Sounds Local: Good ol’ foot stompin’ music at the Hilltown Hoedown

  • The Green Sisters will appear at the Hilltown Hoedown in Shutesbury on Saturday. Contributed Photo

  • The Green Sisters will appear at the Hilltown Hoedown on Saturday. PHOTO COURTESY GREEN SISTERS

Published: 10/20/2021 3:34:38 PM


The Hilltown Hoedown is back and ready to bring a touch of twang to the Shutesbury Athletic Club on Saturday, Oct. 23 at 4 p.m. This music will be provided by the Green Sisters, Eric Lee & Co., The Pistoleros, and Wild Bill and the Flying Sparks.These talented local musicians will provide a full night of country, rockabilly, bluegrass, honky tonk music and more. And in addition to all this fine music, the Hoedown which is now in its third year, will have food catered by the North Village Smokehouse.The Hoedown is presented by the Valley Twang Cooperative, a group of musicians who have joined forces to support and promote roots music. One of the ways they do this is by putting together an event like this one where a group of bands that play the same type of music play together under one roof.The lineup was assembled by musicians Peter Sikowitz and Josh LeVangie, who are both members of the cooperative and who will also be playing at this year’s hoedown. All of the 2021 lineup are alums of previous Hoedowns.There will be plenty of good ol’ foot stompin music happening at the hoedown, so let’s take a closer look at exactly what you’ll hear. The Green Sisters — Mel, Bets, Brie and Beck from Hubberston — play music that draws from all the aforementioned genres. Their sound is marked by their sweet sibling harmonies and their skills as multi-instrumentalist. Their most recent album, “Blink of an Eye,” also showcases their ability to craft a memorable melody and write some sharp lyrics.Eric Lee is talented multi-instrumentalist and songwriter who is best known as fiddle playing. One of his most recent achievements is he was awarded the prize of grand campion in a a fiddle contest at the Berks Fiddle Fest in Pennsylvania this past summer. He’s backed many local musicians like Tracy Grammer and also worked with various groups including the bluegrass band, Poor Monroe who he currently plays with. He also has a solo career where he performs his own material. He released his debut full length album “Heartache Town” in 2018.Wild Bill and the Flying Sparks from Northampton are a good old fashioned honkytonk band, right down from their cowboy hats to their pedal steel player these guys are the real deal. If your looking for some classic country and some American roots music, this is the band for you. The group have also been known to slip a bit of Cajun music, some swamp rock and Americana into their sets. Wild Bill and the boys who released a self titled EP in 2020, know how to get the crowd moving on the dance floorRounding things up are the Pistoleros led by Josh LeVangie, who handles lead vocals and guitar. The group specializes in outlaw country music they mix it up with dedicated to keeping the spirit of real country music alive. The band plays music by Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Hank Williams Sr., Hank Williams III, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and a whole lot more. Like Wild Bill, the Pistoleros have been know to inspire some serious dancing.And you can also look forward to some of the members of the participating bands to join together for some all star jamming.So grab your dancing shoes and head to the Shutesbury Athletic club, Advance tickets can be purchased at the club for $15 or you can buy them at the door for $17. The Shutesbury Athletic Club is located at 282 Wendell Road.At Hawks and Reed

AlouetteBatteau and her band will take the stage at Hawks and Reed in Greenfield on Friday night at 10 p.m.

Batteau, a resident of Shelburne Falls who is a sophomore at Vassar College assembled this indie rock band while at school as a vehicle to perform her solo work. While quarantined at home in 2020 due to COVID, she wrote and recorded a collection of songs that she ultimately released on two EPs, “Extra Vacation Days,” and “Turn Me Honest.” Once she returned to school, she put together a band and started playing shows at school. As we know making music during COVID times is challenging which is why this show at Hawks and Reed is the band’s first off campus gig.

Batteau, who is a member of the trio Kalliope Jones has played at Hawks and Reed many times, even debuting her new band, The Subletters, which includes her Kalliope Jones bandmate Isabella DeHerdt at the venue last August.

According to her press release Batteau’s lyrics “juxtapose the sweet and sour of quarantine and the sorcery and seriousness of young adulthood. Her raw emotion and empathy provide a shaken snow-globe of trapped butterfly crushes, imposter syndrome, and melted wax wings.” Expect to hear material off both her EPs as well as some new songs at this show.

The show will feature Spud Cannon, another band that got their start at Vassar, and are now starting to take off. Spud Cannon formed in 2016 and only the drummer remains a student as his band members have graduated. The group released “Good Kids Make Bad Apples,” the high energy poppy rock sound is generating some great reviews.

After both bands play, DJs will will be on hand to keep the party going.

At Ten Forward

Fans of Rubblebucket might want to head to Ten Forward in Greenfield on Saturday night to check out Kalbells, the solo project of the band’s lead singer Kalmia Traver.

Kalbells is an all female quartet that play a trippy brand of indie pop that’s irresistible, and much less funky than the music of Rubblebucket. This show will give fans a chance to experience a different side of Traver’s musical personality one that her fans will certainly appreciate.

Also on the lineup is singer-songwriter Ruth Garbus from Brattleboro.

Tickets are $20 and advance tickets are recommended. Showtime is 8 pm. Ten Forward is located at 10 Fiske Ave.

Sheryl Hunter is a music writer who lives in Easthampton. Her work has appeared in various regional and na tional magazines. You can contact her at


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