Sounds Local: All types of love
On Friday, Feb. 14, at 9 p.m., at the Arts Block in Greenfield, Trailer Park will play a benefit show for Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Franklin County. Based on past shows, the dance floor will get a workout.
Healing Through Justice
Live music from the Amandla Chorus and Fire Pond, pictured above, will be part of a benefit concert Thursday, from 7 to 8:30 p.m., for a woman seeking to attend the trial in Louisiana of a man suspected of murdering her daughter decades ago. There will also be dramatic readings of letters between the mother and daughter. See “Potpourri.”
1794 MEETINGHOUSE, 26 South Main St., New Salem. Saturday, 7:30 p.m. Darlingside, “string rock” quintet. New York City-based singer-songwriter Caitlin Canty will also appear as a special guest. Darlingside features five songwriters, a mandolin, a cello and violin, guitars and drums, a chorus of voices and a van named Chauncey. Promoters say to expect a “seamless, exhilarating sound at the intersection of rock, classical and folk music.” $15. Tickets can be purchased in advance at www.1794meetinghouse. Tickets also may be purchased at Bruce’s Browser, 1497 Main St., Athol. Tickets available the day of show. For more information www.1794meetinghouse.org or call 978-544-5200.
Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays that we typically associate with romantic dinners and roses, but this year the day falls on a weekend and as a result there are a variety of musical events happening that will put an extra emphasis on love songs. (All kinds of love songs I might add, so no need to worry about a saccharine overload.) So whether you are part of a couple or happily single, here are a few of the love-centered events that are occurring in the next couple of days.
When Fire Pond, the duo of Evenline MacDougall and her partner Doug Reid, take the stage at the Great Falls Discovery Center Coffeehouse, 2 Avenue A, in Turners Falls on Friday, Feb. 14, at 7 p.m., it will be a night of all types of love songs (love for the earth, each other etc.).
“I imagine most people wouldn’t want to sit through a whole evening of wall-to-wall gooey love songs,” MacDougall said. “Not everyone has a sweetheart or partner, either by choice or circumstance. Valentine’s Day can be tough for some folks, especially when they’ve lost a loved one. We’re crafting the show to celebrate love in its many forms.”
MacDougall and Reid have been performing together for about five years, first as members of the Green River String Band and then together as Fire Pond. Some of their Fire Pond shows have been just the two of them while others were collaborations with the Amandla Chorus, of which MacDougall is the founder and director.
Reid plays banjo, ukulele, guitar and accordion while MacDougall plays violin, viola and accordion. They blend their voices together as they explore a variety of musical styles that include swing, old-time fiddle tunes, Celtic, gospel, eastern European music and folk.
MacDougall even provided us with a glimpse into the evening’s song book: there will be a mix of romantic tunes (Elvis’ “Love Me Tender,” Bill Staines’ “Roseville Fair,”) some done-me-wrong songs (Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice”) broader songs of Love (“A Living Prayer” by Ron Block) and a treasure trove of instrumental tracks.
Since they are still grieving the loss of folk legend Pete Seeger, they hope to have a Seeger tune (“Kisses Sweeter than Wine”) ready for the show.
And taking a cue from Garrison Keillor and his “Prairie Home Companion” show, Fire Pond is going to invite people to write messages on homemade valentines that they are bringing. They will pick some out of a hat and read them at different intervals throughout the show.
“We’re encouraging not only romantic messages, but also platonic, admiring, encouraging, community-building messages. Should be fun!” MacDougall said.
Admission is sliding scale of $6 to $12, children are free. The doors open at 6:30 p.m. For more information, www.greatfallsdiscoverycenter.org or 413-863-3221.
A Valentine’s weekend at the Arts Block
The Arts Block, at 289 Main St., Greenfield, will have a trio of shows that begin tonight with a Valentine’s edition of Thursday Night Jazz featuring the 14-plus piece New England Jazz Orchestra. The music begins at 7:30 p.m. and is free.
Then, on Friday, Feb. 14, at 9 p.m., the brass-heavy rockers Trailer Park will play a special benefit show for Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Franklin County. These guys certainly have big hearts because last month they played a benefit show for the Mohawk Regional music department. And don’t forget, The Arts Block has room for dancing. Advance tickets are $10 and please note tickets for this show are not being sold at the Arts Block website. They can be purchased at bbbs-fc.org or by calling 413-772-0915. Tickets will be $13 at the door.
On Saturday, Feb. 15, the Arts Block’s favorite jazz and blues vocalist Samirah Evans will present an evening of swinging classics and love songs for those who still feel the love in the air after Valentine’s Day. For this show, Evans will be joined by pianist Bob Merrill, bassist Peter Concilio and drummer Claire Arenius. “Not only will the music be hot, but this group knows how to have fun and it’s bound to be infectious,” Evans said.
Advance tickets can be purchased for $15 at theartsblock.com or by calling 413-774-0150. Tickets at the door will be $18. The Smithsonian Cafe, which is located at the Arts Block, serves dinner each night from 5 to 8 p.m.
Sweethearts’ night out at the Parlor Room
Some musical couples from the roots music world will join together at the Parlor Room, 32 Masonic St. in Northampton on Valentine’s Day at 8 p.m. to both the sweet and the scary side of romance.
Performing will be fiddler Darol Anger, who is considered one of the most innovative fiddle players in the world, and his partner Emy Phelps, who is described as “the golden voice of the Northwest.” Also on hand, from Brattleboro, Vt., will be bassist Corey DiMario, one of the founders of the band Crooked Still, and fiddler player and singer-songwriter Lissa Schneckenburger. They will perform music from their perspective as couples, with original songs and old favorites from every musical genre.
Tickets are $17 in advance and available www.parlorroommusic.com, $20 at the door. This is a BYOB (beer and wine) venue.
Darlingside brings the love to Wendell
The Darlingside show at the Wendell Full Moon Coffeehouse on Saturday, Feb. 15, at 7:30 p.m., doesn’t seem to be jumping on the Valentine’s Day bandwagon, but we mention it anyway because well, they have the word “darling” in their name and they are just a great band. If you aren’t familiar with Darlingside, it’s a quartet from Boston by way of Hadley, an indie-folk band that blends harmonies with lots of strings, like cello, violin, guitar and mandolin. The group has lush harmonies and its melodic songs have an deep infectious quality to them. And this may be one of your last chances to see Darlingside in an intimate venue like the Full Moon Coffeehouse because this is a band on the rise. It has been selling out venues throughout the Northeast and is currently recording an EP with Heather Maloney. That release is expected to come out in mid- March.
Should we mention that the band has a lot of love songs in its repertoire (“Still” and “My Love”), and I wouldn’t be surprised if it pulls a few out for this occasion.
Admission is by a sliding scale of $7 to $15 (cash only) and this is an all-ages show. For more information, call 978-544-5557 or visit www.wendellfullmoon.org.
Zydeco Connection shows some love for the Philippines
The members of the Greenfield- based band Zydeco Connection are asking you to share the love this Valentine’s Day when it hosts a fundraiser for the Philippines at the newly built Greenfield Country Club, 244 Country Club Road, Greenfield. (The Greenfield Country Club is donating this space for the event.)
The show will take place on Sunday, Feb. 16. This is an afternoon show that will begin at 2 p.m. and wrap up around 6 p.m. The band is asking that you grab you dancing shoes and, in the process, help out the Philippines. Proceeds benefit Plenty International and Doctors Without Borders for Philippine relief efforts.
And, in honor of Valentine’s Day, Lil’ Cyn, the accordion player for Zydeco Connection, has informed us they have worked up a few Zydeco love songs, including “Nobody Else but You” by Brian Jack, “On a Night Like This” by Bob Dylan, “Hey Baby” by DJ Otzi with a zydeco twist, “Late in Life,” a beautiful French melody sung in French about falling in love late in life, “More than I can Say” by Leo Sayer and the “Wedding Day Waltz.” That’s quite a roster of tunes to help get you in the mood for love.
Admission is $10 at the door. : www.reverbnation.com/ zydeco connection.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Sheryl Hunter is a music writer who lives in Easthampton. Her work has appeared in various regional and national magazines. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org