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September 19, 2014
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Back to the future

“American Idol” winner Scotty McCreery’s future looks bright.


The man himself, Brad Paisely, put on an incredible show and made his intentions clear from the git-go. “Hello Bethel!” he cried. “We’re gonna stay ‘till they kick us out! Let’s rock this place!”—and he did just that for an extended set that included a hysterical video montage of what life could be like (“We celebrities are idiots, sometimes we do stupid things.”) if he placed himself alongside the likes of bad-boy Charlie Sheen or self-proclaimed “media darling” Kim Kardashian. Paisley is (IMHO) a terrific showman, gave the fans an awesome concert and sang nonstop for close to two hours as the crowd continued to holler for more. This being his third visit to Bethel Woods, it seems likely that he’ll return in the near future.

More country fun is just ahead at Bethel Woods in the form of another idol, Kelley Clarkson, whose first single, “A Moment Like This” made the biggest leap to number one in the history of the “Billboard Top 100” chart. With a worldwide fan base breathlessly anticipating the country phenom’s every move, Clarkson’s future appearance looks to be a sold out evening here in the country.

The 1969 Woodstock Festival anniversary celebrations are currently taking place on the hallowed grounds this week as well, and I have plans to make a stop to check out the special exhibit of photography, continual screenings of the movie made about the three-day event and costume contest now happening at the museum to commemorate the iconic concert that helped put Sullivan County on the map.

Over in Livingston Manor, I made a pit stop at RM Farm Realty for a final glimpse at a group exhibit (www.theoutsidersstudio.com) of paintings, sculptures, photography and mixed media. Among a group of impressive works, I found myself particularly drawn to the fanciful robots created by Mark L. Larrison. The fact that it was Mark’s first exhibit was intriguing. He told me that he has been “making these guys for quite a while, but never displayed them in a public setting before this,” and that he was “so pleased that people seem to like them.” Larrison informed me that there are more (and some “found-object ray guns, too!”), so we have those (and all of the collective’s talented artists work) to look forward to in the coming months.