Summer is no doubt the time that I am thankful for living in Western Massachusetts. Combine the bounty of the farm stands, the quiet and still of early evening, and the excitement of the many outdoor music events that provide so much entertainment, and time to catch up with old friends. We’re no longer hibernating, we’re all out and about!
Coming up on August 24, at the lovely Pines Theater at Look Park in Northampton, Old Crow Medicine Show will bring their electric and high-energy style of string music, which their adoring and loyal fan base will certainly enjoy. The band is old timey, and at the same time, they rock out. And the venue is a classic–giant white pines grace each side of the stage, and patrons sit on the lawn in an intimate venue that accommodates about 2000. Bring low-back chairs, but no booze, since they sell it there.
You can get into Look park at 5, have a picnic before you enter the Pines, then enjoy food trucks like Local Burger, La Veracruzana and others and sip beer and wine. $10 covers your whole group in a car, so carpool and save some bucks on that.
Earlier this spring, Old Crow released 50 Years of Blonde on Blonde, their re-imagined version of Bob Dylan’s album. The 14-song project was recorded live at the historic Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, on the anniversary of the iconic album. I for one look forward to hearing their versions of Just Like a Woman, or Leopard-skin Pillbox-hat!
Another couple is joining us for the show, and we’ll picnic on the grounds, rather than go into Northampton for dinner. I’ll take an al fresco picnic over a restaurant any time!
In Easthampton, another season is gearing up for MillPond Live! This music series happens in the band shell and park next to the Northampton-to-Easthampton bike trail, where three busy breweries offer their beers. Oh, and the concerts are FREE!
Buy a beer from the eclectic assortment of breweries that have cropped up in this former factory space, and wander over to the music. Food trucks provide tasty food, and you’ll see many locals as well as visitors at these popular concerts.
On Sat. August 16, Sunset Boogaloo will provide an evening of funk, soul, hip-hop and spicy Latin Boogalou. The lineup features Brooklyn’s Spanglish Fly, Valley Supergroup, New City Soul, the Khalif Neville Trio and Tang Sauce.
Then on Sat August 26, ‘Art and Activism’ This remarkable evening is a multimedia journey that incorporates music, spoken word, video, and visual art. The event is both a conversation about social justice and a tribute in memoriam to Art Steele, a Valley man who spent his life empowering performers locally, nationally, and abroad.
On September 2, the show is Nashville and New City, featuring heart searing ballads and a dash of hip-shaking groove. The lineup includes Nashville’s rising star, Jamie Kent; the Hudson Valley harmonious sextet, Upstate Rubdown; Austin Angel, Shawnee Kilgore; and Berkshire balladeer, Izzy Helta
Two more shows are planned in September for Millpond Live, but details aren’t yet available.
Millpond Live shows begin at 7, visit their website for more information.
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