The Holler invited Winter Hoot attendees to record a song or poem for the times

The Hoot

The Hoot is a down-to-earth, family friendly music festival that happens twice a year right here at The Ashokan Center. Run by hosts Mike + Ruthy of The Mammals, The Hoot brings folk, Americana, rock, and blues musicians from all corners of the country to our campus for a joyful weekend of tunes, dancing, food, beer, workshops, jamming, and nature. It’s one of our visitors’ favorite events of the year!

This past February, we held the 2017 Winter Hoot—not only the celebration of 5 years of hootin’, but also the most well-attended and successful Winter Hoot ever. Hooray! Attendees were treated to amazing performances by Elizabeth Mitchell & You Are My Flower, Jay & Molly, Annie Raines & Paul Rishell, Dan Bern, Natalie Merchant, The Mike + Ruthy Band (of course!) and two square dances with Home Remedy and caller Megan Downes. They experienced a screening of Jon Bowermaster’s documentary The Hudson: A River at Risk, kids’ activities, a live ice sculpture, and the magical atmosphere that’s been present at every Hoot, from the very beginning. And this year, for the first time ever, Hoot attendees were invited to join in the musical fun by participating in the “Holler.”

Hoot Holler

Part open mic, part recording session—the Holler was a unique experience that invited anyone attending the Hoot to record a song or poem for the times. The recordings were made in The Ashokan Center’s Sycamore Lodge, on a beautiful microphone that Telefunken Elektroakustik was so kind as to lend (thanks Telefunken!).

The recordings were then collected in a playlist. Hear it here:

Ovi Horta, who volunteered to help record these performances, called the Holler an “inspirational and rewarding experience.” “When the idea of recording a song or poem that speaks to our times was pitched to me months before the Winter Hoot, I knew this event would bring together the Hudson Valley community,” he says. “Alongside my two good friends, Lucas and Jeremy, we recorded live performances from folks of all ages, talents, and musical backgrounds with a beautiful condenser microphone provided by Telefunken. I was blown away, to say the least, by the passion the Holler was able to bring together, and I really look forward to continuing this project with many more years of Hoots to come.”

Thank you to these Holler performers for offering a little extra truth and beauty to the world—and thanks to all who attended The Hoot and helped create the magical experience! Listen to Radio Woodstock 100.1 this spring to hear one of these tracks on-air.

Want more from The Hoot? Check out the Pewter Sessions—intimate performances by Hoot artists recorded by Beehive Productions in our Pewter Shop—below!

Save the date: Summer Hoot 2017, August 25–27!

All photos by Tom Eberhardt-Smith for Eberhardt Smith.

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