Oneonta, New York’s Music Scene is Alive and Well
One of the more underrated parts of living in Otsego County and Oneonta is its music scene. It's nothing new, there's always been an audience for live music and creativity here. This is something near and dear to my heart. In the early 2000s, when the bars were in full swing downtown, I managed a live music venue, and was a lead vocalist in a couple of bands.
I had carte blanche to present whatever music I wanted. Everything from hardcore to jam bands was represented. SUNY student and local bands opened for each other, and no one cared where who was from. We had an absolute blast. Venues such as Smokey Joe's Cafe, the General Clinton Pub, and the Black Oak Tavern featured live music. Fun fact, I threw the only punk rock show to grace the Aquarium.
Looking back, I can't help but smile with fond remembrances. One thing that has remained a constant is that the music scene in Oneonta is partially driven by SUNY Oneonta's world class music industry program. It's where I got my start in music here in Oneonta, and it fuels the local scene.
Things definitely look a bit different today, but there is still a thirst for live music. A recent post on the Foothills Performing Arts & Civic Center's Facebook page caught my eye. The text read: "HUGE congrats to our SUNY Oneonta student interns for their excellent job putting this show together! They booked the bands, planned the schedule, designed the poster, and promoted the show. On top of that they are running the box office, lights and sound for the show all on their own. This was their project from the ground up and they CRUSHED IT!"
Foothills chief Geoff Doyle is no stranger to live music. In fact, he and I were in loud rock bands together back in the day, and still work together. I love that he's carried on the tradition that we were a part of so many years ago. It's nice to see a safe, non bar atmosphere for SUNY students to put on shows.
While the General Clinton Pub is now B Side Ballroom & Supper Club, it's still a space for live music. Helmed by Rebecca and Wayne Carrington, I see their offerings as live music for grownups. The Carringtons have been part of the music scene for as long as I can remember, and their impeccable taste shines through via the shows they book.
Just like anything else, to survive, live local music needs support. Do the bands, and yourself a favor by getting out there and catching a show!