The many talented artists we’ve welcomed

2018

Pat Irwin, Sasha Dobson, and Daria Grace (PI Power Trio) draw on the rich tradition of instrumental rock ‘n roll, then surprise you and blow it up.  Legendary rock critic Robert Palmer, writing in The New York Times, described Irwin as a “mercurial presence on the New York rock scene of the early ’80’s. The bands he helped found, The Raybeats and 8 Eyed Spy, resembled each other only in that both had an aversion to the predictable and ordinary.”

Irwin a long time member of the B-52s, joining the band in 1989 and helping to bring hits “Love Shack” and “Roam” to mass audiences around the world.  He’s also composed the music for hundreds of cartoons including “Rocko’s Modern Life” and “SpongeBob SquarePants.” Sasha Dobson (who often opens for Willie Nelson) was a member of Puss ‘N Boots (with Norah Jones), whose record “Aquarius” was hailed by Magnet as “raw and compelling,” and whose “Into The Trees” was released in 2014 to wide acclaim.  Daria Grace has been singing and playing on the New York Scene for over 20 years, and has toured and recorded with avant-rockers God Is My Co-Pilot, pop-noir sextet Melomane, and Hawaiian swing quartet The Moonlighters. Her current band, the Pre-War Ponies, specialize in obscure tunes from the 20s and 30s. Their 2016 recording, “Get Out Under The Moon” was recently praised by the New York Daily Music Blog, “Grace is one of New York’s most distinctive and elegant singers.”

The Sweetback Sisters
This renegade retro band offers a modern take on country music, pushing their timely take on country’s golden age into more adventurous territory that includes blazing leads, charging rhythms, and playful lyrics.    The Boston Globe’s James Reed writes, “…they have the perfect balance of sass, sincerity, and swing. And a good sense of humor, too.”

Openers:

Sasha Dobson is an American jazz singer-songwriter from Santa Cruz, California. She is now based in New York City.

Izzy Heltai A North Adams native, Heltai’s work teeters between loss and love, but celebrates how most often it’s both at once. This simultaneity crafts pieces that are at once heartbreaking and joyous.

2017

With intricate African rhythms and close harmonies that are almost R&B, this Afro-soul band,  Betsayda Machado, with its spirit-shaking percussion will have you floating on air. “It’s the kind of group that world-music fans have always been thrilled to discover: vital, accomplished, local, unplugged, deeply rooted,” said The New York Times.

Milton has toured extensively throughout the states since 2005, as a headliner and appearing as support for Joan Osborne, Steave Earle, Sonny Landreth, and Colin Hay. Milton has spent a good part the last year opening shows all over the country for his friend and mentor Chris Smither. “He has the pitch and rhythm to carry the day, and his sophisticated lyrics keep listeners coming back for more.” The New York Times

Tony Trischka Territory
Considered to be the consummate banjo artist and perhaps the most influential banjo player in the roots music world, Trischka’s stylings have inspired a generation of bluegrass and acoustic musicians with the many voices he’s brought to the instrument. NPR calls him the “great banjo liberationist”.

Anna & Elizabeth stand at the vanguard of tradition and the avant-garde combining harmonic vocals, banjo, fiddle with visual art and movement. “Altogether, it is a radical expansion of what folk songs are supposed to do and, by extension, of the kind of people we—in hearing them, or, in this case, experiencing them, and maybe contemplating the world’s movements, or people’s migrations around the oceans of the world—might be.” The New Yorker

Western Centuries “If it seems crazy to compare any band today to giants like the Band and the Flying Burrito Brothers, then call me crazy,” said Exclaim! Magazine, “but Western Centuries is the country super group we’ve been waiting for: three first-rate lead singers, each of whom writes solid, heartwarming and heartbreaking country songs, together in one band.”

Sarah Lee Guthrie
Her lineage is undeniable. But if you close your eyes and forget that her last name is synonymous with the river-legacy of a widening current of American folk music, you’d still be drawn to the clarity and soul behind her voice. There is a gentle urgency to her interpretations of the songs she sings and the classic music of her heritage.

Grammy winner Dom Flemons is the “American Songster,” pulling traditions of old-time folk music to create new sounds. A founder of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, he’s played festivals from Bonnaroo to Grand Ole Oprey. “Dom Flemons is a fount of knowledge about all kinds of music, but most importantly, he has enriched the world with his thorough and entertaining tales about the American Songster tradition.” Everything Sundry

Openers:

Rachel Laitman  A western Massachusetts native, singing beautiful, lilting narratives of dreams, feelings and circumstance. (Cummington, Mass)

Moonshine Holler  A two-person music festival that captures the essence of American southern roots music, this duet is devoted to the rich repertoire of old-time music. (Lee, Mass)

Eliza Edens  Hailing from Williamstown, Edens spins songs with wistful lyrics and winding melodies. (Williamstown Mass)