Backwoods Pondfest Scores A Perfect 10 In Tenth Anniversary Celebration

first_imgBackwoods Pondfest scored a perfect 10 this year with another treasured festival in the books. Twin Pond Campsite in Peru, NY had their fill of music, art and community on August 4th-6th.  Backwoods Pondfest has become more than just a festival since its start 10 years ago. It’s a safe haven for people of all dynamics to bask in the beauty of Upstate New York while enjoying a diverse, talented music lineup and continuous positive energy on an intimate level. It makes the festivalgoer feel important knowing that musicians travel just as far if not further to reignite the magic that returns each summer. The small festival gives the attendee a bigger responsibility to clean up and take care of each other, a role that is easily attained year after year.One of the best parts of Pondfest is the close proximity of everything. Twin Ponds offers woods camping, open field and family camping that is within earshot of the two stages. The lush green grass and relentless cleanup crew makes for a ‘once in a festival’ barefoot exception.  Full Circle Music Productions continues to be a key player in the festival as promoter Derek Haviland says, “To me it’s an opportunity to work with people who genuinely want to bring people together around really good music, first and foremost. It’s not that easy to find that everywhere you go in this business.”Arriving on Friday evening, guests were greeted by the eerie travelling circus music by Bella’s Bartok. Their old world bohemian punk melodies signaled to the crowd that it was officially time to get weird. Thunder Body were eager to rock the main stage after drummer/vocalist Matthew O’Brian said they took a few years off to relax and make babies.  The soul reggae tune of “Anger is Poison” laid out a wavy bass line as the crowd swirled in excitement with the promise of heavy touring to come.Nothing officially starts Backwoods Pondfest until Lucid plays their first set of the weekend on the woods stage. Lucid’s sound is a spicy maple syrup with jambalaya mixed in, a jazzy grass that is true to the backwoods of New York. The set brought Lucid family together as they were joined by Chris English on “Home” and founding drummer, Ryan “Rippy” Trumbull for wildly original rhythm.The necessary Grateful Dead tribute festival slot was phenomenally filled by Melvin Seals and the JGB. Led by Seals on the Hammond B-3 organ and keyboard, the gospel groove is thick with improvisational bluesy jams that loosen the crowd into psychedelic bliss. Syracuse natives and Pondfest veterans, Sophistafunk turned the woods stage into a hip hop dance club you’d find in New York City.Closing out the main stage was long time traditional Pondfest performers, Spiritual Rez. The entire set was a full velocity of reggae ska rock that energized the crowd for the rest of the festival. One of the highlights was having Hayley Jane jump in on vocals for a massive group sing-along of “Stand by Me” plus a standalone solo from Rob Cook aka the Washboard Tie Guy. The set was heighted by the lightening storm overhead that soon turned to torrential down pour forcing the music to end and everyone to seek shelter.After much regrouping and a clear sky, the music resumed with first timer Pondfester’s Tweed closing out the woods stage for a renewing set of electronica dance music. When interviewed about the storm, drummer Joe Vela and bassist Dan McDonald felt that spirits were high at their set as no one wanted to sit in their wet tents so you might as well get wet listening to good music. “We’re in good company with amazing musicians and bands. It has a super hometown vibe,” Vela said. Showcasing their original jump starters “Loup-Garou” and “RL WRLD” plus covering Ween’s “Monique The Freak” with guest keyboardist Scott Hannay was the ideal recipe to dance your shoes dry.The stormy night created a beautiful foggy sunrise that greeted day two of Backwoods Pondfest. There was a glorious breeze that helped the festival goers overcome the intense heat throughout the day with little to no rain. The music started with DoomF#@K, a raunchy punk band led by the badass Catherine Harrison-Wurster. The afternoon kept on rocking as Albany’s own four piece band, Formula 5, sent out waves of funky rock jams. The Honey Smugglers continued the chill vibes with a blended set of folk, jam grass and Americana with lyrics about drinking whiskey, dirt roads and simple smiles. Mister F turned up the heat at the woods stage as they supplied fast paced, progressive dance rock. Lucid’s saxophonist, Jaime Armstrong, provided a funky start to the set as Mike Candela later stepped in for a total shred fest.Backwoods Pondfest was crucial this summer in bringing together fans since Lucid had been on hiatus for most of the year. The uncertainty for the future of Lucid made their Saturday set so much more meaningful and memorable. The set had one of the biggest crowds of the weekend making it a family affair for everyone in attendance.  It was quite the hootenanny as strong life blew into harmonicas and metal washboards pulsated. Fireworks shot over the ponds in grand celebration for the love of Lucid and the 10 years of hosting the annual North Country festival.The Blind Owl Band continued the night with strung out, aggressive acoustic blue grass. No stranger to the festival, BOB carry on the tradition of fast string picking, mountainous harmonies and heavy foot stomping. Pink Talking Fish Does Bowie was a superfecta party playlist. Their improvisational segues feed the curious jamband fan and bring a new appreciation for classic influential songs. All we needed was a bigger disco ball. Once again, Hayley Jane joined in for a ground shaking cover of “Burning Down The House” by Talking Heads. Gang of Thieves has a distinctive stage presence from their wild outfits, unpredictable gestures and dirty funkified rock. The blaring horn section adds high kicking rhythm while vocals are smooth and steady. The Nth Power closed down the main stage with layers of deep south soul, big city jazz and a worldly grooves. Nikki Glaspie is a force of nature as she maintains a savage control on the drums while each musician shines a light through the madness.Festivals always seem to end too soon as Sunday morning suddenly gives way to reality. It’s no wonder that musicians and fans travel from all over the East Coast to the refuge of Backwoods Pondfest. The festival has worked hard these past 10 years to create a family friendly, fun seeking environment that continues to convey the importance of community and music. “The amount of time and stress that goes into throwing a weekend event like this, in a proper fashion, is mind blowing and sometimes, well sometimes it’s terrifying. To hear from people how special Pondfest is to them, year after year, is more than heartwarming, and that is absolutely the reason why we have continued this path. “– Lowell Wurster, Lucid[All photos courtesy of Laura Carbone]last_img read more


Use this strategy to transform your leadership

first_imgAs leaders, we’re always searching for the magic combination of skills to motivate our teams, run our organizations efficiently, meet member/customer demands, and stay viable in competitive markets. In our pursuit of all of this, there is one strategy that underscores it all.Listening.Especially in times of crisis like we’re in now, listening is critical for leaders. There is a lot of uncertainty and we don’t have all the answers. But, listening to your executive team, stakeholders, employees, and members/customers can help inform decisions. It also strengthens relationships by building trust and loyalty.In a recent post, leadership expert Art Petty touts “fierce listening” as a skill leaders need to develop now. He highlights research and an informal poll that reinforce how this skill can make individuals feel valued and heard.Here are his tips to develop your fierce listening skills: continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more


Coaches hail AIFF-SAI’s online coaching refresher course

first_imgNEW DELHI: Coaches who attended the online coaching refresher course jointly organised by All India Football Federation (AIFF) and the Sports Authority of India (SAI) hailed the effort, stating that it has “helped spread intricate knowledge of the game across the grassroots levels.”A total of 884 coaches from all over the country registered for the programme. The course which had kicked-off on April 20, concluded on Saturday, as per a report on AIFF’s official website. “I literally was struggling to find ways to spend my time during the lockdown, when I came to know about the course, and signed-up immediately,” current Bhawanipore FC head coach, and former Mohun Bagan gaffer Sankarlal Chakraborty was quoted as saying by the-aiff.com. “Topics discussed during the sessions have really refreshed me — opening up a whole new dimension in my thought process.” Former custodian and India U-23 goalkeeping coach Tanumoy Basu lauded the programme stating that it provided the coaches “an opportunity to review their own coaching methodologies, enabling them to reflect and improve their own methods.” “We are normally busy at the grounds with our teams, and do not have much time to revisit or rethink the way we train our players. It was a great initiative by AIFF and SAI to conduct this course during the lockdown. It helped us to reflect on our own coaching methodologies,” Basu said. Along with AIFF coaching instructors, lectures were also delivered by the likes of senior men’s national team head coach Igor Stimac, AIFF technical director Isac Doru, AIFF head of coach education Savio Madeira amongst others. Zlatko Dalic, Croatia’s coach in the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 also enlightened the participants when he conducted a session from his home in Croatia on ‘How to handle star players.’ Minister of State (Independent Charge) Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju also joined in at a session with Dalic to encourage the coaches, highlighting the importance of grassroots football. IANSAlso Read: 2021 Chengdu Summer Universiade still on track: FISU Also Watch: Veterinary College in Guwahati creates hand sanitizers to fight the shortage of Sanitizers in Assamlast_img read more


Lorenz’s switch score for soccer

first_imgGREG DIXON/Herald photoAt this time last year, Scott Lorenz’s job was to prevent goals, not score them. As the left back for the UW men’s soccer team, Lorenz found far more opportunities to block shots than to take them.Fast forward to 2008, and Lorenz, a junior, leads the team with 21 points off of nine goals and three assists after tallying only five points last year. There’s a reason for the dramatic increase.“He’s playing forward instead of defender,” head coach Jeff Rohrman said. “We saw signs of what he could do last spring as a forward. It’s not a position he’s completely unfamiliar with.”“Not unfamiliar with” is a bit modest. Lorenz was an All-State forward at Barrington High School in Illinois, scoring 19 goals his senior year. Upon arriving at UW, he was asked to step in and fill a hole the team had on defense, and in Rohrman’s words, “adjusted well.” When the team’s need shifted back to offense, the coaching staff let Lorenz slide back to his natural position. And the readjustment hasn’t been an issue, as evidenced by his performance on the field.“It’s nice. It kind of gets me back to what I’m used to doing,” Lorenz said. “It’s pretty much like riding a bicycle. It just comes back to you.”During the spring offseason, Lorenz was called on to see if he could bring a scoring touch to the offense. He’s responded by leading the team not only in goals, but also in shots and minutes played. Thirty-three of his 57 shots have been on goal, a .579 clip that leads the team among players with at least five shots. To Lorenz, the motivation to take quality shots is simple.“You can’t score if your shots aren’t on target,” Lorenz said. “Sometimes you have to take a little off the shot to become more accurate and take that chance better than maybe just bombing away at it. … If you get it on target, maybe something good will happen, maybe the keeper will drop it or something like that.”The “shooting on target” mantra has worked so far, but more importantly, it’s worked when it mattered most. Five of Lorenz’s goals have either won or tied the game; he leads the team with three game-winners and is tied for first with two equalizers. With as much trouble as the Badgers have had offensively at times this season, Lorenz’s performances in the clutch have not gone unappreciated.“It’s been great for us,” Rohrman said of Lorenz’s timely scoring. “It’s nice in tight games and against good opposition when you have players step up and accept that responsibility, to take it on and make something happen.”Lorenz’s success comes as no surprise to Rohrman. Lorenz has the size and speed to complement his good sense for the game.“The things Scotty brings that make him one of the more dangerous players, is he’s able to convert things with his feet, with his head,” Rohrman said. “He’s got great agility, balance and athleticism that allows him to free himself up to get … into positions to score.”As Rohrman said, it’s certainly helped that Lorenz is supported by players like recent Big Ten player of the week Victor Diaz and former midfielder Brandon Miller, who joined Lorenz in the top 10 in conference scoring after moving to forward. And despite the individual success he’s had, Lorenz is the first to defer credit to his teammates.“I think they really balance me well and let me get in the right position to score,” Lorenz said. “It’s not so much me doing a lot of individual work as it is the team doing it and me being in the right spots. It’s really [something to] attribute to the rest of the team.”Rohrman believes Lorenz’s other strengths are things that aren’t reflected in box scores or leader boards.“The thing I appreciate as much as the other stuff is how he works and pressures on the defensive side,” Rohrman said. “That’s something that maybe goes unnoticed, and in a lot of ways, doesn’t get the recognition that goals and assists do. But nonetheless, it’s an important part of any team. When you have attacking players that are willing to do that stuff, it makes everyone else’s job easier.”Rohrman believes Lorenz’s competitive nature is the reason for his work on both sides of the ball. Lorenz places some of the blame on his time as a defender for putting the defensive aspect of forward into perspective.“[After] playing defense last year, playing offense, you don’t understand how much it helps the defense when you can put pressure on the ball and force turnovers in your offensive half,” Lorenz said.With the Big Ten Tournament looming, Lorenz is going to have to continue to perform if the Badgers are to find any success. Regardless of whether he’s putting the ball in the net or trying to lighten the load for his defense, Lorenz is going to be counted on to provide a spark for the team. To Rohrman, there’s no question that all the factors to make a difference are there.“I just think he’s an extremely competitive kid,” Rohrman said, “and is willing to do whatever it takes and work his tail off to get the results.”last_img read more