Sounds Local

Sounds Local: "So far, it has been a blast"

Ethan Stone has always been one to give back to his community. An established singer-songwriter, who divides his time between Boston and Athol, Stone, is the driving force behind the free Tool Town Live free concert series held in Athol each summer. In 2004, he made the decision to not perform in venues where alcohol is served and since then has played countless alcohol-free benefits and concerts throughout the Northeast.

Next up, he is launching a new tour that he is calling The State of the Arts Tour, in which he will perform at various schools to raise money for school music programs.

The tour will launch this weekend when Stone returns to his alma mater, Athol High School, to perform a benefit show to help raise funds for the Athol High School music department and the Tool Town Live concert series.

The show, which features Stone and some special guests, will take place at Athol High School at 2363 Main St. in Athol on Saturday, Nov. 2, at 7 p.m.

Stone is a rock musician whose music includes traces of funk, jazz and pop. He sings in a powerful voice and has said that he hopes to make the world a better place through his music.

At this show, expect him to perform material off both his albums, his 2007 debut “Ain’t That the Way” and 2011’s “Sweet Release.” Some of the guests joining him will be members of the Athol music department.

“I’m totally thrilled to be heading back to where it all started for me, Anzaldi Auditorium,” wrote Stone in a press release for the show. “I’ve been very impressed with the great work Sean Wallace and the staff and students at Athol High School have been doing with the music program there and I’m honored to be helping raise funds for AHS music and Tool Town Live, two causes that are very important to me. There will be some awesome special guests and lots of multi-instrument musical madness.”

The multi-instrument musical madness will be provided by Stone, who will sing and play guitar, bass, piano and electric drums while accompanying himself with a digital sampler and looping device. What this means is that he will be on stage alone but will be able to create the effect of performing with a full band, which makes for a show that is both sonically and visually dazzling.

“I have been working at this one-man band format for just over three years now. My first performance in that style was at a DARE graduation event back in 2010. With Alan Evans (Soul Live drummer who appeared on “Sweet Release ) busy touring the world, and my other favorite musicians busy with their own projects, I was invigorated by the challenge of doing the whole thing myself,” wrote Stone in a recent email exchange.

After trying one song in this format, he decided to perform an entire concert in this manner.

“My first full-length concert in the one-man band style was right when the “Sweet Release” album came out,” he said. “I still do the more stripped-down acoustic setup with just piano, guitar and vocals for some performances, such as when I played at the University of Washington in Seattle.”

Town Live shows concluded in September. And for those of you who enjoy seeing him perform in this manner, you’ll be pleased to know that he will set the technology aside for a few songs at this show.

“I also do a more intimate acoustic section for part of the concert and bring up special guests for a song or two so we can play as a full band with no sampling or loops, hoping that way people seeing the show feel they get the best of all worlds. So far, it has been a blast.”

Advance tickets are $8 adult, $4 for ages 18 and under and are available at Athol High School and Bruce’s Browser, 1497 Main St. in Athol. Tickets will be sold at the door and will be $10 for adults, $5 ages 18 and under. For more information visit: or

Halloween Happenings

You didn’t think we’d forget that tonight is Halloween did you? Being that Halloween fell on a Thursday this year, most clubs are waiting until the weekend to host their Halloween parties (although some had parties last weekend) but The Rendezvous, 78 Third St., in Turners Falls is the exception. So if you have you costume ready to go and want to celebrate Halloween on Halloween, head to the Voo, which will host a Halloween Hoedown starting at 9:30 p.m.

Turners Falls-based old-timey band Tawdry will be on hand to provide the music, digging out old spooky favorites like “The Monster Mash” and more. Costumes are encouraged.

Admission is free.

On Friday night, Ruby’s Complaint will host a huge Halloween bash at the French King Entertainment Center, 55 French King Highway in Erving at 8 p.m. The band took over the entertainment center last Halloween and it was such a success that they are back again. This party will feature costume contests and lots of dancing to the band’s repertoire of hits from the past to the present. There are only 300 tickets being sold to the event. Advance tickets are $10 and are available at the French King Entertainment Center and at Scotty’s Store, 106 High St., in Turners Falls.

There is another costume party Friday over at Between the Uprights in Turners Falls, 23 Avenue A in Turners Falls. This party starts at 8:30 p.m. and will feature music by three bands: Crowrider, Avedis and the Misfits cover band Static Age. $5 cover at the door.

Happy Halloween!

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

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