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I have a small favor to ask.

You see, we spend a whole lot of time over here being pretty single-minded about Roll magazine, trying to find out what’s happening around the area in the realm of arts, community, and lifestyle. We’re pretty sure we have a good handle on what we think could be useful information for you, if you’re inclined to experience the cultural possibilities of the Mid-Hudson Valley, and we feel pretty solid about our features, reviews, and highlights, and how we present the artists, groups, and events in the area in positive illumination.

But, we don’t know you very well at all, Roll Reader. I’m fairly certain that you do exist, as you seem to pick up our magazine with the same volume and frequency every month (unless someone’s playing a cruel hoax!). I just honestly don’t have a real sense of what happens once that stack disappears. Though some readers know or recognize me personally and offer encouragement, comments, and suggestions, I really don’t get much feedback in general, good, bad, or indifferent. So…the favor:

Could you please take 5-10 minutes, and send an email to us—at—telling us what you think of Roll?

Granted, it’s an informal poll, clearly not designed by experts. I just need to hear something back from you, Dear Reader, doesn’t have to be anything major. Just what you like, what you don’t like, what you miss, how do we look? Do you read the whole thing? Are the listings useful to you? (That one is important, we do work awfully hard on them; we try to make sure everyone is included. Mostly, I hear from those we missed.) And do you like the website?

It would be easy for us to just plow ahead doing the same old thing, thinking everything is cool. But we would prefer trying to improve this magazine, and we could use your help. So, please, think it over, and drop us a line.

Meanwhile, as the last of the salt is rained off the roads and the trees burst with buds and birds….there is music in the air! And we’ve got it. Though we interviewed internationally-known composer George Tsontakis last November, we wanted to get a follow-up on the fruits of his residency with the Albany Symphony, which led to our learning about the amazing artistry of David Krakauer, King of the Klezmer Clarinet! We also have Woodstock’s favorite son, Marc Black , with a new CD, weighing in on the hydrofracking fracas with his timely, “No Fracking Way,” which offsets his more whimsical works like, “Ooh, I Love My Coffee.”

This month we also feature six diverse artists, who have a group show at actress/comedian/artist Denny Dillon’s The Drawing Room Gallery in Stone Ridge: an ideal place to experience the present and future of Hudson Valley art. Young collegiate actors take on The Who’s Tommy at SUNY New Paltz, and we have an interview with the folks at Catskill Mountainkeeper, who have much to say about protecting the water, habitat, and overall life in the region. (Their April 11 anti-fracking rally in Albany was a big success!) All this plus our peerless listings, highlights, CD reviews, Dollars & Sense, and some cool recipes….there’s your May Roll!

So, we do hope you enjoy it. And please, when finished, take a few minutes and drop us a quick note, especially if you appreciate the effort. And if you don’t like Roll, well, we do welcome constructive criticism, but please don’t be a hater. There’s enough of that sort of thing in the world already.

Wishing you all merriment in May! And thanks again for reading Roll.

Ross Rice, Editor

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