Here comes Labor Day weekend and Robbie Dupree is ready with a new recording and show that he will unveil at a traditional, beautiful spot for a concert, the amazing Opus 40, which has long hosted end of summer musical festivities.
There are actually two area shows, one this weekend, at 7 p.m. Saturday, August 29 at The Falcon in Marlboro, before the big holiday show, at 5 p.m. Saturday, September 5, at Opus 40, Harvey Fite’s magnificent 6.5 acre environmental bluestone sculpture at 50 Fite Road in Saugerties.
At the same time, Dupree has a new recording ready for those who will attend the show. This will be his 13th release, dating back to 1980 when he was nominated for a Grammy for the hit “Steal Away,” followed by another, “Hot Rod Hearts.” Most are filled with original songs (though he did do an EP of covers back in 2012, entitled Arc of a Romance). This new one is entitled Anthology: Live 1998-2014, and is a collection of performances throughout that period.
“This one includes an array of all the people I worked with during that period of time. Although I had bands before that, that’s when Robbie Dupree and Friends came about. From Larry Hoppen to David Spinozza, to Brian Ray, who’s with Paul McCartney now…David Sancious, all of them are on there. I had so many good recordings throughout the years and no place to put them.” All the work mixing and mastering the recording was done locally. “It turned out to be interesting project musically and sonically.”
The recording includes the hits, played with some of the original players, Peter Bunetta, Rick Chudacoff, Arno Lucas, as well as others who were in bands during the 1980s and 90s like Annie Lang, Tom Nicolson and Debbie Lan. “That kicked off the next period, where Larry (Hoppen) was in full time and David Sancious…Then when Larry passed away and the band went through changes, no one lived around here anymore, a newer version became the New York band…” That included guitarist David Spinozza and pianist Clifford Carter. “The new band is the one that played the later material. At some point there will be a volume 2, because there’s so much stuff that didn’t fit in…”
A twist to the marketing will have the new CD only sold at shows, “until touring season is over, at least. I’ll decide in 2016 if I make it available or not. I’m rolling it out here, selling it on the tour I’ve been on all summer. In a way, it’s a thank you to the people who come out to the live shows. Many have been supporting me since before ‘Steal Away,’ back in the 70s. It’s nice that they get first crack at it.”
For this new round of shows, Robbie will have Doug Yowell on drums, David Spinozza on guitar, Manny Quintana on percussion, Deidra Broderick, keyboards, Bill Harris on saxophone. “Zhana Roiya, she’s been singing with me for the past year, she’s great. I’ve been playing with Deidra, who replaced Clifford Carter last January. She’s playing keyboard and bass on the keys. And she sings…It’s really special, it sounds great. I’m really lucky to have this thing rolling…”
As for the venue, he says “for a long time, I’ve wanted to do something for Opus 40. There have been different opportunities but nothing timed right for me. They called me up and so this is the perfect time to support a treasured venue like this. 50 percent of the total gross goes to them. People come out and support it, they are helping to support Opus 40 and keep it rolling.”
Gates will open at 4 p.m. concert starts at 5 p.m. Lawn seating only. (Please, no dogs.) Refreshments will be sold — Opus 40 asks that no coolers be brought in.
Tickets for Robbie Dupree and Friends are $30 in advance, $40 at the gate (kids 12 and under are free). You may make reservations at www.opus40.org/reservations/ or by calling 845-246-3400. Tickets can be purchased at the Opus 40 admissions office, at Mother Earth stores in Saugerties, Kingston and Poughkeepsie, at Headstock in Woodstock, at Town and Country Liquors in Saugerties, and at Convenient Deli in New Paltz.