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Riverhead vineyard rocks with wine and music

Paul Mahos of New Life Crisis performs Friday

Paul Mahos of New Life Crisis performs Friday in the first summer concert at the Martha Clara Vineyards in Riverhead. (June 29, 2012) Credit: Michael Cusanelli

Paul Mahos jumped off the stage and strutted into the crowd during his set on Friday night at Martha Clara Vineyards.

Strumming his guitar, Mahos moved through a handful of dancing fans as the Riverhead winery started its second annual summer concert series.

“You really get to connect with the crowd,” Mahos said of the concert venue at the vineyard. “It’s very immediate.”

More than 100 attendees enjoyed wine and hors d'oeuvres while listening to Mahos and New Life Crisis perform at the sold-out show.

The summer concert series will feature four different bands and will run through the end of August. Music coordinator Christine Battelli says she likes to feature different types of musicians to offer different shows throughout the summer.

“I don’t like to do the same genre every time,” Battelli said. “I want variety.”

Mahos’ band New Life Crisis has been performing for more than a decade in  bars and concert venues on Long Island. Recently, the Suffolk County natives had a song featured on the Hamptons-based television show “Royal Pains.”

“For a little band on Long Island, we’re doing a lot of stuff,” Mahos said.

Members of the crowd went wild as New Life Crisis played original songs as well as cover-versions of hits by Johnny Cash, U2 and Chris Isaak.

“He’s amazing,” said Anne Cozzani, 52, of Islip. “They’re a great band.”

Included in the concert series is the Dave Matthew’s tribute band Ants Marching as well as the  reggae/calypso act The Next Level Band.

“It’s a small intimate venue,” said Juan E. Micieli-Martinez, the general manager of Martha Clara Vineyards. “We’re always trying different things that will grab different people.”

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