The Beat Goes On: Busy schedules at The Parlor Room and Marigold Theater, a ‘solo ensemble’ guitar concert in Greenfield, and more

Veteran singer-songwriter Peter Mulvey will unveil a new record when he plays at The Parlor Room in Northampton tonight (Jan. 12).

Veteran singer-songwriter Peter Mulvey will unveil a new record when he plays at The Parlor Room in Northampton tonight (Jan. 12). Image from Peter Mulvey website

Part of a busy schedule this month at The Parlor Room includes a Jan. 17 show by the folk-oriented The Brother Brothers, the twins Adam and David Moss.

Part of a busy schedule this month at The Parlor Room includes a Jan. 17 show by the folk-oriented The Brother Brothers, the twins Adam and David Moss. Image from The Brother Brothers website

Indie rockers Winterpills will play a full band show at The Parlor Room Jan. 19, where some new songs are on the playlist.

Indie rockers Winterpills will play a full band show at The Parlor Room Jan. 19, where some new songs are on the playlist. Photo by Chattman Photography/Winterpills website

Guitarist, composer and sound artist Roger Clark Miller will play multiple guitars in a solo show that incorporates looping; he plays tonight (Jan. 12) at Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center in Greenfield.

Guitarist, composer and sound artist Roger Clark Miller will play multiple guitars in a solo show that incorporates looping; he plays tonight (Jan. 12) at Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center in Greenfield. Image courtesy Pioneer Valley Jazz Shares

Local favorites Muswell Hillbillies will play a set of Tom Petty songs on Jan. 19 at The Drake in Amherst.

Local favorites Muswell Hillbillies will play a set of Tom Petty songs on Jan. 19 at The Drake in Amherst. The Drake website

The Greys bring their indie/soul/art rock sound to the Marigold Theater in Easthampton tonight (Jan. 12), where young rockers Radio are also on the bill.

The Greys bring their indie/soul/art rock sound to the Marigold Theater in Easthampton tonight (Jan. 12), where young rockers Radio are also on the bill. Image from Facebook

Jazz-flavored singer/songwriter Pamela Means starts an extended residency at Easthampton’s Luthiers Co-op, with various guess artists, on Jan. 18.

Jazz-flavored singer/songwriter Pamela Means starts an extended residency at Easthampton’s Luthiers Co-op, with various guess artists, on Jan. 18. Photo by Julian Parker-Burns

The “neo-acoustic super group” Big Richard, from Colorado, comes to the Drake Jan. 24.

The “neo-acoustic super group” Big Richard, from Colorado, comes to the Drake Jan. 24. Image from Big Richard website

By STEVE PFARRER

Staff Writer

Published: 01-11-2024 11:15 AM

Early January, just after the holidays and New Year’s Eve have run their course, can be a quiet time for a lot of music venues.

But The Parlor Room in Northampton has put together a pretty jam-packed schedule right through this month, starting with a 7:30 p.m. show tonight (Friday, Jan. 12) with singer-songwriter Peter Mulvey and his band The Crumbling Beauties.

Mulvey is a certified road warrior who’s been criss-crossing the country for years, playing solo and with different musicians; he’s got 19 albums under his belt and has won acclaim for his thoughtful songwriting and percussive guitar playing.

A Wisconsin native who’s lived in western Massachusetts for several years, Mulvey recently announced on Facebook that tonight’s show is also a release party “for a surprise record” that’s coming out today. So a little mystery with the music!

Among a number of other interesting shows coming to The Parlor Room, consider an act with an unusual name and lineup, so to speak. The Brother Brothers, who perform Jan. 17 at 7:30 p.m., consist of identical twins Adam and David Moss, whose indie folk songs and close harmonies have drawn comparisons to the Everly Brothers, The Milk Carton Kids, and other folk-centered groups.

Originally from Illinois and now based in Brooklyn, New York, the Moss brothers studied music in college and between them play a number of instruments. For their most recent album, they put their stamp on a number of cover songs and called on some big names — Rachel Price, Sarah Jarosz, Alison Brown — to help record the tunes.

“If these brothers aren’t among the Americana Music Association’s nominees for Emerging Artist or Duo-Group,” says No Depression, “I want a recount.”

And mark Jan. 19 on your calendar, when local favs Winterpills — the full band — play The Parlor Room at 7:30 p.m. The indie rockers, who have seven albums to their name dating back to their self-titled debut from 2005, apparently have some new music in store after a bit of a hiatus.

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As program notes explain, Philip Price, the group’s chief songwriter and lead vocalist, released a few solo albums during the pandemic, in part to keep from going crazy at being housebound — and now he’s back with an additional “trove of new music” that will help Winterpills renew its “familiar alchemy.”

Pioneer Valley Jazz Shares is offering a new show that’s a change of pace for the membership series. Roger Clark Miller, probably best known for being the guitarist in Mission of Burma, the Boston post-punk band of the late 1970s/early 1980s, comes to Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center in Greenfield tonight at 7:30 p.m.

At Hawks & Reed, Miller is playing what’s called “Dream Interpretations for Solo Electric Guitar Ensemble.” If “solo ensemble” sounds like an oxymoron, it’s not: Miller uses looping to play multiple guitar parts, on different guitars, that together incorporate a wide range of sounds — from rock to free jazz to 20th century classical music.

Miller, who’s also a conceptual/sound artist, studied music composition after becoming disenchanted with rock in the 1970s. That’s led him to explore varied genres, including piano-based music, which he plays in a solo setting with a standard electric guitar in his hands and lap-steel guitars mounted on nearby stands.

Using different strings on some of the guitars to get an additional range of sounds, Miller, according to program notes, sits in a “cockpit, able to reach all four guitars and a plethora of pedals from one position … It requires intense concentration to play these compositions, but they could not have occurred any other way.”

In an email, PVJS co-founder Glen Siegel noted that Miller, who lives in southern Vermont, has attended some past PVJS shows and approached him a few years ago about performing in the series.

Tonight’s show, Siegel said, “is bit of a departure for Jazz Shares stylistically, but not as far as quality and originality.”

 

Muswell Hillbillies, the Hadley-based multi-generational band that formed back in 2010 to play the songs from the 1971 Kinks album of the same name, is back for a fresh go at the music of another group they’ve covered, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers.

The band, which comes to The Drake in Amherst Jan. 19 at 8 p.m., tackled the music of The Police and Neil Young after channeling The Kinks, and they first played a show of Tom Petty tunes at the Iron Horse in 2018 following Petty’s sudden death in 2017.

Dave Simons, the Hillbillies’ lead singer and central organizer, says the band has put together a full retrospective show on Petty, with at least one cut from all of his albums with The Heartbreakers and from his solo releases.

Tipping his hat to the young members of the band, most of whom were teens when the group formed, Simons said in an email that “It'll probably be the last time we do Tom, and it really is the band’s forte, they are just soooo good at it.” 

Think about getting your tickets for the Amherst show soon. Muswell Hillbillies covered a range of Beatles songs at The Drake in late 2002, and the concert sold out pretty quickly.

More music on tap

The Marigold Theater in Easthampton, like The Parlor Room, has plenty of shows teed up for January. Tonight, beginning at 8:30 p.m., there’s a double bill of The Greys, an indie/soul/art rock quartet, and Radio, young rockers who just performed at First Night Northampton.

That’s followed Jan. 13 by a “Winter Ball” starting at 8 p.m., with a number of other groups, including funk specialists Miss Fairchild. And on Jan. 14 starting at 7:30 p.m., it’s a double dose of jazz with Juke Joint Jazz and The Ethel Lee Ensemble.

Also in Easthampton, jazz-flavored singer and songwriter Pamela Means is starting an extended monthly residency at Luthiers Co-op, at which she’ll be joined each time by a different guest artist (“Pamela Plus One”). Her first gig takes place on Jan. 18 at 7 p.m.

There will be plenty to dance to at Hawks & Reed on Jan. 20, starting at 8:30 p.m. with a double bill of TerraFunk, an eight-piece funk and soul ensemble, and Massive Prophet, a jam band that mixes rock, blues and reggae.

Also on Jan. 20 at the Shea Theater in Turners Falls, Opel (“indie meets prog rock”) and Reverend Dan and The Dirty Catechism (“preacher rock n’ roll with a side of post punk”), play in the Shea’s lounge as part of what’s called the “Foyeur Enjoyment” series. Pay what you can; music starts at 8 p.m.

Big Richard, which comes to The Drake on Jan. 24 at 8 p.m., is billed as a female “neo-acoustic super group,” made up of four established Colorado players on guitar/bass, fiddle, mandolin and cello. Singer-songwriter Caleb Caudle opens.

Steve Pfarrer can be reached at spfarrer@gazettenet.com.