Born-and-bred Saugerties guitarist Connor Kennedy is somewhat of a virtuoso. He took up guitar as a teenager "to feed my obsessive nature,” he told us in 2017
. "It gave me something to do every day for three to five hours after school."
He went from local open mic nights (starting at the green age of 13) to being, arguably, the Hudson Valley music scene’s fastest-rising young prodigy in the blink of an eye. By 21, he was sharing the bill at local events with fellow Woodstock local Amy Helm, which they continued to do through the pandemic with their Curbside Concerts series. And at 24, he was recruited to play guitar for Steely Dan founder and Rock and Roll Hall-of-Famer Donald Fagen's new band, The Nightflyers.
Now at the ripe old age of 26, with more than a few dreams already checked off his list and a drought of live gigs for the foreseeable future, Kennedy seeing to another of his passions: barbecue. Since the beginning of August, he has been manning a pop-up called Eat ASAP Barbecue at The Pines
every weekend. He fashioned the handmade smoker out of a 500-gallon oil tank in three weeks with the help of Steve Heller from Fabulous Furniture. But you know what they say, the proof is in the pork.
And apparently, the self-taught Kennedy is good at everything he does. The first two weekends instantly sold out with lines nearly to the road. Using real Catskill Mountain wood (no chips or charcoal), Kennedy is smoking up brisket, ribs, pork, and turkey low and slow, and dishing it up with sides like collard greens and pimiento mac 'n' cheese.
In summers past, Kennedy would use Levon Helm's old smoker at The Barn, and throughout this past winter and quarantine, he worked on perfecting his recipes.
See what the virtuoso is up to now this weekend. Eat ASAP Barbeque will be at The Pines this Sunday, August 30, from 3pm until they're sold out. The Pines' kitchen is also open for outdoor dining and take away, Thursday through Sundays, 3-8pm.