Sounds Local: Music galore post-Thanksgiving weekend

  • Roger Salloom. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

  • Simon White CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

  • The Whiskey Treaty Roadshow.

By SHERYL HUNTER
Published: 11/23/2021 4:00:27 PM

It will be like old home days at Hawks and Reed Performing Arts Center in Greenfield when a couple of longtime favorites return this weekend- rootsy rockers The Whiskey Treaty Roadshow will hold a release show for its new live recording “Recovered” at the Greenfield venue on Friday night at 8 p.m. then on Saturday singer-songwriter Roger Salloom is back for his annual show which this year will include a special free showing of the documentary about his life “So Glad You Made It: The Saga of Roger Salloom, America’s Best Unknown Songwriter” The award winning film by Chris Sautter will be shown at 5 p.m and Salloom’s performance will be at 7 p.m.

The Whiskey Treaty Roadshow, also known as the Treaty are Tory Hanna, Billy Keane, Chris Merenda, Greg Smith and David Tanklefsky. The group first came together at the venue ( then the Arts Block) in 2012 when event organizer Susie Hanna put together the Whiskey Treaty festival which featured singer-songwriters who all hailed from either the hilltowns of Franklin County or the Berkshires and of course shared a love of whiskey. The event was a success so the participating musicians decided to do a few more shows together and before they knew it they had formed the Whiskey Treaty Roadshow, a band that would showcase the singing and songwriting talents of all five members.

The Whiskey Treaty Roadshow released its full-length debut, “Band Together” in January of 2020 and was gearing up for a big release show at the Shea Theater in March of that year when the pandemic hit. If you caught their rowdy rockin’ set at the Green River Festival this summer you know the band has made up for lost time. This show will double as a Thanksgiving celebration and a release show for “Recovered” a collection of cover songs from the band’s January 2021 live-streamed benefit concert that raised more than $13,000 for the Berkshire Community Action Council to be put towards lost income in the service industry due to the Global Pandemic.

“Recovered,” features the group’s interpretations of mostly well known songs from their banjo driven version of U2’s “One” to a powerful take on Springsteen’s “The Rising.” The rootsy spin they give songs like Arcade Fire’s “Keep the Car Running” and the passion they infuse in each of these eight tracks makes this a winning collection.

“This project was a total labor of love and we couldn’t be more thrilled to be putting it out this holiday season,” said the band. Those who attend this show will be the first to get their hands on a hard copy (CD, no vinyl yet) of this new release.

Tickets available at www.HawksandReed.com

On Saturday night it’s Roger Salloom whose history playing Hawks and Reed also dates back to the Arts Block days. This holiday show marks his annual stop at the venue and he will be joined by his ace band as well as special guest blues singer Janet Ryan who will also play keyboards.

Salloom has been well known on the local music scene for many years now, delighting audiences with his annual free show at Look Park and at these gigs in Greenfield. His honest folk music and the stories he tells between songs are what make his shows so special. Look for a mix of covers and and originals including songs from his latest CD, “Hearty” and some new material to be played at this show. And of course there will be some holiday favorites, including his classic”The Talking Christmas Blues,” an all too real look at the family drama that surfaces over the holidays.

Salloom is currently working on a new album that is being produced by singer-songwriter Jamie Kent, a native of Northampton who now resides in Nashville. Salloom and Kent paired up for a show at the Calvin Theater in Northampton last month.

You can get a glimpse into this new material by checking out a new video for the song “I’m Free.” The song is a life affirming number about surviving a major illness, a subject Salloom knows all to well having experienced a near fatal heart attack in 2009. The video can be viewed on YouTube and was directed by Piper Preston. Work on the album is coming along but as Salloom pointed out is complicated by the fact that Kent is in Nashville which means Salloom has to record his parts and then send them to Tennessee to be completed. He said it’s worth it, as Kent is getting some topflight musicians from the city to contribute to the project. We’ll let you know when the album is done, in the meantime get your holiday celebrations off to a strong start by enjoying a night out at this always enjoyable show.

Tickets available at www.Salloomconcert.com

Simon White releases solo album “The Wishing Tree”

Simon White of Wendell has been fronting the band Rhythm Inc. for almost ten years, but his new EP “The Wishing Tree” which will be released tomorrow (Nov. 26) is a solo project. He will host a release party Friday night at 9:30 p.m at Bishops Lounge in Northampton.

“I started working on this project while living up in Maine during COVID and it was hard to get the full band together at the time so I played most of the instruments, wrote programmed and engineered most of the music myself, also my father died last fall and I felt the need to create music myself ,” he said of his decision to release a solo EP.

“The Wishing Tree” was recorded at at Blank Space studio in North Berwick, Maine and was engineered and Produced by Giles Stebbins.

“Giles also helped write and arrange a lot of the material,” said White of his friend’s participation in the project. “Me and Giles have been working on music most of our lives and are childhood friends and grew up together up in the hills of Wendell.”

“The Wishing Tree” is nine songs that blend old school reggae, hip-hop, and rock as songs takes the listeners on a musical journey where White navigates his way through love, loss and healing. It’s a powerful listen, but one that will have you dancing as well.

White has been a longtime presence on the local reggae scene and formed his first band at age 14. He also launched the Wendell reggae festival in 2019. His love of reggae music stems back to his father’s influence.

“My Father was in the Ethiopian Coptic church and lived in Jamaica for 10 years and was back in fourth from Jamaica my whole life so I grew up submerged in the Jamaican reggae culture. He was also a full time musician and had a soukous Reggae band based in the valley in the ‘90s called UFB “Urban Family Band” so I grew up in a musical house hold, said White who started playing various instruments at a young age.

The loss of his father was huge blow to Simon compounded by the fact that his Uncle passed away three day later. The singer-songwriter said music and working in the studio has been a life saver during this difficult time. And now he’s ready to share this batch of songs with his audience. White will be backed at this show by Rhythm Inc. who are still very much together. Roots reggae band, Wheel Out will open.

$5 admission at the door.

Sheryl Hunter is a music writer who is a native of Greenfield and currently resides in Easthampton. She can be reached at Soundslocal@Yahoo.com


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