Please support the Greenfield Recorder's COVID-19 coverage

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the local economy — and many of the advertisers who support our work — to a near standstill. During this unprecedented challenge, we continue to make our coronavirus coverage free to everyone at because we feel our most critical mission is to deliver vital information to our communities. If you believe local news is essential, especially during this crisis, please donate.

Thank you for your support of the Recorder.

Michael Moses, Publisher

Soaring to success

  • Ona Canoa Contributed photo

  • Hannah Mohan, of Topsy. Contributed photo

  • The Nite Caps Contributed photo

Published: 11/7/2019 11:49:04 AM
Modified: 11/7/2019 11:48:53 AM

The Shelburne-based folk group Ona Canoa has been together for only one year, but in that brief period of time the group has seen its popularity in the local music scene soar. What’s even more interesting about the group’s fast rise is that the trio that makes up the group — Chelsie Field (baritone ukulele/voice), Eliza Hollister (flute/ voice) and Tess Burdick (guitar/voice) — didn’t set out to form a band.

It happened by chance.

The three women are lifelong friends who attended Mohawk Trail Regional School together. One warm summer day, they were out enjoying a leisurely canoe ride when they started singing together. When they heard how perfectly their voices merged together, they knew they had stumbled across something special.

Since they all happened to be musicians and songwriters, it made sense to form a band. In the fall of 2018 Ona Canoa was born. The trio spent a few months working on material and then made their debut at The Root Cellar (now 10 Forward) in January. More shows followed, including a sold-out show at the Pushkin Gallery in June. With each show, the trio gained more fans. Listeners were drawn to the group’s strong three-part harmonies and impressive songwriting. In addition, the tight friendship between the three women led to strong onstage chemistry that has added to their appeal.

Now established as a live act, Ona Canoa is ready to release its debut recording, a five-song EP called “Good Dream.” The group will celebrate its arrival with a CD release show on Saturday, Nov. 16, at 7:30 p.m. at the Shea Theater Arts Center, 71 Avenue A in Turners Falls.

The EP was recorded live at Spirithouse Recording Studios in Northampton. The album was recorded and mixed by Andy Casella of Shape Recording and mastered by Kevin Butler.

“All the songs on the EP were written and arranged by members of the band. Four of the songs are fan favorites we’ve been performing over the past year, and the album’s namesake, “Good Dream,” is a brand new song,” wrote band member Eliza Hollister in a recent email.

“Good Dream” is a beautiful song that showcases the vocal prowess of Ona Canoa, as the trio sings it a cappella.

“The song was written by Tess. Our experience as a band over the last year has felt like a good dream, so it seemed fitting as the name of our first release,” said Hollister.

The first single off the album is “Sweet Time” (which you can hear now on Another Burdick composition, this one is a post-breakup song about moving on that benefits from some nice flute work from Hollister. Other songs on the EP include “Molasses,” a song about Boston’s molasses flood of 1919 and the pensive folk song, “River Rock.”

“Good Dream” will be available on CD and on all streaming outlets.

“We hope that this album captures the essence of our live performances,” said Hollister about the disc. “The lyrics and arrangements are from the heart, and we hope that listeners connect with the songs and harmonies that inspired us to form this project a year ago.”

In addition to being able to pick up a copy of “Good Dream” at the show, there are a couple of other reasons that you want to grab tickets for this event now.

Singer-songwriter Kimaya Diggs is opening the show. Like Ona Canoa, Diggs is a rising artist on the local scene. She is a jazzy soul singer with a strong voice and commanding stage presence. Her debut album, “Breastfed,” was released last year and she is now working on its follow-up.

The other big news on the Ona Canoa front is that this is going to be the group’s last show until the summer of 2020. That’s a big time gap, but the trio has worked hard this past year. “Good Dream” is the cumulation of all that work.

“Over the winter, members of the band will be traveling and focusing on other projects and goals,” said Hollister. “We will be taking a much-needed rest after our very full first year.”

So get your tickets now, for $12 in advance, at Doors to the show open at 7 p.m. For more information: 413-648-7432.

Lilith of the Valley returns

The Lilith of the Valley series will continue when “Lilith of the Valley: Sea of Change” takes place at the Bishop’s Lounge, 41 Strong Ave. in Northampton, Saturday, Nov. 9, at 9:30 p.m. The series, which is presented by PRIA Music Marketing, launched in January of 2018 as the after-party for the second Women’s March. The goal of the series is to honor and celebrate the woman of our local music scene.

The lineup for this upcoming show includes Hannah Mohan (front-woman of And the Kids) with her solo project, Topsy, as well as pop-rockers The Fawns, world/reggae/folk/soul outfit Rebirth and Kat Alexander (lead woman of Lunar Carnival), who will perform a bluesy solo-electric set.

There will also be a panel discussion that will explore how women navigate careers in the arts. The discussion, which is free, will begin at 6 p.m. Participating will be Sue Paquet (Simon Says Booking), Emma Ayres (Old Flame, The Shea Theater), Kelley Bryant (The Woman’s Fund of WMA) and Mara Penatzer (The Greys, Dwellings Music and Arts Festival), in addition to others.

Doors to the show open at 9 p.m and the music begins at 9:30 p.m. Admission is $10 at the door.

Honky tonk dance with the Nite Caps at Hawks and Reed

Now that the time has changed and it gets dark early, it can be hard to muster up the energy to leave the house at night. The country-western and swing band, The Nite Caps, has just the solution. The group is hosting another one of its afternoon dances at the Hawks and Reed Performing Art Center, 289 Main St. in Greenfield, this Sunday afternoon. The party wraps up at 6 p.m., so you’ll be home early. The group has hosted these dances in the past andith as proven to be a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

For those who are interested, the show will offer a two-step instruction and a waltz demonstration. Both are included with the price of admission. You don’t have to be a dancer to enjoy the music of The Nite Caps, which will play two sets at this show. This is a family-friendly event, with kids ages 18 and under admitted free of charge.

Doors to the dance party and show open at 2 p.m. The two-step lesson is at 2:15 p.m. and The Nite Caps will play at 2:45 p.m.

Tickets are $8 in advance, available at, and $12 at the door. For more information call 413-774-0150.

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

Greenfield Recorder

14 Hope Street
Greenfield, MA 01302-1367
Phone: (413) 772-0261
Fax: (413) 772-2906


Copyright © 2019 by Newspapers of Massachusetts, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy