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Hudson Valley Folk Band Hey Bub

Hey Bub Duo, Lily and Christian, Bring Old-Time Harmonies to the Hudson Valley

By inside + out | February 11, 2023

We are Upstate NY with Lily Bergstein and Christian Joao, a musical duo that brings their love of “old-time” music to audiences across the Hudson Valley. If you’ve seen their show, Hey Bub brings together multi-generational communities who love their foot-stomping joyful music. Let’s get to know these Upstate New Yorkers!


INSIDE+OUT: Where are you both originally from and how did you wind up in the Hudson Valley?

Lily Bergstein + Christian Joao of Hey Bub Band: We both grew up right here in New Paltz, NY and have lived in the Hudson Valley for most of our lives.

What is it about the Hudson Valley that makes it unique to live + work + play music here?

The Hudson Valley is unsurpassed in its beauty and natural charm. We both enjoy hiking wooded paths, swimming in the cold mountain streams and riding bicycles on the extensive trail networks that connect the various towns and villages in our robust community. The relationships that we have cultivated as members of this unique and intimate community have afforded us continual opportunities to perform and share our music with a wide variety of listeners.

Lily & Christian from Hey Bub Band in New Paltz NY on stage at sunset for the Rosendale Festival

How did you both get your start in music? How did you and Christian meet and become a musical duo?

We both became interested in music when we were children through singing as well as guitar and ukulele. Our parents and communities have encouraged our individual musical growth and we have both participated in numerous musical groups, bands and vocal ensembles over the years. Christian studied music at SUNY New Paltz and in 2016 Lily booked the band he was playing with at the time to perform at her college in Vermont. We began dating the following year and this naturally led to us playing music and performing together.

What are some of your favorite musicians and who would be your dream come true to play with?

We both enjoy a wide variety of music and musicians and are inspired by so many different artists. We love Gillian Welch and David Rowlings and include several of their compositions in our live sets. We also love The Beatles, Rhiannon Giddens, Bob Dylan, Taj Mahal, Pete Seeger, Lake Street Dive, Lawrence and many, many more!

Lily & Christian from Hey Bub Band in New Paltz NY in the woods hiking
How did you come up with the band name?

Lily came up with the name. It’s based on one of the nicknames we call each other which is Bub. “Hey Bub” is a common greeting that we use with one another and it seemed like a natural fit for the name of our duo.

Your website says “Bringing multi-generational communities together through live music.” What does this mean for you and why is it important?

For us it is significant in that we wish to share our music with as wide and diverse an audience as possible and we love playing for people of all ages. In recent years we have visited several retirement communities in an effort to spread music and merriment among the elders in our community. Just last week we had the opportunity to perform for one of our youngest fans who is only two and a half years old. So, we really do consider our audience multigenerational for these reasons.


Do you have future plans for the band or other projects on the horizon?

We currently have numerous live performances scheduled throughout the spring and summer of 2023. Lily updates our social media pages regularly if you are looking for an opportunity to see us perform! We often have local guest musicians sit in with us during our sets including fiddlers, vocalists and sometimes even tap-dancing. We have also been in discussions with some local recording studios and it is likely that we will be putting together an album of our music in the near future.

I hear Christian offers guitar lessons – tell us about that. And Lily, what do you do when you’re not making music?

In addition to guitar, Christian also offers private lessons on a variety of other musical instruments including saxophone, flute, clarinet, recorder, piano, ukulele and more! During the week Lily works in the mental health field as a Peer Specialist for a local nonprofit organization based in Kingston called OnTrack NY.

How do you get your bookings, and where do you typically perform?

Lily manages our group and does an amazing job with booking. She has a remarkable talent for networking and is always reaching out to local venues and cultivating mutually beneficial partnerships with like-minded business owners. We have made a lot of great friends and connections with Hey Bub and are grateful to everyone who has supported us along the way.

Promotional photo of a gig on stage with pink lighting singing and playing guitar with Lily & Christian from Hey Bub Band in New Paltz NY
Do you produce CDs, sell them online, and is that important to you as a performer?

We are currently in the early stages of producing our first album. The best way to hear our music is live and in person, but you can also check out some great live clips on our social media pages. In the future we look forward to sharing recorded arrangements of our songs with our audience in the form of CDs and various music streaming services.

“Old-Time music is often tinged with sadness but there is also a profound current of joy contained within the melodies”

What impact does your music have on your community?

Music is special in that it can affect listeners in so many unique and individual ways. Our hope for Hey Bub is that we bring our audience feelings of enjoyment as well as a true sense of relatability. Old-Time music is often tinged with sadness but there is also a profound current of joy contained within the melodies. We feel that every listener should be free to experience and interpret our music on their own terms as a reflection of their individual life experience and we invite you all to come and share in that collective journey together.

What local businesses do you both rely on to be successful?

Hey Bub relies on many local businesses and organizations in our community to help us achieve our artistic and professional goals. Whether it’s grabbing a bite to eat at a little cafe or printing out lyrics at the local library. Our community is always there to support us and there is always a friendly and familiar face to greet us when we arrive. We are especially grateful to all the wonderful venues, farmer’s markets and restaurants that have granted us the opportunity to share our music publicly and expand our listening audience and we look forward to cultivating even more great relationships within our local community!

What is missing in the area that you wish we had?

This one is tricky to answer because we are so proud of our community and blown away by all the effort and hard work that goes into making it a unique and wonderful place to live. If anything, we just wish that there are always great places for musicians and artists to share their gifts with the world and we always welcome new creative spaces for performers to flourish and thrive.

Lily & Christian from Hey Bub Band in New Paltz NY being silly in the car

With Genuine Joy, Lily Bergstein + Christian Joao

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Follow Hey Bub website | Facebook | Instagram

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