Hudson Valley Musicians

From classic rockers to child prodigies, the Valley is home to a seemingly end­less number of gifted musicians representing every genre and age group. This all-access pass introduces some of the area’s leading established artists, each paired with a promising local up-and-comer. Take a glimpse at some of the hottest talent north of NYC

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kristen capolino and earl slickGuitarists Kristen Capolino and Earl Slick

Photograph by Michael Polito


Earl Slick

Currently lives in: Pine Bush Hometown: Brooklyn Has been playing guitar for: 46 years
Guitarist Slick’s unforgettable riffs have helped shape the sound of rock ’n roll today. He’s performed with rock icons including David Bowie (on the Young Americans and Station to Station albums, and the Reality album and tour), John Lennon, and Slinky Vagabond — a supergroup featuring members of Blondie and the Sex Pistols.

Why guitar? During that time [the 1960s], there was a bizarre overnight explosion of music. Everyone was bitten by the Beatles bug, and we all wanted to be in a band. But when I first saw the Rolling Stones I was like, “Okay — this is what I want to do.” So the Beatles made me pick it up, but the Stones kept me going. Do you know any of the Stones? I’ve met Mick, Keith, and Ronnie Wood; they always came out to Bowie shows in London. And when Jagger and Bowie recorded the track “Dancing in the Street,” Jagger requested I play guitar on it. How did you hook up with Bowie? A friend of mine told me that David wanted a new guitar player. By that time I’d been performing around New York for six years, so I went to the audition — the last audition I’ve ever done — and we hit it off. I’ve been in and out of the band from 1974 until six years ago. Favorite thing about performing? It’s one of the only times I ever feel absolutely okay. I’m not thinking; I’m just there. It’s effortless. You’re just in a state of being. It’s a state I’d like to be in 24 hours a day. Current project? Just recorded a solo project with a few other musicians, doing covers of stuff I’m into like obscure Rolling Stones songs, some Mississippi Fred McDowell, and the Beatles. How did it go? Oh my God, it was great. My son Lee Madeloni played half the drum parts, Bowie’s drummer Sterling Campbell played the rest. Have you and your son performed together? Never live, but he played on a track that Robert Smith sang on for my album Zig Zag. Impressions of Kristen Capolino? That kid ain’t going nowhere but up. She’s got it. And she’s young, so she has all the time in the world to get to the next level. Best thing about living in the Valley? I feel like I have more freedom. I wanted space, privacy, and a place for my dogs to run, and I found it here. Also, I like playing my guitar and music loud — you can’t do that in the city, no matter how much you pay for a place.

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