Soul Comes to Saugerties

The Morse Rocks Music and Arts Festival opens with an explosion of sound on June 17 at the Smokin’ Pony in Saugerties. Along with local heavy hitters Pitchfork Militia, Carl Mateo, Ian Flanigan and Katie Hoffstatter; Vermont sensation Kat Wright and the Indomitable Soul Band and Karma Darwin from Brewster, NY headline opening night. “The line-up of artists we have is incredible. It is mind-boggling that they are gathering at Morse Rocks,” said teacher and organizer Joe Defino. Defino organizes the festival to allow for local up-and coming-artists to share a festival experience with established professional artists and musicians.

Kat Wright

Kat Wright and the Indomitable Soul Band

Blues/ R&B/ Funk and Soul are descriptors which are used to describe Kat Wright and the ISB. They have been blazing their way around the country since 2012. Most recently, they are routinely seen stumping with presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders acting as his unofficial campaign band. They are also awaiting the release of their first full-length album due to be released in a few weeks. Along the way, they are playing to sold-out audiences around the northeastern United States.
Backed by a brilliant band featuring a horn section, keyboards, guitars and percussion, Wright immediately draws comparisons of soul’s leading ladies. She is also gritty and powerful evoking likeness to the industry’s top singers such as Grace Potter and Susan Tedeschi.

Karma Darwin

Karma Darwin playing at Daryl’s House.

Karma Darwin, like Kat Wright and the ISB, are getting ready to release their first full-length album in late May. They are described as an alternative/indie/rock band with a distinct reggae influence. Karma Darwin features a four piece band self-proclaimed as “a band that mixes high energy sound and harmonies with smooth vibrant riffs and grooving jams.”
Frequently performing at Darryl’s House in Pawling, NY, Karma Darwin generated a huge following of fans from around the greater Hudson Valley. Their music is able to seamlessly cross generations providing the beat to move younger fans and the grooves to draw appreciation from the hard to please older generation. A four piece band featuring classic guitar, bass and drums, Karma Darwin successfully embellishes classic R&B with a fresh new flavor which gets audiences out of their seats and on their feet.
Doors open at 4 PM on Friday and the performances begin at 5 PM. Single day and weekend tickets are available. The festival runs both Friday June 17 and Saturday June 18 with over 30 bands, as well as poets, comedians, visual artists and a film festival. Tickets and further information are available at, and the Smokin’ Pony BBQ located at 963 Kings Highway in Saugerties.
The Morse Rocks Music and Arts Festival is produced by Just Print It, a media creation activity for Morse students created by Defino which includes a periodical student publication of the same name; website; and JPI TV. Just Print It is currently in its 25th year.