Nightcrawler: Blocked In, Janet Monheit, Tom Keifer, and FAT join the 2015 Cityblock Series; Mason and friends peddle their musical wares
May27

Nightcrawler: Blocked In, Janet Monheit, Tom Keifer, and FAT join the 2015 Cityblock Series; Mason and friends peddle their musical wares

We knew that the powers that be were reverting back to the old name. Then we found out that they were getting a new logo. In fact, until recently, the only thing we didn’t know about Springfield’s Cityblock-turned-Bike Nite-back-to-Cityblock was who would be gracing the Stearns Square Stage this summer. But that’s all changed due to one long-awaited post at springfielddowntown.com by the sponsors of said annual event, The Springfield...

Read More
Between the Lines: Advocate Grand Band Slam Is Back, now with more slam!
May12

Between the Lines: Advocate Grand Band Slam Is Back, now with more slam!

Back in the final year of the 1900s, I stood, guitar in hand, on the steps of Northampton’s old courthouse at the main intersection. The occasion was the (then new) Valley Advocate Grand Band Slam. My bandmates and I had won top honors in the “experimental/progressive” category. The proceedings were festive, and they were modest in a small-town way. I didn’t work at the Advocate then, but I was intrigued to meet some of the staff,...

Read More
Nightcrawler: Color-Coded, Colorway releases Black Sky Sequined at the Iron Horse
May12

Nightcrawler: Color-Coded, Colorway releases Black Sky Sequined at the Iron Horse

After the band’s successful East Coast mini-tour, Colorway’s May 14 Iron Horse engagement certainly has all the hallmarks of a homecoming show. It’s also a CD release party, celebrating the band’s recently completed sophomore studio effort, The Black Sky Sequined. However, for Alex Johnson — whose words and compositions serve as the palette from which all Colorway music is painted — this Thursday’s show smacks of a very personal...

Read More
Nightcrawler: Linking In, Music aplenty at Kielbasa Fest; Travelers’ golf tourney; Barlow & betrothed tie knot
May20

Nightcrawler: Linking In, Music aplenty at Kielbasa Fest; Travelers’ golf tourney; Barlow & betrothed tie knot

Last year, local musician/promoter Thomas Kielbania Jr. believed there was enough interest to resurrect the fabled “Kielbasa Fest” in his hometown of Chicopee after it lay dormant for nearly two decades. Gate totals of nearly 20,000 meat-seekers at the city’s Szot Park not only confirmed his hunch, they inspired him to stretch the 2015 installment to a five-day event. “Hey, at the end of the day, it’s a Kielbasa Fest,” he says. “So I...

Read More
Nightcrawler: Apple Jam festival pairs local notables with nationals
May06

Nightcrawler: Apple Jam festival pairs local notables with nationals

Just when you thought it was safe to put your wallet away, out trots another apple product. But with more than two dozen bands cranking out more than 32 hours of music Aug. 21-23, Gary Phelps’ Apple Jam Roots Music Festival is a relative bargain, with three-day festival/camping combo passes currently available for $75. According to Phelps, the core goal of his annual Apple Jam has been interspersing some of the better known homegrown...

Read More
Nightcrawler: ‘Bank’-ing on the Past, Green River Festival expands to three-day affair; Crestview gives voice to The Voice contestants
Apr28

Nightcrawler: ‘Bank’-ing on the Past, Green River Festival expands to three-day affair; Crestview gives voice to The Voice contestants

Normally, when looking to tinker with the formula on a time-tested venture, feasibility studies are conducted. Will the target population support the change? Do current trends indicate the potential for growth? In the case of the 29th annual Green River Festival and its impending experiment in moving from a two day to a three day affair, festival talent buyer Jim Olsen says such comprehensive analysis hardly seemed necessary....

Read More
Nightcrawler: Kindred Spirits, Whiskey Treaty, Dirty Bourbon River Show pour into the Valley; Fab Faux stroll down Abbey Road
Apr21

Nightcrawler: Kindred Spirits, Whiskey Treaty, Dirty Bourbon River Show pour into the Valley; Fab Faux stroll down Abbey Road

In its earliest form back in Ireland and Scotland circa the 15th century, the distilled spirit we now call whiskey was commonly referred to as “aqua vitae.” Curiously, the word “vitae” means “blameless in life; innocent.” But as history has well chronicled, aqua vitae was largely to blame for many an altercation, bad deal, forbidden love, or even loss of life in the centuries that followed. Around these parts, the fermented grain mash...

Read More
Nightcrawler: Crowd Fundamentals
Apr14

Nightcrawler: Crowd Fundamentals

There’s certainly nobody waiting in line any given Tuesday to grab the latest CD from their favorite group at the local record store. Heck, there are barely any local record stores left. (Except for in the Valley, it seems.) The exit of record stores has seen the pressing of CDs — or even the concept of a full-length release — closely follow. So what and who will emerge from the proverbial rubble of brick and mortar stores?...

Read More
Nightcrawler: Lane Changer, Robin Lane biopic chronicles Shelburne Falls resident’s life
Apr08

Nightcrawler: Lane Changer, Robin Lane biopic chronicles Shelburne Falls resident’s life

Perhaps it’s only appropriate — given the state of area roadways after this relentless winter — that the new Robin Lane documentary will be screened at Pothole Pictures this weekend. Certainly makes sense that it’s occurring in Shelburne Fall, as the subject of said biopic — though she was born in L.A. and lived in Boston, New York, and Pennsylvania at various points during relationships with Neil Young and Andy Summers — currently...

Read More
Nightcrawler: Something To Crow About, Crowrider calendar riddled with shows and sessions; Black Crows’ founding brothers on separate paths
Apr01

Nightcrawler: Something To Crow About, Crowrider calendar riddled with shows and sessions; Black Crows’ founding brothers on separate paths

Fans looking to wet their beaks on new Crowrider material may want to venture out to one of the many live engagements the band has lined up for the coming months. Guitarist Dino Bambino reports that they are laying down tracks for a forthcoming disc and the chemistry with studio owner William Beale has been amazing, but he is quick to note there are myriad reasons the music may not be available for mass consumption soon. “The studio,...

Read More
Nightcrawler: Fire Power, Bash benefits Christmas Eve fire victims; Amy Fairchild joins members of Extreme, The Allmans, Megadeth and more for Boston charity
Mar24

Nightcrawler: Fire Power, Bash benefits Christmas Eve fire victims; Amy Fairchild joins members of Extreme, The Allmans, Megadeth and more for Boston charity

She’s seen fire. She’s seen (freezing) rain. But Kristy Librera Chapman remains undaunted in her quest to aid her family and her community. A cousin to one of the families affected by a tragic Christmas Eve fire in Southwick, Chapman says that she knew she needed to do something about it. “Since I had been involved in previous benefits, a concert seemed to make the most sense,” she explains. “And I since I was a former member of The...

Read More
Nightcrawler: Sibling Revelry, The Levin Brothers’ first official collaboration; Eric Holden holdin’ court in Pittsfield
Mar18

Nightcrawler: Sibling Revelry, The Levin Brothers’ first official collaboration; Eric Holden holdin’ court in Pittsfield

He’s been a bona fide member of King Crimson’s court for more than three decades. Prior to securing his status as a veritable prog-rock deity, Brookline’s Tony Levin was trading licks with the likes of Chuck Mangione and Buddy Rich. Now 68, Levin is revisiting his jazz roots with younger sibling Paul. Late last year, the Levin Brothers released their debut EP to great critical acclaim. On Thursday, March 24, the duo perform at the...

Read More
Riffs Meet Spliffs
Mar10

Riffs Meet Spliffs

They recently retooled their lineup, and they are juggling live shows with the recording of their highly anticipated sophomore studio effort. Despite such distractions, guitarist Tom Hamel maintains that Odds of Eden are always a safe bet when it comes to delivering quality, original rock. Those seeking sonic affirmation need only check out the band’s March 21 Whiskerz Pub engagement in Easthampton, he says. “Jeremy Jones is now...

Read More
Nightcrawler: Give ’Em The Boot
Feb25

Nightcrawler: Give ’Em The Boot

Nancy Sinatra’s boots may have been made for walkin’, but the way Ludlow Firefighter Dan McKenney sees it, his Rock The Boot Winter Jam — slated for Feb. 28 in the town’s Gremio Lusitano Club — will serve two decidedly different purposes. For starters, music fans won’t have to wait for his other, larger (rock the) boot to drop this summer to get a sonic fix locally. And secondly, this annual winter installment will give the summer...

Read More
Nightcrawler: The The Band Band Plays On
Feb18

Nightcrawler: The The Band Band Plays On

On the back of such seminal works as Goodfellas and Casino, Martin Scorsese is roundly regarded as an authority on all things mafioso. Less famously — at least, when considering his body of work in its entirety — Scorsese also filmed and released the final concert by The Band. And how does this cinematic coincidence relate to bassist/drummer/fiddler Gary Solomon and his tribute act, the The Band band? There’s a classic line in the...

Read More
Nightcrawler: Dream On, fantasy camp pairs weekend warriors with megastars; Rev. Tor, Golden Oldies shows make Pittsfield stops this weekend
Feb11

Nightcrawler: Dream On, fantasy camp pairs weekend warriors with megastars; Rev. Tor, Golden Oldies shows make Pittsfield stops this weekend

“And this one time at band camp, I got to play with Joe Perry, Mark Clarke, and Steve Morse!” Rock ’n’ Roll Fantasy Camp, that is. After an impassioned written plea from his daughter Kristin, Bernardston’s Bill Cheney got to swap solos with some of his childhood heroes when the weekend warriors met worldwide megastars at a multi-day event at Foxwoods Casino Jan. 15-18. “I am writing to you as a form of entry into the Rock ’n’ Roll...

Read More
Nightcrawler: Reality Bytes
Feb04

Nightcrawler: Reality Bytes

The song may be more than three decades old, but even now, when musicians play a local watering hole, they know there’s a good chance someone will yell out “Freebird” at some point. Plucking even the opening arpeggio of 1971’s “Stairway to Heaven” at any given guitar shop will elicit more daggers and eye rolls than a season of Real Housewives. And drummers … forget about it — the threat of spontaneous combustion looms in the air...

Read More
Nightcrawler: Trash Talkin’
Jan28

Nightcrawler: Trash Talkin’

They may call themselves Trailer Trash, but in talking to lead singer Joe Fazio and six-stringer Bob Stanek about the band’s inception, it sure sounds more like a recycling/re-tooling project. “Everyone in this band are friends and we’ve played together in various tribute acts, emulating the likes of Pink Floyd, Van Halen and Rage Against the Machine before forming Trailer Trash in 2011,” Fazio says. “But one night after a less than...

Read More
Nightcrawler: Bawdy by Nature, Berkshire burlesque group; Cantalini performs solo, duo, and with his trio
Jan21

Nightcrawler: Bawdy by Nature, Berkshire burlesque group; Cantalini performs solo, duo, and with his trio

In the spirit of the performers they honor and emulate, the Berkshire-based Gypsy Lane burlesque troupe takes the show on the road this weekend. The campy cast of cabaret characters makes its debut at Norfolk, Conn.’s storied Infinity Music Hall & Bistro Jan. 22, and the Vermont Burlesque Festival Jan. 24. “My original objective was to educate audiences about the history of burlesque,” the show’s artistic director, Nicole Rizzo,...

Read More
Nightcrawler: Sir Mix-A-Lot
Jan15

Nightcrawler: Sir Mix-A-Lot

The Crawler knows. You just got through returning all those clunker presents from the office Secret Santas. Now here comes scene stalwart Henning Ohlenbusch, playing sonic Santa. “As physical copies of music are becoming more and more obsolete, we feel this is an excellent way to remind people of the pleasure of holding a crafted, solid collection in their hands,” Ohlenbusch says of what will be his seventh annual Great Mix-CD Mix-Up...

Read More
Nightcrawler: Taylor Made
Jan07

Nightcrawler: Taylor Made

J ames Taylor’s brother Livingston need only pull out his self-titled, debut album from 1970 to cover the “something old” requirement. His just released CD Blue Sky fulfills both the “new” and “blue.” Not sure what Livingston Taylor is going to borrow between now and his marriage to Gail Arnold, a Cambridge third-grade teacher and private chef whom he’s reportedly dated for a decade-plus, but the Crawler knows that some other...

Read More
Nightcrawler: The Elephant in the Newsroom
Dec24

Nightcrawler: The Elephant in the Newsroom

How do you start an interview with a 59-year-old actor who is coming off a year that included (literally) anchoring one of television’s most critically acclaimed series and co-starring in a flatulence-laden, sophomoric smash hit box office comedy weeks before his local engagement at a quaint Northampton music hall? The Crawler gave it his best go: So how exactly do you pick your projects, Jeff Daniels? Do you try to balance art with...

Read More
Nightcrawler: The Elephant in the Newsroom
Dec24

Nightcrawler: The Elephant in the Newsroom

How do you start an interview with a 59-year-old actor who is coming off a year that included (literally) anchoring one of television’s most critically acclaimed series and co-starring in a flatulence-laden, sophomoric smash hit box office comedy weeks before his local engagement at a quaint Northampton music hall?   The Crawler gave it his best go: So how exactly do you pick your projects, Jeff Daniels? Do you try to...

Read More
The 2014 Nightcrawler Notable Awards
Jan01

The 2014 Nightcrawler Notable Awards

In no particular order and assembled for reasons no loftier than your enjoyment plus the Crawler’s pressing need to hurry over to the holiday party before the open bar closes… here are your 2014 Nightcrawler Notable Awards:   The You Never Sausage A Festival Award: Thomas Kielbania, Jr. He may best be known for pounding the skins for veteran Valley party band Orange Crush, but in 2014, Thomas Kielbania, Jr. undertook...

Read More
Nightcrawler: Styx and Stones
May03

Nightcrawler: Styx and Stones

We all knew the Midwest Rock ’n’ Roll Express had passenger cars. In fact, that tour is responsible for transporting three of the larger names in classic rock—Styx, REO Speedwagon and Ted Nugent—to various venues the country over, including Springfield’s own MassMutual Center last week. Look a little closer, however, and you’ll find this express train is also a freighter—acquiring and...

Read More

Nightcrawler: Can't Find a Better Band

The name of the new disc and tour—Lightning Bolt—may suggest a quick, intense burst of energy. But as Pearl Jam pushed its way past the 30-song, three-hour mark at Harford’s XL Center on Friday, Oct. 25, it was evident to all in the sold-out audience that this evening would be a much more prolonged, sustained sonic attack. Lightning—or songs from it performed live, more specifically—struck the set list on...

Read More
Nightcrawler: They Built This City
Jun28

Nightcrawler: They Built This City

Forgive Group Deville's Rick Murnane if he's not quite as bubbly as you'd expect him to be when he performs this Saturday, June 30 at Bishop's Lounge in Noho. Sure, that's the night he and his Group troupe will be celebrating their first release in three years, dubbed The Dark End Of The House. But as the guitarist, whose resumé includes jam sessions with David Gilmour and Robert Fripp, explained to the...

Read More
Nightcrawler: Building (City) Block
Jun28

Nightcrawler: Building (City) Block

When the need arises, the folks at the Springfield Business Improvement District (SBID) can break out market projections, Powerpoint presentations and trend analyses with the best of them. In addressing the desires of Springfield restaurateurs and club owners to expand the already successful Stearns Square Cityblock concert series, however, even Executive Director Jeff Keck admits that his organization didn't have to look much...

Read More
Nightcrawler: Fireworks, Music, Melons
Jul12

Nightcrawler: Fireworks, Music, Melons

It started as an opportunity for locals to sample savories from various area eateries and soak in the sounds of a few of the region's bigger bands. Since that summer of 1985, however, Committee President Scott Crosson says that his Enfield, Connecticut Fourth of July celebration (www.enfieldcelebration.org) has morphed into something that far transcends the boundaries of his fair city. "Through the website alone, I'm...

Read More