave us the song which he introduced as follows:  “This is the last time I’ll be playing this song and have it be true”… When I’m 64.  Happy birthday, Mike.

November 1, 2014:

Victor: Broken Heart Stand; Andre/Ramona: Whipping The Beast which they just wrote in the last week, Stu: Mom’s Guitar (now a fav and big hit with the crowd – a songwriters’ songwriter); Brewster:  You’re All Right; me: Do You Want Me?; Mike: original arrangement of Goin’ Down The Road Feelin’ Bad; Vic: It’s All About Love aka Country’s Lost Its Way; Jon: Heart Play (glad you made it!); Andre soloed on The Happy One; Craig: Winter’s Tale (to raves from Andre, hearing it for the first time); Stu: Rainbow Man (hit!); Brewster: Always (a masterpiece, IMHO); me: Sleep Naked (piano); Jon: Marlene (showing off our first entry into the Sullivan County Songs Project for Kathleen) Vic: Two Little Boys (gorgeous tune played on his Nashville-tuned Ovation); Andre: Stop Dreaming; Brewster: How to Be Unhappy; Craig: Sweet Song; Mike: Two Wolves, a John Flynn song based on a Native American folktale; Jon: That Little Thing (brand new jazzy tune); Brewster: Losing Your Love (and thumb on a combine) and I had to play Burning The Candle At Both Ends on Vic’s Nashville tuned guitar.

Thanks for the songs.  Thanks for the support, Kathleen and Bethel Woods.  See ya later today at the Conservatory.  We’re only there through Thanksgiving.  Our new location TBA.

Look for more news on cd releases from Stuart Kabak, Brewster Smith and…?









Songwriters Fall Season is Thriving at The Conservatory at Bethel Woods

Songwriters Fall Season is Thriving at The Conservatory at Bethel Woods

Hi Songwriters and FOS (friends of songwriters).

We began our Fall gatherings on October 4 and have had three inspirational weeks of sharing songs. First, thanks to Bethel Woods for inviting us to get together in the Conservatory. This is a beautiful and highly creative space where the songs resonate in the serenity of this gracious location.  We will be meeting here every Saturday from 3:15-6 pm through Thanksgiving.  I’ll keep you informed of our location as it changes.

We won a Puffin Grant to produce a project called “Sullivan County Songs.”  Members of our Sullivan County Songwriters Circle, or SC Squared (SCSC) as I prefer, are contributing original tunes they are working that reflect our lives in this beautiful place.  More on this project as it develops.  Meanwhile, check out what’s been happening as we have kicked off the fall season. Herewith some news from our first three gatherings.

October 4, 2014

Wow!  We had a massive gathering:


It was great to see everyone.  Who joined us?

Long time members including Barbara Gogan:



Victor Kunitsky


Mike Jung


Brewster Smith


Karen Hudson











Craig Martin.



That’s Stuart Kabak squeezed in between Vic and Barbara (for a better pic of Stu see Oct 19 below)












Moi (surrounded by Craig, Vic, Stu and Mike’s hair)



And newcomers, songwriting team, husband and wife, Andre Turan and Ramona Jam:

IMG_0067 2










We are so happy that our host, Bethel Woods’ own Mark Robinson joined us for the afternoon.  He is a major talent himself, singing for us a capella.  That’s Mark with his back to the camera:


Yes, I am keeping a list of the songs everyone played.

Stu: Rainbow Man; Brewster: The Moment; Barbara: Heavenly Horses; Andre: Play the Game, Vic: Because I Need You, Mike: Phil Ochs’ Outside A Small Circle of Friends; Elizabeth: Enlightenment; Karen: Nobody’s Perfect; Mark: Eight is Enough (tv theme); Craig: Fire up the Radio; Andre: When…

Then Jon Naberezny arrived, on his way to a weekend of fly fishing.  He played his remarkably witty tune, Marlene, about a beloved trout.  The songs continued.  Stu: Clean Up Aisle Three; Karen: The Wine (Isn’t Working); Elizabeth: Oil; Jon: When Love Calls, Elizabeth: One Last Look (on piano).

It was a great, informal, diverse, fun, heartfelt informal concert.  Old friends.  New friends.  Original, creative, inspiring, energizing.  What a way to start the year!

October 11, 2014

The lovely and talented Debbie Fisher joined us for a more intimate gathering.IMG_0219

Happily, Lucas Rotman, one of our fav regulars, was also in the house.  IMG_0226He sounded great.  I didn’t make one banjo joke.


The songs:

Debbie: Time and Love, Ramona: The Valley of Callicoon (her brand new “Sullivan County” song); Lucas: City of Sun; Vic: Witness; Andre: Enjoy the Ride; Elizabeth: Leave Me Alone; Debbie: Only a Bill Called Love; Lucas: Lone Violin; Vic: Goodby To I Do; Andre: The Corner of Hopes & Dreams; Elizabeth: Belle Starr and Burning The Candle At Both Ends; Lucas: New York City Girl; Debbie: Nature’s Way.

IMG_0220 Ramona’s sings herValley of Callicooon playing Debbie’s Baby Martin.


October 19, 2014

This was a truly magical afternoon.  We laughed. We sang. We accompanied each other.


We welcomed soulful  Barry Seinfeld for the first time.  As we are curating a program of Sullivan County Songs, Barry already had one and he shared it with us: Sullivan County Morning.


Stu was back and was “forced” to honor a roomful of requests to reprise Rainbow Man. My French friends joined us.  IMG_0263  They told us later that they had wanted to hear this song (which they remembered and loved from last spring)…and were so happy he performed it.  That’s what I call a hit.

Our super fly fisherman, Jon Naberezny returned and made me giggle.  His song, Why Do You Do What You Do?  sounds like an American Songbook standard, IMHO.








Debbie just sang and played her angelic head off.  She brought some percussion, too.  Yes, that is a wisk that she’s fashioned into a kind of percussive brush for her washboard.IMG_0273

Here are the songs:

Barry: Sullivan County Morning, Vic: The Sum of All My Fears; Debbie: Far Too Little Sun; Jon: Marlene; Elizabeth: Fools Get Lucky (piano); Barry: Come Back; Vic: Everywhere; Debbie: No Price Tag; Jon: Why Do You Do What You Do?; Stuart: Captain Jack and The Cat Who Would Be Human (brand new song!); Elizabeth: Oil; Barry: Barn With The Blues; Vic: Save Me (another hit!); Debbie: He; Stu: Rainbow Man; Jon: Real Love.

You are invited to join us.  It’s just too cool, the vibes are great and the songs – extraordinary.IMG_0289


BTW – Beautiful wooden carvings by Paul Stark.IMG_0082

Today’s gathering @ The Dancing Cat Saloon

Today’s gathering @ The Dancing Cat Saloon

Hey folks….

We are moving next door just for today.  They are holding a distilling workshop in our usual spot.

Hope to see you at The Dancing Cat, right next door – today from 3-5 pm.

Next week, it’s back to The Catskill Distilling Company.




Hey Songwriters! We’re back at The Catskill Distilling Company tomorrow!

Hey Songwriters!  We’re back at The Catskill Distilling Company tomorrow!

I’ve been away for 2 weeks (with a cold and travel).   Up until Memorial Day, we shall meet every Saturday at The Catskill Distilling Company from 3-5.  Let’s keep our community thriving and please invite any friends and family who may be interested in listening to our music or in performing their own musical stories.Screen Shot 2014-04-17 at 2.16.20 PM