POP FEST 518
December 1 at 8:00 pm - 11:30 pm
Join us for a great night of pop music with Sydney Worthley, Blockhouses, Sarah Kohrs and Coyote, Daniel Conley, and Sandy McKnight’s Pop Clique to benefit the Columbia Arts Team.
Student tickets available at the door for $10
Sandy McKnight’s Pop Clique:
Acoustic, melodic, energetic, eclectic original music from one of the top songwriters around.
In 2014, Daniel Conley picked up a pen and has not put it down. That’s when, after spending much of his life just outside New York City, Daniel moved upstate to Albany, NY. Daniel’s songwriting goes back decades, but the wealth of creativity in the Capital Region reignited his passion.
Daniel released two full albums in the past year. “Crooked Mile” (2017) and “Myth of Me” (2018) offer a hefty collection of 26 songs. As evidenced by his daily writing and frequent collaboration with producers Chris Carey and Adam Clairmont, there are more where those came from. A LOT more.
In mid 2018, Daniel teamed up with artist management company Ambassador Music Group. With great urgency, artist manager Andrew Gabriel intends to share Daniel’s music with the world – “I sat down in Daniel’s living room for the first time while he performed, on piano, three songs I had never heard. In fifteen minutes, I was in tears. Daniel’s musical statements about love and the world around us… People need to hear this.”
Sarah Kohrs and Coyote:
Born and raised in Brainard, NY – a small hamlet near the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts – Sarah Kohrs is a talented musician and prolific songwriter. Her thoughtful compositions have a pop flare and bring to mind the work of Joni Mitchell or Stephen Sondheim.
Sarah began singing at the age of four and studying classical piano at seven. Scholarships led her to the Eastman School of Music, where she encountered jazz players who happily introduced her to styles of music she’d never studied. She fell in love with the new styles and soon found herself a regular at Java’s coffeehouse, the local hotspot for improvisational jazz.
After graduating from Eastman, Sarah earned a law degree at Georgetown University Law Center. She moved to Boston where she spent her days working as an attorney and her nights writing and recording pop songs. In 2010, while traveling through Greece, Sarah was infected by a parasite. The parasitic infection was so debilitating that Sarah had to leave her job in Boston and return to her hometown of Brainard. As she recovered, she began working part time at a small law firm in Great Barrington, MA and slowly returned to performing music.
One night while playing at an open-mic session, Sarah met Mark Tuomenoksa, a local musician, arranger and composer who was so impressed by her songs that he believed them to be lesser-known covers of some famous artist, saying, “They’re too good to have been written by someone from around here.”
The two soon became friends and collaborators, writing, recording and performing together. Since then, Sarah’s catalogue of original songs has grown into the hundreds. Her style has blossomed into something reminiscent of Joni, but with a jazz edge and the country flare of her roots in rural New York. Sarah has performed locally as well as in New York; Asheville, NC; Baton Rouge, LA; and New Orleans.
Sydney Worthley is a shining young singer/songwriter from New York’s capital region who melds alt-rock, folk, and pop into a sound all her own. Sydney’s debut album, Strong, is a 14-track roller coaster built on strength, courage, and perseverance. From the warm opening guitar riff of title-track “Strong”, to the brooding refrain of “Better Than You”, to the rock anthem “Part of Me”, Strong takes a powerful stance in the face of tremendous loss and heartbreak. We all, at some point, face hardship or feel isolated. Sydney is passionate about sharing her experiences to help others feel connected and understood, and to find the strength to go on.
In 2016, Sydney met Andrew Gabriel of Ambassador Music Group (AMG). Recognizing Sydney’s talent, Andrew signed her to AMG management and, later that year, produced Strong. Sydney has since performed at Mountain Jam Music Festival, Saratoga First Night, across New England, and all over New York’s Capital Region. She has earned regular spots on on Albany’s 88.3 WVCR and 97.7 WEXT, Woodstock NY’s 100.3 WDST, and WAPS “The Summit” in Akron, OH.
“Sydney Worthley is an artist to keep an eye on. She is young, but don’t dismiss her as a novelty for that reason. Her songwriting is impressive and memorable; a shining star for many releases to come. Pay attention now! She’s on her way.” ~ Brad Savage, Program Director – WAPS “The Summit” Akron, OH
A plan was hatched in a bar in Washington Heights in late 2013. To bring high-energy, catchy, punk rock and roll tunes to the masses of NYC and beyond was the mission outlined. The inspirations were many. Ramones, The Who; The Replacements, and Husker Du. The Jam, The Rolling Stones; The Velvet Underground, and The Undertones. The Beatles, The Clash; Chuck Berry, and Johnny Cash. Just to name a few. The list goes on …
Guy knew how to rock the stage and studio from his years with The Figgs. Chris had rocked the cities of the USA and Europe doing Kowalskis gigs. Great songs, energy, and coolness: this was the Three Legged Stool of Rock that the endeavor was to be founded on. Blockhouses was born.
During the next few years, the plan came together. Recordings were made and gigs were played. The line-up of this trio was finalized. A joyful noise was raised. A hiatus was taken. Then, in 2018, at long last, the band’s first official album was completed. Guy Lyons, Christopher Peifer, and Jim Balga were ready to bring their collective decades of on-stage pop, punk, and rock and roll experience to the stage once again. Gentlemen will raise their fists and bang their heads. Ladies will dance and swoon. Children will shout with joy. The world shall be right again!