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From Alaska to New City: Folk Singer Brings Haunting Tunes to 'The Borderline'

Local folk music club hosts Kray Van Kirk for intimate concert.

Alaskan singer and guitarist Kray Van Kirk brings his rich, well-crafted and haunting lyrics to New City in August for an intimate concert sponsored by The Borderline Folk Music Club.

For this performance, you don't have worry about whether you'll have a good seat  since the show is literally in the living room of the home of Steve Shapiro at 7 trailside Court, New City. Van Kirk is set to play there Aug. 1 at 2 p.m.

Van Kirk, an Alaskan who plays venues from Anchorage and Fairbanks to England, Scotland and Wales, embodies the ancient minstrel, as well as the modern romantic, according to The Borderline's Sol Zeller.

Zeller says Van Kirk's voice and lyrics remind listeners of Richard Thompson, Gordon Lightfoot and the late Stan Rogers.  His journeys are in part the result of heeding the confession Calvin once made to his tiger Hobbes: "I must follow the inscrutable exhortations of my soul."

Van Kirk, who is working toward his Ph.D. in fisheries biology, brings a fresh approach with his concept of "music without borders, music without cost." He does not sell CDs. Rather his music is free to download because he thinks we have too much "stuff."

In explanation of this idea, Van Kirk says, "I divide my time between Alaska and playing concerts on the road (in Alaska and Northern Canada). Every time I finish a new song, I let it sit for a bit, and then it gets recorded and given a home on the music page with all the other little digital penguins, waiting to waddle their way across the world, leaving no footprints in the snow."

This will be his only appearance on the East Coast.

"It isn't often we get to meet a free spirit with such inner strength and the ability to share it musically," Zeller said.

Admission is $20 per person, $15 for The Borderline members. Concert attendees are asked to bring a dessert dish to share with four people.

Reservations are required. For additional information and reservations contact Zeller at 845-354-4586 or solz1@optonline.net

Borderline is a non-profit group dedicated to spreading the enjoyment of all types of folk music in the comfortable environment of the living room. A house concert contributes to a relaxed atmosphere, and people are encouraged to mingle, socialize and network.

The performers are easily accessible to discuss their music or any other topic. The Borderline Folk Music Club also presents concerts in larger but still informal venues, like the New City Volunteer Ambulance Corps building in New City, from time to time. Borderline Folk Music Club concerts are usually traditionally-based folk but the group is flexible in its definition of tradition.

The club members' interests include bluegrass, songs of the sea, old English ballads, blues, Klezmer, Civil War songs, Labor Movement songs and songs of peace and justice.

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