The iconic Nancy Atlas will be returning to Bay Street on October 7th at 8 pm. For over the last twenty years, this prolific songwriter, entertainer, mother, and community leader has been a stalwart presence on the East End, helping others often while perhaps neglecting her own needs.
For her fans, the last twenty-plus years of great shows have gone by quickly, but so has the journey of real life. She responded to this notion by saying, “I am glad (folks) remember it sweetly! It’s a mire of thorns and roses for sure. The best parenting advice I ever received actually came from Little Anthony (Speck in the Sea), who told us to pull our kids closer when they are going through rough patches and, shall we say, making the wrong decision. And when I say that, I don’t mean it with rose-colored glasses. We get into the thick of it with them and try to guide them through it. This generation has a lot to navigate, and I actually sympathize with them. Snapchat. Pandemics. They’ve been handed a full deck of cards as young adults.”
Many believe Nancy Atlas has been both a catalyst for change and a preserver of tradition on Long Island. Oh, and then there is the fact that she has become a Long Island icon. What could be next? How will it affect her Bay Street show this year?
Again, pure Long Island modesty and honesty come pouring out in her answer when she says, “Those are pretty lofty terms. I would not say I’m an icon, but I would say that I am part of a current generation of artists that has loved this land and shown up for it. Being part of a community means putting your time in, and I do, at this age, have a sense of being a real part of that.”
Yet there is more, there is the soul aspect, as Nancy says, “I love seeing what my friends will paint, write, or produce next, and it is a joy and a kinship to be living here and creating together.” Speaking of creation, new recorded original music is coming soon! “I am about to go into the studio this fall,” she said, “which has been long overdue.” She plans on recording a solid batch of original songs, with titles such as “Hustle and Beg,” “The Bottle is Your Bride,” “Gone Baby Gone,” “All Night Long,” to name a few. She said she is proud of the writing and diversity and is looking forward to going back to her happy place, which is the studio.
For Nancy Atlas, this fall is a joyous one. She stated, “The kids are thriving, my oldest son is starting to look at colleges, and I am artistically ripe. For anyone who has ever suffered from misdiagnosed Lyme, they know how thankful they are just to be feeling normal again. Mine had progressed so far into my brain and spine that they thought it was MS. And it wasn’t… it was just a case of getting a new doctor.”
So yes, she has a lot to celebrate. One of her symptoms, aside from the five months of headaches and crippling pain in her hands and feet, was an overall brain fog. She said, “For a writer, the inability to write feels like a guillotine over your head with your hands tied behind you. It is both humbling and scary. So, to be back in a place where my spirit and my body feel connected again is just magic for me. People have asked me this summer why I have worn so many shiny, sparkling outfits, and it is truly because I am happy to be alive and Lyme-free. I would also like to shout out Tapp Franke of Standwellness in Watermill for being part of the puzzle that helped heal me. She was amazing.”
As for the Bay Street show on October 7th, she said she is looking forward to a crisp October night, with the sun still setting at a normal time. People can put on a lovely sweater and enjoy a special meal at places like “Cappuccino,” “The American Hotel,” or savor an amazing burger at “The Corner Bar.” Then, they can walk down the street to see a show featuring some original music written in that town. The lineup will include Johnny Blood on Electric Guitar, Brett King on Bass, Denny McDermott on Drums, Joe Delia on Keys, and Greg McMullen on Pedal Steel. She ended by saying, “I am truly looking forward to sharing some stories and music with everyone at the start of our joyous fall ahead.”