After a hiatus of many years, Opus 40 – Harvey Fite’s stunning sculpture park in Saugerties – is back at the live music game with a renewed sense of purpose and a wild sense of genre inclusivity. Opus 40 brings this summer’s lineup to a close with two notable shows this Labor Day weekend. On Saturday, September 3 at 5 p.m., former Psychedelic Furs guitarist and co-writer John Ashton brings his new band, Satellite Paradiso, out onto the rocks.
Satellite Paradiso’s sound is not at all out of character with the romantic and ethereal wall of sound of his former band, nor is it deaf to all that has transpired in the meantime. The eponymous debut release reads like a roll-call of the locally residing luminaries of alternative rock: Sara Lee, Gail Ann Dorsey, members of Mercury Rev, cellist-to-the-stars Jane Scarpantoni and many more. Ashton has introduced the new project at BSP among other venues, to enthusiastic reviews. New Paltz’s the Sweet Clementines open.
On Sunday, September 4 beginning at 4 p.m., Opus 40 aims to resemble what Washington Square in Greenwich Village looked like on a Sunday morning in the ‘50s and ‘60s: just a bunch of folks bringing guitars and banjos, joining together in impromptu jam sessions or gathering around and lending their voices to a favorite song. New York’s proper parks commissioner, Newbold Morris, described them as people who “come from miles away to display the most terrible costumes, haircuts et cetera and who play bongo drums and other weird instruments, attracting a weird public.”
Opus 40’s Washington Square program runs each Sunday throughout the summer. Admission is free to anyone who brings an acoustic instrument. For more information, visit www.opus40.org. Opus 40 is located at 50 Fite Road in Saugerties.