CFN: 5 guys who make beautiful music together

Clearly from Negligence is a pop group of 5 guys who draw their inspiration not only from classic pop bands, but also from Rochester’s music scene, and they are on their way to becoming a national hit. Check them out at Commons Park Stage Friday, July 15 (2011) at 1:45pm.








How did you get your start in music and what do you play?
All the guys were into music at a young age. That has continued into high school.
Alex plays drums and a bit of guitar, and he’s been working on the bongos lately for some of our acoustic endeavors.
Luke plays sax in the school band, plus guitar, songwriting and vocals for CFN.
Marc plays violin in the school orchestra, plus guitar in the school’s jazz band.
Danny plays sax in the school jazz band and for CFN, plus he’s a monster on keys, and now he’s playing some guitar, too.
Ryan is going to take his bass talents all the way to Eastman school of music next year, where he’ll play double bass, just like he did in high school orchestra and for Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. Of course, he handles the bass work for CFN.

How would you describe your music?
Our sound is straight pop, drawing inspiration from The Beatles, Coldplay, Keane, Arcade Fire …

Where is your music featured and sold?
You can find all of our music and some video on our website: Our CD and singles are available on our site and via iTunes for download. We also have some t-shirts on our site. You can find the CD at House of Guitars and Record Archive in Rochester, NY.

What feedback have you received from showcasing your music and performances?
Having been named one of the Top Ten Teen Bands in the country by SchoolJam USA and invited to play at Disney this year has probably been our most noteworthy accolade. However, we’ve won a lot of battles of bands, been invited to play live on a number of radio programs, and Rochester’s Democrat & Chronicle featured us recently. However, the best feedback is when we hear from new fans who have stumbled upon us and write to tell us how much they appreciate our music. That’s always the best feedback.

What has inspired you the most and why?
Being from a music town like Rochester, it’s inspiring to have so many people in the community who are musicians, or who have an appreciation for music and actively seek out new listening experiences. That makes for a vibrant music community, and it makes us want to be a contributing part of it.

What are you working on now?
We just got out of the studio at the House of Guitars, where Bruce generously donated time and space, and with his encouragement we’re releasing a new single soon. We collaborated with a producer, Sam Conjerti, at Bruce’s urging to create a song that’s a bit edgier for us but maintains the pop hook and sensibilities we love. We’re very excited about this song, and we hope our fans are, too. Stay tuned …

What will you bring to the Canandaigua Art & Music Festival?
We will bring youthful exuberance matured with age … whatever the heck that means. We’re still kids, but we think we’ve got a pretty well-honed sound.

What can we expect from your performance this year?
From our live performances, fans should expect our best effort to give them a great musical experience. Of course, it’ll help if they’ve got a funnel-cake with a lot of sugar on it!

What is one thing people don’t already know about you?
is an emerging magician and recently joined the Sea Cadets.
Luke is a baseball pitcher and had the lead in the high school musical.
Marc is a skateboard instructor.
Danny plays about 6 different instruments.
Ryan will attend Eastman School of Music to perfect the double bass, and he also performs some solo acoustic guitar regularly.
So, we’re an eclectic mix of guys, who play beautiful music together . . . we hope.


Brier Street Pottery: Continuing a Family Tradition of Art

By Kelly Sabetta

Chris Consler, of Brier Street Pottery, specializes in creating functional stoneware pottery for her clients, who wish to use these special pieces on a day-to-day basis. In her own words, here is an inside look at Brier Street Pottery, its history, and its future.

Where are you located?

I live in East Meredith, NY, which is the town that I have always lived in since a child. About a hundred years ago, according to history lore, the first settler climbed to the top of his newly finished house, and declared it “the flower of Brier Street.” That is where I got the name of the pottery from. My 5 or 6 times great grandparents were some of the founding fathers.

When was the exact moment you realized you wanted to be an artist?

There was no exact moment. I come from family that always did for ourselves rather than spending money… Comes from my Scotch-Irish heritage my grandmother always said.  She crocheted, and created eggshell pins that she sold in the ’70s and my mother did drapery dolls, and had a ceramic studio. So, it was never a defining moment… it was just always like that, maybe in the blood.

When did you first start pursuing your passion/career?

I recently this year retired from my nursing career of 20+ years, although I consider myself too young to retire. What I really did was decide to pursue pottery on a full-time basis. I have been part time in the pottery field for the last 5 years.

What feedback have you received from showcasing your work?

Most people that come into my booth comment of the colors that I use. I allow the clay and the glazes to create the beauty of each piece. I don’t do a lot of additional embellishments, and I can’t paint worth a bean. But I can slightly direct how I want the glaze to flow, and then I let it organically move in the direction it wants. Each piece is a one-of-a-kind.

What has inspired you the most and why?

My first and foremost goal for my business is create utilitarian piece for people to use that are beautiful. In order to have my pottery impact on the lives of my customers, they need to be able to use in everyday life moments- like having a cup of coffee on a hectic day. Just a few moments of silence with your coffee out of an oversized mug that fits well in your hand, which also has color variations that keep you discovering new nuances of the glaze each time you look at it. If your mug costs so much that you are afraid to use it, then you miss these moments every day. I am careful to price my work so that my customers will not be afraid to use their pieces in their everyday life.

What projects are you currently working on?

Currently on my workbench are the plans and prototypes for a series of crocks and jugs based on the ones from the turn of the century. They will have the Brier Street Pottery name on them, and will have a simple cobalt blue hand-painted design on them. Each will be dated. My self-indulgent hope is that 100 years from now, someone will have kept one of these pieces and it will have passed through family lines and become an heirloom.

What do you feel you will bring to the Canandaigua Art and Music Festival?

Beautiful pottery and an artisan that is more than willing to share my love of pottery with any person who wants to talk with me about it. I love to talk with hobby, new, or aspiring potters- trying to continue the line of people who want to transmit beauty through their hands.

What’s one thing that you’d like people to know about you, that they may not already know?

I was a stained glass artist for 10 years before I started potting. My sister, who was my partner, gave me the pottery class as a present, and after the first class I was hooked! She has always said that I went to the “Dark Side.” Since glass and clay are both made of silica… she wanted to rename our business “Two sisters who play with sand,” but I veto’d that. (It pays sometimes to be the older sister!)

For more information about Brier Street Pottery, or to view and purchase their work, please visit their Web site,, and visit their booth at this year’s Canandaigua Art and Music Festival, Friday, June 16th through Sund

Delish Handmade Glass: Playing with Fire and Creating One-of-a-Kind Hand-blown Glass

By Kelly Sabetta

Delish Handmade Glass is a company that offers specially handcrafted glass jewelry, beads, and sterling silver products. Based in Rochester, NY, the company was created and designed in 2007 by Jeremy Griffith (of Carbondale, IL) and Chelsea Foehr (of Redding, CT).

How did you get your name?

Jeremy: So the story goes…in 2006 I was asked to be a teaching assistant at the Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, WA for Jeremy Lepisto and his wife Mel George. They told me that having two “Jeremy’s” was not going to work, so they said I better come up with a nickname. The other teaching assistant was Mark Salsbury, aka “T-Bone.” Therefore, they said that if I didn’t come with a nickname they would call me “Delishious” (that is how Mel’s spells it –she is from Australia), so that the assistants would be known as “Delishious T-Bone.” After that so many people knew me as “Delish” that Chelsea and I decided to call our company Delish Handmade Glass.

When was the exact moment you realized you wanted to be an artist?
Chelsea: I don’t think there was one instant where I went from not being an artist to being one; it has always been my nature, from birth. I suppose the realization that I am an artist occurred over time as I discovered more qualities about myself that were already there.

Jeremy: I have always loved to make. As a child/teenager I was a painter and then toward the end of my teenage years I saw my first glob of molten glass. I was hooked and from that moment on I knew I wanted to be a glass artist.

How did your company come about? What inspired you to create something like this for the community?

Jeremy/Chelsea: It’s kind of odd, but we knew several people that were closing their glass shops due to hard economic times while we were in the midst of opening ours. Many of the glass shops that closed or are currently closing are on the west coast (mainly Seattle, WA), which has the densest population of glassworkers in the country. We decided after being in Rochester for a bit that it seemed like a great place to start up a shop. There aren’t too many of us out here. Rochester is close to so many metropolitan areas and people in New York love art –we’ve always done well at the shows here. So, we decided to take the plunge and give this a shot.

In your own words, what types of products do you offer?

Jeremy/Chelsea: One-of-a-kind hand blown glass. We make a large variety of items, from jewelry to home decor. Our portfolio is much larger than what we make available at our festivals and we are always looking for a challenge. We have the capabilities of doing custom pieces and larger, architectural scale commissions as well.

What feedback have you received from showcasing your work?

Jeremy/Chelsea: We are often told by customers that they have never seen anything like what we do. We strive to have unique designs in our forms, patterns and color techniques, and are pleased when we hear that our customers recognize that.

The biggest thing we hear from the public is, “How do you do that?” and, “How often do you get burnt?”

What should attendees expect to see from you at this year’s Festival?

Jeremy/Chelsea: A large collection of unique, one-of-a-kind, hand-blown glass art with something for everyone! We have inexpensive, fun items like bacon and egg earrings as well as elegant sculptural vases.

What’s one thing that you’d like people to know about you, that they may not already know?

Jeremy/Chelsea: That we have a new studio location where our work is available for purchase and that we will soon be teaching bead and pendant-making classes there as well.

Where/how can people purchase your work?

At our upcoming art shows that are always posted on our Web site,,, and at our studio every first Friday of the month from 6:00-9:00 p.m. (or anytime by appointment).
1115 East Main St
Rochester, NY
Door 2, Floor 3, Room #350

You will also be able to find Delish Handmade Glass at this year’s Canandaigua Art and Music Festival, Friday, June 16th through Sunday, June 18th. Stop by their booth to see their original, one-of-a-kind hand-blown glass.

Lake Effect – All Music, No Instruments

By Kelly Sabetta

Lake Effect is an all-male professional a cappella group made up of five guys from Western, NY who love to create music without the use of any instruments.

“We’ll mimic instruments and drums to make the song sound like what you commonly hear, but it’s all just our voices,” said Ron Veiders.

The groups’ members include Ron Veiders (baritone), Jamie Holden (tenor), Matthew Sciara (bass), Lou Shafer (tenor/vocal percussion), and Jeff Trenchard (tenor).

“Most of us have been doing music all our lives,” said Ron. “The five of us have all been singers in numerous choruses, choirs, a cappella, and solo acts. Four of us have degrees in Music, and three of us are music teachers in area schools,” he continued. “So, in essence, it’s not just about being musical artists, it’s the fact that we enjoy music so much that it’s part of our work, as well as our fun. This group is the fun side.”

The group members of Lake Effect started pursuing their passion together in 2003.

“From a group standpoint, we started as another rendition of ten men,” said Ron. “It was very difficult to find the right people, the right voices, and honestly, the same time of availability! After a couple years, we disbanded and reformed to our present size of five.  It took a few goes at who was able to fill the spots, but right now we are the best we’ve ever been. We truly enjoy singing with one another. We get along great, and we just plain have fun doing what we do.”

The band, who not only performs cover tunes of popular songs and artists, also writes their own original music, as well.

“We are in the process of making a full-length debut album,” said Ron, which is expected to be released by the end of this year. When their new album is completed, they plan to have it available for download, as well as Online purchases. They also provide a five-song demo disc at all of their live performances for fans to purchase.

Also in the works, Lake Affect plans to host the 2011 ICCA (International Competition of Collegiate A Cappella) in January, re-audition for the Sing Off in the future, as well as enter themselves into the Harmony Sweepstakes Competition in April of 2011. “Other than that, we are striving to establish & make ourselves known around the WNY region as THE premiere all-male a cappella group in the area.,” said Ron.

As far as their performance at this year’s Canandaigua Art and Music Festival, they plan to deliver music that everyone has heard and loved throughout the years, but providing it in a new and unique way.

“I think our unique sound – non-instrument, no back-up recordings, and just voice – will stand out,” said Ron. “I think our fun and exuberance on stage will draw the audience in closer. Being five guys with only microphones; I think it speaks for itself.”

To hear their premier sound, you can visit their Web site,, or experience them live on Sunday, July 18th, 12:00 – 1 p.m., on the Commons Park Stage.

The Skiffle Minstrels Bring the Shenanigans

By Kelly Sabetta

The Skiffle Minstrels, a country-western and Cajun band from Buffalo, NY, is an eccentric blend of individuals who call themselves a “dance band.”

“We play so folks can dance,” said Paul Todaro, (bass, vocals). “The show is about ‘us’ onstage and ‘us’ in the audience together.”

Alongside Paul, are band members Ron Kowalewski (accordion), Phil Knoerzer (guitar, harmonica), Maggie Zindle (fiddle), Gary Meixner (lap steel), and Gus Russo (percussion).

Their music has been performed throughout Western and Central New York, and is inspired by their dancing audience. “It’s the one reason to play music that isn’t self indulgent,” said Paul, who says many of their new fans, after seeing them perform live, share that they didn’t know they liked country music.

Paul said he remembers the exact moment on February 15th, 1975 that he realized he wanted to be an artist. And it wasn’t until February 16th, 1975 that he began pursuing his passion, for the reason of, “being bad at sports.” He describes his work as trying to find his place in the present by exploring the past.

The Skiffle Minstrels are currently playing a busy summer schedule of festivals and weddings, and will soon be recording their second album. Their first debut album, Homespun, was released in 2009, and features 12 original songs from the band. Their album is being sold on their Web site, iTunes, CDbabay,, as well as other festivals where they have performed. Also being sold is original merchandise of the band, including guys’ and girls’ tees.

So what should you expect from The Skiffle Minstrels? “Our usual high energy shenanigans,” joked Paul.

To the Canandaigua Art and Music Festival, they plan to bring a lot of music, and a lot of fun. “Kids love it because it’s fun; older folks love it because it ‘looks back; and in-betweens love it because it’s different and rebellious,” said Paul.

To experience the shenanigans, take a look at The Skiffle Minstrels Web site,, and check out her live performance at the Canandaigua Art and Music Festival, Sunday, June 18th, 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. on the Time Warner Stage.

Nationally-Acclaimed Josie Waverly to Perform for Local Fans

By Kelly Sabetta

Josie Waverly, of Hilton, has been performing since she was a young girl. “My mom had old albums of Connie Francis in a box,” said Josie. “I took them to my room and sang along. From that point on, I knew singing was for me.”

Sparked by the quality of her new inspiration, Josie sang her first solo in church at just 10 years old.

Fast forward to present day, Josie now performs for large audiences across the country with her band. Alongside Josie (lead singer, front entertainer), are band mates Tom Tramontana (lead and acoustic guitar, banjo, vocals), Gene “Sandy” Watson (lead, acoustic, and steel guitar, dobro, fiddle, vocals), Lou Alano (keyboard, vocals), Rich Farmer (bass, vocals), and Dave Forti (drums, percussion).

Josie has performed as a headliner, as well as opening act for entertainers such as Tim McGraw, Charlie Daniels, Loretta Lynn, Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban, and many more. Her work continues to be highlighted.

“I was voted NYS Queen of Country Music, as well as placed on the NYS Country Music Wall of Fame,” said Josie. “The public gives me the best feedback by the standing ovations they give at the end of my shows. They are the best meter to go by when you want to know if you make a difference.”

Along with live performances, Josie is very active in community service. She was also named Hilton’s Citizen of the Year in 1992, and has received several certificates from numerous charitable organizations, in which she helped raise thousands of dollars for their causes.

Her inspiration? “God, for trusting me with such a powerful vocal gift,” she said. “My husband for his belief in my talent and his never ending ‘can-do’ attitude, my children for dealing with having a mom that sings for others, and the public for listening!”

Although she has been recognized for her strong abilities and talents, she expresses that her goal is to make a difference in others. “Singing and entertaining for money is not number one for me,” said Josie. “Seeing everyone have fun and enjoy the music is the most important thing of all! If just one person leaves a Josie performance taking home positive energy and a glimmer of hope; that is what is important. You can’t put a price on making a difference in someone’s life!”

To experience such positive energy and great talent, please visit Josie’s Web site,, and check out her live performance at this year’s Canandaigua Art and Music Festival, Saturday, June 17th, 1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. on the Time Warner Stage.

Dirty Bourbon Blues Band Brings Unexpected Twists to Blues Repertoire

By Kelly Sabetta

“We are a rockin’ blues band,” said Seth City, of Dirty Bourbon Blues Band.

“We play a lot of original music…We have all played in bands of various styles over the course or our careers, so we tend to throw some unexpected twists into our blues repertoire. You might hear some reggae, or funk, or rock,” said Seth.

The Dirty Bourbon Blues Band was created in 2006 by founding members Seth City (guitar) and Pete Griffith (vocals, drums). Both jumpstarting their careers playing the blues, Seth and Pete acquired the help of one of their good friends, Gopi Joaquim (bass), to put a modern take on the music they played.

It wasn’t until 2008 that the band welcomed it’s fourth member, Zac Walker (saxophone), who adds a touch of Maceo to the group, and bringing with him horn hits and class to their original sound. In 2008, the band also parted ways with long-time bass player and friend. To replace him, they brought in bassist Adam Smith, who brings with him a funky, five-string flavor.

The band has played shows throughout the region, including opening for national acts, playing at weddings, large clubs, tiny pubs, motorcycle runs, and pig roasts. They’ve also recorded an album of their original music, in which they’ve handed out to their fans for free.

“We recorded a demo CD of 9 original songs in 2007 that we have given out, literally, thousands of copies of to our fans,” said Seth. “This has really helped the band’s reputation grow via word of mouth.”

Currently recording a full-length album, the band plans to release their new work by the end of 2010. “We are also working on new promotional photos and artwork, with the plan of getting some stickers, shirts, and other assorted merchandise ready for sale,” said Seth.

For those who will be attending this year’s Festival, expect to see an interactive performance.

“We are all younger than the ‘typical’ blues band, so we like to think we inject some energy and excitement into the genre,” said Seth. “Also, we have a kind of jam band element in that we interpret songs our own way, and have never played a song the same way twice. We all just mesh on stage and go where the music may take us.”

The Dirty Bourbon Blues Band shares a strong connection to the community, not only with their music and performances, but with causes they believe in. “We have played numerous charity benefit concerts for two issues very near and dear to our hearts,” shared Seth, “eradicating childhood disease, and breast cancer.”

For more information about the band, visit their Web site,, and come see their live performance at this year’s Canandaigua Art and Music Festival, Saturday, July 17th, 2:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. on the Commons Park Stage.