Tuned In: Shows this week in the Pioneer Valley

  • Body/Head’s Kim Gordon and Bill Nace. David Black

  • Patty Griffin

  • Sunshine Brothers Inc.

  • The Green Sisters

Published: 7/20/2018 9:02:54 AM

Summer is full of major music festivals, but don’t forget the Valley’s regular “mini-music festival” that spotlights local talent, Mark Sherry’s Valley Music Showcase.

Now in its third season of friendly competition, the bi-monthly event is a juried “battle of the bands” that features live original music from performers based in the western/central Massachusetts, north/central Connecticut and southern Vermont areas. 

Each showcase features five diverse acts who vie for prizes from local businesses. The winner will headline the next event, as well as return at the end of the season to compete for such grand prizes as 30 hours of free recording time at Amherst’s Northfire Studios, a photo shoot and custom website design from Easthampton’s Cider House Media, a music video shoot at Greenfield Community TV, a 12-hour music marketing consulting package, and more.

Going for the title this month are Moxie (indie-pop from Brattleboro), The Matchstick Architects (pop-country from Pittsfield), Auguste and Alden (folky pop/rock from Warren, Connecticut), Tales of Joy (reggae/pop from Danbury, Connecticut), and Sunshine Brothers Inc. (multi-flavored indie-pop from Amherst). The Valley Music Showcase Facebook page has more information about each act, including song links and photos.

Old Flame, the Turners Falls indie-rock band led by Emma Ayres, won first place back in May, so they’ll return to open and close the night with a headlining set.

The celebrity judges for this month’s event are Smith College music department chair Steve Waksman, longtime music journalist Sheryl Hunter, and event producer Mark Sherry.

It all happens at the New City Brewery in Easthampton, tonight, Friday, at 8 p.m.

Singer/songwriter Kath Bloom and newfangled trad trio Frozen Corn play The Root Cellar in Greenfield on Friday at 7 p.m.

Grammy award-winning singer/songwriter Patty Griffin (pictured above) plays the Shea Theater in Turners Falls on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

The Green Sisters (siblings Beck, Bets, Brie and Mel) bring their eclectic folk/bluegrass/old-time/Celtic/cajun mix of music back to the 1794 Meetinghouse in New Salem on the town’s “Old Home Day” on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Their debut album, “Endless Blue,” will be available at the show.

The Martha’s Vineyard Ferries (featuring members of Shellac, Codeine and Kahoots) appear on a triple-bill with New Parents and Mistresses at the latest Lowdown show at The Basement in Northampton on Saturday at 8 p.m.

Portland, Maine folk outfit The Ghost of Paul Revere brings its harmonies and hooks to New City Brewery in Easthampton on Saturday at 8 p.m. Berkshire native singer/songwriter Izzy Heltai is the opening act.

Blackmore’s Night is fronted by Rock and Roll Hall-of-Famer Ritchie Blackmore (Deep Purple, Rainbow) and singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Candice Night, and they’ll take the stage with their blend of rock and acoustic/electric Renaissance-style music at the Academy of Music in Northampton on Saturday at 7 p.m.

Body/Head (Kim Gordon and Bill Nace’s experimental duo) have a brand-new album called “The Switch,” and they headline a big show that also features the Steve Gunn-John Truscinski Duo, Head of Wantastiquet (Paul Labrecque of Sunburned playing a solo set) and Jake Meginsky deejaying from cassettes all night long at The Root Cellar in Greenfield on Sunday at 8 p.m.

Ray Mason and Henning Ohlenbusch sing their unique original pop songs at the 1794 Meetinghouse in New Salem on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. Very recommended!

It’s a psych-rock triple bill starring Howlin Rain’ (California), Mountain Movers (Connecticut) and Pigeons (New York/Massachusetts) at The Root Cellar in Greenfield on Thursday at 9 p.m.

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