Lynn, Duggan return for Holiday Concert with local guest

From left, Tyler Dezago (fiddle), Peggy Lynn (guitar) and Dan Duggan (hammered dulcimer) rehearse at BluSeed Studios in Saranac Lake Friday. Their holiday concert is tonight at 7 p.m. (Enterprise photo — Griffin Kelly)

SARANAC LAKE — Musician Peggy Lynn stood on stage, rehearsing her original song “Be the Light,” which describes the Winter Solstice. The whole time she sang, she also signed the lyrics in American sign language.

“It’s all about the theme of light and the darkest time of year,” she said. “When the nights are darkest, we yearn for the coming of longer days. Whether the dark is sadness or something evil, we can be the light for each other.”

Lynn and her husband and musical partner Dan Duggan will perform their annual holiday concert tonight at 7 p.m. at BluSeed Studios. Multi-instrumentalist and recent Paul Smith’s College graduate Tyler Dezago will accompany them as a special guest.

Duggan and Lynn are known for their unique arrangements of seasonal tunes and masterful harmonies. Together their unique holiday concerts help celebrate the season.

The two have a traditional folky sound, playing instruments such as guitar, piano and concertina, which is like an accordion. Duggan’s primary instrument is the hammered dulcimer. It’s kind of like a piano, but instead of hitting a key, which then triggers a hammer to strike taut strings, the musician is physically striking the strings with two thin mallets. The resulting sound is peaceful yet intricate.

The concert will feature classic Christmas songs, some religious tracks, a few parodies and also a couple of originals.

Duggan said creating a new Christmas song is a little bit of a funny process, seeing as there tends to be a definitive list of Christmas songs that have been performed and played on the radio for decades.

“There are different classifications of Christmas songs,” he said. “There’s music from the church that has been around forever, and then there’s all this great music from the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s that have become classics — ‘I’ll Be Home for Christmas,’ ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,’ ‘The Christmas Song.’ Then there are more modern songs. We don’t dabble in things like Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want for Christmas Is You,’ but we add to the genre. Peggy wrote one about the Winter Solstice, and we’re Unitarian, so I’ve written a few for our church. It’s just really nice to have new music. It’s great to have arrangements with some of the classics, but it’s good to have a few of your own in there, too.”

If you go …

What: Holiday Concert with Dan Duggan and Peggy Lynn

Where: BluSeed Studios, 24 Cedar St., Saranac Lake

When: 7 p.m. Saturday

How much: $15, $12 BluMembers