Since I am in a high-risk (for Covid-19) group I have not played any live gigs since February, and I have not participated in any of the live indoor open mics that have begun to appear in various coffee shops and restaurants on Long Island. I have been active, however, in several Zoom Song Circles during the past few months. Although not as much fun as a live event, these Song Circles have allowed me to remain connected to other musicians (and friends), and have also allowed me to make some new friends in the UK. Some of these Song Circles have been recorded on YouTube, so I have included links to these performances on this web site.
Acoustic Apple is a Long Island, NY cover performer featuring Americana, Folk-Rock and Roots Music. Welcome to my home on the web. Please listen to a bit of my music and browse my list of covers. Some may be familiar and some may be new to you. I hope you like what you find.
I can be reached at AcousticApple@optonline.net
or you can call Gary at 516-528-4380
The loss of my musical partner was very painful to me, and the continuing risk of contracting covid-19 has changed the lives of performing musicians worldwide. For the immediate future, my plan is to restrict performances to outdoor, socially distant locations (as long as the weather cooperates) and live-streaming on Facebook and Zoom. I will perform solo and may begin to experiment with backing tracks. 2020 certainly has been a bummer.
I have some very sad news to share with you. On Thursday, July 23 my friend and musical partner in Acoustic Apple, Stephen Angliss, suffered a heart attack while driving home from work. His car crashed into two parked cars across the street from his home. By the time the Manhasset-Lakeville Fire Department was able to extricate Steve and bring him to North Shore University Hospital, severe brain damage had occurred. Steve was on a ventilator in the ICU. Because of covid-19 restrictions only one family member was allowed to visit Steve each day. His family decided that when every member of the family had a chance to say goodbye, the ventilator would be turned off and Steve would be allowed to peacefully pass. Steve died on July 31.
I met Steve Angliss in 2013 at a bluegrass jam in a local bar (The Barrel Inn) in East Meadow. Steve played both banjo and guitar and I played guitar. We were both singers and took our turns leading songs with the other jammers. We became friends, and in 2014 Steve told me he had a gig at a restaurant in Sea Cliff, but he really did not want to do the gig alone, so he asked me to join him. We compiled a list of songs we both knew and played the gig with virtually no rehearsal. The gig went pretty well and we actually made some money, so we decided to form a duo, give ourselves a name (Acoustic Apple) and try to perform again in front of audiences. From that first gig until the pandemic hit, Steve and I played numerous gigs at restaurants, coffee shops, a library, a few outdoor festivals and even at the Seacliff Beach where his niece Jennifer had a concession business. Steve was a much better musician than me and I learned a lot from him about arranging harmonies and performing as a duo.
He was also a very likeable person. He always had interesting stories to tell about his life, his family, his job, about music, and about current events. We rarely rehearsed together, and when we did, we spent a lot more time just talking about the things friends talk about, rather than practicing our songs.
Steve was not only my musical partner; he was a very good friend and I will miss him.
In December (2019) Acoustic Apple performed at the Northport Library. A big thank you to our friends and fans who attended the show. Steve and Gary will head to Framingham, Massachusetts in February for the Joe Val Bluegrass Festival. It will be the 10th year we have attended this indoor festival at the Sheraton Framingham. In addition to seeing a great lineup of bluegrass pros we get a chance to jam all day and night with 1,000 other bluegrass pickers from all over the northeast and beyond.
On October 6 Acoustic Apple participated in the annual Northport Art Walk. This was our second time at this event. A dozen performers were situated along Northport's main street in front of various art galleries and boutique shops. We performed all afternoon to the delight of pedestrians passing by on the street. Beautiful fall weather contributed to a great afternoon.
Gary performed solo at the Pumpkin Patch at the corner of Stewart Avenue and Nassau Boulevard in Garden City on Saturday and Sunday, 10/12-10/13. This annual fundraiser for the local UU Congregation also supports the Navajo Tribe in New Mexico, which supplied over 4,000 pumpkins for the event.
It has been months since I've posted to this blog, so it's time for an update. Steve and Gary have been playing out at the usual coffeehouses and restaurants on Long Island and having fun making music together. Gary participates in a Bluegrass Jam every Tuesday night at the Barrel Inn in East Meadow and can be found most Thursday nights at the Bellmore Bean Open Mic. Gary also attended the New Bedford Folk Festival in July and just returned from another great weekend at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival. The weather at FRFF was surprisingly good this year. It only rained on Wednesday for one hour and on Saturday for one hour. Bub Randall ordered the interior roads closed during the rain, and the dreaded muddy roads never materialized. Gary participated in several song circles at the Big Orange Tarp and tried to stay in the shade for most of the Main Stage and Workshop Stage performances. The Lounge Stage performances (inside the Dance Tent) were terrific as usual.
Gary will be jamming and volunteering at the Long Island Bluegrass Festival in Tanner Park (on the Great South Bay) this weekend and looking forward to some great Bluegrass bands.
Steve and Gary will perform next week for the third time at the Sea Cliff Beach Hut, which is a great location for watching the sun set on the north shore of Long Island.
Acoustic Apple has a very busy fall season of gigs, and we look forward to seeing some of our friends at these gigs.
From Thursday 2/14/19 through Sunday 2/17/19 Gary attended the Joe Val Bluegrass Festival in Framingham, MA. This indoor festival at the Sheraton Framingham each year features top-tier bluegrass bands from all over the USA plus showcases, workshops and round the clock jam sessions in the halls, in the lobbies, in the rooms, basically anywhere there is room for 3 or more pickers to perform. Steve was unable to attend this year, so Gary joined bluegrass buddies from the fabled "Barrel Inn Jam" in East Meadow and the "Irish Whiskey Bar Jam" in Astoria for a long weekend of bluegrass jamming. Having returned from Massachusetts with raw fingers and happy hearts I look forward to a series of Acoustic Apple gigs at local coffee houses.
In early November Acoustic Apple will head to Stamford CT for the annual NERFA (North East Regional Folk Alliance) music conference. 700 folkies (like us) will descend on the Crowne Plaza Hotel to exchange ideas, interact with music industry agents, managers, venue operators and Radio DJs, and to make music 24 hours each day for 4 glorious days. Gary has been attending this conference since 2004 and Steve has attended since 2016. There are workshops and showcases and exhibits, but the most fun is gathering with like-minded musicians to schmooze, dine together, and jam all night.
The first weekend in August is always reserved for the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival. Gary headed to Hillsdale, NY on Wednesday, 8/1 to set up a campsite on Dodd's Farm. Gary joined friends at "Pirate Camp" (one of several loosely organized encampments at the festival) and set up a canopy for protection from the torrential rains and blazing sun that follow the usual weather pattern in the summer in the Berkshires. Sure enough, within 10 minutes of setting up my canopy the skies opened up and the heavy rains came down, turning roadways into mudways. Several more rainstorms would occur between Wednesday and Friday, but the timing of the rain was favorable and none of the scheduled performances were cancelled. Performers included Adam Ezra Group, Dan Navarro, Dar Williams, The End of America, Greg Greenway, The Jason Spooner Band, John Gorka, The Kennedys, Kim and Reggie Harris, Ryanhood, The Slambovian Circus of Dreams, Sloan Wainwright, Tom Paxton & the Don Juans, Tracy Grammer and Vance Gilbert... all folk favorites. I got a chance to participate in a few song circles, but mainly just enjoyed all the great performances.