Nightcrawler: Dog Day Afternoon, Lord Russ Brooks juggles pooches and music

Five students sitting outdoors on lawn talking - Valueline | Valueline
Five students sitting outdoors on lawn talking

From “Knights In White Satin” to Pomeranians with problem foot pads: welcome to a day in the life of Russell Brooks.

“I just opened my own dog grooming salon in Northampton,” the music scene stalwart explains, “and I’ve been busier than ever with my life and work. And up to my knees in fur.”

When not catering to canines at his Green Groomer Salon on Hawley Street, Brooks can often be found fronting his Moody Blues tribute band Voices In The Sky. In fact, this Saturday, Aug. 1, they’ll perform at one of his favorite venues, West Springfield’s Majestic Theater, for the third time.

“The venue seats 200 to 300 people, yet it always feels so intimate,” Brooks notes. “The crowds have been amazingly enthusiastic, and I’ve seen many teary-eyed smiles in the audience.”

One thing attendees won’t see is Brooks and bandmates Joe Boyle, Dave Hayes, Dave Trenholm, Josh Sitron, and Keith Leverault (the last of whom is sitting in for usual drummer J.J. O’Connell) in matching striped suits or shag haircuts.

“We do not dress up like the Moody Blues, nor do we remotely pretend to be them,” he says. “We simply love their music and have an incredibly fun time recreating that lushly beautiful, Mellotron-laden harmony of rich sound.”

Tickets for Voices in the Sky are $23-$25 and available by calling (413) 747-7797.

Future Majestic shows include: a the Van Morrison tribute Moondance, Aug. 8; Neil Diamond duplicates The Diamond Collection, Aug. 14; and Jeff Pitchell with Charles Neville, Aug. 27. Cover band heavyweight Floyd Patterson also hosts a weekly open mic at the Majestic every Tuesday starting at 7 p.m.

In other news: there’s a double dose of Deanna Martin this week, courtesy of the Mount Carmel Society of Enfield, Conn. In addition to performing at the Society’s annual fest on Saturday, Aug. 1, the daughter of Dean has signed on to play a special fundraiser for Mount Carmel on July 29 at Springfield’s Student Prince. Tickets for the latter are $10 and do not include dinner (nor is dinner mandatory). There is a daily admission fee of $2 for the Feast in Enfield, which also includes performances by The Fabulous Galaxies and Off The Cufflinx on July 31 and Beatles mimics Ticket To Ride on Aug. 2. Stars from the hit reality series The Cake Boss are also slated to appear Sunday as well.

Last but not least, renowned Cheyenne flutist Joseph FireCrow adds some proverbial firepower to an already potent Pocumtuck Homelands Festival at Unity Park Waterfront in Turners Falls this Saturday, Aug. 1. Widely considered to be one of the top three Native American flute players in the world, FireCrow is slated to perform two sets of his award-winning music. Other acts on the bill of this free, all-day event include the Medicine Mammals Singers, the Abenaki group Black Hawk Singers, and the Visioning B.E.A.R. Intertribal Singers, the last of whom perform with powwow drums.

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Send correspondence to Nightcrawler, P.O. box 427, Somers, CT 06071; fax to (860) 394-4262 or email

Gary Carra

Author: Gary Carra

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