Sounds Local: Pre-fest party to ring in Green River Festival

  • Gabriel Bernini is one of the performers at the Green River Festival Kick-Off Party scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 26, at 8 p.m. at Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center in Greenfield. Contributed photo

For the Recorder
Published: 8/20/2021 4:36:20 PM

The biggest musical event of the summer, the Green River Festival, is only a weekend away, and Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center and Signature Sounds have teamed up to host a party that will get you in the pre-fest mood for sure.

The Green River Festival Kick-Off Party will take place Thursday, Aug. 26, at 8 p.m. This show will feature music from Gabriel Bernini, Sun Parade and The Subletters.

This is a terrific lineup of rockin’ local talent and will provide not only the perfect launch for the festival, but an equally enjoyable night for those who perhaps have no plans to attend the Green River Festival itself. It will be a welcome treat to hear these bands as it’s been a while since we have seen a Gabriel Bernini or Sun Parade show. The Subletters, while being a new band, features some musicians we all know.

“The last time I played in the area was at The Stone Church in 2019, so this show will be a really exciting reunion of sorts,” wrote Bernini, who was the keyboardist in Lux Deluxe before launching his solo career. “I’ve been living in Los Angeles since then and have mostly played solo sets out here. I love playing with a band though, and these musicians are my favorite ones to play with.”

Bernini released an at-home recorded EP called “Love You” earlier this summer that features five laid-back tracks that go down smooth. A talented multi-instrumentalist, he has a new album called “You Got Me” and it was recorded during a three-day recording session with the band he will be playing with at this show.

“We made it prior to COVID and have been waiting patiently to be able to release it properly this October,” Bernini said. “It will be available on vinyl and cassette through Requested Records, a new local label.”

Are you wondering who these musicians are that Bernini is referring to? You’ll have to come to the show to find out, because he’s keeping it a surprise until showtime.

Chris Marlon Jennings has played with Bernini in the past, but we don’t know if he’s part of his current lineup. What we do know is that Jennings will be here playing with his own band Sun Parade, a group that he leads with his collaborator Jeff Lewis. They play a psychedelic-infused rock-pop sound that features the kind of tight harmonies that have been compared to The Beach Boys. Sun Parade’s most recent release is 2020’s “Treats for Terry,” a lo-fi, home-produced mixtape that’s a bit more raw than better-know material like “Hearts Out” and “Need You By My Side.” The band has new material in the works, and maybe we will hear some new tunes at this show.

The Subletters is a new indie pop punk band that features Alouette Batteau (lead vocals and rhythm guitar) and Isabella DeHerdt (lead guitar) from Kalliope Jones. Also featured are Eli Smith on drums and Adam Loubsky-Lanergan (from Jordaki and the Doom Prophet) on bass.

“This is actually a new band that Isabella and I put together for the summer — and the future in general,” Batteau said about this project. “The show at Hawks & Reed will be our second show ever, and our first is just a week before. We will be playing more shows and we’re already discussing the possibility of recording over winter break.”

They promise that their music with The Subletters will make you dance, head bang and shout away the night.

Tickets for the show are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. They are also available at Everyone who buys a ticket to this show will be entered into a raffle for the chance to win some new Green River Festival merchandise or a pair of weekend passes to festival, which is now sold out.

We should also note that proof of full COVID-19 vaccination (final dose at least 14 days before the event) or proof of a negative COVID-19 test (received within the past 48 hours) are required to enter Hawks & Reed until further notice, according to the venue’s website. If vaccinated, bring your vaccination card or a clearly legible photo of your vaccination card on your phone. If unvaccinated, bring printed or digital proof of a recent negative PCR test. All unvaccinated patrons must wear a mask while indoors.

Heath Fair update

An update on the musical lineup at the Heath Fair this weekend: Uncles of the Pioneers, the band that was scheduled to play at noon on Saturday, has canceled its performance.

Michael Nix and the NixWorks Ensemble trio (Gloria DeLayne Matlock, vocals and percussion, and Bekka Eöwind, strings) will perform at the Heath Fair from 4 to 4:45 p.m. on Saturday. Nix will showcase his New Classic Banjo Project for solo five- and seven-string banjos from 5 to 5:45 p.m., then give a lecture on new trends in banjo music.

Coop Concerts concludes

Tonight from 6 to 8 p.m. is your last chance to take in a show at the Coop Concerts at the Energy Park in Greenfield as the season has come to its end. Jennie McAvoy and Ellen Redman will perform songs from the British Isles and Ireland, and Russ Thomas will play a set of his humorous folk songs.


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