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The Beat Goes On: Chamber music at The Drake, a Saint Patrick’s weekend musical smorgasbord, and more
03-10-2024 1:44 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

Since opening in the spring of 2022, The Drake has featured a wide range of music, from blues to rock to folk (and various combinations thereof), to jazz and more.“More” includes the Amherst club’s periodic forays into classical music, with concerts...

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The Beat Goes On: Cloudbelly celebrates a new album in Northampton, Brazilian sounds come to Amherst, and more
04-04-2024 6:19 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

Just days after former folk and Americana performer turned indie-pop singer Caroline Rose played in Florence, Cloudbelly, the Valley indie folk band led by singer-songwriter Corey Laitman, is set to showcase songs from a new album that has a...


The Beat Goes On: A post-Mardi Gras show in Florence, a popular area band celebrates its newest album in Amherst, and more
03-24-2024 2:05 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

Mardi Gras took place last month, but you can catch some of its flavor at the Bombyx Center for Arts & Equity on March 24 at 4 p.m. when Jon Cleary & The Monster Gentlemen come to the Florence venue — with the Soggy Po Boys opening the show.Cleary has...


The Beat Goes On: Acclaimed dobro player shows her singer-songwriter side in Northampton, an eclectic duo comes to Florence, and more
02-08-2024 8:37 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

The Parlor Room features a steady stream of singer-songwriters, given the Northampton club’s intimate setting is ideal for acoustic music.The vast majority of those performers come bearing acoustic guitars. But Abbie Gardner will bring her dobro, or...


The Beat Goes On: A busy couple of weeks at The Drake, a new acoustic music series in Holyoke, and more
01-25-2024 11:08 AM

By STEVE PFARRER

In my last column, I mentioned that The Parlor Room in Northampton and the Marigold Theater are maintaining busy schedules right through these early, dead-of-winter days.Another area venue that keeps pumping up the music is The Drake in Amherst, and...


Expanding the musical horizons: Pioneer Valley Jazz Shares readies for new season with 22 shows and some new venues
09-06-2023 7:05 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

A few years ago, Pioneer Valley Jazz Shares (PVJS), the member-supported concert series, faced the same issue all musicians, clubs, and show promoters were dealing with: a problem called COVID-19.Like others, PVJS went online during the worst of the...


The Beat Goes On: David Wax Museum in Hatfield, Shakey Graves, Lucius and Roger Salloom at the Pines Theater, and more
08-09-2023 4:13 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

In recent years, David Wax Museum, which mixes Americana influences with pop music and traditional Mexican folk sounds, had spent a lot of time recording a new album, “You Must Change Your Life,” that the group — the husband and wife duo of David Wax...


Short stories from a long road: James McMurtry delivers a standout show at The Drake
03-31-2023 8:32 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

He’s been hailed as one of the best songwriters around, a troubadour of small-town America and the hardscrabble lives of its citizens.But James McMurtry has always taken a low-key approach to his music, and he did it again last week when he played a...


Two roads converge: Academic and musician Florence Dore mines connections between her passions
03-23-2023 7:36 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

Who says you can’t merge a Ph.D. and rock and roll?    As Florence Dore explains, she spent a long time traveling on seemingly disparate tracks. On one hand she was the professor who’d devoted years to studying American literature and teaching...


The Beat Goes On: Ushering in the new year with Bach and bluegrass in Northampton, young performers in Amherst, and more
01-02-2023 11:26 AM

By STEVE PFARRER

Live music typically takes something of a breather at this time of year: After all, musicians and club owners usually want to spend time with family and friends at the holidays.But starting today and proceeding through the first few several days of...


Amherst accused of inequitable distribution of rescue funds
01-02-2023 11:25 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — For a dozen years, Yasmin Brandford has owned and operated Amherst Extensions and Beauty Salon, specializing in maintenance and care for African American hair.But Brandford says she didn’t seek American Rescue Plan Act money to grow her 460...

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