It’s not uncommon for folks to have Charles Dickens on their minds this time of year.
But while most are conjuring images of the author’s famed Christmas Carol, Joe Urban checked in to share A Tale of Two Cities.
Quite simply, it is literally the best and worst of times for him and his Zing Studios. Just as they were celebrating All That Remains’ number 13 Billboard debut of A War You Cannot Win—a disc recorded in the Westfield facility—news came that fellow Zing band Maker almost met its Maker on the way to a gig in Texas.
“The band lost control of their Chevrolet Suburban on the way to a show in Texas, and the vehicle flipped, ejecting and injuring two people,” Urban, Zing’s business manager, reports. “A crew member was hospitalized in critical condition.”
“We’re trying to raise money to help pay hospital bills and buy a new vehicle,” Soucy says. “Any help is appreciated.”
As of press time, the band has planned on continuing its current tour with Major League and Turnover. The closest local play on the remaining leg of that is a Dec. 21 stop at Hartford’s Webster Theater Underground.
In other news, Bright Lights Music founder Judy Lemay reports that an unexpected illness also derailed a “Christmas in Connecticut” dinner show she had recently planned—and the Crawler recently plugged—just about a month ago.
“The Skyline [the Windsor Locks venue hosting the event] had to do tons of refunds and [noted area crooner] Jimmy Mazz had flown in from Florida special for it,” she laments. “I was thinking I should get out of town. But Jimmy is the consummate gentleman and The Skyline gang are sweet and accommodating, so we’re going to give it another shot!”
The rescheduled show is slated for Dec. 16 and will once again feature Mazz and a buffet meal for $39 per person. For more information on the show or to reserve a table, kindly point your browser to brightlightsmusic.com.
Not to be outdone, Noho’s Iron Horse (iheg.com) will play host to a night of Irish Christmas in America on Dec. 18. Now in its eighth season, the annual offering infuses a mix of Irish music, stories, solstice celebrations and sing-alongs with traditional fiddle tunes, carols and step dancing.
“One of the most heartfelt themes of Irish Christmas is emigration,” notes show creator/Sligo County fiddler Oisin Mac Diarmada. “Music was a way that people stayed close to home.”
Joining Mac Diarmada are West Kerry accordionist Seamus Begley, Irish harpist Grainne Hambly, flutist/bagpiper Sean Gavin and dancer Brian Cunningham, to name a choice few.
Tix are $25 in advance, $30 at the door.
And, since we’re (Iron) horsin’ around, a singer-songwriter with strong ties to the Valley—Dar Williams—celebrates her recently released ninth studio effort, In The Time Of Gods, with not one but two Iron Horse shows this weekend (Dec. 14 and 15). According to Williams, each of the 10 tunes on the disc is about a different god from Greek mythology. Both shows start at 7 p.m. with $30 advance/$35 door admission prices.
Last but least, as promised, another stocking stuffer for the aspiring virtuoso in your life.
What do you a call a person who hangs out with musicians? A drummer. And a drummer without a girlfriend? Homeless. There are a million musician jokes, and humorist Hal Leonard has culled some 500-plus of his favorites for The Musician’s Ultimate Joke Book—available at amazon.com for approximately $10. From Chopin to Lennon, Gilles to Presley, Lennon’s barbs spare no one—the perfect thing to pass the time when you’re waiting for the guitar player to tune up or the singer to show up.•
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