“True music must repeat the thought and inspirations of the people and the time.”
— George Gershwin
New York’s Hudson Valley has long been a haven for artists and musicians- a source of inspiration and a place to call home. Many popular singers and songwriters were born and bred here, from the Isley Brothers to Tito Puente to Mitch Miller and Kurt Weill. Even Cyndi Lauper spent summers in Tuxedo Park.
What is it about the Hudson Valley that seems to nurture musicality? It could be the scenic, natural landscapes, not to mention the proximity to New York City and its cultural influences and business opportunities. Aside from being a source of inspiration, the Hudson Valley is supportive of its artists.
According to Hudson Valley Wine Magazine, “The beauty and serenity of the Hudson River and its surrounding environs has been a longtime source of inspiration for artists of all types. ….A culture’s music is influenced by social and economic factors, climate, and access to technology. Varying by region and time period are the emotions and ideas that a piece of music conveys and the situations in which that music is played and heard.”
So it is little wonder then so many artists and musicians have chosen to call the Hudson Valley home. I was reminded of this recently as we listed two homes of former popular music industry veterans: Radio personality Cousin Brucie’s (Bruce Morrow) private lakefront property in Forestburgh’s Merriwold Club, a community that has been home to artists, actors, writers and economists for more than 130 years and Warren Haynes of the Allman Brothers’ stately colonial in Nyack.
190 Lakeside Road, Forestburgh, New York
Cousin Brucie’s home sits on 3.75 acres and was renovated in 2005. The result is an achievement in modernism, with 28 foot high tongue and groove ceilings in the living room, designed and crafted with reclaimed redwood from New York City water tanks. Taking in the views and privacy the property affords, combined with its easy access to Manhattan, it is little wonder he would have chosen to call it home.
Warren Haynes, the longtime guitarist for the Allman Brothers Band, chose to live in understated elegance in Upper Nyack. The impressive, stately revival-style colonial is situated on 1.7 park-like acres with seasonal Hudson River views and Hamptons in-ground heated pool.
530 N Broadway, Nyack, New York
Whether it is the ideal vantage point for watching the changing seasons, its proximity to New York City or its privacy, the Hudson Valley has inspired artists for decades- and I expect will continue to for many more years to come.