Towne Crier Cafe, Hub for American Roots, Jazz and World Music Since 1972, Re-Opens in Beacon New York with Stunning Decor, Farm Fresh Food and Authentic Sound from Sennheiser
Beacon, NY, December 17, 2013: One of the best music scenes in New York is actually just outside New York City — approximately, 65 miles north in Beacon, New York. The city’s newest jewel is the Towne Crier Cafe, which combines an exquisite Americana-style restaurant, an intimate performance space and authentic sound from Sennheiser — all within a striking new facility designed from the ground up. While the venue is new to Beacon, The Towne Crier Cafe has an established legacy as one of New York’s most unique performance venues, hosting both emerging and established musical acts from here and abroad.
The Towne Crier Cafe, which is near the banks of the Hudson River and close enough to draw audiences from northern New Jersey, southeastern Connecticut as well as New York, is situated in an ideal location. Beacon has a vibrant artistic community with galleries, a thriving music scene and one of the world’s largest contemporary art museums: Dia: Beacon. Towne Crier owner Phil Ciganer says the club has received a warm reception from the surrounding community since its opening — partly because it continues to attract fans from all over the region: “On any given night, people who know The Towne Crier will show up because they’ve known us over the years,” he says. “When people come here, they also enjoy other parts of the town. The city is enjoying a renaissance and we are all working together to make it a nice, regional focal point.”
The facility in Beacon was an oversize warehouse before Ciganer put pencil to paper and began transforming it into an exquisite performance space and restaurant. “Everything from the framing, to the electric, to the sound system had to be built — it was a major project that took more than nine months,” he recalls. Once all the construction and interior elements were complete, Ciganer turned his attention towards the sound system. “The most important thing for me was to have the best sound anywhere,” he says. “We want people to be comfortable here and experience great music.”
The Towne Crier’s relationship with Sennheiser began over a decade ago when Greg Beebe, then a product manager for Sennheiser U.S. and now its president, paid a visit to Ciganer. “Greg was very impressed with what we were doing here and offered his support, so we began using Sennheiser at that point and have been very pleased with the sonic quality and durability of the microphones since,” he says. “When we moved to Beacon, I thought it would be a good idea to reconnect and strengthen our ties, so Tim Moore [Sennheiser artist relations] came to visit to assess the sound requirements we had in the new space.”
Moore recommended a package of Sennheiser’s evolution series wired microphones to cover vocals, piano, acoustic instruments such as guitar, fiddle and mandolin, as well as drums and other instruments. This included several e 935 dynamic microphones for vocals, e 914 small diaphragm condenser microphones for piano, acoustic instruments and room ambience, e 906 dynamic microphones for guitar cabinets and several other microphones including the e 902, e 904 and e 905 to cover drums and other instruments.
Joe Johnson, front of house for the Towne Crier, is elated with the performance of the evolution series, which he has running into a Soundcraft Performer 3 digital console and a Meyer P.A. system: “The e 935 is one of the best vocal mics I’ve ever heard,” he says. “The e 914s have a nice, open presence and a firm low end. We also use these as overheads on the drums — they are so versatile.” The e 935 was recently used as the vocal microphone during a performance by legendary songwriter Jimmy Webb. “Jimmy has such a unique voice and an unusual microphone technique,” says Johnson. “With the e 935, you could really understand the diction and his lyrics.”
While the Towne Crier Cafe has established itself on an entirely new level, its overall vision remains the same as it was in 1972, says Ciganer: “Since the beginning, the music has always been the most important thing to me,” he says. “I have always associated Sennheiser with high quality, and Sennheiser microphones have helped us get the sound to where we wanted it to be.”
Sennheiser is a world-leading manufacturer of microphones, headphones and wireless transmission systems. Established in 1945 in Wedemark, Germany, Sennheiser is now a global brand represented in 60 countries around the world with U.S. headquarters in Old Lyme, Connecticut. Sennheiser’s pioneering excellence in technology has rewarded the company with numerous awards and accolades including an Emmy, a Grammy, and the Scientific and Engineering Award of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
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1) Songwriting great Jimmy Webb performs through a Sennheiser e 935 dynamic microphone and a pair of e 914 small diaphragm condenser microphones on the piano to an enthusiastic audience in November, 2013.
2) Joe Johnson, front of house for The Towne Crier, mixes a show using a Sennheiser e 935 microphone so artists can hear him clearly through stage monitors.
3) Singer/songwriter Sam Gleason sings through a Sennheiser e 935 dynamic microphone with an e 914 small diapragm condenser microphone on his acoustic guitar.