By definition, it targets your tastebuds. But according to West Side Taste of the Valley Entertainment Chair Stella Kalamarakis, the 2014 installment of the popular annual event will offer an eclectic experience for your auditory canal as well.
“For starters, we are very excited to have Noah Lis back with us,” she beams. “You may recall he was recently on The Voice, chosen for Blake Shelton’s team.”
Other returning festival staples include the 94th Army Band, Good Acoustics and Sweet Daddy Cool Breeze.
New for this year’s event—which occurs on West Springfield’s Town Common June 12-15—are Soul Sensations (June 12 at 7 p.m.), Twizted Twins (featuring scene stalwart Livio, June 13 at 7 p.m.) and bluesman Tommy Whalen and his Ragged Edge (June 13 at 5 p.m.).
For her part, Kalamarakis is banking on her big “Boss” band, Springsteen sound-alikes Tramps Like Us, to end the fest’s live concert series on a high note June 15.
“It’s Father’s Day, and the band is coming up from New York/New Jersey, so we are hoping all the dads will be able to come down and enjoy what I am sure is quite a show,” she concludes.
Admission to the to the Taste—including all music performances—is free. For a full schedule of performances, vendors and more, kindly point your browser to westsidetaste.com.
Speaking of suds and sounds… quirk pop-rock kings NRBQ resurface this month with a headlining slot at the 2014 Northampton Summer Brewfest, on tap for Saturday, June 14 at the Three County Fairgrounds (threecountyfair.com). The local play comes just three days prior to the release of the band’s latest studio effort, Brass Tacks.
“Duke Ellington said ‘jazz is the music of personalities,’” notes founding member Terry Adams. “The same is true of NRBQ music. The sound comes from the personalities and the way the music is played. There’s a specific way NRBQ music is meant to be played, and that’s the sound.”
In addition to 10 new original tracks, including the acoustic-driven “It’ll Be Alright” and tongue-and-cheek ode to credit card reliance “Greetings From Delaware,” Brass Tacks contains a distinctly Q take on the Rodgers & Hammerstein classic “Getting to Know You.”
As for Summer Brew, local ska-punk-rockers Danny Pease & The Regulators get the opening honors. Tix for the event are $25 in advance and $30 at the door and include five “tastes” and a souvenir mug. All attendees must be at least 21.
Now it may be a slight exaggeration to say that this next band is “all the rage.” But The Last Internationale—slated to perform at Noho’s Iron Horse this Thursday, June 12—has had the benefit of working with two of the four members of Rage Against The Machine.
Rage guitarist Tom Morello became an early supporter of the socially conscious band, dubbing it one of his “favorites in the next wave of rebel rockers” and signing on to be executive producer of the band’s debut album. A phone call and listen later, Morello convinced Rage drummer Brad Wilk to join the band behind the kit, too.
Tix for this 8:30 p.m. show are $9.93 in advance (courtesy of show sponsor Laser 99.3 FM) and $10 at the door.•
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