Nightcrawler: Into the Mystic

In the mythical tale of Pandora’s box, opening the fabled vessel unleashes all the evils of the world.

When it comes to Mystic, Connecticut’s Barefoot Truth and its experience with the online streaming audio server of same name, the resulting exposure has literally opened a world rich in opportunity.

“[We’ve] basically been given international airplay and distribution by Pandora, and we are completely blown away by the numbers,” guitarist Jay Driscoll notes of the 8 million spins they’ve received from the service to date. “Our song ‘Roll If Ya Fall’ has well over 4 million spins alone. As an independent band, that is about as close as we can come to a hit single.”

Propelled by Pandora, sharing stages with Crosby & Nash, Bruce Hornsby and Bela Fleck, and with a viral video for the first track off the newly released Best Bet featuring the band members in a 160 m.p.h. wind tunnel, the Barefooters have made great strides in the industry. And it’s those accomplishments—coupled with the fact that all the band’s five members have either lived or attended school in the Northampton area—that have landed them one of their biggest honors to date: a two-night, four-performance stand at the storied Iron Horse (iheg.com) Nov. 4 and 5.

“I can remember our first opening slot there. [We were] amazed that they were even letting us play,” Driscoll recalls. “We started as an opening band, then sold out our own headlining show, then two straight shows, and are now taking a shot at four shows. It has certainly been a strong testament to the band’s growth.”

The Iron Horse homestand will showcase Barefoot Truth’s versatility—each night’s 7 p.m. show will be a sit-down, acoustic affair followed by rockin’ sets at 10 p.m.

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Speaking of Noho and musical notable Bela Fleck, it should be noted that Bela and his original Flecktones will perform at Iron Horse sister venue The Calvin in Northampton Nov. 10. The local stop comes in support of Rocket Science, the original outfit’s first foray into the studio in nearly two decades.

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Back into the Mystic… The historic Mystic Seaport (mysticseaport.org) in Connecticut has launched a week’s worth of festivities in honor of what many consider its crowning jewel—the arrival of the 1841 whaleship the Charles W. Morgan.

While some of the events have already sailed by, including the kickoff fireworks, lantern lighting and antique car show, there’s still time to catch a free concert in the Mystic River Park with the Instant Family band from 6 to 7 p.m. on Nov. 3. The series culminates on Nov. 5 with the world premiere of the original play “Prince of Whalers.” And for the first time in the Seaport’s history, access to the grounds and all the day’s activities will be absolutely free.

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For a minute there, the newly hatched Western Mass. quintet The Chickenyard (http://www.thechickenyard.com) thought its debut release, JuneBug, might not surface ’til damn near the month of June.

“The tornado came through during our recording, and we lost power at my home studio for a few days,” singer/songwriter Paul Sticca recalls. “But we got back on track with candles and battery backup… and I even utilized the time to break out my grandfather’s accordion and work through a backing track for the song ‘Disconnected.'”

Not only did the never-say-die attitude allow the band to wrap up the project on schedule, but JuneBug has already garnered praise from Recording Magazine.

The Chickenyard will celebrate the release of JuneBug at Theodores’ in Springfield this Thursday, Nov. 3, and again at the Black Moon Music Lounge in Belchertown Nov. 25.

Send correspondence to Nightcrawler, PO Box 427, Somers, CT 06071; fax to (860) 394-4262 or email Garycarra@aol.com.

Author: Gary Carra

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