Nightcrawler: Hitting the Skids

Perhaps Enfield’s finest should get hazardous duty pay for the annual Fourth of July celebration occurring at the town green July 6-8.

The Crawler certainly isn’t a chemistry major, but when you factor in one constant (the annual festival always boasts one of the largest fireworks display in the area) with new variables (this year’s headliners include hairspray heavyweights L.A. Guns, Warrant and Skidrow), all the elements certainly seem to be in place for one explosive event.

“Well, you know, the goal is to offer something for everyone,” Enfield Fourth Entertainment Director Michael Pestana notes. “So yes, we decided it would be fun to package some of the bigger metal bands of the ’80s and ’90s this year. We have more of a classic rock theme going for Friday with Dave Mason and NRBQ, and of course, Sundays are always reserved for the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.”

While many if not all of the aforementioned acts can command $10-$30 gate admissions for individual performances, Pestana is pleased to report that all Enfield Celebration performances are free.

And, per tradition, he has also found a place for some homegrown talent, with the Savage Brothers slated for Friday at 5 p.m. and Connecticut troubadour Chuck Costa on Sunday.

“Chuck Costa’s show is interesting, because he is actually going to work with children to write some songs earlier in the day, then invite them to come up and play with him on the stage at 4:30,” Pestana adds.

Other festival activities include a parade, kids’ rides and foodstuffs from area eateries. For more details and schedules, kindly point your browser to


Meanwhile, Valley folk-rockers Merrick Section are similarly coming off a free performance at the Taste of The Valley. And that’s a fact not lost on founding member Jim Walsh as the band prepares to charge $15 in advance ($17 at the door) for its first experience with a ticketed show at The Majestic Theater this Friday, July 6.

“We’ll be playing two sets, the first featuring our originals and the second a Dylan tribute honoring the 50 years since his first studio album,” he explains. “We are all Dylan fans, and, although it’s been a lot of work, we really wanted to be sure the fans got their money’s worth.”

Helping Walsh and company realize their Dylan commemorative are special guests Donna-Lee Deprille, Steve Piper (of The Roadhouse Band), Dan O’Brien (best known for his work with The Earth) and the vocal duo CO2 (Mark Wassung and Mike Scott), to name a choice few.

While upping the audio ante, Merrick Section also proves reliably altruistic, donating all the profits from the event (above and beyond The Majestic’s operating costs) to Autism Speaks—Advocating for Alyssa.

For more information on the cause, concert, band or free downloads culled from their Valley Homegrown taping from March, visit the band’s cyber-home at


Last but not least: more sounds of summer sans a cover at Pizzeria Uno on Columbus Avenue in Springfield.

The popular pizzeria’s annual Courtyard Series On The Patio is in full swing, offering seven nights of music—weather permitting—into the month of September.

Every Monday will feature the time-tested stylings of the EagleEyes Band (featuring boyhood friends/scene veterans Bob Kelley and Mike George), followed by acoustic-rock staple Frank Manzi every Tuesday and Eric Bascom on Wednesdays. The Good Acoustics Band offers everything from Journey to Jason Mraz every Thursday, while the area’s premiere dance/showband Emotion (Friday), pop-rock practictioners the Tom Ingram Trio (Saturday) and blues/jazz siren Ethel Lee (Sunday) round out the weekend.

For more information or to confirm a performance when the skies look iffy, please call (413) 733-1300.

Send correspondence to Nightcrawler, P.O. Box 427, Somers, CT 06071; fax to (860) 394-4262 or email

Author: Gary Carra

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