Sounds Local

Sounds Local: Concert series’ eyes on summer

Submitted Photo
The Equalites, fronted by David Boatwright, have been an integral part of the valley reggae scene for over 25 years. The band  will be wrapping up the winter concert series for the Wendell Full Moon Coffeehouse. This show will take place on Saturday, May 17, at 7:30 p.m. and will also feature open mic performances by folk group June & the Bee and singer-songwriter Andrew Geano.

Submitted Photo The Equalites, fronted by David Boatwright, have been an integral part of the valley reggae scene for over 25 years. The band will be wrapping up the winter concert series for the Wendell Full Moon Coffeehouse. This show will take place on Saturday, May 17, at 7:30 p.m. and will also feature open mic performances by folk group June & the Bee and singer-songwriter Andrew Geano.

It’s that time of year when winter music series start winding down and summer programs begin to announce their schedules.

Such is the case this weekend when the Wendell Full Moon Coffeehouse wraps up the 2014 winter season with a show by the reggae band, The Equalites. This show will take place on Saturday, May 17, at 7:30 p.m. and will also feature open mic performances by folk group June & the Bee and singer-songwriter Andrew Geano.

The Equalites, fronted by David Boatwright, have been an integral part of the valley reggae scene for over 25 years. The band, which describes its sounds as a mix of roots rock and reggae, performs original compositions mixed in with covers of classic reggae and soul music.

It is music made for dancing, which guarantees that the Equalites will lend a celebratory mood to this final show of the season. As you know, the coffeehouse has a great dance floor and for this show, they are going to clear out the chairs so there’s even more room to move.

The Full Moon Coffeehouse will resume its monthly schedule in September.

Partial proceeds from the show will go to benefit the Millers River Watershed Council.

The coffeehouse is located at the Wendell Town Hall at the center of town. Admission is sliding scale of $7 to $15 (cash only). For more information, call 978-544-5557 or visit wendellfullmoon.org

As for summer music series, these schedules are beginning to shape up:

Paul Newlin, the force behind the Watermelon Wednesdays summer music series in Whately has announced that he has completed booking of the shows and will be release the 2014 schedule in the very near future.

The Coop concert series that is held at the Energy Park will launch on Thursday, May 29, at 6 p.m. with an in-the-round performance that features some of the Coop members. As with past years, these shows will be held every Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. throughout the summer at the Energy Park, 50 Miles St. in Greenfield. The shows are free, but tips to support the running of the concerts are always appreciated. The full schedule will be released in the coming weeks.

Mountain Park in Holyoke only hosted a few concerts last summer and we were beginning to wonder if they were going to have any this year, but last week they finally announced their first show of the summer. On Sunday, Aug. 2, at 4 p.m. The Led Zeppelin tribute band Get the Led Out will bring a whole lotta rock to the mountain. Advance tickets are $25 for general admission and $35 for reserved seats. Tickets are available at the Northampton Box Office, online at www.iheg.com or charge by phone at 413-586-8686.

Songwriters in the Round

I am constantly amazed by the number of talented songwriter’s working here in the Valley. Singer-songwriter Jamie Kent of Northampton feels the same way.

“There’s so many great writers in this area, and we’re not collaborating nearly enough,” said Kent.

As a solution to this, Kent came up with the idea of having the Valley Music Collective (a group he organized that supports and promotes local musicians) host an evening of singer/songwriters performing together at the Parlor Room in Northampton tonight at 7 p.m.

Performing will be Joshua Meltzer, an award-winning songwriter from Northampton whose work has been covered by artists like Robbie Robertson of The Band. Sarah Blacker from Boston, whose heartfelt songs have led to her music being labeled “sundress rock.” is also part of this lineup.

Then there is Roger Salloom of Northampton, a longtime fixture on the local music scene who has been called the “America’s Best Unknown Songwriter.” Salloom is the subject of the award-winning documentary, “So Glad We Made It.”

Rounding out the group will be Kent, who has been touring the country in support of his latest CD, “Embers and Ashes,” which finds him taking his music in more of an Americana direction.

The four singer-songwriters will perform on stage together, sharing songs and stories.

“I really wanted to bring together some of my favorite songwriters in the area and also people who I knew shared the same vision for collaboration,” Kent said about his the songwriters he chose for this show. As a recipient of an ASCAP award for songwriting, Kent has spent time in Nashville working on his songwriting, which is where he got the idea for this show.

“There is something really amazing about the songwriting culture in places like Nashville where in-the-rounds like this are happening every day,” said Kent. “Great writers are constantly creating songs together and there is so much writing talent in the Pioneer Valley that if we can get that community established, it could really be a powerful thing.”

Tickets are $15 and available at the door. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and music begins at 7 p.m. This is an all ages show. BYOB (beer and wine)

For more information visit www.collectivemusicconcerts.com or www.parlormusic.com

Midnight Swerve opens Pothole Pictures

If you plan to attend the Pothole Pictures showing of the documentary “Food For Change,” when it is shown at Memorial Hall this weekend, do get there early. The reason for this is that you will want to catch the 30-minute set by the jazz band Midnight Swerve, which will precede the movie. “Food for Change,” which is about the food cooperatives in America, is being shown on Friday, May 16, and Saturday, May 17, at 7:30 p.m. each night.

The film was produced and directed by Steve Alves of Home Planet Pictures in Turners Falls. Alves will be on hand to answer questions about the film and he will also be on hand playing guitar with the band Midnight Swerve.

Alves recently teamed up with fiddle player Kenny Butler and bassist Marcia Day to form the band, which specializes in playing jazz songs from the 1930s. The band made its debut performing before 500 people at the premiere of “Food for Change,” which was held in St. Paul, Minn., last October. The group’s tasteful interpretation of old songs like “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love,” and “After Your Gone,” will serve as the perfect introduction to what promises to be an interesting film.

If you would like to hear some of the band’s music beforehand, visit www.midnightswerve.com

Memorial Hall is located at 51 Bridge St. in Shelburne Falls. Admission to the movie is $6 adults, $4 children 12 and under.

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 soundslocal@yahoo.com

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