Like any self-respecting moonshiner, Susie Hanna says she is tweaking the multi-act musical mash she named The Whiskey Treaty and loosed on the masses in 2012.
“Last year was kind of a test run,” she says of the second annual event that will see five musical acts, including Greg Smith, The Broken English, Bright Lines and more, take to two stages at Greenfield’s Arts Block on Black Friday, Nov. 29. “We wanted to celebrate these great performers from Western Mass., and invented a festival as we went along. This year things are pretty dialed in and we are just trying to make sure everyone can get in the door!”
To ensure your seat at the Treaty—and discounted admission ($13 as opposed to $15 at the door)—kindly point your browser to theartsblock.com.
The Whiskey Cafe will serve food from the Smithsonian Chowder House. Locally produced beer will also be available for purchase at the event.
Meanwhile, just across the border in Enfield, Conn., Johnny Sixgun six-stringer Pete Polis is all abuzz when it comes to the topic of his band’s Nov. 30 engagement at the local Elks Club on North Maple Street.
“Our show is actually a BYOB fundraiser for the F.I.R.S.T Robotics Competition,” he explains. “I am a mentor for First, and our team is sponsored by United Technologies Aerospace Systems and partnered with Enrico Fermi High School here in Enfield. All in, more than 250,000 students the world over compete, so it’s a pretty big deal. It also costs a pretty penny to make it all happen and travel as needed—and this benefit is one way I could think of to help defray that.”
Adding some sonic firepower to Sixgun’s attack is opening act Bang—a natural pairing both in moniker and, as it turns out, direct bloodline. Bang’s lead singer is Olivia Gaines, daughter of Sixgun frontman Billy Gaines—not to mention a former Foxwoods Idol winner and a Season 12 American Idol contestant who made it to the Hollywood stage.
Ticket donations for this 21-plus show are $20. To obtain yours in advance, call (860) 209-9198 or (860) 883-6941. Doors open at 6 p.m.
In another act of audio altruism, scene staple Bill “Wildcat” O’Halloran aided his fellow bluesman Art Steele last Thanksgiving Eve with a benefit concert that netted thousands for Steele’s medical bills after a horrific auto accident. This year, he’ll return to Amherst’s Irish pub The Harp Nov. 27 with friends Wally Greaney, Ottomatic Slim, and John Sheldon in a quest to succeed where the federal government continues to languish—providing an emergency fund a Pioneer Valley musician can use in the future for healthcare and other related costs as needed. And, hell, his website (wildcatohalloran.com) even works, too!
“Given the nature of the biz, many of our great Valley-based performers are sadly un- or under-insured,” the Wild one notes. “So we thought we’d be proactive this year and set up a nonprofit so the next time disaster strikes one of our own, we won’t have to scurry quite as much.”
Another act that participated in O’Halloran’s charitable happening last year was Llama Lasagna (facebook.com/pages/Llama-Lasagne/327828888630), a theme-based music collective featuring members of local, regional and national acts. According to LL’s Jay Metcalf, he and his band of merry musicmakers have already committed to an evening of entertainment that just might be the “sleeper” hit of the Thanksgiving weekend.
“That’s right, break out your bootys, because it’s a Llama pajama party at The Elevens Nov. 30,” Metcalf exclaims. “We’ve got members of The Alchemystics, Rubblebucket, Happy Valley Guitar Orchestra, Danny Pease and The Regulators, Primate Fiasco—you name it. A full horn section, backup singers, choreographed dancing—guaranteed, well-produced fun, in short!”
Those short of cash can also receive a discount at the door if they donate a new, unopened, unwrapped toy.•
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