Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Steve Pfarrer’s Best Bets


I love history, but I have to admit that until recently I knew little about one of Northampton’s most famous figures, 18th-century preacher Jonathan Edwards. I found a good entry point, though, with “Spider in a Tree,” a historical novel about Edwards by Northampton writer Susan Stinson. She does a fine job imagining how day-to-day life might have played out in Colonial Northampton and in the Edwards home. The publisher, Easthampton’s Small Beer Press, says the book is doing quite well in local bookstores.


Poor Old Shine, a youthful band that’s been turning heads with its high-energy bluegrass, is about to debut its first full-length album from Signature Sounds. The group, playing traditional instruments as well as washboards and musical saws, is at Northampton’s Iron House Music Hall Friday at 7 p.m.

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