Ken Maiuri’s Tuned In

  • Kimaya Diggs

  • Photo by Sarrah Danziger Photo by Sarrah Danziger

  • Photo by Claire Harvie

  • BKO

  • Photo by Frank Siciliano Photo by Frank Siciliano

  • The Quebe Sisters

Published: 7/18/2019 4:36:02 PM
Modified: 7/18/2019 4:35:52 PM

Mark Sherry’s Valley Music Showcase, a juried live music competition with prizes and an emphasis on original material, continues its fourth season of battling bands at New City Brewery in Easthampton on Friday, July 19, at 8 p.m.

The every-other-month event showcases five new-ish artists from southern Vermont, western and central Massachusetts and Connecticut, each playing a 20-minute set.

Vying for the top spot this time around are folky soul vocalist Kimaya Diggs (at left, from Northampton), singer/songwriter Steve Rodgers (New Haven, CT), rock/blues/Americana outfit The Tommy Filiault Band (Dalton, MA), psychedelic funk group Shantyman (Northampton), and country/rock act Julie Cira and the Wake (Northampton).

The winner of this month’s competition gets to compete in the finals, but first they’ll come back to open and close the next showcase. The winner of the May battle, Quincy, a blues/rock/folk act from North Adams, will play two 30-minute sets at this month's event.

The contest’s grand prizes include 30 hours of free studio recording time at Northfire Studios in Amherst, ten hours at Rotary Records in West Springfield, custom website design and a photo shoot with Cider House Media in Easthampton. 

Judges for this edition include Doug Cotton of Whip City Music and deejay Rick Hendra from WCUW.


Singer/songwriter Caroline Rose grabbed many a new fan with her poppy 2018 album “Loner,” and she appears at MASS MoCA in North Adams on Saturday, July 20 at 8 p.m. Zenizen is the opening act.


Lisa Crystal Carver, Throwaway, Jay Weingarten and Dream Surgery make up the quadruple-bill at the Root Cellar in Greenfield on Saturday, July 20, at 8 p.m. 


The Joe Belmont Experience celebrates the release of its debut CD, “The Essential Experience, Vol. 1,” at the Iron Horse in Northampton on Sunday at 7 p.m. Wanda Houston is a special guest. 


Singer/songwriters Eli Catlin and Izzy Heltai will be at Hawks and Reed Performing Arts Center in Greenfield on Sunday, July 21, at 7:30 p.m.


Bernice, led by Toronto-based vocalist/songwriter Robin Dann, shares a bill with Brattleboro great Ruth Garbus (her next record “Kleinmeister” is due out August 30) and Nick Bisceglia at the Root Cellar on Sunday, July 21 at 8 p.m.


NYC-based guitarist Sheryl Bailey is the guest soloist with the Green Street Trio at this week’s Northampton Jazz Workshop at City Sports Grille inside Spare Time Northampton on Tuesday, July 23, at 7:30 p.m. The open jazz jam follows at 8:30 p.m.


The Quebe Sisters bring their triple fiddles, sibling harmony and progressive western swing to the Iron Horse on Thursday, July 25, at 7 p.m. Jim & Ruby Henry start off the night.


BKO is a modern quintet from Mali that plays “an electrified and danceable set of Malian music,” fusing together two West African traditions, the Mandinka griots and the Bambara hunters. They’ll perform at Hawks and Reed on Thursday, July 25, at 8 p.m.


Frenchy and the Punk (at right), the Hudson Valley duo of vocalist Samantha Stephenson and multi-instrumentalist Valley legend Scott Helland (Deep Wound, Outpatients), share a triple-bill with Ryder Cooley (the frontman of Dust Bowl Faeries playing solo) and The Uncomfortables (hard and fast rock-and-roll since 2000) at the latest Reanimate the Bay State show at the Sierra Grille in Northampton on Thursday, July 25, at 10 p.m.

Ken Maiuri can be reached at 


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