Sep 23, 2009

Railbird, Ashley Pond in unique pairing

Being tagged as the latest entrant in the perpetual “band most likely to finally break out of Albany” rock sweepstakes can be a heavy burden for those identified as such. Fortunately, that heavy load is currently being borne not by a single musical act, but shared by a pair of them, with each featuring a young and talented female front woman as its focal point.

It so happens that both of these local hopes – the Saratoga-based Railbird and Albany’s Ashley Pond Band – are slated as the musical bookends at the two sessions of Saturday’s (Sept. 26) Local Living Harvest Fest event in the Spa City’s downtown district.

Saturday event features two local rising stars
For Railbird – fronted by cafĂ© chanteuse-turned Americana minstrel Sarah Pedinotti - the early (noontime) opener has special significance. First, it’s being held in her family’s popular Mouzon House restaurant on High Rock Avenue, where her dad Chef Dave will show off his own culinary chops with a timely demonstration titled “Cooking With the Seasons.“ This will be followed by a lunchtime meal making good use of his craftwork.

From there, the multitasking daughter will gather her band mates to publicly introduce their Farmony initiative; a funded project highlighting daily life on three area farms through original music and a still-in-the-making video project. The songs will be performed live (and digitally distributed to those attending), while a trailer of the video is scheduled for screening on-site.

Ms Pond and company will make their way to the nearby Parting Glass stage a few hours later at the conclusion of the evening session of the Fest, following a Sustainable Saratoga sponsored “local currency” presentation and a home grown beef stew dinner (courtesy of nearby farms), complimented by city-brewed legal beverage offerings.

In hearing Pond’s roaring vocals weaving on top of her slow-mo, chord-heavy guitar strikes, one might predict its source as being an 80-year old Delta blues woman, not this lilywhite, twenty-something kids from the ‘burbs. But it all works; with the (now) four piece band gathering acclaim from both the Albany club crowd and the regional music press, including a Best Of nod from Metroland.

Whether Railbird and/or the Ashley Pond Band do eventually climb that slippery ladder to national touring and chart topping success remains to be seen. Regardless, the Capital Region has a pair of creative gems in its midst, which makes their appearances at an event supporting the dynamics of local community all the more appropriate.

Info and discounted advance tickets for the Local living Harvest Fest’s two sessions (Noon and 6PM) are available online at ; via email at or by phone at 518-587-2296.