Tuned In by Ken Maiuri

  • Lou Barlow

  • The Mary Jane Jones

  • The Sweetback Sisters Anja Schütz

  • Love Love  Tony Sahadeo Photography

  • Gary Higgins

  • FAT

Published: 12/21/2018 12:26:56 PM

Lou Barlow plays a rare hometown show at the Root Cellar in Greenfield on Saturday, December 22, at 8 p.m. Also appearing on the triple-bill are Scott Helland and the Dredd Foole / Jen Gelineau Duo.

Barlow is a member of local legends Dinosaur Jr and the frontman of his own loved and lauded band Sebadoh, and his recent set lists have found him including songs from all of his projects (including The Folk Implosion, who in 1995 released his biggest-selling song so far, “Natural One”).

Sometimes he’s played more than 30 tunes in one night — a fan’s dream, since he has decades of strong original songs from which to choose (“Brand New Love,” “Skull,” “The Freed Pig,” “License to Confuse” and “Magnet’s Coil” are some of those greatest hits). Barlow also has a way with others’ material (don’t miss Sebadoh’s powerful and eerie version of The Byrds’ “Everybody’s Been Burned”), and his recent sets have been peppered with surprise covers (Tom Petty, Foreigner, Bryan Adams).

Barlow put out a new single back in the spring, and the A-side, “Love Intervene,” is an upbeat and timeless kind of song, part new-wave, part traditional folk, trying to generate some positive emotion and warmth in a cold time. As he said in an interview back in April, recording the song was “a way to battle back against a difficult winter… and the cloud of uncertainty that seems to be hanging over everything right now.”


 Blues dude Popa Chubby returns to the Iron Horse in Northampton on Friday, December 21, at 7 p.m.


Local “vintage soul” band The Mary Jane Jones are fronted by vocalist/songwriter Mandy Pachios, and they play original music and covers of folks like Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Aretha Franklin, Alabama Shakes and more. They’re the star act at the Holiday Soul Party at Bishop’s Lounge in Northampton on Friday, December 21, at 10 p.m.


Enjoy an afternoon oasis of classical sounds when the local Quark Quartet plays pieces by Maurice Ravel and Joseph Haydn, plus modern and seasonal selections, at their performance at the Forbes Library in Northampton on Saturday, December 22, at 2 p.m. Free show! 


The Sweetback Sisters’ Country Christmas Sing-Along Spectacular returns to the Valley for another twangy and festive celebration, part of Joan Holliday’s Holiday Hootenanny at the Academy of Music in Northampton on Saturday, December 22, at 3 p.m., and again at 7 p.m.


Love Love, shown at left, (Boston group featuring members of Fuzzy) (9:30 p.m.), Ray Mason Band (8 p.m.) and Belle of the Fall (7 p.m.) appear at the Luthier's Co-op in Easthampton on Saturday, December 22.


Psych-folk fave Gary Higgins plays a rare Valley set, sharing the bill with the Tarp Big Band and Post-Moves at the Root Cellar on Sunday, December 23, at 7 p.m.


FAT, with special guest Mitch Chakour, celebrates its 50th birthday with a special gig at the Iron Horse on Wednesday, December 26, at 7 p.m. 


Frank Manzi and LuxDeluxe team up for a night at the Iron Horse on Thursday, December 27, at 7 p.m.

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