There was a time
they measured your worth,
by what good you did,
while you were on earth,
Before money ruled,
and success was defined,
By celebrity fools,
there was a time
Neil and Alexia Howard, the new owners of the Colony are both passionate fans of Tom Pacheco. Says Neil, “Tom was the first act that we booked a while back. We had talked to him because he has his traditional Memorial Day show so we locked him in fairly early. He has been sort of the Colony icon. We’ve seen him play here at least four times.”
And so it will be that Woodstock’s mercurial singer/songwriter will perform at the grandly refurbished yet still venerable establishment on Saturday, May 27 of Memorial Day Weekend. The show will open with a set by Joseph McNulty at 8 p.m. (Doors open at 7 p.m.) The Colony is at 22 Rock City Road, Woodstock.
Though not as well known across the America he chronicles in thousands of songs, Pacheco is a treasure to Woodstock, and has been playing the Colony annually since 2001. “When I first moved here around 9/11, I started playing the Colony,” he says. “That was right after the Colony opened up. I did my first show there two weeks before 9/11 and it has become a tradition since then. The first show was Labor Day.” He became a fixture at the club at least once a year, sometimes twice a year, bookending summer on the holidays.
He’s much more familiar to audiences in Europe and Scandanavia, and his vast catalogue is represented by more than 20 recordings that are still in print as CDs or available digitally.
Pacheco writes stories of outlandish characters (Jack the Ripper, DB Cooper, etc.) and wild adventures, but he’s also a staunch advocate of human rights and carries the torch of the topical folksinger, naming, without fear, the abuses that people and countries can perpetrate upon one another.
“The country is in trouble now as everybody knows,” he says. “It kind of reminds me of the early 60’s about activism growing. I see people of all ages out there, baby boomers and millennials starting to wake up and I am happy to see that. All artists should be writing or painting about what is going on now.”
Pacheco’s most recent recording, Boomtown, was released in 2015 and he will be playing some songs from it. “All kinds of songs, not only political and topical songs. It’s not going to be a downer show at all,” Tom relates. “I’ll also be playing 4 or 5 new songs that nobody has ever heard before.”
Shortly after, he’ll be on his way overseas. “I’ll be leaving for tour on June 11th and be gone for three weeks in Scandinavia, Holland, Belgium, Scotland, England, Norway, Sweden and Denmark.”
There, he finds a warm reception. “Whilst Mr. Springsteen draws on the inspiration of Guthrie, Seeger, etc.; Pacheco is the real thing, cut from the same cloth as those guys, with the same dust on his boots, and the same song in his heart,” says Steve Morris of NetRhythms.co.uk.
He’ll also begin work on a new recording…”a combination of love songs from all aspects of love, and it’ll have some topical songs in there too. I am probably going to call it Romance and Revolution. I will probably start it in Oslo, Norway and it won’t be out for quite a while…”
And Pacheco remembered Woodstock writer Gary Alexander, a close friend who passed on this month. “To me Gary was one of the kindest and gentlest souls that I ever met and incredibly talented while at the same time he was a great writer, cartoonist, played music at one stage of his life. He helped so many artists…Gary was responsible for my doing shows in America…”
“We are very excited for Tom’s show and for what we have in store for the summer,” says Neil, still putting the finishing touches on the building, explaining how he’s planning a gallery space for artists.
“I am looking forward to playing the Colony. Neil and Lex seem to be fantastic people,” affirms Tom.
Pacheco will be joined on stage by Brian Hollander on guitar and Dobro, and Bruce Milner on keyboards.
Tom Pacheco will perform Saturday, May 27 at The Colony, 22 Rock City Road, Woodstock. Doors open at 7 p.m. Joseph McNulty opens at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 and $18 and are available at 845-679-7625 or at http://www.colonywoodstock.com/