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PHOTO BY EVANGELINE LANE
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Ken Maiuri on Valley music
Some venues are cozy magnets, like Mocha Maya’s in Shelburne Falls. Since 2005, the small place in a small town has featured many a band playing by the front window to go with the coffee, smoothies and friendly chat.
But the venue’s website wearily admits that winter months can be hard on area businesses and has a long list of suggestions for how patrons can support the spot. The most timely option is to attend the Mocha Maya-thon, a fund-raising three-band show happening at the coffee house tonight at 7 p.m.
It’s a promising lineup featuring singer/songwriter Robin Lane (at left), longtime local “hick rock” trio The Lonesome Brothers, and singer/songwriter Brook Batteau (above).
Lane appeared on the national scene with her vocal contributions to Neil Young’s classic “Everybody Knows This is Nowhere” LP in 1969 and about a decade later grabbed the spotlight herself with her Boston-area band Robin Lane and the Chartbusters. After the group called it a day, she made solo recordings, taught workshops on creativity, moved to western Massachusetts and for many years has used music therapy and songwriting to help empower youth and women trauma survivors.
The Lonesome Brothers is a well-oiled band, firing on the twin engines of singer/songwriters Jim Armenti (guitar) and Ray Mason (bass) backed by drummer Tom Shea. The threesome is gearing up to record a long-awaited new album.
Shelburne Falls-based singer/songwriter Batteau puts his unique stamp on bluesy pop-rock, with a voice that croons, wails and whoops and music that stays refreshingly minimal and raw. “I Want To Suffer with You” is a woozy hit with a great title hook; “Under the Covers” is a one-chord song that’s a little like The Fall crossed with Muddy Waters.
Who’da Funk It (soulful local quintet), Ever Ending Kicks (Paul Adam Benson’s stripped-down and hypnotic singing/songwriting vehicle with echoes of Pinback and Arthur Russell, which last year released a cool EP called “Notion Free”), Dust Witch (prog-rock of the Italian horror movie soundtrack variety) and Steve Moskal (straight-up rock) play Flywheel in Easthampton tonight at 7 p.m.
Swinging Steaks, the Boston-area roots rockers who have a “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” appearance on their resume (and share their in-demand bassist Paul Kochanski with local band Fancy Trash, among others), takes the stage at the Parlor Room at Signature Sounds in Northampton tonight at 8 p.m. Wishbone Zoe opens.
Blues singer Janet Ryan plays Luthiers Co-Op in Easthampton Saturday at 7 p.m., followed by sets from violin/acoustic guitar duo Podunk Throwbacks (at right) at 8 and the belly dancing of The Goddess Lounge at 9:30.
LuxDeluxe performs all of the Rolling Stones’ classic “Let It Bleed” LP, plus a set of its own material at the Iron Horse in Northampton Saturday at 10 p.m.
Eva Cappelli and the Watershops Band holds a live video party for its new song, “Love On the Rocks,” at Whiskers Pub in Easthampton Sunday from 4 to 8 p.m.