Woodstock hosts Traum and friends’ Winter Solstice concert on December 16

Photo of Happy Traum by Dion Ogust

When we think of holiday traditions associated with Woodstock, the first thing that comes to mind for most people is the well-guarded mystery of what Santa’s novel mode of transport will be on Christmas Eve. But another annual event that has become a cherished part of the town’s cultural fabric is the Winter Solstice concert organized by Happy Traum. It’s a way for folks to gather for an evening of warmth, light in dark times, congenial company – and of course excellent musicianship – even if they don’t subscribe to a particular religious interpretation of the significance of the end of the waning daylight hours.

This year’s Woodstock Winter Solstice concert takes place on Friday, December 16 at 8 p.m. at the Woodstock Playhouse. The lineup will include many of the Usual Suspects as well as a couple of less-familiar names. There will be some of Traum’s old compatriots from the Woodstock Mountains Revue days (or earlier): John Sebastian, Cindy Cashdollar and Larry Campbell, plus Campbell’s singer wife Teresa Williams. Joining them will be second-generation Woodstock Americana queen Amy Helm and her Ollabelle bassist Byron Isaacs, along with the country blues team Paul Rishell and Annie Raines and “surprise guests to be announced.”

As befits this season of giving, proceeds from the concert will benefit the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild. Tickets range in price from $25 to $100, the high-end seats including admission to an after-concert reception. Be warned that a couple of the seating sections had already sold out as of presstime, so you need to call (845) 679-2079 right away if you want to get in. The newly renovated Woodstock Playhouse is located at 103 Mill Hill Road in Woodstock.