String Theory, for Foot-tappin’ Festival Fun

String Theory is probably one of the most diversified musical groups you’ll ever hear. 


They are best known for their lively and captivating Bluegrass, but their reportoire  also includes everything from Gospel to Metallica and from the Beatles to the Rolling Stones.  Oh, and let’s not forget to add in Classical music, just for good measure.

String Theory has been performing together for about six years and includes A.J. Noto on Bass Fiddle, Jim Barbero on vocals and mandolin, Terry Kedley on guitar, dobro and vocals and Mike Kedley on banjo, guitar, fiddle and vocals.

During the winter months, the group “holds court” on Tuesdays from 7-10 P.M. at Johny’s Irish Pub in Rochester, NY where they host the Bluegrass Open  that attracts both regulars and newcomers who show up to jam.

But this talented quartet is as comfortable playing at festivals and weddings as they are at Irish Pubs.

“We get hired for a lot of weddings because, as a string quartet, we can play classical music for the wedding, switch to fiddle ballads and waltzes for cocktails when the bride and groom are having photos taken, and then play a combination of bluegrass, popular tunes and dance music for the reception.”

 You can catch the fun and foot-tapping tunes of String Theory at the Canandaigua Art & Music Festival at 1 P.M. on Friday, July 17.

John Cole Blues Band, Whole Lotta Music Goin’ On

John Cole grew up in Union Springs, Alabama and was encouraged to play music by watching his  brothers.


“I watched how they played and I just picked it up.  I grew up listening to old blues records but I wasn’t inspired by any particular artist.  I guess if I had favorites, they were in country music.  I was listening to the Grand Ole Opry in the early ’50s when I was in fifth or sixth grade.  As a kid, I knew more about country than I did about the blues.”

John had always played guitar, but he became a vocalist overnight when, during a performance with the band “The Flaming Rockets,” the vocalist walked off the stage over a dispute with the band’s organist.  John realized he had to sink or sing. 

After playing with a number of bands, including that of the legendary Joe Beard, John now has his own band composed of Ted Mosher on Bass, John Chaffer on drums and Gian Carlo Cervone on piano and organ. 

 Although a few country pieces have made their way into his band’s reportoire, the John Cole Blues band is known primarily for their heartfelt blues accompanied by rich and soulful vocals and dynamic musicianship.  Songs like “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” and “Mustang Sally” explain why his music appeals to a broad audience.

“My older brother told me whether you have a room full of people or just one person in the room, you gotta give ’em your best.” 

That philosphy has made the John Coles Blues Band one of the best-loved and most well-known bands in the region.

Don’t miss the John Cole Blues Band when they perform at the Canandaigua Art & Music Festival on Saturday, July 18 at 7 P.M.

Troyka, Back to the Future of New Wave Rock

When audiences hear guitarist and vocalist Ian Mitchel, bass player Neil Dreger and drummer Mike Reed of Troyka, they’d think the band had been together far longer than their two years. 


The three men bring their diverse musical talents and background to bear in creating a sound that is new and genuine, yet joyfully reminiscent of the best of 80’s New Wave peppered with elements of fusion, jazz and indie rock.

The three work well together and enjoy collaborating on their music.

“We have a lot of fun and it shows when we perform.  We’re creative and we enjoy making good music that’s entertaining and intellectual.  Because of that, it appeals to a  broad demographic.”

 Troyka has been compared to groups like Rush, U2, REO and VanHalen, but listen to their music video Samantha, and the  influence of The Police is also very apparent.   And although they may be compared to different groups, their music is fresh classic rock.

“We’ve been playing a number of festivals and events recently including the Lilac Festival, the East End Festival and the Canandaigua Art & Music Festival.  We’ve also been expanding the clubs we’re playing in…Canandaigua, Rochester, Plattsburgh and now, New York City.  We’re looking to open for larger acts.”

The group recently released their first album, Turn on Your Life, available through CDBaby.  When asked what the future holds, Ian responded, “Like they say in the ending of Back to the Future, ‘Your future is not written yet!’ ”

You can look forward to a live performance byTroyka at the Canandaigua Art & Music Festival on Friday, July 17, at 5:15 p.m.

Madeline Forster, Golden Voice Reminiscent of the Golden Age of Jazz

If you close your eyes and listen to Madeline Forster‘s sweet, rich voice caressing the lyrics to songs such as “Willow Weep for Me” and “Dream a Little Dream of Me,”  don’t be surprised if you’re transported back to a 1940’s style supper club.   The lovely songstress from Fairport, NY has always been inspired by legendary female jazz vocalists from the Golden Age of Jazz such as Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughn. 

Just You, Just Me by Madeline Forster

Just You, Just Me by Madeline Forster

Her many followers might be shocked to know that for a time, she thought of giving up music in favor of psychology.

“I enjoyed music all my life, but it wasn’t until my first year of college that I realized how much I missed music and singing.  I took vocal jazz lessons and started singing professionally my senior year.”

Now, Madeline Forster can be heard performing at clubs and restaurants throughout Rochester, and can be seen regularly at The Little Theatre Cafe and at Bistro 135.  Madeline was also invited to perform at the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival this year.

Her first album, Just You, Just Me was released in April to critical acclaim and she happily shared, “”I’m delighted that it’s done better than I could even have imagined!”  Just You, Just Me is available through her website and also at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CD Baby and Record Archives.  CLICK HERE for samples of her music.

You can enjoy the golden voice of  Madeline Forster as she performs with her band at the Canandaigua Art & Music Festival on Saturday, July 17, 2009 at 3:15 PM.