Mary Ellen Matthews Photo
On Wednesday, Aug. 14, “America’s Best Unknown Songwriter” hosts the “most well-attended, longest-running free concert in Northampton” when seasoned singer/songwriter Roger Salloom (rogersalloom.com) takes to the Pines Theater stage in Look Park.
While the second claim in the preceding statement is admittedly a guesstimate by Salloom himself, the first came courtesy of the subtitle from an award-winning documentary about the singer/songwriter who first broke into the scene in the ’60s via the San Francisco psychedelic movement. Helping Salloom celebrate the musical milestone of 30 years of free summer concerts in Northampton this week are R&B royalty Charles Neville and Jessica Freeman, the latter of whom was born the same year Salloom started this whole shebang: 1983.
In other Noho news… beloved blue-collar Celt-rockers the Dropkick Murphys may be shipping up to Holyoke this Friday, Aug. 16 to perform at Mountain Park, but as recent activities and a Rolling Stone article show, they certainly haven’t forgotten about their hometown of Boston.
In fact, the band that began in a Quincy, Mass. barbershop basement before finding multiplatinum fame (and prominent placement in Scorsese’s film The Departed) recently donated in excess of $250,000 to the victims of the Boston bombings.
The funding was raised via a combination of T-shirt sales and a benefit show/charity EP featuring a “Boss” collaboration.
“Bruce [Springsteen] actually called us up the day of the bombing and asked what he could do to help,” Dropkick’s six-stringer revealed via the Springsteen fansite Backstreets. “We didn’t have to reach out. He was there for us.”
Tix for this weekend’s show are $31 and available at iheg.com. Swingin’ Utters, Barroom Heroes and the Valley’s own Big Bad Bollocks are also on that bill.
Meanwhile, East Longmeadow’s Tracy Plass checked in to report that the James Maddock show she helped put together for this Thursday, Aug. 15 at her local St. Mark’s Episcopal Church is as much rooted in eco-friendliness as it is in her enthusiasm for the artist’s work.
“I had been giving James’ new CD out to friends as gifts, and a lot of them had expressed interest in seeing him,” she explains. “But James lives in—and primarily performs in—New York, which is a long drive.”
Plass’ mother was a founding member of St. Mark’s, and knowing that the rector is very open to having musical events at the church, she decided to reach out and see if she could make something happen in her own back yard.
Maddock himself is perhaps best known for fronting Wood—a Brit band that virtually wrote the soundtrack for the television show Dawson’s Creek—and enjoyed all the exposure the opportunity afforded when said show became a hit.
His current sonic calling card is titled Another Life, a solo effort which, he told the Crawler, strives for a “totally acoustic, natural sound—using percussion sometimes rather than a full drum kit to keep it as minimalist as possible” and hopefully “achieve a James Taylor-type quality.”
Tix for this rare, intimate local show are $15 in advance/$20 at the door and available by calling (413) 525-6341. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for the 7 p.m. performance.
Last up, a string of words that the Crawler is fairly certain he has never before used in his nearly two-decade career chronicling the New England music scene: “Wells, Maine-based rapper” Spose plays Noho’s Iron Horse (iheg.com) this Saturday, Aug. 17.
The local appearance actually brings a recent Kickstarter campaign full circle, too, as Spose (whose real name is Ryan Peters) comes in support of his recently released Peter Sparker Mixtape—an effort that was made possible (and available for fans to download for free at his website, pdank.com) by the nearly $28,000 raised from the popular online fundraising platform.
Spurred by the success of his 2010 hit single “I’m Awesome”—which netted more than 12 million Youtube views and 800,000 digital downloads—Spose scored a contract with Universal/Republic Records and has opened for acts as diverse as Ke$sha and Drake, Weezer and Stone Temple Pilots.
Tix for this weekend’s show are $10 in advance, $13 at the door.•
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