Take a giant bowl, mix in equal measures of blues, old-time Appalachian music, jug band sounds, gospel, bluegrass, punk rock and modern Americana, stir it all up vigorously and the resulting gumbo is Spuyten Duyvil (Spite-en Die-vil), one of the hottest bands in folk and acoustic music during the past last five years. Based in New York’s Hudson Valley, this six-member ensemble is centered on the husband and wife songwriting duo of Mark Miller and lead singer Beth Kaufman. And it all began so simply: The gift of a bouzouki from wife to husband, a copy of the venerable songbook, Rise Up Singing, and a covered stone porch on which to sing, play and listen. It wasn’t long before a tribe of friends began showing up to join in. Eventually, from those sessions, Spuyten Duyvil emerged. It’s a powerhouse of a group that not only offers up raucous rootsy contemporary music but also embraces traditional folk music. The group’s members know and understand traditional music and they reinterpret it with a verve and vitality that brings it alive for a new generation of music lovers. Their latest album “The Social Music Hour/Vol. 1”, a collection of 13 traditional songs performed in Spuyten Duyvil’s inimitable way, gives strong testimony to that contention. One thing is certain: After hearing Spuyten Duyvil, you’ll be leaving the festival in a grand and joyous mood.
— Steve Winters