What do Ryan Montbleau, Caleb Hawley, and Michael Glabicki have in common? Besides nothing with my rogue other headlining act, Hank and Cupcakes? They’re all guitar wielding Utica, NY fan favorites…and they’ve all just been announced as the first round of headliners for your 2011 Utica Music and Arts Festival! Montbleau, Hawley, Glabecki and Hank and Cupcakes top the list of over 170 performers officially announced for the weekend. The best news of all might be that all four headliners are returning performers to the area, the festival, or both. 2011 will surely surpass previous years as the UMAF gains ground and reputation as a major festival in Upstate NY. Utica likes to make a good impression to keep you coming back for more!
Michael Glabicki is a musician of staggering appeal. If you grew up in the 90s, went near a radio at all during those 10 years, or are a fan of rootsy, world flavored jam band music, you know Glabicki from his work with the hugely successful group Rusted Root. If you are from the Mohawk Valley area, you know him because we are pleased to report that he comes back to visit us quite a bit! I know the fan base is poised and waiting. Glabicki is returning to Utica in September with his trio comprised of Preach Freedom (Root and the One World Tribe) and Colter Harper. A rhythmic dance flash mob scene is predicted by me at this show. All the ingredients will be in place including the extra feel good vibe. Do not let the seats in the Uptown slow you down, Utica and friends of Utica. Michael and friends take the stage of the Uptown Theater on Genesee Street on Friday, September 16th from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Opening for Michael will be Caleb Hawley who I will get into in more detail as we go. These Uptown shows give a great reason to stop next door to the other festival venue The Green Onion Pub for a preshow drink and to take a listen to whatever else might be happening in there at the time.
~ Ryan Montbleau
Ryan Montbleau is nothing short of a tour de force who has risen to the top of heap of singer songwriters on the back of his authenticity, vision, strong musicianship and a very well chosen cast of characters. No stranger to the Utica area, Montbleau’s fan base in the 315 is already large and steady, making him an ideal choice to head up the fest. This July, Ryan played a show at the KAC ROADHOUSE in Clinton, NY presented by Indium Corporation and it was a packed house. Great buzz from that show, as expected! They are currently touring in support of the latest album, Heavy on the Vine, which is widely available, as well as during the festival. The band also did an exciting stint as Martin Sexton’s supporting cast (and he produced this album). This is the real deal, if you don’t already know. Somehow, I’m pretty sure you do. The blusey music has a fluidity to it that speaks to its jazz and funk roots and is liberally peppered with a variety of instrumentation to intrigue the ear. Ryan’s music crosses many styles. As good a vocalist as guitarist, Montebleau sings songs that are about the human experience and they are catchy and relatable. His vocal melodies are colorful and rhythmically aware. This seasoned performer will please the masses (as well as die hard fans!) and universally get some hips swinging in the aisles. Ryan is playing on Saturday, September 17th at the Uptown Theater. As of this moment, it looks like local favorite Ryan Miller will be opening that show up. Score!
Caleb Hawley is a relative newcomer to the music scene, but he’s a returning artist to our UMAF. Utica’s been ahead of this curve for a while now. Hawley is a performer who has been cutting his teeth both as a touring artist and in a very respectable stint on American Idol. He made an impression on the country the same way he did on Utica and the UMAF festival organizers and fans are excited to taste the new flavors his journey and recent experiences have brought to his music. Hawley’s style is also in the acoustic/blues/jazz/funk vein, but often with a more present attack than Montbleau’s textured approach. He is inventive and percussively playful and has a great singing presence. The UMAF is offering you a great opportunity to get up close and personal with Caleb! He is touring in support of his latest recording, We All Got Problems. Catch him at the Uptown on Friday, September 16th!
~ Hank and Cupcakes
Are you gonna tell her she don’t have a hit? Ain’t the headliner? I’m certainly not going to try to make that argument.
I’ll take it back to our Seseme Street days now to tell you one of these things is not like the others, and there is NO harm in that! Hank and Cupcakes is a downstate act worthy of your cash, your sweat, and your praise and if you haven’t seen them on their prior trips to Utica, I suggest highly that you do so now before they blow up and no one can touch them. MTV has a bead on them, airing a clip from their single Ain’t No Love on Live from the TenSpot mere months ago. They played The Roots Picnic in Philly this 4th of July, and they have been traveling around this great land and Europe blowing minds and taking their clothes off. Usually in that order. This duo is high energy with a very distinct punk flavor to their brand of pop music. The press is plentiful, the fans are willing to lose their minds completely, and Hank and Cupcakse are ready to give you something to talk about! The effects Hank works wtih alone are impresive.
They return to the Electric Company on Friday, September 16th. and will rock you harder than most of the bands you will see comprised of twice the members.
There is no reason to wait to get your tickets for a deep discount before we kick it “advanced” on you ($40 advance/$50 at festival time).Even at $50.00 this is a straight steal. Secure your spot for the party of the year this fall!