AFTER DEBUTING IN ITHACA IN DECEMBER FOR A SOLSTICE CELEBRATION, BESS & THE MAGIC RING AND HONEY CAVE (ITHACA) ARE JOINING EACH OTHER ONCE AGAIN-- THIS TIME IN BINGHAMTON, NY-- FOR ANOTHER POWERFUL NIGHT OF MUSIC.
Here is most of an article from The Ithaca Journal about that show.
The show will feature Honey Cave — featuring locals Alyssa Duerksen, Lora Pendleton, Jessie Gray and Angie Beeler — followed by Binghamton’s Bess Greenberg and the Magic Ring, with Greenburg joined by bassist Michael Wu (Gunpoets), guitarist Joe Alston (Milkweed) and drummer Corey Caruso (ex-Rusted Root).
The show is a follow-up to an Equinox show three months ago, which Duerksen organized at Interbrook Farm in Interlaken. She invited Greenberg to open the show, which featured the other four women doing solo sets before teaming for Honey Cave’s debut. And by all accounts, it was an unforgettable night.
“I was really stunned,” Greenberg said. “I had heard Lora and Alyssa play before, but not the other two. They each played two songs individually, and then joined as a band for the last set, and everybody in that barn, their jaws dropped and they were blown away. It was awesome. And I think they were shocked that they affected everybody that way. I don’t think they expected that — you can tell when they came off, we were all like ‘Whoa!’ so I’m really excited share the night with them.”
Said Duerksen: “I think the Equinox show was a shifting moment for all of us, something magical happened, and the audience was moved in a deep way. We also wrote a song together, quite easily I might add, the first time we met to practice! That is the first time that has ever happened for me. Our first song we wrote was called Honey Hill’ and somehow all of us channeled this name that seemed to speak out — that’s the birth story of Honey Cave.”
Pendleton added: “It felt like a message, we are meant to do this. This is an important time for people to express themselves and create. With women’s issues and rights so much in the forefront of political and societal issues, I feel like this is a good time for a project like Honey Cave.”
With four lead singers, Honey Cave’s sound is characterized by its harmonies.
“We are an ethereal blend of styles and approach, meeting together in a deeply spiritual ground,” Beeler said. “Our voices meet each others’ gently. Sometimes we sound like a church choir, sometimes it’s like a guttural mountain cry. Whatever we do is full of spirit that can’t be denied.”
“Everyone brings something so powerful and unique to the table,” Duerksen added.
“It has been a dream of mine to sing in a group where I could create harmonies and play with melody so freely,” Gray said. “Some of our songs feel like prayers and ancient sounds. When we all sit in silence before we sing that feeling says it all. We are supported and encouraged in our creations by our ancestors, the earth, and the spirit of music. I feel so thankful we found each other.”
Singer/songwriter Bess Greenberg has put together a new band, dubbed the Magic Ring, to help her expand her sound. (Photo: File)
After performing with Milkweed and the Falconers, Greenberg struck out on a solo path a couple of years ago, playing gigs all over upstate as well as the GrassRoots Festival. But recently she had felt the urge to expand her sound.
“It’s definitely more rocking,” she said of the Magic Ring. “A lot of the tunes I’ve been playing I’ve been wanting to develop the sound, but I wasn’t ready to do that. And it feels good. I know that I’ll continue to play solo, because I love the intimacy and the vulnerability of it. But there is something powerful to be said about developing the sound out. I’ve waited until I’ve got feet under myself a bit and know that I can stand on my own. And then finding the right players, we all have the right dynamic in working together. It’s feeling great — I’m super-excited about it.”
While Greenberg and her band have performed a couple of recent shows, Thursday’s show is going to be Honey Cave’s first time presenting its work in a public space.
“The songs are still raw and fresh,” Beeler said. “It is a beautiful time to catch something, in its infancy, before it has locked into a predictable pattern. I am psyched to play at Casita. That room is magical. It’s like your living room, but with fancy cocktails.”
“It feels good we’re all starting new projects and are all excited about them,” Greenberg added. “It’s pretty inspiring to get to a place where you’re sharing nights with musicians you really respect, and get you excited to play music in a whole other way.”