T hough Ludlow firefighter Dan McKenney is in full support of his brethren pounding the pavement in an effort to fill boots with loot for Muscular Dystrophy, he decided a couple of years ago it was time to step it up.
"After considering several options, we thought, 'What better way to bring people together for a cause than music?'" he told the 'Crawler back in 2010. "Ludlow has always been a town with a passion for music, and we have many natives who have gone on to pursue careers in the industry."
In keeping with his goal of "outdoing himself in attendance, exposure, lineup and giving the maximum to local families dealing with the disease," McKenney is proud to report that he has upped the audio/altruism ante once again in 2012—inking celebrated singer/songwriter Jonathan Edwards to headline a field of local notables including Lobsterz From Marz, Chop Shop and Timberlake.
'We were particularly psyched to get Jonathan because it's just such a perfect fit, considering his Western Mass. ties," McKenney notes. "So to get a high profile artist with roots to the region together with some of the best, veteran bands from our backyard is exactly what we're all about."
Well, that and raising funds for the cause, and thanks to Rock the Boot 2011, one local family was given $4,000 to combat MD.
Rock The Boot 2012 will kick off at 2 p.m. this Saturday, Aug. 18 at the Ludlow Fish & Game Club. In addition to the performances, McKenney reports that there will also be vendors, a full menu by Bob's restaurant of Ludlow and a raffle that will include New England sports ticket packages and more.
For additional information or to procure advance tickets ($15/adults, free/children 12 and under) call (413) 218-5369.
In other news, it was lights, camera action for Jersey boys Action Item (actionitemband.com) the past few months as the band self-produced a documentary that chronicled the five best friends' journey through the music biz. With the project, titled Until It's Over, now complete, the small town boys are ready to display their wares on silver screens the country over—complete with an Aug. 23 stop at Studio Cinema in Belmont, Mass.
In addition to the documentary screening, all tour stops will include a question and answer segment and an acoustic performance with the band to include "Learn To Fly," a track that landed in Disney's Top 30 countdown that was produced by Nick Jonas of Jonas Brothers fame.
"Working with Nick was incredibly surreal," Action Item bassist Dave Buczkowski notes of the experience. "When someone of that stature has faith in you, it reaffirms that you are on the right path."
Closer to home, Greg Gillis, working these days under the moniker Girl Talk, comes to Holyoke's Mountain Park Aug. 18 in support of his most recent album, All Day.
To say that the Pittsburg native travels light is an understatement... his instrument is his laptop. But through a series of samples, mash-ups and cut-ups, he certainly weaves some lush sonic tapestries.
Further, the tale from the tour is that he constantly infuses new material into the live shows, virtually ensuring that anyone who took in a Girl Talk show as recently as a month before would hardly recognize the set. For tickets or more information, kindly point your browser to iheg.com.
Last but not least, a somewhat historic meeting will, appropriately, occur at the Meetinghouse in New Salem this Saturday, Aug. 18. On that fateful eve, veteran folk duo MV & EE (Matt Valentine and Erika Elder) share a bill with none other than P.G. Six—a former colleague of theirs from the Tower Recordings folk collective they all belonged to in New York City some two decades ago. Tickets are $10 and available at 1794meetinghouse.org. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.?
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