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Folk music with a twist at the Koffee Kat

Matt Hall, right, performing with Peter House in one of Marco Polio’s many incarnations.

Matt Hall, right, performing with Peter House in one of Marco Polio’s many incarnations.

PLATTSBURGH — This Saturday, four acoustic acts will perform a punk-infused spin on folk and bluegrass music at the Koffee Kat.

Local acts Marco Polio and Agent 922 will share the evening with Todi Stronghands from Halifax, Nova Scotia and Byron from Guelph, Ontario, all starting at 7 p.m.

The only consistent member of Marco Polio is vocalist and guitarist Matt Hall, who also serves as the vice president, events coordinator and public relations coordinator for ROTA Gallery in Plattsburgh.

Marco Polio starts with Hall’s songwriting, and from there a rotating cast of collaborators join him both on recordings and on stage.

The music Hall creates has a message that reflects the decisions he makes in life.

“All my songs are about industrial civilization and technology and their effects on nature and the individual,” Hall said.

Adhering to that message, Hall’s work with ROTA attempts to encourage people to interact with one another in the real world instead of online, and to connect people with local culture.

“There aren’t a lot of outlets for home-grown, local culture to thrive,” Hall said. “I feel like that’s really important as a building block for any community.”

And for Hall, that’s where music comes in.

He cited the blues, American folk music and hip hop as direct voices for people’s lives, and added that those forms of expression are imbedded in the cultures from which they sprung.

The musicians performing at Koffee Kat emulate some of those characteristics, too.

“The two musicians coming from Canada are genuine folk musicians,” Hall said. “They’re writing and playing and speaking about what is going on in their lives and in their culture.”

The word ‘punk’ often implies something else, though, and that something is loud, unapologetic and abrasive.

But Saturday’s show is acoustic, and punk is merely one ingredient used to complete a unique recipe.

“Don’t let that word turn you off,” Hall said. “This is melodic music; it’s not assaulting at all.”

If you go:

The show begins at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 2 at the Koffee Kat, located on 104 Margaret St. in Plattsburgh.

There is no cover charge, but the musicians are accepting tips.

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