Last weekend the annual Clear Water Festival, continued its amazing and rich tradition as a premier event celebrating great music and environmental awareness in our community. With a lineup that included Mavis Staples, The Wailers, Ani DiFranco and Railroad Earth, Clearwater alumni came out despite bad weather predictions to celebrate a great weekend of music and revival in Westchester county.
Day one of the festival brought amazing weather complimenting the beautiful setting of Croton Point Park. Highlights of the afternoon included intimate sets from James Maddock, and The Lone Below, as well as a Deadgrass set that filled the Dance Stage with singing and moving deadheads. Ani DiFranco welcomed in the evening with one of the top sets of the weekend, treating fans to her powerful, poetic performance – the perfect appetizer. The evenings’ main act, legendary Mavis Staples showed her audience why she is a national treasure and one of the great soul singers of our time.
Day two plagued by rain and mud did not deter fans from another fun day of music on the Hudson, and their faith paid off because in the end the weather held out. The Father’s Day Sunday included amazing sets from Scott Sherrard, The Del McCoury Band, and Leslie Mendleson. The weekend favorite, Railroad Earth, kept the bluegrass roots alive, treating fans to unique songs from the bands amazing catalog. Closing out the 2019 edition of the Clearwater Music Festival was The Wailers; a relaxed group of fans were treated to all the hits of the famous reggae band, closing out an amazing weekend of music and community.
Inspired by Pete Seeger’s desire to clean up the river over forty years ago, The Great Hudson River Revival initially helped raise the funds to build the sloop Clearwater, which has since become a world-renowned floating classroom and a symbol of effective grassroots action. Today, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Inc. is a non-profit organization that sails at the forefront of the nation’s environmental challenges. The revenue raised by the festival goes to support Clearwater’s numerous educational programs and its work toward environmental and social justice. Today, seeing the success of the Clearwater organization, one cannot imagine these achievements being possible without the Clearwater Festival. The Great Hudson River Revival has helped raise funds and served as a beacon toward raising awareness in support of America’s First River. And it all started more than 35 years ago, when it was but the dream of a banjo-picking folksinger.