Halloween Concert provides evening of macabre, yet lighthearted fun
By JOSHUA THOMAS
CANAJOHARIE — For the third consecutive year, the Upstate Chapel hosted its Halloween Concert, beckoning locals to the cavernous sanctuary of the repurposed former-catholic church to hear some spooky music — including tunes performed on the facility’s second story pipe organ — and to witness performances by some of the local area’s most talented singers, dancers, musicians, artists and storytellers.
The tone of the proceedings was morbid, yet carried a light, humorous touch, most notably the songs performed by the Valley Bog Players, featuring John and Kathy Walsh and Roland Vinyard, who spun creepy, engrossing tales of the macabre.
The third song performed by the group, “Isn’t It Grand,” described in the program as “a traditional Irish song about funerals and death, sung heartily,” contained the humorous, yet haunting refrain, “Let’s not have a sniffle, let’s have a bloody good cry. And always remember, the longer you live, the sooner you’ll bloody-well die.”
The Valley Bog Players returned to the stage for the second to last performance of the night, playing the Vinyard original “The Ballad of Pete Hauer.” The song was created after Roland’s friend was involved in a still-unsolved crime in the 1970’s that left one eleven-year-old boy dead, found in the cave where Hauer had presumably placed his body, leading his killer to suicide.