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December 04, 2016
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There’s no place like home

Marty Zuybora (left) and Dan Haggerty perform as “John Henry’s Hammer” at The Kitchen’s house concert in Sackett Lake, NY.

Common in the historical past, but now unusual in the age of large concert arenas, a house concert is almost invariably described as an “intimate” experience. With the cold weather upon us, this concept appeals to me and my experience at The Kitchen in Sackett Lake was cool. Emcee/musician Tony Penn ( invited the crowd (after a sumptuous meal) into the salon, which was replete with lighting, an excellent (IMHO) sound system and extremely comfy seating.

The opening act, “John Henry’s Hammer” (Dan Haggerty and Marty Zuybora), presented “a mix of traditional, acoustic blues and originals” and I found Zuybora’s style extremely appealing and particularly engaging. Headliners Mike Baglione and Anne Loeb (bluegrass,traditional,old-timey jams) are clearly so deeply in love that I fell head over heels myself. Dueling guitars (hand made by Baglione) and gorgeous harmonies combined with incredible charm and charisma exemplified this “match made in heaven” as the duo serenaded the audience with their down-home-in-the-country song styling and breezy banter, perfectly suited for the setting. For future house concert dates in The Kitchen, call 845/791-4051.

With a song in my heart, I made my way to the Event Gallery at Bethel Woods ( for the season’s penultimate performance of their World Stage Series, concerts performed in tandem with activities for the family. The show, “Minas: Brazilian Adventure,” was billed as “a fun way to learn about Brazilian culture, combining music, participatory singing, and authentic samba percussion in a lively performance.” The press release encouraged families and youth groups to “make a day of it—come early and create a traditional Carnival mask that you can wear during the concert.”

Orlando Haddad and Patricia King are not only accomplished musicians, but certainly know how to hold the attention of youngsters, who (after the mask-making workshop) were not only clearly excited to experience Brazilian Jazz, but attentive, involved and enthusiastic. They took their cues from the duo, who informed and entertained the adults as well with their stylish interpretations of traditional samba rhythms mixed with original ballads in a musical salute to Carnivale.