16 bands, 36 musicians take part in Good Music Makes Good Neighbors event in Montague

  • Blu-Groove performs instrumental arrangements of blues, jazz, funk, and soul tunes, inside a home on Taylor Heights in Montague during the fourth annual Good Music Makes Good Neighbors festival, on Saturday, May 19, 2018. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • People gather inside a home on Taylor Heights in Montague to listen to Blu-Groove perform instrumental music during the fourth annual Good Music Makes Good Neighbors festival on Saturday. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Blu-Groove performs inside a home on Taylor Heights in Montague during the fourth annual Good Music Makes Good Neighbors festival on Saturday. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Daniel Hales and the Frost Heaves perform at the Town Hall in Montague during the fourth annual Good Music Makes Good Neighbors festival, on Saturday, May 19, 2018. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Daniel Hales and the Frost Heaves perform at the Town Hall in Montague during the fourth annual Good Music Makes Good Neighbors festival, on Saturday, May 19, 2018. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Daniel Hales and the Frost Heaves perform at the Town Hall in Montague during the fourth annual Good Music Makes Good Neighbors festival, on Saturday, May 19, 2018. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

Recorder Staff
Published: 5/19/2018 7:09:07 PM

MONTAGUE CENTER — As rain fell outside, dozens of Montague residents huddled inside the old 1858 Town Hall, tapping their feet and enjoying jazz, soul, funk, punk and all sorts of local music.

It was the fourth annual Good Music Makes Good Neighbors event, a Montague music festival described as a “musical house tour of the porches and patios of Montague Center,” and modeled after Boston’s Porchfest.

The 16 bands and 36 musicians — at six locations across town — originally expected to be jamming outside on residents’ porches, but the weather forced them inside. Still, no amount of rain could dampen the musicians’ spirits.

“I think it’s been awesome. This town does this and it’s so great for community building,” said Noah Dowd, guitarist for Northampton’s noise-pop trio The True Jacqueline.

When The True Jacquelinet finished its booming selection of originals in the upstairs basketball court, they received a rousing ovation from the audience.

Like The True Jacqueline, all of the bands and artists who played were local.

“I feel like that’s what a music scene is about. It’s kind of faded now in the internet age,” said Dowd, who was refreshed to play for a local crowd, alongside local musicians for the second year in a row — and for fun, not for profit.

Good Music Makes Good Neighbors is the community music project of organizers Nicole Nemec and Matthew Duncan. While the event is technically free, they encourage people to leave a $10 dollar donation, all of which goes toward supporting the local acts.

The organizers say, “trust us, no one is getting rich,” and that each musician makes about $20 for the day.

However, from Orkestar Banista Trio playing at 1 Center St., to Blu-Groove playing at 28 Taylor Heights — the organizers’ home — there was a strong sense that the day was not about money or notoriety, but community.

“There’s a lot of diversity here. It’s really for everyone, the whole community,” said Blu-Groove bassist Eric Colbeck, who bounced around to watch different bands before joining his own band at 3:40 p.m. for their own eclectic soul-funk-jazz mix.

Everything from John Lentz & Friends’ “blues-based vocal tradition of American jazz music,” to World Eaters’ “polyrhythmic psych-punk with horns,” to BB Leowolf, the one-man-band and “down-home rock-and-roller” were represented at the Montague Center gatherings.

Judith Lorei, who hosts the “House C” venue each year — her own 7 North St. home — said the diversity in musical styles is what makes the event unlike a traditional concert, as well as truly reflective of western Massachusetts.

“There is something for everyone,” Lorei said. “You could literally find anything you want here.”

Change of venue

Lorei’s porch, given the weather, was not an ideal venue Saturday, so she was able to get the town to open up the 1858 Town Hall next door as a last-minute concert space.

What was important, though, was that people ignored the rain and still came, she said.

“It’s a good opportunity,” Lorei said. “Neighbors come together and share their spaces.”

Reach David McLellan at dmclellan@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 268.




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