The Finger Lakes art scene is something to treasure. Stocked with familiar favorites and new innovators, the region hosts an eclectic mix of excellent art.
As a voice serving the community, the Finger Lakes Times aims to highlight such valued neighbors. That’s where this column comes in.
“Sit for a Spell,” punning on my last name, will run biweekly and feature local performers and presenters of various mediums.
This week, I caught up with Frank Meyer of the duo Meyer and McGuire. Having played together here in the Finger Lakes for almost 30 years, Meyer and (Siobahn) McGuire bring a wealth of experience and ease to the table. Narrowing in on a folk, Americana, and country sound, they blend classic covers with original songs. Some familiar songs in their repertoire include “Brown Eyed Girl,” “Norwegian Wood,” and “Johnnie B. Good.” Meyer and McGuire released a new single in 2020 called “A Little Thought I’d Like to Share,” a fun ramble that blends personal reflection with timeless advice.
Their performances are heartfelt; they love this music and each other. Meyer and McGuire are each other’s significant other. Occasionally, their friend Perry Cleaveland joins them on stage when his schedule permits, adding in an extra harmony and filling out the Americana vibe with his fiddle and mandolin.
After so many years playing together, they have no mind to throw in the towel anytime soon. Meyer and McGuire plan to “bop until they drop.”
How did you meet?
Meyer: We met in a bar, George Cullen’s, in 1979. It was on Ridgeway and Dewey avenues in Rochester. It is no longer there. After running into each other on and off for three years, we moved in together in 1982.
Tell me about your first show together.
Meyer: We first performed together in Buffalo Bill’s Family Restaurant in Shortsville in 1992. The restaurant is no longer there. Prior to this I played with other groups and did solo shows. Siobhan McGuire was and is my significant other, and she ran my sound. After she learned to play bass, she joined me on stage in 1992. She was nervous, but she did a great job in her first show. Next year will be our 30th anniversary as a duo.
If you could meet any musician, no matter the year, who would it be?
Meyer: That’s a tough one. The top three for me are Willie Nelson, John Prine, and Bob Dylan.
Do you have a favorite song you enjoy playing together?
Meyer: “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere,” The Byrds’ version of a Bob Dylan song. It’s the first song we learned together, and we still play it after 30 years.