Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Yes’ Steve Howe Says Band Is Loving Playing Full Albums In Concert. Mountain Park Holyoke show is Saturday, July 27th

Yes kicked off a new North American tour leg on Saturday with a show in Paso Robles, California.  As they did on their previous few treks, the band is performing three of their classic 1970s albums — 1971′s The Yes Album, 1972′s Close to the Edge and 1977′s Going for the One — in their entirety at most shows on their current outing.

Guitarist Steve Howe says he and his band mates have really embraced playing these full albums live.  Basically, we’re loving it,” he tells ABC News Radio.  “To me, it will pale again if we ever go back and just do a set or sets that are just songs from albums.  That will seem, somehow, a little bit hard to get used to again.”

Howe compares performing each album to being on “a long motorway drive,” noting that when “you get to the end…you have a sense of celebration that you’re at the end of this journey, and those records are a journey.”

He adds that The Yes Album, Close to the Edge and Going for the One “were done at a time when Yes were, without any doubt, an album band, so what better things to play now than an album.”

Looking ahead to Yes’ future tour plans, Steve reveals that the band is considering working up other full albums to play live, although nothing is set in stone.  He says when he’s chatted with fans about the records they’d like to see the group perform, among the most requested are Fragile, Drama and Relayer.

“We have a lot of fun teasing the audience in their minds [about which albums we might play] but maybe this is the way we’re going,” Howe suggests.  “But it’s not necessarily so.  We have other ideas for next year [too].”

Yes’ tour continues Monday night in Phoenix, and the trek is mapped out through an August 12 concert in Indianapolis.  Among the upcoming highlights of the summer outing will be the inaugural Yestival, scheduled for August 3 in Camden, New Jersey.  In addition to a headlining set by Yes, the daylong progressive rock fest will include performances by Renaissance, Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy and the acclaimed Genesistribute act The Musical Box, as well as an appearance by famous Yes album-cover artist Roger Dean.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Summertime Blues in Northampton! Great Live Blues Music All Summer Long at the Iron Horse (oh...and a living legend named Buddy at the Calvin)

Buddy Guy
Plus: Quinn Sullivan
 Calvin Theater
Friday, August 02, 2013 ~ 8:00 PM
$55.00, $45.00, $35.00

Blues legend Buddy Guy is at the top of the blues food chain, serving as an all-important link between the breathless old and the electric new. Still amazing well into his 70s, Guy continues to make exciting, visceral music. With his new album, Living Proof,  Buddy Guy takes a hard look back at a remarkable life. At age 74, he’s a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, a major influence on rock titans like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and Stevie Ray Vaughan, a pioneer of Chicago’s fabled West Side sound, and a living link to that city’s halcyon days of electric blues. He has received 5 Grammy Awards, 23 W.C. Handy Blues Awards (the most any artist has received), the Billboard magazine Century Award for distinguished artistic achievement, and the Presidential National Medal of Arts. Rolling Stone ranked him in the top 30 of its "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time."

Samirah Evans and Her Handsome Devils featuring Miro Sprague
Iron Horse Music Hall
Saturday, July 06, 2013 ~ 7:00 PM
Adv: $12.50 - Door: $15.00
Jazz & blues vocalist Samirah Evans first performed at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in 1990 and became a fixture for fourteen consecutive years. She has toured Europe, Asia, and both Americas as a headliner, and shared stages with B.B. King and James Brown, to New Orleans own Queen of Soul, Irma Thomas. Samirah’s connection to the jazz lineage and her message of love and excitement radiates from her entire band which will include W. Mass. jazz pianist Miro Sprague for this show. As a teenager, Miro won a number of awards, including being honored in the 2002, 2003, and 2004 Downbeat magazine’s national student music awards with prizes for composition and performance. He also won awards at many jazz festivals, including the Berklee Jazz Festival, where his trio took a 1st prize and he received an outstanding musician award two years in a row.

The Blues Broads: Tracy Nelson, Angela Strehli, Annie Sampson, and Dorothy Morrison
Iron Horse Music Hall
Sunday, July 14, 2013 ~ 7:00 PM
Adv: $20.00 - Door: $25.00
All four singers in The Blues Broads are headliners in their own right. These superstars of the seminal era of the genre do what they do best – blow the house away with soulful, irreverent, throaty Blues sung from the bottom of their hearts. DOROTHY MORRISON, is the singer and co-author of the classic “Oh Happy Day”, recorded with The Edwin Hawkins Singers. TRACY NELSON, founder of the legendary group Mother Earth. ANGELA STREHLI is the organizer of The Blues Broads and one of the driving forces behind the historic Rancho Nicasio in Marin County, where the group fisrt performed. ANNIE SAMPSON, former longtime cast member of “Hair” and the groundbreaking group Stoneground, brings deeply soulful roots to the table. In this star-studded show, each artist gives the audience a taste of their individual specialty, and then combine voices in ways that make The Blues Broads far more than the sum of its parts. They are backed by some of some of the best musicians in the business,

Matt Schofield
Iron Horse Music Hall
Sunday, July 21, 2013 ~ 7:00 PM
Adv: $15.00 - Door: $18.00
Now firmly established as the freshest and most exciting blues guitarist to have emerged on the world scene for many years, Matt Schofield's powerful mix of blues, rock, and New Orleans funk is unlike anything else on the block. He is rated in the top ten British blues guitarists of all time (Guitar & Bass Magazine) putting him in the company of such iconic names as Eric Clapton and Peter Green.

Albert Cummings
Iron Horse Music Hall
Saturday, July 27, 2013 ~ 7:00 PM
Adv: $15.00 - Door: $18.00
Breaking every cliché associated with the blues while producing some of the most powerful music of the 21st century comes as natural to Albert Cummings as swinging a hammer while constructing one of his award-winning custom built homes. He has taken tradition and built his own musical edifice that expresses his thoughts and dreams. It is a vision that alternately excites and soothes while also clearly providing a glimpse of his unlimited future. The best is yet to come.

Debbie Davies Band
Plus: Stewart James & The Juke Joint All Stars
 Iron Horse Music Hall
Saturday, August 03, 2013 ~ 7:00 PM
 Adv: $12.50 - Door: $15.00
Honing her chops in the legendary Albert Collins’ band the Icebreakers, guitarist/singer/songwriter Debbie Davies has been fronting her own powerful blues units over the course of seven critically-acclaimed releases. One of the top contemporary blues artists on the scene today, Davies injects that kind of deep, soulful resonance into her work that she learned from her mentor.

Gary Hoey Band
Iron Horse Music Hall
 Friday, August 16, 2013 ~ 7:00 PM
Adv: $15.00 - Door: $20.00
With 18 albums and a #5 Billboard Rock hit with “Hocus Pocus,” Gary Hoey is one of the top 100 guitarists of all time. Hoey has toured and traded licks with the likes of Jeff Beck, Brian May of Queen, Ted Nugent, Joe Satriani, The Doobie Brothers, Foreigner, Styx, Steve Vai, Peter Frampton, and Dick Dale. He recently produced and co-wrote The Queen Of Metal Lita Ford’s latest release “Living Like Runaway." The world renowned rock guitarist Gary Hoey takes on the Blues with his new album, Deja Blues.

Carolyn Wonderland
Plus: Shelley King
 Iron Horse Music Hall
Friday, August 23, 2013 ~ 7:00 PM
 Adv: $15.00 - Door: $18.00
Carolyn Wonderland is a multi-award winning blues artist from Texas. She and her band were named Austin's Best Blues Band at the 2009 Austin Music Awards where Carolyn picked up the award for Best Female Vocalist, too! A triple threat with diverse songwriting, soulful vocals, and blues guitar goddess status, Wonderland has toured with Buddy Guy and Johnny Winter and sat in with String Cheese Incident, and Los Lobos. Carolyn also whistles, scat sings, plays trumpet, accordion, mandolin, and keys. “Stated plainly, Wonderland has one of the most impressively powerful voices recently heard anywhere, regardless of sex. Able to boon, cajole, promise growl, and wheedle with equal power, she plays guitar with much the same forcefulness.” --Matt Weitz, Dallas Observer

James Montgomery Band
Iron Horse Music Hall
Friday, August 30, 2013 ~ 7:00 PM
 Adv: $15.00 - Door: $18.00
When blues legend James Montgomery plays the harmonica, he "brings it on home". Whether it's recording with Kid Rock, sitting in with Gregg Allman, or fronting his hot band of thirty years, Montgomery plays with authority. While growing up in Detroit he learned first-hand from the masters - James Cotton, John Lee Hooker, and Jr. Wells - at the legendary "Chessmate." Over the years, he's carried on in the tradition and continues to be a vital presence in Blues as one of the most dynamic performers on the scene.

Albert Lee
Plus: Forward Motion
Iron Horse Music Hall
 Saturday, August 31, 2013 ~ 7:00 PM
Adv: $20.00 - Door: $25.00
Known for his use of the Fender Telecaster, signature Ernie Ball guitar and lightning speed playing, Albert has not only worked in the studio and on tour with some of the biggest names in world music, but he has also maintained a successful solo career of his own. Recently Albert began working in the studio and subsequently toured with Bill Wyman. In 2002 he appeared on stage at the 'Concert for George' to celebrate the life and music of George Harrison. The same year, Albert received a Grammy for his work on Brad Paisley's 'Cluster Pluck'. He also received nominations for tracks on three other solo CDs of his own. Albert's next big project is the 70th Birthday Celebration, a solo album, documentary and concert project celebrating his illustrious career in music

Southside Johnny and the The Poor Fools
Iron Horse Music Hall
Friday, September 13, 2013 ~ 7:00 PM
Adv: $35.00 - Door: $40.00
Southside Johnny and The Poor Fools play the music of Dylan, Mose Allison, Muddy Waters, NRBQ, Richard Thompson, Emmylou Harris, The Band, George Jones, Tom Waits, and more. The Poor Fools will also dive into some of the legendary Asbury Jukes material. "The Poor Fools tour is a chance for me to try out different material and a some Jukes standards in an acoustic form. In this incarnation, Jeff Kazee, John Conte, Tommy Byrnes, Soozie Tyrell and I will all be singing, playing and having some fun on stage” No rules. No fences. With Lyon shaking each up night's setlist for himself and his four multi-instrumentalist band members, Southside Johnny and The Poor Fools is another trip--one more way to see one more side of Southside Johnny.

Tickets for all shows are available at IHEG.com and at the Northampton Box Office, 76 Main Street. To charge by phone call 413.586.8686

Friday, May 31, 2013

Billy Cox and his Band Of Gypsys Experience bring the music of Jimi Hendrix to Northampton at 7PM, Wednesday, June 19th at the Iron Horse

Billy Cox, the bassist who worked with Jimi Hendrix in concert and in the studio as part of both the Band of Gypsys and the Jimi Hendrix Experience, kicks off a US tour at the Iron Horse in Northampton on Wednesday, June 19th with his own band. In addition to Hendrix classics such as "Machine Gun" and "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" Cox will also showcase his impressive blues roots--drawing upon the trove of performances and recording sessions he made with such legends as Slim Harpo, Little Milton, Gatemouth Brown and Freddie King.

Joining Cox will be two exciting guitarists he personally picked for these special performances.  "It was Jimi's dream to use a second guitarist.  He was getting into a new phase of his music and he felt that one guitar limited the band and limited the new music that he was creating,” explains Cox “There were glimpses of what he was trying to do at Woodstock with Larry Lee as the second guitarist.  But that idea was not able to continue.  Now almost 43 years later, I am grateful that I have the opportunity to continue the dream with two dynamic guitarists, Dani Robinson and Byron Bordeaux.”  
Cox is, of course, the stellar bassist who first joined forces with Jimi Hendrix when they chanced to meet while serving in the US Army more than 50 years ago.  After they were discharged, Hendrix and Cox moved to Nashville and played the southern ‘chitlin circuit’ backing up big names of the era including Sam Cooke and Jackie Wilson and with their own band, The King Kasuals.   They lost touch with each other after Hendrix was ‘discovered’ by Animals bassist Chas Chandler who brought Jimi Hendrix to England where the Jimi Hendrix Experience was founded in London In October of 1966.

When Noel Redding departed the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Hendrix sought and found his old buddy and thereafter formed Gypsy Sun & Rainbows, the expanded ensemble that Hendrix featured at the Woodstock festival and then the Band of Gypsys with drummer Buddy Miles.  Following that, Cox and Hendrix remained together in the re-envisioned version of the Jimi Hendrix Experience that headlined major pop music festivals as the Isle Of Wight and continued to tour until Jimi’s untimely death. Cox’s most recent studio album Old School Blue Blues has been a critical success since its release October of 2011. Billy Cox is also featured as a musician on the current Jimi Hendrix release People, Hell & Angels, which debuted at #2 on the Billboard Charts earlier this year.

“Our show could be described as triangular in context, we perform not only Hendrix, but some originals and some old school,” says Cox describing his forthcoming tour dates “We are most especially committed to giving the audience an evening of good listening and fun.  Dani and Byron embody the spirit of guitar showmanship."

Tickets are $20 at Northampton Box Office, 76 Main Street, 413 586 8686 and online at IHEG.com.

The Cry of Love was the name retroactively applied to Hendrix’s post-Experience band, named after 1970’s Cry of Love tour (where he mostly premiered new material for his uncompleted fourth album). However this trio still referred to themselves as The Jimi Hendrix Experience. It consisted of the Experience’s Mitch Mitchell and Jimi’s old army friend Billy Cox (who also joined him in late ‘69’s brief Band of Gypsys project, this time with Buddy Miles on drums).

Gram Parsons didn’t die in vain. Great Americana music, live in Northampton.

with special guest opener Matt Hebert
Doors and Dinner from 5:30
Buy Tickets for Gary Louris Here

The new album HONKY TONK is on Rounder Records.
“Honky tonk music is about heartache, heartbreak, the road. HONKY TONK stays true to what’s so appealing about honky tonk music,
while stretching out its familiar contours into new shapes and spaces." -
Jay Farrar

Buy tickets here for Son Volt plus Colonel Ford
Limited Seating available on a first come first seated basis.

Coming Soon:

Jim James of My Morning Jacket Friday, June 21st 8PM at the Calvin Theatre

Holly Williams (Hank Sr.'s Granddaughter, Hank Jr.'s Daughter) Friday, August 9th 7PM at the Iron Horse

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Della Mae, Gary from the Jayhawks, Aoife from Crooked Still, David Ford, Over The Rhine this week and next at the Iron Horse

Della Mae
Dietrich Strause
Friday, May 31st 7PM
With energetic live performances and award-winning instrumental abilities, the five women of Della Mae are turning heads and winning hearts.

Della Mae features 2-time National Fiddle Champion Kimber Ludiker, impeccable mandolinist Jenni Lyn Gardner, seasoned bassist Amanda Jean Kowalski, innovative guitarist Courtney Hartman and soulful singer and guitarist Celia Woodsmith. Della Mae brings acoustic grit and twang to town with no apologies... and taking no prisoners. Music that tells a story while delivering a punch. With energetic live performances and award-winning instrumental abilities, the five women of Della Mae are turning heads, winning hearts, and quickly becoming a household name in bluegrass music.

From The Jayhawks, An Evening with Gary Louris
Sunday, June 2nd 7PM

Gary Louris of the Jayhawks (Click Image for High Res)

Over the last three decades, singer, songwriter and guitarist Gary Louris has built a deeply compelling body of music whose artistry and integrity has won the loyalty of an international audience and the respect of both critics and his peers. Best known for his seminal work with The Jayhawks, Louris is one of the most acclaimed and popular musicians to come out of Minnesota during the rock era – and given Minnesota’s rich musical history, that’s an honor of the highest order.

Aoife O'Donovan
Thursday, June 6th 7PM

Crooked Still singer steps out with solo debut "Fossils"

Aoife O'Donovan (Click Image for High Res)

Aoife O’Donovan is “a vocalist of unerring instinct” according to the New York Times, Aoife is one of the most sought after singers in the roots music field. Her work as the lead singer and co-founder of stringband Crooked Still put her on the map in 2001, and she has collaborated with a variety of musicians across genres since. Aoife’s crystalline voice can be heard on the Grammy Award winning album The Goat Rodeo Sessions, alongside icons such as Yo Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, Stuart Duncan, and Chris Thile. She’s also appeared as a guest vocalist with folks such as Ollabelle, Dave Douglas, Solas, Noam Pikelny, Joshua Radin, and Kate Rusby, among others. Fans of Alison Krauss may be familiar with Aoife’s unique songwriting–Krauss recorded Aoife’s song “Lay My Burden Down” on her 2011 album Paper Airplane. Aoife recently signed to Yep-Roc Records and will release her debut solo album Fossils in June 2013.

David Ford
plus Rebecca Perl
Friday, June 7th 7PM

New album CHARGE out now from this passionate UK singer/songwriter

David Ford (Click Image for High Res)

As the former frontman of Easyworld, a British indie rock outfit that disbanded in 2004, David Ford established a reputation as a talented singer, songwriter, guitarist, and pianist. He then parlayed those skills into a solo career, releasing the debut album I Sincerely Apologise for All the Trouble I've Caused in 2005. After gaining an audience in his native England, Ford traveled to Texas to play at the 2006 SXSW festival, where a particularly strong performance led him to a deal with Columbia Records. Any attempts at modern comparisons don't quite get to the heart of David Ford. To find his actual peers you have to go back to some of the great curveball mavericks of melody, romance and inventiveness. Artists such as Tom Waits, Neil Young, Randy Newman and (early) Elton John, whose memorable melodies are frequently offset by powerful and poignant lyrics. David's new album Charge was released this April.

Over The Rhine
plus Seth Glier
Saturday, June 8th 7PM

New album The Long Surrender (with Joe Henry) marks 20 years of evocative, earthy songs with a torchy, devil-may-care beauty from this husband-wife duo

Over the Rhine (Click Image for High Res)
For more than twenty years husband and wife duo Over The Rhine have been crafting evocative, earthy songs and delivering them to their intensely loyal fans with a torchy, devil-may-care beauty. With Linford Detweiler’s deeply literary songwriting and Karin Bergquist’s unmatched vocals, the pair have found themselves royalty in an underground world of artist's artists. Pulling from a heritage of folk, jazz, ragtime, and classical music, Over The Rhine will draw you in for an evening you'll never forget. Their new fan-funded record The Long Surrender on their own Great Speckled Dog label (named for the couple’s Great Dane, Elroy), marks 20 years since their 1991 debut. It’s the bountiful result of a collaboration between the couple and Joe Henry, whose songs they’ve long admired.

Tickets are on sale now at Northampton Box Office, 76 Main Street, 413 586 8686 and online at IHEG.com.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Award winning slam poet Saul Williams and local word wizard Chris Gonzalez appear Sunday, June 16th at 7PM at the Iron Horse

Saul Williams

Saul Williams possesses the theatrical flair of an actor, the literary arsenal of a Beat poet and the soul of a trip-hop musician. These talents first came together when he co-wrote and starred in the 1998 movie "Slam," playing a small-time-drug-dealer-turned-slam-poet. With life imitating art, Williams has carved out a career exploring the intersection of poetry and music, alternating between publishing books and releasing LPs that explore themes of inequality and transformation.

Saul Williams

This exploration of identity reached its peak when Williams adopted a glam alter ego for his 2007 album, "The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust," channeling David Bowie. His latest album, "Volcanic Sunlight," peels back the layers of artifice, beautiful as they were. In the first few seconds of opening track "Look to the Sun," Williams declares, "The labels that I claimed as me / were no more than a skin / I wrapped around my consciousness / as if it had an end." The words roll off his tongue with precision and speed yet land on the ear with an inviting ease. "Girls on Saturn" riffs on Cyndi Lauper's pop anthem "Girls Just Want to Have Fun," and "Explain My Heart" coats philosophical ruminations in punchy riffs.

"Volcanic Sunlight" marks a musical catharsis for Williams. It may not have the complexity of his previous works, but some thoughts are best expressed simply.

Chris Gonzalez

Chris Gonzalez is a 20 year old performance poet, musician, and director from Northampton, Massachusetts. He has recently started performing all over the state from colleges, to bars, to cafe's to libraries to living rooms. He has just self published a book of his own poetry entitled "Some Poems", a piece that explores the rhythmic undercurrents of consciousness during meditation, intoxication, anxiety, pride, promiscuity, or while walking barely sentient among the flower beds of his city. His primary influences are The Notorious BIG, Sylvia Plath, Walt Whitman, Andre 3000, and Allen Ginsberg. He has recently begun performing Ginsberg's epic "Howl", which he has memorized in its entirety and adapted with his own perspective for a new synthesis, a new vision, of Beat/Hip Hop/Performance poetry for this generation as he see's it. Listen to Chris.

Click Poster For Tix

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Ariel Pink plus Purple Pilgrims, Kirin J Callinan will play the Clubroom at Pearl Street in Northampton on Saturday, June 8th at 9PM. A show preview.

Ariel Pink and Haunted Graffiti

Ariel Pink‘s debut on 4AD, Before Today, blew a lot of minds and solidified the musician and his band as worthwhile purveyors and perverters of popular music’s past. Littered with melodies and harmonies taken out of various decades and then covered in a haze of what was known vaguely at the time as “chillwave,” the album was on plenty of lists as one of the best albums of the year. So last year, when Mature Themes came out, it was understandable that people were worried about a possible slump or let down in momentum. This neurosis might have stopped people from giving the album its fair due, while not as immediately accessible as Before Today, it still displays the same pedigree and the same understanding of innately pleasant melody. One listen to the title track or “Only in Dreams” should silence any haters. Regardless, the “chillwave” fad looks like it is on its way to being snuffed out this year, with many artists associated with the genre (including Ariel Pink, Toro y Moi, Beach Fossils, and Youth Lagoon) branching out and making music with only a faint residue of the genre still included. While fans might want to hear songs like “Bright Lit Blue Skies,” “Can’t Hear My Eyes,” and “Round and Round,” on Saturday June 8th they should give the new stuff a chance to burrow into their hearts as well.

Purple Pilgrims
One of the defining features of music in 2013 so far seems to be an oscillation back to the sounds and features of psychedelia in music. Perhaps this is a result of the previously mentioned genre of “chillwave” gaining popularity with druggy, hazy sounds that are starting to reach into all aspects of music, perhaps it corresponds to a deep and subconscious need to drown out clarity in emotionally trying times devoid of any kind of mysticism, or perhaps it is something completely different. Either way, the sister duo of Clementine and Valentine Nixon are going to bring some droney, noisey stuff to the Wonder Ballroom as Purple Pilgrims. While the venue is technically non-smoking, I can’t imagine their set going by without at least one person realizing that things might get a little interesting with some marijuana involved. This is not to say it is necessary to enjoy the music, but rather that the music inspires a certain kind of introspection that is aided by certain herbal supplements.

Kirin J Callahan

Kirin J Callahan is the former guitarist for Mercy Arms, an Australian indie-rock band that were signed to Capitol Records. After their breakup, Callahan went solo, releasing his first full-length album in 2012. Kirin creates hyper-detailed dissonant songs that sit somewhere between boozy folklore and catchy noise.  The song (and video) “Embracism” is exactly that—his voice rough and completely torn up, croaking over wailing guitar sirens and a skronky, cathartic ending. It’d feel improvised if it wasn’t so tightly wound. Callinan’s Embracism is out July 2nd, 2013 on Siberia/Terrible Records.

Tickets are $15 at Northampton Box Office, 413-586-8686 or buy online right here.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Shannon McNally's new album with Dr. John is a tribute to late great American songwriter Bobby Charles. She plays the Iron Horse on Thursday, May 9th at 7PM.

Bobby Charles wrote “See You Later Alligator,” “Walking to New Orleans" and others. The album has guest performances by Derek Trucks, Will Sexton, Luther Dickinson, and Vince Gill.

The death of Bobby Charles, in 2010, touched off a resurgence of interest in the work of the Louisiana-born singer-songwriter. The standard obituaries focused mainly on the swamp pop that Charles pioneered in the late fifties and early sixties; he wrote “See You Later, Alligator,” which was recorded by Bill Haley and His Comets, and “Walking to New Orleans,” which was recorded by Fats Domino. But longer appreciations also made room for assessments of the gently biting solo material Charles recorded in the early seventies, which sounded like Randy Newman fronting the Band. That solo work is at the heart of “Small Town Talk” (Sacred Sumac), a collaboration between the singer Shannon McNally and the pianist Dr. John. Shannon talks about the project in this short video.

Bobby Charles’s wrote for himself and other rock and roll greats like Joe Cocker, Etta James, Bill Haley and the Comets, Fats Domino, and Ray Charles. He performed with Chuck Berry, The Platters, and Little Richard.

Small Town Talk is out April 30 and Shannon McNally is at the Iron Horse on Thursday, May 9th at 7PM
Stream the new album here.
By including no fewer than seven songs from Charles’s eponymous 1972 solo album—which was reissued in a deluxe edition by Rhino Handmade in 2011—McNally seems like she’s making a case for Charles as one of the great lost singer-songwriters of the era. She should; he is. Charles’s greatest asset was his subtlety—his insinuating melodies and laid-back vocals made him both easy to listen to and hard to fully digest. The title song, co-written with Rick Danko, of the Band (who later recorded it), is an indelible portrait of provincial life, done in loping tempo and with a jaunty whistling solo (here reconceived as a harmonica part). The funky “Street People” (which celebrates the social value of laziness, or at the very least the absence of ambition) and “Save Me Jesus” (which laments greed, war, runaway technology, and nearly everything else) are just as pointed, and just as charming. Charles is not new to McNally—she included a winsome cover of “Tennessee Blues” on her album “Geronimo” back in 2005—and she wisely handles his songs with a mix of clear, simple phrasing and a restraint that suggests even deeper reserves of power. Dr. John and his band, the Lower 911, provide New Orleans funk throughout, especially on rousing renditions of the broken-love tracks “Love in the Worst Degree” and “Long Face,” the latter of which includes spoken (and hilarious) interjections by the good doctor. Charles’s loveliest song, the Zen-like “I Must Be in a Good Place Now,” is saved for last, where it produces both peace and sadness. Great Article here in The Advocate.

Small Town Talk is out April 30 and Shannon McNally is at the Iron Horse on Thursday, May 9th at 7PM. Opener Sandy Bailey’s blend of Patty Griffin Americana with the gossamer sonority of Mazzy Star makes for a soothing, vibrant soundscape that has enjoyed much praise and popularity among artistic communities in Western Massachusetts.

Tickets for Shannon McNally at the Iron Horse with Sandy Bailey on Thursday, May 9th at 7PM are on sale now at Northampton Box Office, 76 Main Street, 413 586 8686 and online at IHEG.com.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tim Eriksen and the Trio de Pumpkintown Songs from an Imaginary New England Village Friday, April 26th 7PM Iron Horse Music Hall

L to R: Tim Eriksen (“Tip”), Zoë Darrow (“Zip”), Peter Irvine (“Potter”)

Tim Eriksen is acclaimed for transforming American tradition with his startling interpretations of old ballads, love songs, shape-note gospel and dance tunes from New England and the Southern Appalachia. He combines hair-raising vocals with inventive accompaniment on banjo, fiddle, guitar and bajo sexto - a twelve string Mexican acoustic bass - creating a distinctive hardcore Americana sound that ranges from the bare bones of solo unaccompanied singing to the lush, multi-layered arrangements on his latest album "Josh Billings Voyage" (timeriksenmusic 2012).

Eriksen's new project The Trio de Pumpkintown (Tip, Zip and Potter) celebrates the multicultural folksong of a fictional New England village in fresh, acoustic arrangements. Much of the Trio's music comes from the 18th and 19th centuries: love songs, murder ballads, songs of travel on the high seas, rollicking Afro-Celtic sing-alongs, music of local francophone and Scottish communities and shape-note harmony including that of 18th century Native American composer Metacomet Samson. In addition to their Traditional New England Repertoire, the Trio also plays their own original music and, occasionally, songs by local P’town bands and music drawn from their contact with more recent immigrants to the area.

While The Trio de Pumpkintown’s own compositions have been praised as “strange and original works” (NetRhythmsUK) and “wicked awesome” (The Pumpkinville Daily Sewer), the band is also devoted to preserving other local music of the late twentieth and early twenty first centuries, and their performances sometimes include an acoustic cover version or two of songs by P’town bands like Weasel Stain (copcore), Crucifer (vegan doom) and Vaginasaur (anarcho-feminist postpop). Adding to their historical and original repertoire, The Trio de Pumpkintown sometimes draws on material gathered during the course of their collaborative research into minority musics in the region.

Pumpkintown has been known regionally as a musical destination for nearly two hundred years, from renowned 19th century singer Josh Billings Sr. (“Black Josh) to the indie rock scene that popped up virtually overnight after an early 70’s gig by The Shaggs at the old meetinghouse. The Trio learned much of its traditional repertoire from their friend Silas Billings III, a font of traditional songs he learned from his great uncle Josh Billings Jr., who in turn learned them from his father. Silas, who also has a longstanding relationship to Sprigfield County’s indie scene, is just one of several local musicians to have made a guest appearance on the Trio de Pumpkintown’s pre-debut album Josh Billings Voyage: or Cosmopolite on the Cotton Road. The album is available online at timeriksen.bandcamp.com, at A.J. Hastings Newsdealer and Stationer in downtown Amherst, Massachusetts and worldwide at various locations where the band has hidden copies in the woods.

The Players/Cast:
Tim Eriksen (“Tip”): voice, bajo sexto, fiddle, bowed banjo, guitar
Zoë Darrow (“Zip”): fiddle, voice, morin khuur
Peter Irvine (“Potter”): glockenspiel, frame drum, voice
Josh Billings Voyage streaming: http://timeriksen.bandcamp.com/releases
Josh Billings Voyage reviews and articles: http://bit.ly/Q4C2Sm

Tickets are on sale now at Northampton Box Office, 76 Main Street, 413 586 8686 and online at IHEG.com.  Direct Ticket Link Here.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Stephen Kellogg solo at the Iron Horse Thursday, April 25th

 My name is Stephen Kellogg. I’m thirty-six years old. I say that I’m from Northampton, MA because that’s where I got my start, though now I live in Southern Connecticut. I’ve spent the better part of the last ten years on the road or in the studio, but I have four daughters and a beautiful wife too. I asked if I could write my own biography, partially because it saves money, and I figured if someone wanted to learn about me, I’d just as soon tell them myself.

My music has been described as Americana, Country-Rock, Folk, Singer/Songwriter, and, somehow, pop. I have always thought of it as American-rock n’ roll. It’s a product of my father’s record collection, from Jim Croce and Cat Stevens to Eagles and The Band. Somewhere along the way, I fell in love with showmanship and acts that put on great concerts. Sometimes that meant Van Halen, other times it meant the Grateful Dead, and most recently it’s probably more to do with John Prine. For what it’s worth, Tom Petty is my favorite artist. Although it’s been pointed out to me by one quite popular publication that I’m “no Bruce Springsteen," I’ve decided to continue making music anyway (I’m laughing as I write this in case that’s not clear).

The thing is…I fell into this job. I like people. I like sharing a world-view. I don’t mind singing and playing guitar, but I never expected that I’d do it for a living. Like a lot of folks, I think I just figured I wasn’t good enough or that maybe it wasn’t possible. The fact remained though that I needed a way to provide for my family, presumably just like those of you reading this biography (or for the younger generations, the same way your parents have). Ultimately writing songs and playing them for people has become that living. There are many occupations for which I have immense admiration - doctors, soldiers and teachers topping the list. But there isn’t another job I think I’d necessarily be suited for, so this is what I do.

In November of 2012, my band of the last ten years decided to take a hiatus. We performed our final show at Webster Hall in New York City for three hours and said goodbye for now. 2012 also took with it my mother-inlaw and my grandmother. Most of this happened in late Spring, when my house was under renovation; the foundation was still there, but the house was literally ripped apart. Some metaphor, huh? 2012 was a year of change if nothing else. The musical result of this tumultuous period is Blunderstone Rookery. The title comes from the boyhood home of my favorite character in my favorite book, “David Copperfield”. I produced Blunderstone Rookery in conjunction with my long-time musical collaborator, Kit Karlson. Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, Monsters of Folk) mixed the album.

We chose to make the record in Bridgeport, Connecticut because, after making the last few in Los Angeles and New York, I really wanted to work on home turf. The music was played by a number of friends of mine, some of them play in bands you may have heard of (Travis McNabb and Annie Clements from Sugarland, Sean Watkins from Nickel Creek, Jerry DePizzo from OAR), and many of them, including me, you may not have heard of. I loved working on Blunderstone Rookery more than any album I’ve ever made and it’s my ninth studio effort. It was a fresh process. One that began with the exciting notion, “what if I say exactly what I want to say” and ended with me handing my father a vinyl copy to add to his record collection.

That, after all, is why I do this. Using words and intention in the hopes of a positive legacy for my family.

Stephen Kellogg
February 2013

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The valley doesn't have to wait any longer for Paula Cole, who plays the Iron Horse Friday, January 18th

All of the uncertainty of going independent for the first time is history for Paula Cole. Her fans’ support helped make her first do-it-yourself album, “Raven,” a reality. The disc will drop this spring.

Cole will preview tracks from the forthcoming project Friday, January 18th at 7PM at the Iron Horse in Northampton flanked by guitarist Mark Erelli, who's back at the Horse with Antje Duvekot  two weeks later on Friday 2/1.  Paula is pleased her followers made her latest project a reality.

“My fans are tremendous,” Cole says. “I can’t thank them enough. They’ve enabled me to put out more music.”

“Raven” is reminiscent of her 1994 debut “Harbinger,” which is full of intimate, poignant and bittersweet cuts.

“There is definitely a connection between the two albums,” Cole says while calling from her suburban Boston home. “I think it would be a good idea to play some songs from ‘Harbinger’ on this tour. They would certainly fit. Of course, I’ll also play the songs people expect me to play.”

“Where Have All The Cowboys Gone” and “I Don’t Want To Wait,” which was the opening theme for the ’90s television series “Dawson’s Creek,” will be rendered.

“That song was obviously huge for me,” the multiple-Grammy winner says. “It bumped me up to this incredible level that I never imagined. There was the good and bad with that. More people discovered me, but all that goes along with it didn’t necessarily fit with my introverted self.”

The vocalist-pianist is hardly a careerist. Cole did the unthinkable in 2000, just two years after winning the Grammy for best new artist. She took a seven-year hiatus to have and raise her daughter Sky.

“You don’t see that too often these days,” Cole says. “It’s about getting bigger and bigger for some. I just decided to go with what’s most important. I don’t regret the decision to be at home for those years one bit.

“But I’m back now, and my daughter will miss me cooking breakfast for some mornings, but she understands.

“This is what I do. I’m a musician, but I’m also a mother. Life gets complicated, but it’s fine. I’ve made a couple of decisions a lot of people wouldn’t have made.”

That includes turning down a deal from a jazz label during the late-’80s in favor going to college.

“I didn’t want to sing other people’s songs,” she says. “I wanted to sing my songs. I do what I have to do. I ultimately make the decisions and I think I’ve made some good ones.”

Paula Cole plays the Iron Horse on Friday, January 18th at 7PM. Tickets HERE or call 413-586-8686.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Tuneful trifecta at the Calvin: Guster, Bela Fleck, Get The Led Out -Thu-Sat 1/17-1/19

A Night of Acoustic Music featuring the Guster String Players
8PM Thursday, January 17th a
t the Calvin Theatre 

Just when you thought The Gusters were going to hibernate for the winter, BANG! "Out from our caves we wander, crusty-eyed, hungry, ready to claw salmon to death. We’re playing a stripped down acoustic set with a small string section at the Calvin Theatre on Thursday, January 17th. Expect deep set lists with B-sides, unique arrangements, and general unpredictability." Yellowbirds open the show . On their 2011 album The Color, listeners are immersed in electric autoharp glissandos, bubbling 50's echo guitars, and glowing psychedelic pedal steel. Yellowbirds is the moniker for Sam Cohen, whose lauded guitar playing and tenor voice hover above the lush bed of sound delivering songs that are both dreamy and existential.
Banjo Summit featuring Béla Fleck, Tony Trischka, Bill Keith, Richie Stearns, Eric Weissberg, & Noam Pikelny
Calvin Theatre Friday, January 18th at 8PM

Bela Fleck 
Many of the world’s most influential bluegrass banjo players will unite to perform a “Banjo Summit” at the Calvin Theatre on Friday, January 18th at 8PM. Generally considered the most accomplished master of the instrument, Béla Fleck will be joined by fellow pickers Tony Trischka, Bill Keith, Richie Stearns, Eric Weissberg, and Noam Pikelny in a concert that will find the banjo being performed in both conventional and unexpected ways. In performances ranging from solos and duets to full-tilt banjo blowouts with all the players and an acoustic band, the concert stage will range from the traditional backdrop of bluegrass and old-time country music to the more unconventional banjo genres including jazz, classical and rock music.


Get The Led Out: the American Led Zeppelin return to the Calvin Theatre at 8PM Saturday, January 19th
The glow of their insanely great Mountain Park show last summer remains strong.

Hammer as they might, other Led Zeppelin cover bands are over the hills and far away compared to Get The Led Out, Jimmy Page's handpicked favorite Zep tribute band. Get The Led Out brings the studio recordings of the mighty Zep to life on the big concert stage in all their power and complexity. They have an uncanny presence and will leave you dazed and delightfully confused.

Tickets for all shows are on sale now at Northampton Box Office, 76 Main Street, 413 586 8686 and online at IHEG.com.