Sounds Local: Fresh Grass Fest at MASS MoCA, Whiskey Treaty at Shea

  • After a two and a half year delay, the Whiskey Treaty Roadshow will perform at the Shea Theater on Saturday, Sept. 24, at 8 p.m. CONTRIBUTED

  • Tanya Tucker is one of the many bluegrass and roots musicians performing at the Fresh Grass Festival at MASS MoCa this weekend, Sept. 23 through 25. CONTRIBUTED

For the Recorder
Published: 9/21/2022 4:17:08 PM
Modified: 9/21/2022 4:16:29 PM

Today is the first day of fall, and while we welcome the cooler weather and the beautiful foliage, overall, this is not a popular time of year for music fans as it marks the end of enjoying music outdoors. But there’s no need to despair as some events in the weeks ahead will still be taking place in the great outdoors. And unlike last year, where there were few scheduled shows indoors and some venues remained closed, the music scene is now slowly getting back to normal, which means plenty of good shows inside. Read on to get a glimpse of what’s ahead.

The Fresh Grass festival is happening at MASS MoCA in North Adams this weekend (Sept. 23 to 25), and this is likely the last of the big festivals happening in 2022. If you are a fan of bluegrass and roots music, this is the place to be. A quick drive up the Mohawk Trail and you’ll be able to take in the sounds of TajMahal, Trampled by Turtles, Old Crow Medicine Show, Yola, Tanya Tucker, Gary Clark Jr., and so many more artists. MASS MoCA is a great place to enjoy live music and this year’s lineup is a solid one. You can purchase weekend passes or single-day tickets at FreshGrass.com.

Closer to home, there will be live music at Peskeompskut Park in Turners Falls on Saturday, Sept. 24 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. It will be a three-band event that includes local and touring musicians. The lineup consists of the experimental folk-pop sounds of Ramon and Jessica, the Klezmer music of Myrtle St. Klezmer, and jazz music by Caroline Davis. This is a chance to check out some different musical styles you might not have heard before. I would especially encourage you to check out the Greenfield based Myrtle St. Klezmer band led by clarinetist Jason Ditzian. This instrumental music is in the tradition of the Ashkenazi Jews of Central and Eastern Europe. This event is presented by River Culture and is free.

In the good news department, I’m pleased to announce that the North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival will return after a two-year hiatus. This festival will take place on Saturday, Oct. 1, and Sunday, Oct. 2, in Orange. In addition to the workshops and great garlic-infused food, there is an impressive lineup of local music that includes KimayaDiggs, Sandy Bailey, TapRoots, Wallace Field, Rice: An American Band, ReBelle and so much more. Check out the website for the full schedule. Tickets can be purchased online at garlicandarts.org.

In the more good news department, there is a new concert series – the Sugar Shack Series – that is commencing at the Warfield House Inn in Charlemont. The first show will feature Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Reed Foehl and will take place on Sunday, Oct. 9, from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The music will be held on the lawn next to the sugar house, which is a perfect spot to take in the beautiful views. A barbeque dinner comes with the price of a ticket. Admission will begin at 4:30 p.m., dinner and bar service will start at 5 p.m., and the music will begin at 6 p.m. Tickets can only be purchased online and are available at warfieldhouseinn.com.

Some more dates to save include Scarecrow in the Park in Bernardston on the weekend of Oct. 15 and 16, and the Halloweed Bash at the Franklin County Fairgrounds on Saturday, Oct. 15 from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. And finally, the Great Falls Festival (Pumpkinfest) in downtown Turners Falls begins on Saturday, Oct. 22. These events have not released their lineup yet, but you can expect plenty of local talent.

As for indoor shows, The 1794meetinghouse in New Salem will wrap up their summer series this weekend. They will host a concert with Green Heron on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and welcome Peter Blanchette on Sunday at 4 p.m. Green Heron, an acoustic group that features Betsy Heron (formerly Green) of the Green sisters on fiddle, banjo and vocals, and Scott Heron on guitar, banjo and vocals. They mix it up and play selections of old-time, bluegrass, folk, country and Celtic music. Blanchette will perform a selection of music, including some original compositions on the 11-string arch guitar that he invented. For tickets and information, including details on the Meetinghouse’s COVID policy, visit 1794meetinghouse.org.

The Watermelon Wednesday acoustic music series, which is held in the West Whately Chapel, still has a few more shows scheduled for October. On, Wednesday, Oct. 5 it’s Watermelon Wednesday favorite, banjo great Tony Trischka and his band the Bandits. Expect a night of bluegrass and more when Triska and his talented band play the intimate room. On Wednesday, Oct. 12 it’s the uplifting double fiddle sounds of the Hanneke Cassel Band. Showtimes are 7 p.m. and tickets are available at watermelodnwednesdays.com

The Parlor Room in Northampton is celebrating its tenth anniversary and they have assembled quite a fall lineup to help mark this milestone. There are many incredible local acts on this schedule including Jeffrey Foucault on Saturday, Oct. 15, the Lonesome Brothers on Friday, Oct. 28, Love Crumbs and Mikey Sweet on Wednesday, Nov. 9, Kris Delmhorst on Friday, Nov. 18 and Tracy Grammer and Jim Henry on Sunday, Nov. 20. There is a show on Wednesday, Nov. 16 that you will not want to miss and that is Louie Phipps. Phipps is an eleven-year-old singer-songwriter who performed at the Arcadia Folk Festival this past weekend and blew the crowd away with his incredible talent. Phipps was joined at this show by J.J. O’Connell on drums, AnnandNyack on guitar and Reed Sutherland on bass. These same musicians will back Phipps up at the Parlor Room show. Ben Harris will also be on the lineup. This is a show not to miss. Tickets and more information on all the Parlor Room shows at signaturesoundspresents.com.

Whiskey Treaty Roadshow at the Shea Theater

The last column that I wrote before the COVID lockdown was an interview with the Whiskey Treaty Roadshow who had just released their debut album, “Band Together” and were preparing for a big year promoting it. They were going to kick it off with a hometown show at the Shea Theater, but a mere days before the show was scheduled to happen, it was canceled. In fact, all the shows that were scheduled were suddenly off as businesses and schools were also starting to shut their doors. We figured it was a temporary move and soon the Whiskey Treaty show and others would be rescheduled. Well, it has been rescheduled, it just took a lot longer than we originally anticipated – a little over two years longer to be exact. Finally, the Whiskey Treaty Roadshow will play the Shea Theater on Saturday, Sept. 24, at 8 p.m.

The Whiskey Treaty Roadshow is made up of Western Massachusetts songwriters Tory Hanna, Billy Keane, Chris Merenda, Greg Daniel Smith and David Tanklefsky. They have kept busy during the past couple years, the band released an EP of covers called “Recovered” that was a benefit for direct service workers.

The band are more than ready to bring their high-energy folk-rock to the Shea Theater for this long awaited show. For advance tickets and more information, visit www.sheatheater.org.

Sheryl Hunter is a freelance writer who resides in Easthampton. Her work has appeared in various regional and national publications. She can be reached at Soundslocal@yahoo.com.


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