50th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION!
"Hooray for The 8th Step!! Long may it flourish. Perseverance, perseverance! perseverance!" - PETE SEEGER
Against the backdrop of the Civil Rights era, Vietnam and the infamous widespread student unrest, The Eighth Step opened its doors at 14 Willett Street, just eight steps down from an alleyway off Willett Street, in the basement of 1st Presbyterian Church of Albany. On opening night, more than 100 teens and young adults enthusiastically streamed in for hot coffee, folk music, and dialogue. It became an autonomous, 20-year project with its own board and bylaws. It also rapidly became a haven for restless youth in a tumultuous time.
Shared interests in poetry, guitar & protest music, theater, peace, justice & coffee created a lasting, if eccentric, community. As to the name, some say it reflects the number of steps to the original entrance. Others insist it originated in a metaphysical theory popular in the counterculture at that time: the eighth step bridges the gap from life to the enlightened hereafter--one foot in each world. This one fits - "The Step" was home to Pete Seeger's Sloop Clearwater Pumpkin Sail, Readings Against the End of the World, Kanatsiohareke Welcome Concerts, and Phil Ochs Song Night. Producing over 60 concerts each season, we introduced a steady stream of fine folk performers, including Greg Brown, Patty Larkin, Del McCoury, Dar Williams, Ani DiFranco, Bucky Pizzarelli, Frank Vignola - and, literally, hundreds of others.
Fast forward to Proctors 2017 and we celebrate a decade as an independent company in residence, still presenting the finest acoustic performers of our time. Join us as we celebrate with artists who represent the substance of our music. Happy Birthday to Us!
***GOLD CIRCLE TICKETS INCLUDE PRE-SHOW ARTIST MEET & GREET AND FRONT CENTER SECTION SEATS!