Celebrate the 2017 Saranac Lake Winter Carnival at the Waterhole

The 120th annual Saranac Lake Winter Carnival will take place this year on Feb. 3-12. NYS Music is proud to present the 10 day line-up for The Waterhole Upstairs Music Lounge, which will feature 16 acts of both local artists and national touring acts.

The Saranac Lake Winter Carnival is the longest-running event of its kind in the eastern U.S. Originally established in 1897, the event has since grown into the 10-day celebration that it is today.

February 3Primate Fiasco & Annie in the Water

The Primate Fiasco uses instruments that are loud without electricity, giving them the opportunity to attack at any moment, in any location, with or without permission. No one is safe, not even an elevator or city bus. If the Primate Fiasco sees a dull moment somewhere, they will pop out of the nearest sewer drain or trash can to lead an irresistible dance party.

On stage, the sound is different. This band has pioneered what is possible with mind-bending accordion, funky pockets of a hyperactive Sousaphone player, and banjo that thinks it’s a Fender Strat. Add lyrics that grab hold of even the most inattentive audience and beats that channel surf like a remote that’s been sat upon. The music is always high energy and extremely imaginative. Most importantly, this is fun. People smile from the first beat to the last smoldering ash of what was previously a dance floor.

Annie in the Water’s music is a groovy combination of reggae, funk, rock, blues and jam, written with a conscious dose of positive vibes, unique melodies and intelligent lyrics.  With the ability to fill an entire night with original music and also render well-known covers into a signature style, fans share extraordinary experiences that can’t be seen anywhere else.

After nine years performing more than 600 shows in over 13 states, the original duo of founding members Brad Hester and Michael Lashomb also lead a full band that will shock your soul into euphoria. The full band line-up includes featured members Joshua West (formerly of Lucid) on drums/percussion, Dillon Goodfriend (Fox Richardson) on keys/backing and Anthony Leombruno (Capital Zen) on Bass.  Occasionally the lineup may feature percussionist Bill Bentz (Exit 30) and various woodwind or brass members.

February 4Lucid & Eastbound Jesus

Lucid decided to take a hiatus from touring in early 2016, after 13 years on the road. The band’s culminating performance in April captivated a sold out crowd at the newly renovated Strand Theater, in their hometown of Plattsburgh NY. Lucid’s only other appearance last year was at their home festival Backwoods Pondfest in Peru, NY.  One of the reasons the band wanted to take a break from touring was so they could slow down and be more deliberate in their choice of venues and events. When asked about playing Winter Carnival in Saranac Lake, Lowell Wurster said “All the guys were really excited at the idea. We have been playing the Waterhole for many years, and we love Saranac Lake and the people who live there. We always have a blast up in the mountains; it truly is our second home.”  In addition to a genuine love for the Adirondacks, the Waterhole has special meaning to Lucid because of its proprietors, Eric & Kiki. “They have done a stellar job keeping the music alive up there. The bands they are bringing in have raised the bar in the North Country music scene, and we are so excited to be a part of what they are creating. We want to help them keep the momentum building, ”

Eastbound Jesus draws on a mix of diverse influences from the worlds of bluegrass, country and rock and roll to develop their own sound that is at the same time distinctly familiar and completely original, one that they have dubbed “Northern Rock,” These six friends from the rural upstate New York town of Greenwich have released four studio albums and a live album over the past five years, all while packing venues across the northeast with an infectious energy that gets people smiling, dancing, and hollerin’!

February 7 – Joe Driscoll

Joe Driscoll is a musician/rapper/beatboxer from Syracuse who uses different styles and instruments while performing.

February 8Donna the Buffalo & Bess Greenberg

Donna the Buffalo just celebrated their 25th year as a band and have proven to be a consistent purveyor of American music. What’s the recipe? To be sure, it’s infused with more spices than you’ll find at a Cajun cookout by way of a southern-fried, rockin’ country old-time jamboree. “For the dizzying array of styles and genres with which they work, Donna The Buffalo maintain a surprising level of consistency. The New York-based band has played around with folk, zydeco, and many other musical ideas over the course of their 25-year career, but they retain a sharp focus that has helped them create some truly lasting music,” writes Elmore Magazine.

Bess Greenberg is a singer-songwriter & visual artist from Binghamton, NY.

February 9Moon Hooch & Honeycomb + Jiggawaltz


If any band is a poster child for turning the power of positive thoughts and intention into reality, it’s the explosive horn-and-percussion trio Moon Hooch. In just a few short years, the group—Wilbur, fellow horn player Wenzl McGowen, and drummer James Muschler—has gone from playing on New York City subway platforms to touring with the likes of Beats Antique, They Might Be Giants, and Lotus, as well as selling out their own headline shows in major venues around the country. On Red Sky, their third and most adventurous album to date, the band uses everything they’ve learned from their whirlwind journey to push their sound to new heights, bringing together the raw, transcendent energy of their live performances and the sleek sophistication of their studio work into a singular, intoxicating brew that blends elements of virtuoso jazz, groovy funk, and pulse-pounding electronic dance music.

Currently based out of Massachusetts, the vocal cord conductor known as Honeycomb has quickly risen to the top of the food chain of northeast beatboxers, placing 13th in the 2015 American Beatbox Championships. With a unique approach as an equally versed music producer, and a frequent collaborator in both the live and studio settings, Honeycomb has built a sound fan base for himself through original productions and ear popping performances.

Jiggawaltz is a six piece band hailing from Burlington, VT and Upstate NY focused on performance, engaging their audience with tightly woven compositions and elegant sections of improvisation. Fusing together many influences including classic rock, funk, electronic dance music, Latin jazz, soul, disco, and metal to create a unique pallet of sounds sure to entertain audiences from all walks of life. With original songs that uniquely decorate time with melody and harmony and a large repertoire of covers, Jiggawaltz often blends songs together to create a rich collage of sound.

February 10Spirit Family Reunion & Folkfaces + Swampcandy

Spirit Family Reunion is a touring band based out of New York that aims to deliver raw, high-energy honest music. They have self-produced and self-released two full-length albums (No Separation in 2012 and Hands Together in 2015) as well as multiple songbooks and other collections of recordings.

Folkfaces is a group out of Buffalo, NY that plays a rowdy blend of rootsy folk, jazz, and blues, fusing classic forms with contemporary feelings and irresistibly danceable energy. Their inspiration comes from the mountains of Appalachia to the deltas of Mississippi, the swamps of Louisiana to the concrete jungle of the Rustbelt. Specializing in merriment and sticking it to the system, Folkfaces make the crowd dance and the hierarchy shatter.

Swampcandy is an internationally touring, primitive blues influenced Americana duo. Ruben Dobbs’ aggressive finger-picking and rhythmic style (which often adds up to sounding like more than one guitar) combined with Joey Mitchell’s bass playing, pounding kick drum and percussive bass throttling (representing the presence of a full drum kit) easily fill up the sonic space normally created by a trio or even a four-piece. Dobbs’ soulful, passionate vocals are the glue that holds it all together and makes the band tick.

 February 11West End Blend and Bella’s Bartok

Since their conception, ten piece funk/soul band West End Blend has been playing their version of funk and soul in venues all over the Northeast. Fronted by vocalist Erica Bryan, the band pays homage to classic throwback sounds while adding their own distinct vibe and flair. Behind her, the Blend packs a four-piece horn section, two guitars, bass, keyboards and drums onto stages every night. From humble beginnings in an epic sweaty funky basement dance party, the Blend’s goal has always been to bring that same atmosphere to every show.

To understand Bella’s Bartok, imagine what you would get if Salvador Dali and Toulouse Lautrec were fronting the Moulin Rouge’s house band, and you have the exuberant spectacle that is Bella’s Bartok. Described as “about as much fun as you can have with your pants on” (Dan Wolovick, Two Way Monologues), this six-piece powerhouse melds Bohemian Klezmer punk with pop sensibilities into an eminently danceable party. The diversity of musicians that make up Bella’s Bartok, combined with their boundless energy on stage, has been known to break a dance floor, or two (or three, but who’s counting?). Their sound moves way beyond labels, pushing the envelope towards the darker side of Eastern European music, referencing Vaudeville and 20th century eclecticism.

February 12– Folkfaces

Folkfaces is a group out of Buffalo, NY that plays a rowdy blend of rootsy Folk, Jazz, and Blues – fusing classic forms with contemporary feelings and irresistibly danceable energy. Their inspiration comes from the mountains of Appalachia to the deltas of Mississippi, the swamps of Louisiana to the Concrete Jungle of the Rustbelt. Specializing in merriment and sticking it to the system, Folkfaces make the crowd dance and the hierarchy shatter.

For more information and tickets, please visit the Waterhole’s website.