by Peter Aaron
Besides being one of the coolest and coziest watering holes in the entire Hudson Valley, Tivoli’s Black Swan has long been an enthusiastic and informed supporter of great live music, booking nights featuring folk, blues, reggae, jazz, acoustic rock, rap, and DJs. Over the years the rustic pub has regularly hosted intimate performances by such hand-picked faves as Cat Power, the Avett Brothers, the Felice Brothers—even Norah Jones, with her all-girl country project Puss ’n’ Boots. Recently, however, the Swan, the beloved hang of many a current or former Bard College student, has run into some trouble. And it needs your help.
In December the venue, which has been run by the genial Michael Nickerson since 2004, had its liquor license suspended and was slapped with a large fine and other costs stemming from what, to me anyway, sounds like a dubious bust. But whatever the real story is, the upshot now is that in order to regain its license and get right with the authorities the bar needs $30,000, which, not that surprisingly, its owners don’t have on hand. To raise the needed funds, Nickerson has launched a campaign via project-funding website Indieagogo that’s running right now. Besides getting the “warm, fuzzy feeling” that only comes with knowing they’re helping this famously accommodating Upstate institution keep its doors open, contributors, depending on their level of donation, are entitled to various, enticing premium perks—everything from free beverages to an “extra-special” private party for 50 people. Life would suck without the Swan, so I encourage you show your support. Here’s the link.