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While Britney Spears smeared black eye-shadow on her face, local musicians made a mark of their own in the past 12 months.

The first official year of the millennium was sprinkled with monuments in time - from the death of a local folk legend to a barrage of new CDs by local rockers and pop musicians.

During the early snowstorms of the year, guitarist and singer Lo Faber used cabin fever to his advantage. Faber wrote and recorded a double-disc rock opera, "Henry's House," which was praised by music reviewers, including The Village Voice. The band subsequently toured cities throughout the U.S., promoting themselves with fame earned by Faber when he was lead singer and guitar player for the jam band God Street Wine.

Faber said he was working on a deadline to finish writing the CD before his first child, "Millie," was born on May 4.

During the summer and fall, there were new CDs released by Blues Noir, Dryer, the Father Figures, the Joe Mama Band and Phillips Head.

Then the events of Sept. 11th smashed into our consciousness before most people could emerge from a summer of carefree jam sessions. Music soothed and raised money for charities after the terrorist attacks.

Several concerts featuring Sfear, After Colony 3, Acoustic Trauma, The Distractions, the Skenesborough Renegades, Hungry Jack, C-Toe, Phillips Head and Kings English raised hundreds of dollars for the American Red Cross, the Clear Channel Cares Fund and various local emergency medical service groups.

Local musicians were saddened again with the loss of a local folk music pioneer, Lucille Tasker, who died on Oct. 25.

"She taught me how to play guitar," said Phil Camp, Joe Mama Band guitarist/singer, during an interview before the band's CD release party in November.

She taught guitar in adult education classes, and managed The Frame Coffee House for 11 years, ending in 1984. Her ties to the national folk scene connected her with Pete Seeger and Don McLean.

Tasker also organized the Hootenannies, whose performances led to Seeger's "Clearwater" folk festival.

Spirited performances greeted the holidays in the latter months of 2001.

Hungry Jack donned their usual comedic and frightening costumes and joined Great Day For Up and the Skenesborough Renegades for a Halloween performance at Luna's Underground on Ridge Street in Glens Falls.

"We were thinking about wearing regular clothes," said Hungry Jack singer Matt "Smokey Toenails" Smith before the Halloween show.

Shu celebrated Christmas with a performance on Dec. 25 at The Lagoon on Glen Street. The band's lead singer and guitarist, Bob Smith, also introduced a survey to a Web site for fans of local music - The Web site has had steady traffic by Internet surfers since Smith first designed it two and a half years ago - adding further evidence of the strong presence by local rockers and their fans.

"I have a lot of faith in local musicians," Smith said. "I've traveled around a lot, and I don't even think we in Glens Falls realize how rich we are in homegrown culture."


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