Shoeless Joe Jackson and Ty Cobb likely won’t materialize from the cornfields, but the day promises its’ share of magic. Some of the area’s best bands will perform a show that starts at 11 AM and runs past dark. Tickets are a bargain at $10 ($15 at the door).
It’s all for a good cause, too – the just-formed Ludlow Recreation Camp Fund, a charity that helps kids who can’t afford to go to summer camp.
In a way, it provides them with their own field of dreams.
The management at Christopher’s hatched the idea of an all-day festival as a way to give performers who play the Ludlow club a wider audience. Soon, their ambitions grew.
“This the first time we’ve done anything like this,” says show organizer Dave Van Guilder. “We have people who want to come and watch the bands here, but they’re underage. So we decided to have a big event that anyone could go to, and then we decided why not make it a charity event.”
In typical fashion, the local music scene coalesced around the effort. Everyone’s playing for free Saturday to give the fund an initial infusion of capital.
The eclectic musical lineup leans towards hard rock, with Stonewall, Starefall and Broken Mindz, and edgier metal, with Cellblock One and Undying Breed. But prog-rockers Spectris will spice up the mix, and one of my favorite groups, rage rappers The D’Brotherhood, should also liven things up.
Rounding out the all-ages event are Haili, Pocket Toys, and Mercy Machine.
As if a great day of rock weren’t enough, the promoters (Christopher’s Bar, SpiderBiteRadio.com and 99 Rock) are also giving away prizes, including a very cool Washburn guitar package.
Van Guilder expressed admiration for all the bands willing to step up for the cause. In particular, he says, “Stonewall’s a great bunch of guys. They’re grounded – they don’t think of themselves as bigger than they are.”
That sentiment pretty accurately sums up a lot of local performers. Here’s how you can support the scene this weekend:
Thursday: Putnam & Pirozzoli, Sophie & Zeke’s – Gerry and Tom have known each other for years, but didn’t get around to making a record until this year. The CD, “Conversation Without Words,” has elements of bossa nova and free form jazz, but also includes tunes from the likes of Gershwin and Bach. What’s most distinctive is the way the two mesh musically, as smooth as coffee and cream.
Friday: Who Are the Brain Police, Seven Barrels – I’ll admit I don’t have much first hand information about this ensemble. There are four or five guys, and they play rock, I guess. But their moniker implies an affinity for Frank Zappa, one of my favorites. Plus, two members of the band used to belong to an group called the Shaven Ape Babies. So, I’m willing to recommend them for their inventive approach to band names.
Saturday: Gully Boys, Middle Earth Music Hall – Local impresario Chris Jones turns fifty for the fifth time, and his friends in music conspire to give him a bash. Chris is still fighting the good fight and keeping the music alive in the Shire. He’s hoping some of the upcoming shows, including Steve Forbert next Thursday, draw well so he can buy a new heating system. You can read more about that on the club’s web page, memh.com.
Sunday: Cornish Fair – The final day of this venerable fair begins with an inspirational morning set from Gospel Train, with support from the Plourd Family Quartet. The rest of the day includes magic (Conjuring Carroll), kid’s music (Bill Shontz’s Teddy Bear Picnic) and country (Maria Rose & Danny Elswick). Of course, there are also horses, goats and funny dogs – seriously. Raul Castano’s Comedy Dogs strut their stuff at 2:30.
Tuesday: Ensemble Zora, Metropolis Wine Bar (Brattleboro) – A new-to-me venue welcomes a quartet of singers who were inspired by a visit to Bosnia last year. They perform village music, dance songs and the urban Muslim music of Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia and Macedonia. They’re joined by Miamon Miller on fiddle and Chuck Corman on bass and dumbek (a goblet-shaped instrument also known as a chalice drum).
Wednesday: Wynton Marsalis Quintet, Iron Horse – The ambassador of American jazz stops in Northampton for four intimate shows – two each on Tuesday and Wednesday. These dates were postponed when sax player Wes Anderson took ill, but they’re un-cancelled now. Marsalis leads things on trumpet, with Dan Nimmer playing piano, Carlos Henriquez on bass, Walter Blanding Jr. taking over for Anderson on saxophone and Ali Jackson at the drums.