Music of the CAMF 2014: Brian Lindsay

Want a little of rock for your Canandaigua Art & Music Festival experience? Be ready for some Brian Lindsay, a singer – song writer who is heavily influenced by rock and roll. Brian composes original songs and boasts having one of his songs, King of the Mountain, hold a #1 spot on a radio station in Ocean City, Maryland for 2 weeks in a row. He finds inspiration from the sounds of Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan, and his surroundings of the Finger Lakes.

The audience should be ready for some classic rock and roll sounds that “does not rely on gimmicks.” They are ready for their fans, friends and family in the Canandaigua area to come see them at the festival! To hear more stuff from Brian (which include his newest album “The Monkey, The Tango, and the Boogaloo,”) check out his website: He is up on stage ready to rock on Saturday 19th July, 1:45PM until 3:00PM at the Commons Park Main Stage.


Brian CD cover The Monkey


Music of the CAMF 2014: Automatic James

After performing in 2012’s Canandaigua Art & Music Festival, Automatic James is back with a new name and a new sound. We talked to Eric Manzler who plays guitars and vocals in the band and mentions that the band came together with “old friends and new ones.” The band consists of John Goodnow on bass, Jimmy Burns on drums, Manny Gaspar on keyboards & vocals and Jeff Longcore on guitar & vocals. According to Eric, the name is “more fun if people use their imaginations!”


The band plays a mixture of covers, which ranges from The Grateful Dead, Johnny Cash, Incubus, Jack Johnson and even the Dixie Chicks (yes, the Dixie Chicks). They also compose original pieces and one of their most popular numbers is titled Memphis Blue, which was written by Jeff. Their musical inspiration is eclectic with a little bit of blues, and rock and roll with notable sounds from James Taylor, Bob Dylan and the Beatles.

Festivalgoers have been warned; these guys may go on a 20-minute improvisational jam if the mood hits them. Eric, John and Manny has lived in Canandaigua before and the band is excited to come back home to perform for those who have enjoyed hearing them perform!

Get to know the band on their Facebook Page, their band website,  and watch them perform on Saturday, July 19th at 12 P.M. at the Commons Park, Main Stage (in Main Street).

Patrick J. O’Connor: Lifelong Passion

Patrick J. O’Connor has been painting for 45 years. Be sure to stop by and see his unique and vibrant watercolor paintings.

When did you realize you wanted to be an artist?
The exact moment I knew I wanted to be an artist was in the 5th grade when I was doing a project using clay.

What inspired you to pursue your passion for art?
I was inspired by a watercolor demonstration in downtown Ithaca, New York.

Describe your art.
I think my art grabs people. I think it puts you in a place and time that you have been before. And I think my watercolors separate me from other watercolorists. If you see one of my paintings along with 100 other paintings, you would be able to pick mine out without a signature on it.

What feedback have you received from showcasing your work?
I have received nothing but positive feedback, mostly with a question of “How did you do that?”

What should attendees expect to see from you at this year’s Festival?
People should expect top-quality work.

What’s one thing that people may not already know about you?
I would like people to know that I have been painting for 45 years to get to the point that I am currently at and I am 57 years old. That is a long time.

Where/how can people purchase your work?
You can purchase paintings at the “Patrick J. O’Connor” gallery at 231 West Water Street in Elmira, New York or online at The telephone number is 607-483-4640.

Clinton’s Ditch: A blend of sounds that is truly American

Stage. Joe, Sean, Chris and Max of Clinton’s Ditch want us to “Dig” the Ditch Saturday, July 16 at 3:15pm at the Country Bluegrass Stage.

When did you realize you wanted to be a musical artist?
We have always been interested in music. All members of the band are self-taught on our current instruments, but have played various instruments since a young age.

What sparked that passion?
Great bands such as the Beatles, Pink Floyd, and the Grateful Dead, just to name a few.





When did you first start pursuing your passion/career?
We all have been in previous bands going back since 1997 that have played out professionally. Clinton’s Ditch formed in the fall of 2009 and has been evolving ever since. In 2010, we began playing a monthly show at Artisan Works, a 40,000 square foot art space in Rochester, NY. Since then we have been playing bars and parties around the greater Rochester region.



How would you describe your music?

Clinton’s Ditch seamlessly blends together elements of blues, rock, bluegrass, reggae, and folk to create a sound that is truly American. We play mostly original music written by two songwriters, and everyone chimes in on harmonies.

Where is your music featured and sold?
Our music has been spreading by word of mouth and by fans sharing our recordings. We have played throughout the Rochester area and as far as Geneseo and Fairhaven, NY. We also have music on our website,

What feedback have you received from showcasing your music and performances?
We consistently receive positive feedback from new listeners. Many claim we have a very unique and new sound yet adhere to a certain vintage appeal. One of our more memorable experiences was to be complimented by an 18-year-old Goth-rocker and an 80-year-old art lover at the same show!

What has inspired you the most and why?
We draw inspiration from everything around us … nature, family, friends and of course the music of other artists!

What projects are you currently working on?
We have several albums worth of original material. We recently recorded our first EP, and are looking into recording our first full length album in the fall.

What do you feel you will bring to the Canandaigua Arts and Music Festival?
We will bring a unique blend of American music that will keep your feet moving and your head bobbing!

What should attendees expect to see from your performance at this year’s Festival?
We don’t know what you’ll see, but we can guarantee that you will hear over an hour of original music that will keep you “Digging” the Ditch!

What’s something people may not already know about you?
We all grew up around Rochester, and wanted our name to reflect our local heritage. Clinton’s Ditch refers to one of our favorite fishing spots … the Erie Canal. NY Governor Dewitt Clinton broke ground on the Erie Canal in 1817. At the time, many people thought that it was an impossible task, and negatively dubbed the project “Clinton’s Big Ditch”. Time would tell.

Marcangelo Perricelli: Orchestral + Synthesizers = Synthestral Music

Marcangelo Perricelli aspired to be a musician and composer from a very young age. He’ll play his “synthestral” music for us starting at 1:30pm on Sunday, July 17 on the Commons Park Stage.

When did you realize you wanted to be a musical artist?

The first time I heard the Beatles.

What sparked your passion?

I really don’t know… I just wanted to be a musician after that. I started guitar lessons at 9 years old.

When did you first start pursuing your passion/career?

When I was 17 years old I bought my first keyboard, which was an organ, and I never stopped since.

How would you describe your music?

My music is melodic, poly-rhythmical, ethereal, colorful… sometimes orchestral or synthestral as I call it (orchestral but with synthesizers). My music can be harsh or soothing it all depends on what I am writing.

Where is your music being featured and sold?

My music has been featured on Ann Williams “Nightscapes” radio show, in France and in Europe, many Progressive internet radio programs in the US. My music is available at: iTunes (Worldwide), emusic, Amazon and many other digital download music stores.

What feedback have you received from showcasing your music and performances?

People tell me they love the music! I am very happy that people like it because then I can keep performing it. 🙂

What has inspired you the most and why?

I have been inspired by everything that surrounds me. I am a very emotional artist and I try to bring that out in my performances and my music.

What projects are you currently working on?

I am currently working on 2 new CDs. One is called “In the Valley of Teacups” which is a new age CD and the other is “The Black Plague,” which is a progressive rock and orchestral mix.

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

Great Music, high spirits and Fun! My wife is a photographer so we will be wandering around just feeling the good vibes there.

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

Well, I guess they’re going to see 5 great musicians playing their butts off! LOL We are hoping to create a WOW factor with our music. 🙂

What’s one thing that people may not already know about you?

I collaborate with the former lead singer of the band “YES,” Jon Anderson. We have been doing this for 3 years now and we send music back and forth to each other. He works on my music and I work on his. We have become very good friends over the years and I have learned much from the master of progressive rock. He’s just a great guy!


“Wah-Say-Lan” – Through the eyes of a Seneca



James Herbert Smith creates historical fiction by looking through the eyes of a young Seneca woman during the Revolutionary war.

When did you decide you wanted to publish a book?

After I read “Old Yeller” in 4th grade. I tried when I was 25 then I tried and succeeded when I was 53, though it took me 10 years to complete it.

What was your inspiration for the story?

We spent time every summer on Canandaigua Lake. As a boy I listened to my grandmother, aunts and uncles talk about the Seneca Indians on the lake. I day dreamed about how silent it must have been back then, just the lapping of their canoe paddles in the water. So the lake itself is my inspiration.

In your own words what are the book’s main themes?

It is a true story with fictional characters told from the Native American point of view through the eyes of a 17-year-old Seneca woman — Wah-Say-Lan — about how her people had lived on Canandaigua for eons but their life is about to be turned upside down. Through Jamwesaw, a slave fighting for his freedom in the Continental Army, the story also examines the contradiction of the Founding Fathers birthing a nation based on freedom and independence, yet many of them were slave owners. Jefferson and Washington are key characters in the book. There are lessons, but fundamentally it is a love story and an adventure story that readers tell me holds their interest.

How did it feel to write in the voice of your main character, Wah-Say-Lan?

She is a young, smart, strong, independent woman. I raised four young, smart, strong, independent daughters and so I had good role models for my character. I worried sometimes that I wasn’t smart enough to keep up with Wah-Say-Lan. That was a challenge.

Which character from the story do you identify with most?

That’s a tough question. One reviewer wondered aloud that Jamwesaw is similar to my own name. He is unquestionably the most noble character in the book — vowing to find and free his mother from slavery, willing to entirely change his life because of his love for Wah-Say-Lan. When you create characters (and have them interact with real historical figures) you really get inside their heads; and so I think I’d have to say that I identify with Wah-Say-Lan as much as with Jamwesaw.

What was the best part of writing this book and what was the most challenging?

The best part was finishing it and getting it published. My B.A. from SUNY Brockport is in American History and there are seven pages of bibliography and so the research was challenging, yet also a marvelous trip into Iroquois and American Revolutionary War scholarship. There is an awful lot of excellent scholarship on the Six Nations of the Iroquois, but not a lot of fiction. Creating the story and seeing people turn the page to see what is happening next is the most satisfying feeling.

“Wah-Say-Lan” is available through NH Booksellers for $19.95
Purchase the book here -bring your questions and your copy to be signed at the festival!

The Beaumonts: Bringing…sandwiches?

The Beaumonts play music you have to hear to be able to define. Steve (vocals and guitar) told us what got him started in music and how the band works together for inspiration.

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

The first time I ever actually SAW someone doing it…as opposed to just listening. I was on vacation in Cape Code in 1974 and my parents stopped at a restaurant on the way home to Avon, NY. There was a band on a small stage there, and when I walked back to our table from the bathroom the guitar player winked at me. I was mesmerized by the sight and sounds of live musicians.

What sparked that passion?

I have been moved by music since before I could walk. I remember hearing songs on the radio even back then that seemed to take me to another world; the combination of the melody against the chords was like a complete language to me. The idea of being able to create that was the most exciting idea I’ve ever had.

When did you first start pursuing your passion/career?

My friend’s parents had a country band, and in 1979 I would go downstairs at their house and play the drummers kit. One day his father came in the house while I was playing and asked “Hey, where’d you learn to play drums like that?” I said, “On your kit….” So he gave me his old kit which I played on for about a year and a half until my brother brought home the first Van Halen album. I sold my drums 3 days later and bought a guitar. I was 15 years old.

How would you describe your music?

I describe it as alternative pop rock … but what does that mean? I always have to describe it using elements that make it up in terms of what most people might already know. It’s old Chicago meets Bob Marley meets the backing band to Amy Winehouse meets Doves with some Elvis Costello and Cardigans thrown in. It’s all original music. You have to just hear it and make up your own label I guess.

Where is your music being featured and sold?

We play all over. We opened up for Michael Franti two years ago, Eddie Money last year. You can buy our music at our shows, or just get a hold of us through We also have videos on YouTube and will have songs on iTunes soon.

What feedback have you received from showcasing your music and performances?

Most people who have never heard us assume we’re from out of town because we have a killer horn section and a very tight rhythm section. It’s tough to be an all-original band in Rochester but we have gotten some great reactions to our songs over the years. 

What has inspired you the most and why?

We seem to inspire each other. Everyone in the band is very talented at what they do and we get excited about what everyone brings to a song. In the end, it’s about emotion and connecting with others through that emotion.

What projects are you currently working on?

We are headed into the studio in the next month to begin a full recording project.

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

Probably some sandwiches…is that ok?

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

A polished band with some amazing original music.

What’s one thing that people may not already know about you?

We like great conversations, walks on the beach, and are just as comfortable in jeans as we are in, say, a classic evening gown.