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The mystique of Roadside Mystic

KEENE VALLEY -Three years ago, Roadside Mystic was born.

The band was formed in Keene Valley where founding members Brad Hurlburt and Russ cook live and grew out of their collaboration on a now-defunct band and their shared passion for old country blues and late 1960s, early 1970s rock.

"We really hit it off while learning the covers, so we just kept studying and learning together after that band broke up," said Hurlburt.

The two initially played as an acoustic duo known as Back Porch Society, a moniker they still play under today on a regular basis. However, Roadside Mystic emerged when Hurlburt and Cook wanted to branch into an electric four-piece group with bassist Derek Lavoie and drummer Scott Renderer.

"It started getting confusing for our friends and fans as to what they were going to see when they came out to watch us play, so we decided to give the electric project its own name and identity," explained Hurlburt.

Since then, Roadside Mystic has played several venues, bringing their "straight ahead rock and roll" to places like The Waterhole in Saranac Lake, Zig Zags in Lake Placid, the Recovery Lounge in Upper Jay, and the Great Range in Keene Valley, among other locations.

"We tend to like players from the Hill Country of northern Mississippi, although we, of course, listen to Delta players, as well as ragtime players, like Blind Blake, from the Piedmont," Hurlburt said, talking about some of the band's musical influences.

Though the band members have each played in Plattsburgh before, their first time playing together as Roadside Mystic will be next Saturday, Jan. 8, at the Monopole. Hurlburt said the band is "really excited about the show."

"I love Plattsburgh," said Hurlburt, who is a city native and graduate of Plattsburgh High School and the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. "I love my life in Keene Valley, but, for a part of me, Plattsburgh will always feel like home. It can be a very blue collar city, but it also has a surprising amount of cultural things going on without being pretentious, which is one of the things I really love about the city."

(Editor's Note: Roadside Mystic's performance at the Monopole next Saturday will start at 10 p.m. Fans can stay up-to-date on happenings with the band by searching Roadside Mystic on Facebook and MySpace. The band is also currently recording their first album, which they intend to release this summer under the title "Electric Forest.")

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