STUART – When you think of hippies, what comes to mind? Guys with long hair in a ponytail? VW vans covered with painted flowers? Tie-dyed, well, everything?
While his hair may not be long anymore, Bill McDonald is still rockin’ the tie-dye look as part of the musical group the Old Hippies. McDonald, along with his wife Kay, are the main base of the band, though several other folks they call their ‘family of artists’ come to lend their talents to different performances.
The McDonalds are snowbirds, dividing their time between Stuart, Florida and Batavia, New York. They met while making music and have been together ever since.
Bill McDonald explains that the Old Hippies share the values and ideals of the 1960’s and 70’s hippie culture. He believes that these ideals are still are very much alive and have certainly informed his own personal philosophies.
Hippies were considered counterculture revolutionaries in their day. They stood for peace, love and changing the world for the better- a radical idea for the time- though we as a global community seem to still be having these same conversations in the present.
Musically, the Old Hippies run the gamut from the 1950’s through the 70’s. McDonald describes their sound as “americana”, and includes country, bluegrass, and even some more modern music.
From a statement on their webpage, “The music of the Old Hippies is acoustic and a varied brand, be it their own creative songs or recognizable covers from a golden musical era: the fifties, sixties and seventies and on and on..., nostalgic to those who lived it and romanced by those who didn't.”
In the age of Covid, the Old Hippies consider themselves among the more fortunate artists and entertainers. They survived the pandemic shutdown, which severely crippled the entire arts and entertainment world, by offering what they dubbed their “Home to Home Concert Series for the Common Good”, an on-going weekly live stream concert, with the first one taking place March 17th, 2020.
Bill McDonald says the weekly live stream concerts can be seen and enjoyed from just about anywhere in the world that has an internet connection.
A recent post on their Facebook page states, “As we ease into more of a social musical experience, we will continue to offer the live streams along with invitations to those comfortable attending our live shows. We remain trying to make the best of it like everyone else remaining safe, traveling along the trail, enjoying the ride, we will open our windows and allow some fresh air in and our music out for all to enjoy...”
The Old Hippies will be performing live at Hippie Fest, happening Sunday, May 2nd, 2021 from 4:30pm to 8:30pm, at Terra Fermata in Stuart. Tickets are $3.50 in advance and $5.00 at the door. Doors open at 3:30pm.
“Old Hippies will leave everyone with a smile on their face, peace in their mind, and a song in their heart!”