Nightcrawler: Fair Judging

Like many an agricultural fair, Franklin County’s fair (—occurring Sept. 5-8—will include judging of livestock. What makes the Greenfield-based event different than others is that in this, its 165th installment, live musical acts will also be judged.

The Valley festival has been tapped to participate in the Texaco Country Showdown (—America’s largest and longest running talent search competition.

The local leg of the national battle begins with a Franklin County competition on the grandstand on Friday, Sept. 6 and culminates with a regional final Saturday, Sept. 7 featuring winners from all over the Northeast. A trip to Nashville for the finals and a recording contract valued at more than $100,000 hangs in the balance.

In addition to those entering the sonic showdown, the Franklin County Fair is slated to feature performances by Brian Clayton & The Green River Band and Lost In The Groove—the latter of which features the Fairs own Scott Kuzmeskus, reuniting with local notables Phil Harrington, Mark Cleveland and Chris Robischaud.

The Franklin County Fair opens for business Thursday, Sept. 5 at 3 p.m. and runs through the weekend. Gate prices are $9 for adults, $6 for seniors 60 and over, $7 for youths aged 9-17 and children 8 free. (Additional fees for inside parking, $4, and outside parking, $3, also apply.)

Not to be outdone, Suffield, Conn.’s Suffield on the Green’proves it isn’t suffering from festival performance envy by trotting out no less than the likes of classic rockers Flashback, the Alan Fenton Big Band and former Advocate Grand Band slam victors Truckstop Troubadours to town Sept. 7-8. The event is free to attend. In addition to the cents-less acts of audio, Suffield on the Green also features edibles, courtesy of local food purveyors, as well as exhibits by artisans, crafters, childrens activities and more.

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And from Suffield on the Green we go back in black… with The Pitchblak Brass Band, that is. Hailing from Brooklyn, N.Y., the 10-piece hip-hop outfit arrives at Noho’s Iron Horse ( Sept. 6 to promote—and perform—tunes from the highly anticipated debut studio effort, You See Us, set to drop nationwide Sept. 10.

Meanwhile, organizers of what started as a free, one-day, outdoor event in Noho Sept. 7 have been so jazzed about the response they have received, the have subsequently added several more days of festivities.

“The amount of enthusiasm that the business owners and area residents have shown for the 2013 Northampton Jazz Festival indicated that more than one day was needed,” reports Festival Treasurer Jeffrey Siegel. “Now we’re able to start collaborating with other arts groups and businesses, and we hope to be filling more venues.”

Already added to the fold: a food and film affair at Easthamp’s Popcorn Noir Sept. 5 that includes a free screening of Robert Altman’s jazz-scored Kansas City and a Northampton “Jazz Strut” Sept. 6 featuring the Zach Danzinger Trio, Stephen Page, Intertrip and more. For the complete rundown, hit up•

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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