Nightcrawler: Ringo’s son assumes throne for The Who
Aug17

Nightcrawler: Ringo’s son assumes throne for The Who

The Who certainly aren’t kids anymore, but the iconic British rockers proved more than alright as they absolutely tore through a 21-tune, hit-laden set before a capacity crowd at Mohegan Sun (mohegansun.com) late last month. Catalog spanning radio staples like “I Can’t Explain” and “I Can See for Miles” melded seamlessly into “Behind Blue Eyes,” “You Better You Bet,” “My Generation” and Tommy’s “Pinball Wizard” and...

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Nightcrawler: Panic Room
Mar28

Nightcrawler: Panic Room

Panic! at the Disco ushering in new era of arena rockers; Dio-alum laden Last In Line headline ‘Hump Day’ show in Holyoke It’s a frequent exchange between those who once swung Bics to-and-fro during power ballads and teased their hair so high they could barely fit through regulation doorframes. “Who’s going to carry the.. (cough, cough)…sorry man, you never get used to that ethereal mix of dried ice...

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Nightcrawler: Going Gentle Into That Good Night
Jan23

Nightcrawler: Going Gentle Into That Good Night

After more than two decades delivering the music news in print, Nightcrawler moves online Editor’s Note: Scene stalwart Gary Carra’s Nightcrawler column has long been a fixture at the Valley Advocate — a history that goes back, as he explains here, to the bygone era of Advocate branches in Springfield and New Haven. This week, his column transitions into a semi-regular blog on our refreshed and expanding website. Enjoy some farewell...

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Nightcrawler: Country First
Jan09

Nightcrawler: Country First

This week, a few of the Valley’s more notable country boys will slap on their Stetsons and give the scene a swift, cowboy boot to the posterior. First out of the gate: on Friday Jan. 13, Trailer Trash will serve up heaping portions of modern country rock at Holyoke’s Waterfront Tavern. Cover charge for this 21+ show is $5. The following night, Northampton’s The Bum Steers have rustled up no less than The Lonesome Brothers and Wild...

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Nightcrawler: It’s Not Yuuuge – It’s Jewmongous
Dec19

Nightcrawler: It’s Not Yuuuge – It’s Jewmongous

Sean Altman was best known as a member of the a capella singing group Rockapella, which had a recurring role on the PBS television show Where In The World Is Carmen San Diego? from 1991 to 1995. Since then, based on Altman’s website, he’s been mugging with former senator Joe Lieberman, sharing stages with Billy Joel and Whoopi Goldberg, and hanging out with Terry Gross on NPR. So where in the world is he now? On Friday, Dec. 23,...

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Nightcrawler: Saying Adios to ‘El Tony’ Cruz Reyes
Dec05

Nightcrawler: Saying Adios to ‘El Tony’ Cruz Reyes

Longtime radio personality Mike “Haze” DeJesus’s tale of his first meeting with Springfield-area rockers Hypnotic Kick smacks of a tacky joke set up. “Eighteen years ago, three Puerto Rican gents and an Irish lad walked into the radio station,” he recalled. “I was a fan from day one.” On Sunday, Nov. 27, DeJesus was one of the first to break some devastating news that rocked the regional music scene: Anthony “El Tony” Cruz Reyes, who...

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Nightcrawler: Talkin’ Turkey
Nov21

Nightcrawler: Talkin’ Turkey

Thanksgiving Eve is roundly considered one of the busiest bar days of the year. True to form, this Wednesday, Nov. 23, finds the Valley circuit smattered with live entertainment offerings. Country rockers Trailer Trash will be holding court at Chicopee’s Maximum Capacity, for starters, and Barry Kingston and His Screaming Souls will assume their annual pre-Turkey Day slot at Noho’s Iron Horse. Looking for something a...

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Nightcrawler: Kiss and Time
Nov07

Nightcrawler: Kiss and Time

Can you rock and roll all night and still be home for the 11 o’clock news? The Crawler did — just a couple of Saturdays ago at Mohegan Sun. KISS may be known for their outlandish make-up, ghoulish antics, and fist-pumping anthems. But behind all the greasepaint, the has also managed to amass an impressive knack for tapping opening talent. In fact, many KISS opening acts over the years — which have included Bon Jovi, AC/DC, Iron...

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Nightcrawler: Last (Friday) Impressions
Oct24

Nightcrawler: Last (Friday) Impressions

Most people get paid on it. A few don’t eat meat on it. Ice Cube makes movies about it.  Some thank God for it. Others create restaurant chains derived from that acronym … But that’s the last Friday reference, promise. And speaking of last Fridays: since Oct. 28 is the final ‘F’ of this month, prolific popster Rick Murnane will be releasing another new tune online. “I was going to put out an album this year, but I decided...

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Emo Core
Oct10

Emo Core

He has played multiple instruments, in multiple bands, for multiple decades. The sum total of all these multiples? Scene stalwart Henning Ohlenbusch has played with or supported acts of almost every genre in his prolific career. Rock, pop, surf, psychedelic… You name it. But even Ohlenbusch must admit, the latest gig he has booked – Nov. 16, at the Iron Horse in Northampton – is a definitive first. It’s an Emo show of...

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Nightcrawler: The Big E … DM
Sep26

Nightcrawler: The Big E … DM

Any calendar will tell you Sept. 22, is the official date of the fall equinox — which is fine, for those astronomically-correct types. But this year, I prefer to think of the solstice as happening on Oct. 2 when the Big E in West Springfield hosts an EDM concert they’re calling the Electric Equinox. “There is a growing EDM [electronic dance music] following in this area and for the past few years, we have been working towards building...

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Nightcrawler: Weather or Not
Sep12

Nightcrawler: Weather or Not

Could you be… won’t you be… my neighbor? It’s an indelible marriage of image and song performed daily by Fred Rogers on Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood as he shed his business casual attire and slipped into his favorite sweater and sneaks. He was an icon for anyone who remembers getting up early to watch cartoons on Saturdays, waiting in line at Strawberries for the hottest new record on Tuesdays, or fixing a...

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Nightcrawler: VIP, Yeah, You Know Me
Aug29

Nightcrawler: VIP, Yeah, You Know Me

He is certainly a scene fixture, clocking more than his share of road miles and hours packed in vans. But let’s face it: the guy’s named after a luxury vehicle, not to mention immensely talented. So why wouldn’t a talent buyer tap the Valley’s own Pete Maserati to perform in luxury lounges for VIP guests at high-profile concerts? “I have to thank Jeff Mann, one of the bar managers at TJ Hourihan’s back in...

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Nightcrawler: Eric Gaffney Plays Free Saturday Show in Florence
Aug26

Nightcrawler: Eric Gaffney Plays Free Saturday Show in Florence

Seba-(no)-dough Show Eric Gaffney says sayonara to summer with free Florence show Sebadoh co-founder Eric Gaffney rounds out the Acoustic Saturday Summer Series at JJ’s Tavern in Florence this Saturday, Aug. 27. “I recorded two full-length records in a six month period this same time last year,” Gaffney told the Crawler. “They gathered some favorable reviews, but lately I’ve been playing more solo gigs...

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Nightcrawler: Rock the Boot
Aug15

Nightcrawler: Rock the Boot

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Thomas Delmer “Artimus” Pyle comes to the Valley this Saturday, Aug. 20. He’ll be performing with his Artimus Pyle Band and their “ultimate tribute to Ronnie Van Zandt’s Lynyrd Skynyrd” as part of the Rock The Boot Music Fest, held at the Ludlow Fish and Game Club. Trailer Trash, Lobsterz from Marz, and Livio Gravini and The Free Spirit Society will also lend their sonic skills to the annual...

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Nightcrawler: It’s Been Awhile
Aug01

Nightcrawler: It’s Been Awhile

Five years ago, homegrown rocker and country boy Aaron Lewis was teed off about the impending consolidation of his children’s school. True to form, he swiftly rose above the rhetoric to form his own nonprofit, the It Takes A Community Foundation, and reopened the endangered institution as a private facility. The fifth annual Aaron Lewis and Friends will occur at the Pines Theater in Look Park on Friday, Aug. 12. Tix range from...

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Nightcrawler: Root Effect
Jul19

Nightcrawler: Root Effect

Musician and artist Wendell Rheinheimer, the owner of Moonlight Designs screenprinting in Easthampton, has been doing a little moonlighting of his own in recent months. The fruits of a new collaborative effort with his partner, organic vegetable farmer Shana Totino, will be unearthed for public consumption this Thursday, July 21 when Greenfield’s newest music venue — The Root Cellar — sprouts up on Fiske Avenue. Nestled beneath...

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Nightcrawler: The Name Game
Jun22

Nightcrawler: The Name Game

SWMRS boasts unique punk pedigree What’s in a name? The members of SWMRS are barely in their 20s and can already claim quite a lot. Reportedly inspired by watching Jack Black and his homage to headbanging — the film School of Rock — together in elementary school, the band first emerged on the West Coast scene as The Raining Souls. Shortly after, the took a brief turn as The Clocks before settling on Emily’s...

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Nightcrawler: (Holly) Miranda Writes
Jun06

Nightcrawler: (Holly) Miranda Writes

  Carrots enhance the eyesight. Spinach helps you grow big and strong. And cranberries … make you rock? “It’s how I learned to play guitar back when I was 14,” explains the 33-year-old singer-songwriter Holly Miranda. “I was on a mission trip to Belarus and this girl brought a guitar and taught me ‘Linger’ and ‘Zombie’ by The Cranberries. I had been playing piano since the age of...

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Nightcrawler: Who’s rocking the stage at this weekend’s International Food Fest
May23

Nightcrawler: Who’s rocking the stage at this weekend’s International Food Fest

  By Gary Carra    In 2014, Thomas Kielbania Jr. revived Chicopee’s storied Kielbasa Festival after a nearly two-decade hiatus. Now, he’s reinventing it – and renaming it, and relocating it – to West Springfield, for what’s shaping up to be a super-sized smorgasbord of savories, suds and sounds. Welcome to the first annual International Food Festival, running from May 26-30 at the Eastern States Exposition...

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Nightcrawler: Decade-dence, 90s pop, 80s rock and Guns N bobbleheads
Apr25

Nightcrawler: Decade-dence, 90s pop, 80s rock and Guns N bobbleheads

Better call Mr. Peabody and Sherman. Looks like someone’s gotten a hold of the Wayback Machine. First stop: Foxwoods Resort Casino’s Grand Theater this Friday, April 29. Not only will female hip-hop heavyweights Salt-n-Pepa be there, but so will literal heavyweight Biz Markie, Coolio, Tone Loc, and Vanilla Ice (Ice Baby). The tour is called “I Love The ’90s,” and tickets range from $60 to $100, depending on your proximity to the frat...

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Nightcrawler: Mercury Rising Queen For A Night in Springfield; Foxwoods’ Battle Of The Bands Seeks Combatants
Apr20

Nightcrawler: Mercury Rising Queen For A Night in Springfield; Foxwoods’ Battle Of The Bands Seeks Combatants

By Gary Carra There’s been a growing trend in tribute circles over the past decade. While the songs remain the same for bands like Zep-licators Get The Led Out (coming to Holyoke’s Mountain Park Aug. 5) and Billy Joel recreators Big Shot, the need to physically look like the act one emulates has gone the way of Blockbuster store. Let’s face it, bad wigs, moustaches and tacky costumes are the quickest way to turn a solid, sonic...

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Nightcrawler: Storm Front, New England notables converge on Max Cap; is Tony Sitler about to rock with AC/DC?
Mar14

Nightcrawler: Storm Front, New England notables converge on Max Cap; is Tony Sitler about to rock with AC/DC?

A “Perfect Storm” is slated to touch down at Chicopee’s Maximum Capacity this Saturday, March 19. Sorry, Walmart, but there will be no need for folks to stock up on water, batteries, flashlights,Vaseline or whatever else all those alarmist types go scurrying around for whenever such prophecies are made. For this forecast is rooted in a deep passion — and mastery — of music more than mere meteorology. “Honestly, a lot of credit for...

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Nightcrawler: Leppard Spotting
Mar08

Nightcrawler: Leppard Spotting

The Hysteria On The High Seas luxury liner had already left port when Def Leppard singer Joe Elliott came up mute — a case of laryngitis leaving him unable to take the mic for his boatload of fans. Luckily, crewmate Andrew Freeman was equal to the task. The Valley native had tackled many a Def Lep tune as a regular performer at the Rock Vault show at the Tropicana in Vegas. And he had a pretty good reference in that Leppard guitarist...

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Nightcrawler: Bluesman Group Therapy, musicians reflect on the passing of Ed Vadas, Shea’s back
Feb29

Nightcrawler: Bluesman Group Therapy, musicians reflect on the passing of Ed Vadas, Shea’s back

Tom Mahnken never performed with noted bluesman Ed Vadas & his Fabulous Heavyweights. And, truth be told, he ended up doing just fine with his own Trailer Park band. But on the eve of Vadas’ passing Feb. 18, the Trailer Park frontman fondly recalls his brief chance at becoming a Heavyweight contender. “It was around 1987, and there was a spot for a guitarist in the band,” Mahnken says. “I went to Ed’s place, he listened to some...

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Nightcrawler: Holyoke’s Waterfront set for a rebirth?, Sage King’s debut album
Feb24

Nightcrawler: Holyoke’s Waterfront set for a rebirth?, Sage King’s debut album

The future of Holyoke’s Waterfront Tavern seemed murky at best a few months ago. Just when it appeared the historic venue would be pulling the plug altogether, rumors of a strategic alliance began to swirl. Last week, however, Donald Robert of Maximum Capacity notoriety opened the proverbial informational floodgates for the Crawler. Here’s his official statement on the matter. “Okay, what I can tell you is that obviously the...

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Lazer-like Focus: 99.3 FM’s Leslie speaks Stern, sweets, and cheap cologne
Feb08

Lazer-like Focus: 99.3 FM’s Leslie speaks Stern, sweets, and cheap cologne

Between corporate takeovers, format changes and, quite literally, the omnipresent threat of satellites looming overhead, the average life expectancy of local radio stations these days seems to only slightly exceed that of say, a Betta fish. Set that gloomy backdrop to the prospect of a female jock looking to anchor a major rock morning show — sans a sidekick, no less — and now we’re looking at average career lengths rivaling the shelf...

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Nightcrawler: (Rockett) Queen For A Day
Jan25

Nightcrawler: (Rockett) Queen For A Day

The Crawler talks with up-and-comers Rockett Queen during Palladium stop; Bottle Rockets pull double duty at Iron Horse There are so many entry points when it comes to interviewing Rockett Queen frontman Walter Lee. His band’s hit single “The Next Big Thing” was featured in the film John Tucker Must Die. They’re big in Japan. And, after getting tapped to open for Creed’s Scott Stapp more than a year ago, he had the proverbial cord...

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Nightcrawler: Ashes To Ashes, Dust to (Ziggy Star) dust
Jan18

Nightcrawler: Ashes To Ashes, Dust to (Ziggy Star) dust

As evidenced by the recent, massive outpouring by fans and contemporaries alike, David Robert Jones — better known as David Bowie — touched generations the world over. In fact, some would go so far to say that the Starman may have even possessed intergalactic abilities and a seemingly otherworldly appeal. Closer to home, however, the Crawler recalled at least two Bay State notables whom he remembered were once under the direct employ...

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Nightcrawler: Troubled Water(front)?
Jan04

Nightcrawler: Troubled Water(front)?

With some 30 heavy bands hailing from the world over, Hothfest 2016 organizers decided to jump ship on their originally scheduled venue. At the time, the future of Holyoke’s Waterfront Tavern was just too uncertain. “It’s Jamie Cross’ show, and with the future of the Waterfront in question, I helped him rebook at Maximum Capacity,” recalls Kyle Small of the two-day, decibel-delivering show taking place Jan. 9-10. Tying for longest...

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Nightcrawler: First Responders
Dec28

Nightcrawler: First Responders

For those who thought The Fawns’ 2006 album A Nice Place To Be was their studio ‘fawn’ song, Henning Ohlenbusch has news for you. “The Fawns’ new album, Goodnight Spacegirl, is being officially released on Jan. 1,” he says. “We’ll be playing a bunch of tunes from it — and have CDs on hand, of course — during our First Night show at Lyman Hall. The CD release full-concert will occur at Noho’s Parlor Room Jan. 15.” Among the more than...

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Nightcrawler: Crushing It
Dec14

Nightcrawler: Crushing It

Lori McKenna hit the musical trifecta earlier this month with a song she penned for the group Little Big Town. “Girl Crush” premiered at number one on Billboard’s Hot Country 100 back in December of 2014. Last month, it won “Song of the Year” at the 49th annual Country Music Awards. Now, McKenna and fellow tune writers Liz Rose and Hillary Lindsey have just received a 2016 Grammy nod as well. “It’s one of those dreams I was almost...

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Nightcrawler: Mass Appeal
Dec07

Nightcrawler: Mass Appeal

Gathering of the Vibes founder Ken Hayes recently announced that after achieving 20 years and record breaking attendance this past summer, he has decided to take 2016 off. “This is not the end my friends,” he wrote in an open, online letter to the Vibe Tribe. “It’s simply a pause. An opportunity for us all to reflect on the memories, explore new and exciting festival initiatives while planning our triumphant return in 2017.” Previous...

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Nightcrawler: Zullo Nation, reggae rockers unite to pay homage to The Alchemystics’ Demse Zullo
Nov30

Nightcrawler: Zullo Nation, reggae rockers unite to pay homage to The Alchemystics’ Demse Zullo

By definition, alchemy is a medieval chemical science and speculative philosophy aiming to achieve the transmutation of base metals into gold. Whether it be with the band the Alchemystics band he co-founded back in 2003, the band Bay Rd he inspired while working at the Berkshire Hills Music Academy in South Hadley or any act that graced his Northfire Recording Studios in Amherst, Todd “Demse” Zullo also had an uncanny knack for...

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Nightcrawler: Fade to Black(out)
Nov23

Nightcrawler: Fade to Black(out)

What was supposed to be a triumphant new chapter in a prolific career turned tragic. Then a tribute. For more than two decades, Keith Hopkinson’s howl could be heard soaring over such circuit regulars as The Smacktones and Black Cat Frenzy. On Friday, Nov. 20, his most recent project — Blackout, playing the music of Sevendust — was supposed to headline at Chicopee’s Maximum Capacity for the first time. “I had been talking to Keith a...

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