Tuned In Ken Maiuri on Valley music

Last modified: Thursday, August 28, 2014
For 40 years, Fitzwilly’s has been a Northampton landmark for eating and drinking and this weekend, to celebrate the anniversary, they’ll turn their parking lot into a place for music and dancing.

The summery happening is called “Party in the Parking Lot” and the all-afternoon festivities will feature live performances from such popular local acts as Drunk Stuntmen, Trailer Park, The Sun Parade, pictured, Lonesome Brothers and the Expandable Brass Band, pictured, plus special musical guests. It all happens on Saturday from noon to 8 p.m. It’s a free event.

Drunk Stuntmen’s appearance will be their first full Northampton show in seven years, according to frontman Steve Sanderson.

Trailer Park, who perform regularly in the dark confines of The Basement, get to play their dance-minded, sax-powered good-time rock ‘n’ roll/R&B under a sunshiny sky.

The Sun Parade have a new EP coming out soon (“Heart’s Out”) and after spending much of June on the road playing notable venues up and down the East Coast, they’ll be back home for the parking lot show (and then, days later, play a set indoors across the street at Hinge on 
July 3).

Lonesome Brothers are the “hick rock” band led by celebrated songwriters Jim Armenti and Ray Mason.

The Expandable Brass Band — a traveling party wherever it goes, playing tunes like Nat Adderley’s “Work Song,” and the ‘60s R&B classic “Soul Finger” — is the all-volunteer, self-organized Valley activist street band that has performed on city sidewalks, in parades, all over the stage of the yearly Transperformance event and beyond.

The all-ages family-friendly event offers all this, plus face painting, temporary tattoos, a photo booth and street performers.

Singer/songwriter Mark Mulcahy has had a busy time since his last Northampton appearance, being featured on popular NPR programs “Fresh Air” and “Mountain Stage,” as well as touring Ireland and Norway to support his latest record, “Dear Mark J. Mulcahy I Love You.” He returns to the Iron Horse tonight at 7 p.m. Dave Houghton of Fancy Trash opens the show.

Acoustic duo The Black Feathers — led by the harmonizing voices of Ray Hughes and Sian Chandler — play a benefit concert for the Shelburne Falls Military Band at Mocha Maya’s in Shelburne Falls tonight at 8 p.m.

Mother Falcon could be described as a mini-orchestra, but at 14 to 18 members, the indie-rock band — string players, horn players, glockenspiel and bassoon players, among others — dwarfs most club stages and doesn’t feel like a “mini” anything. The band can be hush-quiet but also charge off into battle: in this post-Arcade Fire world, Mother Falcon fits right in with their emotional, epic songs, the whole stage of musicians surging as one, shouting together as they go. The sprawling Austin, Texas band returns to the Iron Horse tonight at 10 p.m. The Family Crest opens.

Longtime area blues guitarist Wildcat O’Halloran leads the way for the first annual Wildcat Wendell Blues Fest, a benefit for Friends of Wendell, to be held on the patio at Deja Brew in Wendell on Saturday starting at 5 p.m. Fellow performers include Art Steele, Dave Boatwright, Wally Greaney, Emily Duff, Charlie Scott, Dangerboy, Buddy McEarns and others.

The acoustic instrumental group Achéray Ensemble plays a personal blend of traditional/contemporary Latin American music at the Wistariahurst Museum in Holyoke on Sunday at 3 p.m.

The Northampton Jazz Workshop trio, (pianist Paul Arslanian, bassist George Kaye and drummer Jon Fisher), welcomes guest saxophonists Paul Combs and Jim Cameron to play the music of Tadd Dameron at the Loft Lounge at the Clarion Hotel in Northampton on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. An open jazz jam will follow the performance, so bring your instrument, sign up and join in with the house band.