Ironically, FAT frontman Peter Newland recalls coming up with the bright idea of Jam 4 Springfield while sitting in his darkened Springfield home just over a year ago.
“The tornado had just hit, and it occurred to me that, as destructive as it was, Springfield had actually been sitting in the center of a storm of social and cultural decay and diminishing economic opportunity for the better part of two decades,” Newland says. “It didn’t make sense to address the short term effects of the natural disaster and ignore the larger problem.”
Rather, Newland crafted what he believes to be a grand scale, long-term solution to his concerns—Jam 4 Springfield. With the aim of being a “rock-fueled revenue engine” that addresses critical inner city issues such as hunger and youth violence, Jam 4 Springfield has a mission statement that celebrates the history, culture and architecture of the city as a means of raising the quality of the downtown experience.
And to kick off the organization’s first endeavor—a multi-band performance slated for Springfield’s Paramount Theater this Saturday, Nov. 3—he has enlisted some high-quality and high-profile help.
In addition to Newland’s own FAT (which enjoyed major label success in the ’70s), Jam 4 Springfield’s inaugural event will include performances by bonafide blues nobility The James Montgomery Band and The Spaminato Brothers—featuring the siblings of same name best known for their work with NRBQ.
“I love this city,” Newland declares. “Springfield is where my band was born and where our music matured. That night, in the dark, I made a decision to connect my passion for music to my love for the city where I live to try and make a difference.”
All profits from this weekend’s show are earmarked for The Open Pantry.
“A particularly timely effort in that in state, federal and private funding for the pantry have been drastically cut while the number of people relying on it for food have doubled,” Newland notes.
Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door and available at jam4springfield.com.
Not to be confused… bassist Pete Newman, along with drummer Roger LaRochelle, is unleashing a “monster” into the masses this weekend as well—as in the Jonny Monster Band, fronted by the singer/guitarist of same name.
Although their self-titled debut disc was just released in January of 2011, the New York-based blues rockers have already shared stages with the likes of Jefferson Starship and Johnny Winter, and headlined everywhere, from Arlene’s Grocery to the Beale Street Taproom in Memphis in the months that followed.
This Saturday, Nov. 3 finds them playing as a power trio at the Polish American Citizens Club in South Hadley. The Monster mash is slated to kick off with an open mic/blues jam hosted by the Bobby Roast Beef All Stars from 7 to 10 p.m., followed by the headliners.
For tix or more information, kindly point your browser to facebook.com/bcbm413.
Last but not least, Fear Nuttin Band (fnb.bigcartel.com) fretman Chris Regan elected to let the Crawler know that his band’s new disc—Vibes, Love, Revolution—will be released on Election Day.
“It’s finally done, and more importantly, we finally have a hometown show booked to celebrate it, too,” Regan reveals. “We’ve been going so many places for so long, it’s going to feel so good to rock out in our back yard again.”
The concert will occur on Friday, Nov. 9 at Chicopee’s Maximum Capacity with Philly-funk rockers Three Legged Fox, The Professors and Bangfield, with Frank White lending sonic support.
The disc has already been declared “one of the most anticipated releases of 2012” by a jury of the band’s peers—or, to put it more accurately, the online home of reggae-rock mag The Pier (thepier.org). A free download of the title track can also be found at The Pier under the website’s “MP3 Leak Of The Week” tab.•
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