Jonathan Sarty Singer Songwriter

P R E S S    R E L E A S E

Cold River Radio Show Brings Top Talent to the White Mountains
June 30th Show to Feature Blues, Jazz and World Music in Unique Setting

INTERVALE, NH -- Driving on a curving dirt road, visitors coming to the Cold River Radio Show may feel that they are arriving at not just a place but also a time far away. Held at the Theatre in the Wood six times a year, the Cold River Radio Show and its founder, musician Jonathan Sarty, strive to bring guests to a special place where musical magic is made, stories are told and fans interact with the performers in an intimate setting. The next Show, scheduled for June 30, 2019, promises to once again delight a loyal following of fans and welcome newcomers with an eclectic selection of artists, including guitar-slinger Denny Breau, avante-garde instrument group Micromasse and a talented troupe of other musicians and storytellers.

A recent conversation with Sarty reveals his enthusiasm for the 2019 season line up, as well as for the Cold River Radio Show, now in its seventh year.  He describes his approach to lining up performers as a combination of intuition and serendipity.

“Part of putting it together is by plan, and part of it is by how it comes together. There are lots of variables - availability, scheduling, location. I narrow it down, but I try to make it diverse enough so that there’s something for everyone. The biggest part is for it to be a positive experience for the performers and the audience. A good collective group of talent makes for great green room conversations.  Collaborations is a big deal. After seven years, we are garnering attention from the artistic community. The artists comment that it’s something out of the ordinary. It’s a unique venue.”

Part of the appeal of the Cold River Radio Show is the unusual array of performers Sarty selects. While the genres vary, his musical tastes and the quality of the performers never vary.  His goal? To bring top-notch regional and national acts to his little corner of the world, Mount Washington Valley, which straddles the New Hampshire and Maine border in the White Mountains. While much of the musical scene in this neck of the woods is geared to the tourists and skiers that flock to North Conway and its environs, the Cold River Radio Show is both approachable and aspirational. Sarty’s background as a North Country troubadour and Maine native shines through, as does his warmth and genuine love of the music.

Case in point is how the June show headliner, legendary guitar slinger Denny Breau, first met up with Sarty. Breau has hosted a music jam in Bethel, Maine for 20 years and Jonathan sat in to play some tunes.  Fast forward a few years, and Denny got a phone call asking him if he’d like to be on the show. He couldn’t say “yes” fast enough. Breau explained his interest in this performance, “ Well first off, it’s a live radio show - that’s a first for me. Jonathan’s band is really good and I’m looking forward to playing with them.”

Concert-goers will enjoy Breau’s wide-ranging musical influences. He describes himself as American roots - blues, country, a little jazz, with a homage to Chet Atkins and Lenny Breau. “I love that whole style of playing. You can sit by yourself and be the whole band. I’ll be giving a Chet lesson on the Show - a Chet medley and explaining how it’s done. That’s the biggest part of my show. Classics like Sandman and See You in My Dreams, Freight Train - they are all so much fun to play.”

That eclectic taste carries forward in the variety of musical genres represented at the Cold River Radio Show. It’s not every day that a guitar slinger of Breau’s caliber is followed by an avante garde Hammond organ trio. But that’s just what the June show will be bringing to its audience, as Hammond B3 based instrumental group Micromassé takes the stage. Micromasse’ Peter Dugas met Jonathan via Portland musician Spencer Albee. Dugas describes their unique sound and what brought them together, “I’ve always loved the sound of the Hammond organ. When Hammond had a renaissance 10 or 20 years ago, I was waiting for this to happen. There was a necessity that mothered this project. Micromasse is a Hammond organ with guitar and drums. Organ trios started in jazz circles in the 50s with Jimmy Smith and those who followed him. We’ve created a lot of new music based on that traditional organ trio line up.”

Dugas shared he is looking forward to be part of this latter-day variety show, with the Cold River Radio Show offering not just different musical styles but also storytellers, novelists, comedians and other forms of performance.”I love the chance to have a potpourri of different forms of entertainment. It doesn’t happen as much as it should. It varies the pace. In a distracted time, it’s nice to have a variety of niches to dig into.”

Not forgetting his local roots, Sarty always holds a spot for musicians from in and around Mt. Washington Valley at the Show. The June show’s local spot light will feature Miss Maybelle and the Jazz Age Artistes. Miss Maybelle became familiar to Cold River Radio Show audiences during her time living in Jackson, NH. Now she’s  part of a jazz trio, with Charlie Judkins on piano and Kaia Updike on Violin. Judkins studied ragtime piano with Terry Waldo, who he himself studied with Eubie Blake. Miss Maybelle is looking forward to returning to the stage in Intervale, NH after playing frequently in NYC and returning from a recent tour of St. Louis.

Miss Maybelle shared, “The Cold River Radio Show is such a special venue. You have so many people attentively listening to the great acts that Jon picks out, whether it’s a writer or the musicians, or sometimes even comedians. It gives the arts a real platform. It supports local artists.”

Miss Maybelle & The Jazz Age Artistes play a large repertoire of Jazz and Blues from 1920s 30s and 40s and were recently featured on The NPR Show “Person, Place, Thing” With Randy Cohen.

Rounding out the musical performers are author Joseph Souza, and Dr. Peter Crane with the Mount Washington Moment. Joseph Souza 's award-winning short stories have been published in various literary journals throughout the country. His new novel, PRAY FOR THE GIRL, was published on April 30th, 2019.

The show will feature an After Party at the Wildcat Inn & Tavern in Jackson, NH featuring Miss Maybelle and the Jazz Age Artistes.

Can’t make it to the show? You can listen to a seven-year archive of Shows at www.coldriverradioshow.com. Sarty is bullish about finally being able to offer this body of work to a wider audience online, “This is a special year for us because we’re going online with our radio show. We’ll be continuing to add shows every month to the website. People can access it anywhere, not just locally on 93.5 WMWV or live at the show. I have 40 shows completely in the can and I split each show into two episodes. You could listen once a week for 2 ½ years without repeating one!”

For more information, visit them online at www.coldriverradioshow.com. The website offers online ticket sales and the archive of past performances.

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