Tuned In by Ken Maiuri: The Green River Festival, and more

  • Photo by Bradford Jones. Cracker

  • The Molice

  • Shannon McNally

  • Femi Kuti & the Positive Force

Published: 7/12/2018 1:55:06 PM

Rolling Stone, The New York Times, USA Today, and NPR have used words like “essential” and “must-see” to describe The Green River Festival, and locals of all ages have known about its awesomeness long before the kudos from the national press.

The three-day family-friendly festival, presented by Signature Sounds, is held on the grounds of Greenfield Community College, with multiple music stages spread around its verdant hills and fields. 

Now in its 32nd year, The Green River Festival keeps growing, both in terms of popularity and also the diverseness of its lineup. Friday night offers three full stages of live music — Dean’s Bean’s Latin Music showcase (featuring Orquesta El Macabeo, progressive rebel salsa from Puerto Rico; Las Cafeteras, political Afro-Mexican dance music from Los Angeles; and Orquesta Akokan, big-band mambo from Cuba via New York City, starting at 5 p.m.), The Next Wave Stage (showing off newer New England acts Glass House, Moxie, Not Yet and Raspberry Jam, starting at 6 p.m.), and the main stage lineup (Twisted Pine, Amy Helm, Birds of Chicago and Josh Ritter (with band), beginning at 5 p.m.).

Saturday and Sunday expand the offerings to four different stages, and the headliners include Michael Franti & Spearhead, Old Crow Medicine Show, Marco Benevento, Ana Tijoux, The Mammals, and Molly Tuttle.

But with more than 30 acts to see, there are highlights beyond the headliners, including The Brother Brothers (two actual brothers, Adam and David Moss, with some of the most gorgeous harmonies since Simon & Garfunkel), Femi Kuti & the Positive Force (eldest son of Afrobeat legend Fela, playing a passionate mix of soul, funk, jazz and African folk), local all-star cover band The Threesies (who only play songs with time signatures in 3/4, 6/8, etc.), and Philly-based earthy rock favorites Dr. Dog, just to name four.

And that’s not even mentioning the local crafts, food, beer and wine, camping, hot-air balloon rides, kid activities and entertainment, and the famous “Balloon Glow” — it’s western Massachusetts’ largest outdoor event of the summer.

For the full schedule and further info, visit greenriverfestival. com

Matt Kim’s Academy of Rock concludes its intensive week-long summer program with a showcase concert at the Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center in Greenfield on Friday at 2:30 p.m. Says Kim, “Come see and hear what 20 hours of INTENSE ROCK does to young minds!”

Vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and one-of-a-kind dynamic man of entertainment Russell Brooks (aka Lord Russ) brings his one-man variety show of stories, impersonations, and musical performances of songs by Elvis, The Beatles, Don Ho, The Moody Blues, Dean Martin, Neil Diamond, Frank Sinatra, Tom Jones, Harry Nilsson, Simon & Garfunkel and more at the Majestic Theater in West Springfield on Friday at 8 p.m.

Local legend Roger Salloom brings his heartfelt blues/country/soul/Americana music to the Glendale Ridge Vineyard in Southampton on Saturday at 6:30 p.m.

Japanese rockers The Molice make a rare Valley appearance, joined by locals Carinae and Chronophobia 5000 at Bishop’s Lounge in Northampton on Saturday at 9 p.m. DJ Quils will whip up a dance party between acts and at the end of the night.

Angry Johnny and the Killbillies, Easthampton’s long-running underground Americana band with an oeuvre full of “beer, bullets, bad luck and broken hearts,” are the first-ever live act at the brand-new Easthampton bar The 413, and they’ll perform immediately following the World Cup 2018 finals on Sunday, circa 2 p.m.

It’s a jam-packed one-day music festival called Noisy Summer Fly-By — featuring Sunburned Hand of the Man, Eisenberg/Gelineau/Robidoux, Shutaro Noguchi, Noise Nomads, Shrinnirs, 10 Gallon Hat, A. Allen/A. foam/T. Lee, Wren Kitz, Viewer, Jay Keerey, Lauri McNamara, Chris Dooley/ Erik Brown/Sam Hadge, Golden Egg (née isa X), Jackieboy + Chris Wardlaw Duo — at The Root Cellar in Greenfield on Sunday at 3 p.m.

Singer/songwriter J Johnson (Wyola, National Carpet) plays an hour-long set before the usual weekly open mic at the Luthier’s Co-op in Easthampton on Tuesday at 7 p.m. No cover, but the hat will be passed.

Cracker (at left) is David Lowery’s post-Camper Van Beethoven rock/country group, and they’ll play an electric full-band show at the Iron Horse in Northampton on Wednesday at 7 p.m. Starting off the night is Johnny Hickman (Lowery’s longtime partner in Cracker since its earliest days).

Americana singer-songwriter Shannon McNally (at right) plays The Root Cellar in Greenfield on Wednesday at 9 p.m. Local country artist Dez Roy and his band start off the night, with DJ Todd Purple also on the bill.



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