All articles by Jessica Novak

Blues Fest Moves Forward

Tommy Castro and the Painkillers at the Dinosaur BBQ

The New York State Blues Festival has endured a drama-riddled history, with another turbulent chapter added last summer. The 2012 edition, for instance, ended $130,000 short of its $198,000 budget, which led to the cancellation of the 2013 festival.



How did we get here?

The last tour blog!

I’m sitting under a blanket in Charlotte, North Carolina, thinking about how cold it is (only 64!) and relishing in the comforts of being back in a home (we are staying with my best friend from college’s parents). It’s funny how much Golden and I have come to appreciate the wonder that is staying in a house when we’re so used to our transient lifestyle – drifting from town to town, hotel to parking lot to YMCA to bar to whatever.



Brother Num’s Rastabilities

(pronounced “noom” for Num H.S. Amun’Tehu)

Two-time Grammy-winning artist Brother Num is known internationally for his reggae music, although he’s not just limited to the dreadlocked genre. The percussionist has appeared on albums with Brian Jackson, Burning Spear, Naughty by Nature, Common and Consequence. He is also fluent in styles spanning African to rhythm’n’blues, Caribbean to blues, and hip-hop to Native American.



On The Road

Syracuse musicians, Jess Novak and Brian Golden, are on tour for one month. Read about it here.

It’s hard to believe we’re almost into single digits on the tour. The time warp I talked about in the first blog is in full effect. On one hand it feels like we’ve always been out here, like this life is normal, every day is 100 years long and “home” is a drifting concept. On the other, it feels like it’s only been a moment and when we walk back through the doors of our houses and into the arms of people who love and missed us – it’ll feel like no time has passed (though they will disagree!).



Good Vibrations

A thriving local success story

Music writer Jessica Novak reports on the sizable increase of Gorham Brothers Music, a local business that keeps it all in the family



Mack to the Future

The pleasures of Auburn’s intimate music venue Theater Mack.

Music writer Jessica Novak details the pleasures of Auburn’s intimate music venue Theater Mack.



Words from the Road

Syracuse musicians, Jess Novak and Brian Golden, are on tour for one month. Read about it here.

I read a book early in the trip called Mutant Message Down Under. It’s about a woman who is taken in by the aboriginals of Australia and made to live completely in the wild. She goes without all the things we call “necessary” in our daily lives, or at least couldn’t imagine living without. There is no technology and barely any food, shelter, clothes or water. Yet, at the end of her journey, she’s exposed to some of the greatest secrets of humanity and learns the oneness that connects us all when we learn to go “without”, though we’re actually going very much with the most important things in life – family, friends and the non-material things that money can’t touch.



On The Road

Syracuse musicians, Jess Novak and Brian Golden, are on tour for one month. Read about it here.

I’ve done a month on the road before and I do recall the time-warp sensation. When you don’t know exactly where you’re coming from, going to, who you’re staying with, what you’re eating, how much money you’re making or spending – every day feels incredibly long. Any normal schedule is thrown to the wind and even the plans that seem concrete can crumble at any moment due to weather, traffic, car problems or personality conflicts. The road is a wildly unpredictable place. Yet, when looking back, the time seems to have flown by.



Mary Fahl Rises to the Occasion

Mary Fahl performs Saturday, Oct. 4 at the Redhouse Arts Center

Mary Fahl doesn’t believe in following the rules. A singer since childhood, Fahl had her first big break with the October Project in the early 1990s. But after leaving the pop group in 1996, Fahl had to figure out how to keep competing against the odds.



Local Hop (Album Review)

The whole disc bumps with positivity

Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad. Steady (Easy Star Records).