Lindsey Webster at Opus 40

Lindsay Webster is a young jazz singer who is inspiring music writers to stretch for metaphors (“If Carole King and Sade had a kid, she would be Lindsey Webster“) and earned some major awards: in February, she joined Sade as the only performer to land a vocal-driven song atop Billboard magazine’s Smooth Jazz Songs chart. (Most tracks on that chart are instrumentals.)

The song. Fool Me Once,” is indeed terrific; even more terrific is the fact that the singer, who is from Woodstock, NY, shot portions of her music video for it at Opus 40, one of my favorite places on this planet.

Even better, she is performing at Opus 40 tomorrow, Saturday, July 2, at 5:00 p.m. Here are the ticket details: Lindsey Webster at Opus 40.

Here is the video to “Fool Me Once” by Lindsay Webster, filmed at Opus 40:

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My love for Opus 40 goes back many years:

There are a handful of places and objects on the planet that photography under serves. Opus 40, in Saugerties, New York, is one of them. Built in an abandoned bluestone quarry in upstate New York by one man, Harvey Fite, Opus 40 is a contemporary American version of Stonehenge or the collection of Easter Island moai. It is one of my favorite places.

Photo by Tom Bookhout

An aerial view. Photo by Tom Bookhout

Fite was a sculptor and fine arts professor at nearby Bard College when he purchased the bluestone quarry. If you have ever walked on a sidewalk in Manhattan, you have walked on bluestone from this or a nearby location. Using the rubble that had not become NYC sidewalks, Fite filled one six-and-one-half-acre section with hand-laid circles of bluestone paths and ramps, leading nowhere and everywhere, from fifteen feet below the ground level up to the magnificent centerpiece, the obelisk, a nine-ton, three-story-tall single stone, which from different perspectives seems to point at the nearby Catskill Mountains, join with the range, or appear to be the reason the Catskills are there. And Fite did it all alone, using ancient techniques. At first intended to be a showcase for his sculpture, over the next 37 years the site itself became Fite’s life work. He died in 1976.

If I had not been a student at Marist College, where Harvey Fite’s stepson was teaching, I quite possibly would still not know of Opus 40’s existence, even though I live in the same county. My teacher-friend grew up at Opus 40 and still resides there. In the early ’90s, I attended a friend’s wedding at Opus and in the summer of 1998, I volunteered there, helping direct parking for that year’s music acts. The quarry is a natural amphitheater and the obelisk is an eye-grabbing stage set; the concerts that summer included a blues festival, Orleans, and Pat Metheny.

Here is a brief video of Orleans performing at Opus 40 from around that time period:

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Tomorrow will be a great show to catch.

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