This Week’s Compass


Worth driving out of town

What: Dierks Bentley and the Travelin’ McCourys

Where: Calvin Theatre,

When: Sunday, May 9 at 8 p.m.

Tickets: $29.50


Distance: 80 Miles

Rising country star Dierks Bentley can really rock; he came close to stealing the show from guitar hero Brad Paisley a while back at Meadowbrook.  But on his current tour, Bentley steps away from the big sound of recent efforts like Feel That Fire to play bluegrass with legendary picker Del McCoury’s band, sans the patriarch. Bentley will preview tracks from his forthcoming Up on the Ridge album, an edgy work that includes a cover of U2’s “Pride (In the Name of Love)” with Del McCoury singing harmony.

Bentley’s roots are in bluegrass, and he’s correct in noting that the genre is often more willing to push the boundaries of music than country.  He’ll be plugging in soon enough, so don’t miss this chance to follow Dierks Bentley back to his beginnings. The wryly-talented Hayes Carll, who wrote the hilarious “She Left Me For Jesus” a while back, opens the show.


Mark your calendar

What: Roots on the River a/k/a FredElevensmith

Where: Various locations in and around Bellows Falls

When: Thursday, June 10 through Sunday, June 13

Tickets: Full weekend $99-$150 and $25 for single day tickets on June 10, 11 & 13 (June 12 – $40)


With the addition of the amazing David Bromberg to the all-day Saturday show, the lineup for the 11th edition of Fred Fest, named for burly Fred Eaglesmith, is now set.  Premium packages with VIP seating, goody bag and other niceties are selling at a brisk pace, with the two top levels already snapped up.

It kicks off Thursday, June 10 at the Bellows Falls Opera House, when Zydeco king Michael Doucet plays with Beausoleil, along with breakout Americana band Joy Kills Sorrow.

There’s a free show Friday, June 11 at the Bellows Falls Farmers Market with Traveler and the Johnson Boys, and a ticketed set at the Everyday Inn with the smoking hot Sarah Borges and her band the Broken Singles, Hot Mustard, Joanne Shaw Taylor and Fred Eaglesmith’s first show of the weekend.

The all day Saturday, June 12 show features Eaglesmith, Bromberg and his quartet, the Ginn Sisters, Starline Rhythm Boys, Roger Marin, Audrey Auld, festival favorites Gandalf Murphy & The Slambovian Circus of Dreams, Will Kimbrough & Tommy Womack performing as DADDY and the Angel Band.

The unplugged Meetinghouse show on Sunday, June 13 features the heart-stopping Mary Gauthier, and of course Fred.


Local Music Spotlight

Who:  Arthur James and Northbound

What: Blues-rock

Sounds like: Stevie Ry Vaughn, Jay Geils

Consisting of Arthur James on guitar and vocals, bass player/singer Gil Rand and Alan Phenix on drums, Arthur James and Northbound can go old school or up to date with their blues. James his band specializes in “a contemporary nuevo-retro reworking of the blues, with smatterings of irrelevance, quasi-psychedelic-mystical reinterpretations of the good old 1/4/5 idiom that is the backbone of the blues.”

Last weekend, guitarist James sat in at the long-running Sunday afternoon blues jam at Goffstown’s Village Trestle. Maybe he was looking for yet another band to join.  In addition to Northbound – James also plays with Electric Marmoset, as well as unplugged with Acoustic Mayhem (he’ll also go electric with the latter band, calling it Unacoustic Mayhem.

Upcoming gigs (Arthur James & Northbound):

Sat, May 8, Salt Hill Pub, Lebanon

Sat, May 15, Sunset Grill, Campton, NH

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