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Sounds Local

Sounds Local: Summer music

Green River Festival 2013 is now one for the history books. As with past years, it was a resounding success filled with memorable performances. Once the Green River Festival is over, however, it always feels like the beginning of the end of the summer. So now is the time to get out there and check out some of those summer music series that you haven’t been able to get to — particularly some of the outdoor music series. It has been a difficult summer, weather wise, making it challenging to enjoy music outside. Hopefully Mother Nature will be more cooperative for the remainder of the season and you can enjoy some of the following scheduled performances:

The Jammin’ Divas at the Greenfield Energy Park Sunday

The sound of voices joining together to sing harmony is glorious and is something that concert-goers will be able to experience in all its splendor when the Jammin’ Divas take the stage at the Greenfield Energy Park for a special “Sunday in the Park” show on July 28 from 6 to 8 p.m.

The Divas are Aoife Clancy of Ireland, Becky Chace of the United States and Kath Buckell of Australia. The Divas will by joined Hadar Noiberg of Israel on flute and Craig Akin of the United States on bass.

To get a sense of what the Divas are all about, we need to take a brief look at its members’ individual accomplishments.

Clancy, who is the daughter of Bobby Clancy of the Clancy Brothers, has worked with some of Ireland’s finest musicians, including Tommy Sands and Christy Moore. In 1995, she joined the acclaimed Irish-American singing group Cherish the Ladies and received a Grammy nomination for her work with them. She currently lives in Boston where she has worked as a vocalist with the Boston Pops.

Chace, who is from Providence, R.I., is an acclaimed singer-songwriter who has gained attention for her smoky voice and blues-flavored guitar work.

Buckell’s work as a pop/rock musician has won her a growing following here in the United States. She has recently completed work on “Faces Do Not Change,” a project that merges Australian poetry with music.

Noiberg was immersed in variety of music styles, including Middle Eastern, Eastern European, Yemenite and Moroccan, while growing up in Israel. She is also involved in the Cuban and jazz scenes of New York. Akin, the one lone male of the group, is an in-demand bassist with a strong background in jazz and the blues.

Put all these diverse sounds and influences together and you have quite a melting pot of music. The Divas specialize in traditional and contemporary folk music and you’ll hear everything from old Irish ballads to modern day folk tunes. The women switch off, with each taking turns on acoustic guitar and hand percussion. The Divas’ sound is defined by their lovely voices but we can’t underestimate the influence that Noiberg’s flute work brings to the singing threesome. An accomplished musician, be it adding a Celtic lilt or more exotic background, her playing always adds some flair to the Diva’s music.

This is a family-friendly event, so pack a picnic, bring a blanket or chair and enjoy. There is a suggested donation of $10 at the gate. For more information, or to check if there is a a weather cancellation, call the Greenfield Recreation Department at 413-772-1553.

Make a note on your calendar as the Sunday in the Park series will continue in August when Seth Glier appears on Sunday, Aug. 11, at 6 p.m.

Also, remember the Coop Concerts continue through the summer every Thursday at 6 p.m. Those are free, but donations are welcome.

New summer concert series starts in downtown Northampton

Earlier this month, The Collective Music Group, along with the Northampton BID and Coca-Cola, launched a summer concert series in downtown Northampton. The shows are held every Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. at Pulaski Park. The series has an excellent lineup and the shows are free, making it worth the drive to Northampton.

This Friday, July 26, the series will welcome Darlingside, a string rock quartet that combines violin, cello and mandolin with drums and guitar to create a one-of-a-kind pop-rock sound. The band got its start here in the Valley but is now based in Boston, so it doesn’t often perform in this part of the state.

Next week, on Aug. 2, fresh off its appearance at the Green River Festival, it’s the Caravan of Thieves. This quartet from Connecticut plays a blend of Gypsy swing and pop and brings a theatrical flair to its performances. The band is touring in support of its latest release “The Funhouse,” a word that aptly describes its shows.

Rounding out the series: The Primate Fiasco on Aug. 9, Will Evans of Barefoot Truth on Aug. 16, Salvation Alley String Band on Aug. 23, and Lux Deluxe on Aug. 30. There are opening acts scheduled for each show.

Pulaski Park is located at the corner of Main and South streets. Parking is available on the street (free after 6 p.m.) or in the nearby E. John Gare Municipal Parking Garage on Armory Street. In the event of rain, the shows will be held at the Parlor Room at Signature Sounds located at 32 Masonic St.

Upper Valley Music Festival in downtown Turners Falls Saturday

This is just a reminder that the Upper Valley Music Festival is this Saturday, July 27, in Turners Falls. The festival will be held at five different venues throughout the downtown area with music beginning at noon and continuing until midnight. There will be over 30 different musicians performing and the majority of them are local, so this is a great opportunity to get a sense of what our local music scene has to offer.

The festival will features acts ranging from the pop sounds of Una Jensen to the blues of the Wildcat O’Halloran Band and the indie rock sounds of Daniel Hales and the frost heaves. In addition to being a great chance to hear some new music, it’s a chance to explore Turners Falls venues like the Great Hall at the Great Falls Discovery Center.

A wrist band that will get you into all the shows is only $15. You can purchase these in advance at www.uppervalleymusicfest.com or at the door. Children under 12 are free. All proceeds go to benefit the American Cancer Society. A detailed schedule of who is playing when is posted at the website.

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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