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Shirley is a rural industrial town located on the lowlands of the Catacoonamaug River. A handful of colonists arrived in 1720 and settled on scattered farms throughout the town.
Early in its history Shirley was supported by its many farms and orchards. There was an increase in industrial activity around 1790 and the first paper mill was opened followed shortly after by a small iron works and nail factory.
The location of the water to power industries served to create an industrial village along the narrow valley where Shirley is located. Many of the period brick towered mills still survive and create an authentic period landscape.
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A very special Thanksgiving & Anniversary Celebration!??
The legendary Stompers played their very first show in November 1977. The band has long been recognized for their raucous live shows; kept alive for more than three decades by a spirited legion of dedicated fans.
The Stompers music appears in the John Sayles film, "Return Of The Secaucus Seven" and the cult classic, "Fraternity Vacation". Their radio hits include, "Coast to Coast", "Rock, Jump and Holler", "Eastside Girl", "One Heart For Sale", "American Fun" and "Never Tell An Angel" which both appear in Adam Sandler's "Grown Ups" & "Grown Ups 2" respectfully. The list goes on, as do The Stompers!
The Stompers mission has always been to lift the spirt, shake the body and spread the mighty jubilation that is rock n roll. Keeping that tradition alive and kicking for more than three decades, the band continues to deliver the whole barn burnin’ roof raisin’ foot stompin’ ROCK N ROLL CHURCH to sellout audiences everywhere.
Say it loud brothers and sisters - say it proud!
When: Nov 28, 2015 8 PM in Shirley, Massachusetts (Sat, 28 Nov 2015 20 )
“Wanda Jackson, an atomic fireball of a lady, could have a smash hit with just about anything.” - Bob Dylan
"The Queen of Rockabilly," Wanda Jackson, first toured in 1955 and 1956 and she was placed on a bill with none other than Elvis Presley. The two dated during this time and Jackson says it was Presley, along with her father, who encouraged her to sing rockabilly. She had her first U.S. Top 40 hit in 1960 with "Let's Have a Party," a song Elvis had cut earlier. Her recording career bounced back and forth between country and rockabilly and she did this by often putting one song in each style on either side of her single. In 1966, she hit the U.S. Top 20 with "The Box It Came In" and "Tears Will Be the Chaser for Your Wine." She toured regularly, was twice nominated for a Grammy and was a big attraction in Las Vegas through the 1970s. Jackson had her own syndicated TV show, "Music Village," which was packaged by her husband/manager Wendell Goodman.
Since the early '80s, Jackson has been invited to Europe numerous times to play rockabilly and country festivals. American country artists like Pam Tillis, Jann Browne and Rosie Flores have acknowledged Jackson as a major influence. After releasing the critically acclaimed, "Heart Trouble", and "I Remember Elvis".. Wanda continues to tour all over the world to sold out venues.
In 2009 Wanda was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello and Bruce Springsteen were just a few of the high-profile artists that encouraged "the Hall" to induct her. In 2011 she released a new album with Jack White, "The Party Ain't Over." It included a cover of the Bob Dylan rockabilly song, "Thunder on the Mountain" as well as a fiery cover of Amy Winehouse's hit song "You Know I'm No Good". "The Party Ain't Over" was well-received by many critics and fans around the world.
“Her voice conjures up a world and a very distinct and particular place in time. It’s not something that can be developed.” - Bruce Springsteen "She's like my rockabilly Etta James. I love her, she's so brilliant. I don't think 'Rollin' in the Deep' would exist if it wasn't for Wanda Jackson." - Adele “Here is a one-of-a-kind voice as fresh now as it was in 1958. A voice this big will never be living in the past.” - Stephen King VIDEO
* We have a VIP package for this show, which includes: 2 tickets (fee included), 1 hotel room for 2 with shuttle to and from the concert.
When: Dec 4, 2015 8 PM in Shirley, Massachusetts (Fri, 04 Dec 2015 20 )
Back in the early 1960s, Roy Book Binder learned his craft from the legendary blind street singer, Reverend Gary Davis. After two years of traveling the folk-blues circuit with his mentor, Roy struck out on his own. Along the way, he befriended Pink Anderson, an old Carolina medicine show performer (who, by the way, was the "Pink" in Pink Floyd). Pink's stories and songs will forever be kept alive as long as Roy has a stage to perform on.
Roy has toured with Bonnie Raitt, Hot Tuna and J.J. Cale. He's played at many festivals around the country including: The New Orleans JazzFest, the Chicago Blues Festival, The National Story Telling Festival and MerleFest, where he has hosted the acoustic blues stage for the past 14 years.
A few years ago, the PBS Emmy Award-winning series "Arts Across America" joined him on the road, documenting his colorful career in a segment titled "Keeping Traditions Alive." For almost 40 years Roy Book Binder has traveled the world as a "keeper of the flame" and ambassador of the blues. He is certainly a national treasure and one of the finest fingerpickers working today.
The CorvettesDoo Wop Revue is dedicated to preserving and performing the music of the 1950’s Doo Wop era. From New Hampshire to New Orleans and Virginia to Vegas, The Corvettes perform the great music of the Doo Wop era with a fresh new energy. Their incredibly entertaining show and comical stage antics have left many a happy audience screaming for more! In the tradition of legendary Doo Wop revivalists Sha Na Na, every Corvettes show is more than a concert - it’s an all out a Doo Wop Celebration!
In addition to performing their own outstanding concerts, the Corvettes tour with many legendary Doo Wop groups including The Drifters, The Tokens, Danny & The Juniors, The Platters, The Marvelettes, The Shangri Las, The Shirelles, The Belmonts, Gary U.S. Bonds, The DelVikings, The Teenagers and many more.
Some of the great hits you might expect to hear at a Corvettes Doo Wop Revue show: Come Go With Me - Little Darlin’ - Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On - At The Hop - The Twist - Earth Angel - Sea Crusie - Rock Around The Clock - In The Still Of The Night - Runaround Sue - Runaway - Palisades Park - Twistin’ The Night Away - Splish Splash - Shake Rattle & Roll And many, many more!
"A rollicking ride through the good old days of Rock & Roll"
In 1967, Vanilla Fudge rocked the world with a new sound, influencing a generation of musicians and creating a legion of loyal fans. They were "one of the few American links between psychedelia and what soon became 'heavy metal." Things started to pick up for the band in 1968: early in the year, they headlined the Fillmore West with the Steve Miller Band, performed "You Keep Me Hangin' On" on The Ed Sullivan Show, and released their second album, The Beat Goes On. That summer, Atco reissued "You Keep Me Hangin' On," and the second time around it climbed into the Top Ten. It was followed by Renaissance, one of VF's best albums, which also hit the Top 20. The band supported it by touring with Jimi Hendrix, opening several dates on Cream's farewell tour, and late in the year touring again with the fledgling Led Zeppelin as their opening act. While the band did record original material, they were best known for their loud, heavy, slowed-down arrangements of contemporary pop songs, blowing them up to epic proportions and bathing them in a trippy, distorted haze. 1970.
Bogert and Appice first formed the hard rock group Cactus, then later joined up with Jeff Beck in the aptly named Beck, Bogert & Appice. Currently, three of the four original members, keyboardist Mark Stein, guitarist Vince Martell and drummer Carmine Appice are touring along with Pete Bremy replacing Tim Bogert on bass. Their big hits, “You Keep Me Hangin’ On,” “Take Me For A While” and "Season Of The Witch" are still played on classic rock stations.
This is the kick-off to our new monthly Comedy Series in the Ballroom. Each month we will bring you the best and funniest comics from the famed Headliners Comedy Club. This month's comics are Rob Steen, Matt Barry and your host, Paul Landmehr.
Rob Steen has been doing comedy for 25 years. He began as a street performer in Boston at the age of 12. Using his juggling and improv skills he decided to try Stand-Up! Since then he has a full schedule of over 350 shows per year! Rob has been featured on several TV shows including The Late Show with Dave Letterman where he is a frequent guest. His high energy and quick wit have brought comparisons to Robin Williams and he is one of the most requested comedians in the northeast. "Rob's act is fresh and always different. He has a gift for working the crowd into his act and taking them on a ride into his off-beat world!" - Boston Globe
Matt Barry is one of New England’s fastest rising stars in comedy. A mischievous, post-grad stoner, Matt’s act centers around a transition into adulthood he isn’t ready to make. Applying to jobs, rolling joints, and living with his parents – it’s all part of Matt’s everyday struggle to grow up.
Paul Landwehr is another fast riser on the Boston Comedy scene. His great joke (which we won't tell you here) was the winner of the 2013 Joke of the Year Award in the NH Comedy Awards.
When: Aug 14, 2015 8 PM in Shirley, Massachusetts (Fri, 14 Aug 2015 20 )
Since their meteoric liftoff in the late 1990s, Hot Club of Cowtown’s star has continued to rise as its reputation for jaw-dropping virtuosity and unforgettable live shows has become their global brand. Lauded for its “down-home melodies and exuberant improvisation” (The Times, London), Hot Club has always woven a combination of seemingly disparate styles together to its own magical effect, setting up camp “at that crossroads where country meets jazz and chases the blues away” (The Independent), and “conscious always that above all else, the music is for dancing and an old-fashioned good time” (New York Times). The band’s musical alchemy has been described as “another breathless journey in the Texas tardis” (The Times, London), while American Songwriter observed that “The excellent three players of this band could be doing anything but have chosen to honor the greats of jazz and swing with their sound.” The Belfast Telegraph calls them “a pretty much perfect country trio at the very top of their game,” while the New York Times, reviewing a live performance in New York City in 2011, describes the trio as armed with “an arsenal full of technique and joy.”
The Austin-based HC of C explores the space where "Texas swing meets early jazz." Fiddler Elana James, guitarist Whit Smith and bassist Jake Erwin have perfected a unique and infectious hybrid that playfully blurs musical boundaries, conjuring the spirit of both Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys and jazz legend Django Reinhardt. If you've seen them before, be advised that they're only getting better - they went on hiatus, got back together, and came out of it stronger. By now they're one of the great improvising bands in any genre. Their latest album, "Rendezvous in Rhythm," is their first ever dedicated exclusively to the Gypsy jazz and French swing of Paris in the 1930s, featuring the band’s sparkling spins on standards in the style of legendary hot jazz titans Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli.
Along with the Hot Club’s dedicated cult following worldwide, they have toured with Bob Dylan, (Elana has also recorded with him), opened several shows for Willie Nelson, toured with Nelson and Dylan during a summer-long stadium tour, and recently opened seven nights of Roxy Music’s sold-out “For Your Pleasure” U.K. stadium tour. In the U.K. the Hot Club has been featured at the Glastonbury Festival and has been a returning guest on "Later With Jools Holland," the Cambridge Folk Festival, and BBC Radio 2’s Radcliffe and Maconie and Bob Harris Country shows. In February they were winners of the 2015 Ameripolitan Music Awards: Hot Club for "Western Swing Group," and Elana James for "Western Swing Female."
Legendary keyboardist (Hammond B3 and piano) Bruce Katz has released 7 CDs as a leader and has appeared on nearly 70 other CDs with the likes of John Hammond, Delbert McClinton, Ronnie Earl, Duke Robillard, Little Milton, Joe Louis Walker, David “Fathead” Newman and many, many others. He was a member of Gregg Allman’s band for six years and toured with the Allman Brothers as well. He is a four time BMA nominee (2008, 2009, 2010, 2015) for the “Pinetop Perkins Piano Player of the Year” award, which is the equivalent of the “Blues Grammys”. His new CD, “Homecoming” was released in November 2014 and features his band as well as guests John Hammond, Randy Ciarlante, Jimmy Bennett among others. It explores his personal, wide-ranging scope of blues, and includes six vocal tunes, in addition to Bruce’s instrumental originals. The Bruce Katz Band is an original, very exciting group of musicians that combine blues, “soul-jazz” and New Orleans inspired roots music. Based in Woodstock, NY, Bruce occupies a unique space where blues and the many aspects of Americana music collide into a style of original music all his own. The band has a trademark sound, blending the B3 organ and guitar in unique and inventive ways. The Bruce Katz Band is: Bruce Katz on Hammond B3 organ and piano, Chris Vitarello on guitar/vocals and Ralph Rosen on drums/vocals.
"He can play jazz, blues, Bach, anything. Man, he's a heavy!" - Gregg Allman
"This man is as good as it gets. One of the greatest keyboard artists I've ever heard." - John Hammond
“Homecoming, a new CD by Bruce Katz is pure genius! Buy it and put it in your ear. You can thank me later.” - Delbert McClinton - “Now, that’s a piano player!" - Pinetop Perkins
VIDEO of Bruce Katz when he played with Delbert McClinton at Bull Run in 2013. Courtesy of MoeJoeVision
When: Aug 8, 2015 8 PM in Shirley, Massachusetts (Sat, 08 Aug 2015 20 )
Magic Dick, the legendary harmonica player for the J. Geils Band has recently partnered up with guitar sensation, Shun Ng to creat one of the most amazing musical acts to come out of Boston in a long time.
The music is soulful blues, rockin' yet thoughtful. Performed by arguably two of the top musicians at their respective instruments, this show is dynamic and unique. Magic Dick has toured the world playing with some of the top names in the business as well as blowing away clubs and stadiums with the J. Geils Band since 1969. He explains the formation of the duo:??"From the moment I first heard Shun Ng's CD "Funky Thumb Stuff" I knew that a manifest musical collaboration was about to happen. Shun's sound simply made me feel very alive and induced in me a synchronous alignment of musical DNA as if it was his intention as well as mine all along! A long and enlightening conversation happened on that day of our first meeting and now we are a duo and I couldn't be more delighted."?
Shun Ng was born in Chicago, raised in Singapore now based out of Boston. At 24 years old, he is already an international star, a soulful, world-class guitarist, vocalist, and electric performer who in a short period of time, has caught the attention of the top players in the music world including Quincy Jones who said: "When you see Shun Ng, you won't believe your eyes nor your ears - he belies all stereotypes, all premonitions. I was simply blown away by both his soul and his science - his creativity and his uniqueness is astounding.
Shun says, "we wanted to make music in a way that no one had quite done before while remaining grounded in our roots. Magic Dick brings a powerhouse attack with ferocious precision and a killer groove to this duo. I have great respect for him, he has seemingly done it all, but is still constantly trying to push the boundaries of music and chase the best in himself, a true artist. To be working with a true Boston legend is a real privilege."
When: Aug 7, 2015 8 PM in Shirley, Massachusetts (Fri, 07 Aug 2015 20 )
Girls, Guns and Glory, the Boston born foursome may come from the North but their sound is pure south of the Mason-Dixon line. Their songs of sin, redemption, and loss sound of much older than the 25 year old front-man; vintage and seasoned. Spiked with copious amounts of Hank Williams and Jimmie Rodgers, their 50s-style pin-up good looks are reminiscent of their idols.
For the past eight years they have been making a name for themselves through relentless touring (about 200 gigs a year worldwide), the release of four critically acclaimed records, a slew of local awards, including being the Boston Music Awards first act of its genre to win Act of the Year, and international awards (Independent Artist of the Year at the French Country Music Awards). The hard-working band refined their focus to the roots of rock ‘n’ roll with a twist of country on their fifth album, “Good Luck” out on Lonesome Day Records last year (2014) and their new album, "Tribute To Hank Williams Live" is a passion project out now on Dry Lightning Records. You need four things in life, and these guys have figured out three of 'em.
"Imagine Lyle Lovett and Chris Isaak paying tribute to classic American rock n' roll from Elvis, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison.” – The Boston Herald
Open: Danielle Miraglia - Danielle comes armed with a strong steady thumb on an old Gibson, an infectious stomp-box rhythm, harmonica and tunes ranging from heart-felt to socially conscious that will move both your heart and hips. Her new CD, "Glory Junkies," is fantastic. Get one signed at Bull Run.
When: Aug 7, 2015 8 PM in Shirley, Massachusetts (Fri, 07 Aug 2015 20 )
Four great acts perform on our outdoor patio. Full menu and bar available under the stars.
Jenee Halstead grew up in the high desert of Spokane, Washington, the daughter of hippie parents who let her find her own direction with creative abandon. Her CD "Raised By Wolves" slams an old beat box into surf guitars, banjo, and ukulele; mixing a chorus of tenor guitars, handclaps, and synth bass. Drawing on influences like PJ Harvey and Kate Bush, giving all the attention to Halstead’s extraordinary voice.
Grin Whistle - keeps an emphasis on eclectic and high energy live performances arranging melodically delicate storytelling and songwriting with foot-stomping grooves. The four members are: James Terrasi on electric and acoustic guitars, Noah Hill on drums and percussion, Mark Renzkowski on bass and mandolin and Joshua Hill on acoustic guitar and vocals.
Hayley Sabella - Songwriter of the Year - Nominee @ The New England Music Awards - Her voice is described as “honeyed, but with a mild rasp” and it’s the first you may notice. But with the learned ability to combine finger-style picking with rhythmic strumming patterns, she hollows out the space for her careful lyrics to resonate, making you feel both earthbound and untethered.
Dan & The Wildfire - Pop Act of the Year - Nominee @ The New England Music Awards - Dan and the Wildfire are a particularly potent cocktail comprised of 1 part old time mountain folk, 1 part classic rock and roll and 3 parts bottom shelf bourbon. Mix it up and what you get is a musical experience that burns it’s way into your bones and lights up your soul with a crisp, rootsy sound that’ll leave you reeling for another taste of that Wildfire.
When: Aug 6, 2015 6 PM in Shirley, Massachusetts (Thu, 06 Aug 2015 18 )
Having gotten her break with a supporting role in Albert Collins’ Icebreakers, Debbie has gone on to be one of the most outstanding guitarists in the blues world. In 1997 and again in 2010 Debbie Davies received the W.C. Handy Award for “Best Contemporary Female Blues Artist”. Davies cut her teeth playing in blues and rock ‘n roll bands in the San Francisco Bay area before returning to Los Angeles in 1984, where she landed the lead guitar spot in Maggie Mayall and the Cadillacs, an all-female band led by wife of British blues pioneer, John Mayall. In 1988 she was recruited by Albert Collins to join the Icebreakers, and for the next three years she was a featured guitarist performing behind one of the most innovative bluesmen of all time. During her tenure with Albert, Debbie was invited to perform on John Mayall’s 1990 album, "A Sense of Place," and in 1991 she recorded with Collins and the Icebreakers on his Grammy nominated self-titled release. In September 1993 she came out with her debut solo release, "Picture This," on Blind Pig Records, which featured a cameo by Collins on “I Wonder Why.” People like to ask Debbie if she learned her technique from Collins, to which she gently points out that she had to play well from the start to hold her own with Albert at every performance. However, the experience taught her lessons in being a better musician, both onstage and off. Says Davies, “It was the most powerful band I had ever played with, so I learned to dig even deeper into myself to pull out the music. Albert was a man of so much grace and kindness, so I can only hope that I was able to absorb some of his humanity too. Since 1993, Debbie has produced eleven solo recordings and two collaborative CD’s. The roster of other artists who have joined Debbie in the studio on her recordings reads like a who’s who of the blues: Albert Collins, Ike Turner, James Cotton, Mick Taylor, Peter Green, Coco Montoya, Chris “Whipper” Layton, Sugar Ray Norcia, Mudcat Ward, Charlie Musselwhite, Bruce Katz, Per Hanson, Noel Neal, and Rod Carey. Davies' brand new 2015 VizzTone release, "LOVE SPIN," is at once funky, rocking’, and bluesy. It’s collection of all original tunes showcases an artist at her peak, and will no doubt put smiles on the faces of long time fans and bring many new ones into the fold. A thirty-year veteran of the road, this latest recording leaves no doubt that Debbie Davies is truly one of the leading lights on the contemporary blues music scene today.
"She wields an electric guitar as if it were a wand." – LA Times
“She pulls out all the stops. She can play it all: seductive, soulful material, down-home Delta blues or humorous tales of life on the road.”- Blues Revue
Debbie plays from the heart and her heart has a lot to say. She inspires me. - Charlie Musselwhite
I don't often give endorsements or references, but once in a rare while I hear a musician of such talent that I want people to know. I believe my reputation backs up my ability to recognize exceptional blues guitarists. Such a one is Debbie Davies. - John Mayall
Three-time Grammy winner Delbert McClinton is a legend among Texas Blues/Roots music aficionados, not only for his amazing longevity, but for his ability to combine country, blues, soul, and rock & roll as if there were no distinctions between any of them in the best time-honored Texas tradition. A formidable harmonica player long before he recorded as a singer, McClinton's career began in the late '50s, when he played harmonica on "Hey Baby" a #1 hit by fellow Texan Bruce Channel, yet it took him nearly two decades to evolve into a bona fide solo artist. A critics' darling and favorite of his peers, McClinton has won three Grammy awards to date - one for a duet with Bonnie Raitt (Good Man, Good Woman), and two for the albums, "Nothing Personal" and "Cost of Living."
But he began his career dodging flying bottles and whipping through greasy versions of “Watermelon Man” and “Tequila” behind the strippers on the Jacksboro Highway, the infamous Fort Worth honky-tonk row. And during his 40-plus years he has flirted with bankruptcy, burnout and all the standard issues of substance abuse and familial chaos that come along with a career at the ragged edges of a lifelong road trip. These days Delbert finds himself in the strangest place of all - the mainstream - with respectability, acclaim and even, as one of his CDs was called “Room to Breathe.”
Delbert McClinton is now becoming a household name. And as Willie Nelson said: “It's about time. Delbert's stuck to his guns, he's been so good for a really long time, and he's as good as anyone.”
OPEN: Brian Dunne - Raised in New York, folk rock singer/songwriter Brian Dunne's music has won the attention and praise of many. With his sharp lyrical prowess and country-influenced vocals, Brian has played in the U.S. folk scene far and wide. "A pure, expressive voice and a fondness for lonesome steel guitar" - CMT Edge
When: Aug 5, 2015 7 PM in Shirley, Massachusetts (Wed, 05 Aug 2015 19 )
Four great acts perform on our outdoor patio. Full menu and bar available under the stars.
Ben Knight - A prolific performer throughout New England, Ben's high energy and Blues-influenced style of modern rock has earned him accolades from both The Boston Blues Society and The New England Music Awards. And back in Oct of 2014 Ben was named the winner at The Last Band Standing competition in Boston a 5 night, 6 state event featuring over 100 musicians from all over New England.
Marina Evans - Marina combines strong, sultry vocals, unusual melodies, and clever lyrics into a sound entirely her own. She has toured and recorded across the U.S., London, and in Florence, Italy. A dynamic, passionate performer who has earned two consecutive nominations for Female Performer of the Year at The New England Music Awards.
Sarah Barrios - From Torrington CT, Sarah's credits speak for themselves; 2015 New England Music Award Nominee "Female Performer of The Year" - Connecticut Music Award Nominee 2015 for "Songwriter of the Year" - WINNER at The New England Music Awards "Best New Act" for 2014- along with appearances on both FOX TV's The XFactor and American Idol in 2014
Dan Blakeslee - The hills and highways are made for wandering, this has been deep rooted in Dan Blakeslee who performs an average of 200 shows per year. In a gymnasium at Laconia Prison (NH) in 2005, a crowd of 150 inmates became hushed after hearing Blakeslee’s songs of hardship, hope and true grit. Late winter of 2006 brought a string of 27 shows with Tiger Saw (Dylan Metrano, Alan Bull, Angel Deradoorian (Dirty Projectors)) to the southern US and straight up the Mississippi River igniting his passion to continue on this path. Upon returning from the 110 mile journey by foot on the Massachusetts Walking Tour in June of 2012 Blakeslee mapped out a tour of a different shape slated for the fall of that year. This venture spanned 7 states, with Blakeslee performing 31 shows in 25 days as his alter ego “Doctor Gasp” making a connect the dots Jack-O-Lantern face on a map of New England. 2013 brought him to Austin, TX in March for SXSW followed by a tour with his band “The Calabash Club” , and in April of 2015 Dan's was recognized as Male Performer of the Year at The New England Music Awards
When: Aug 20, 2015 6 PM in Shirley, Massachusetts (Thu, 20 Aug 2015 18 )
Tom returns for his annual just-before-Christmas Show.
From his early days at Club 47, the Cambridge coffeehouse that also gave Joan Baez, Bob Dylan and Judy Collins their start back in the 1960's, through 14 albums, to his sold out Club 47® concert series which has filled the likes of Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center, Tom's knack for finding wonderful songs, writing his own and championing emerging artists has made him a legend. His music includes healthy doses of both folk and blues influences. He also was the first major artist to record the songs of a then-unknown Joni Mitchell, and also recorded a number of songs from such emerging singer/songwriters of the time as Jackson Browne, Eric von Schmidt, James Taylor and Eric Kaz. Rush's own compositions are still lauded for their poignant, undeniable lyrics. When U2 performed on last year's Grammys, Bono was heard singing a bit of Tom Rush's "No Regrets.". This version appears in their live sets, and also the live version of the song currently available on iTunes. Bono talked about it in a Rolling Stone Interview. Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion, live from Town Hall, NYC featured Tom on April 16th.
"... his voice is outstandingly versatile; his guitar playing is sheer genius; his sense of humor side splitting ..." Trina E. Kingsbury, MARTHA'S VINEYARD TIMES
"Probably the only man alive who should be allowed to sing Joni Mitchell songs" Eric Fidler, CHICAGO TRIBUNE. More info: www.TomRush.com
Openers and accompanying Tom: Eric Lilljequist and Dean Adrian - Founders of the legendary Boston band ORPHAN, Eric and Dean have been opening for Tom at the Bull Run for many years now, to the delight of us all.
When: Dec 12, 2015 8 PM in Shirley, Massachusetts (Sat, 12 Dec 2015 20 )
The incredible Beatles cover act "No Reply" returns to the Bull Run after raising the roof in another sold out performance last year.
"No Reply" goes beyond the average cover band by pushing the attention to musical and vocal detail to new limits. While not a look-a-like costume band, the goal of this act is to play Beatles songs from all eras precisely, but with a live energy and sound that perhaps the Beatles could have provided had they been able to perform with today's modern amplification (and not all those screaming young girls drowning them out!). With the extensive bag of tricks Sir George Martin used in the studio with the Beatles, it also would have been impossible for them to recreate their great songs with just John, Paul, George and Ringo. For that reason, "No Reply" consists of 6 well rounded and seasoned locally bred musicians performing every bit completely live. Top notch music and unparalleled vocal harmonies make this a must see show. An extremely entertaining multi-media presentation runs during the show as well. Book early as last year sold out and people were turned away!
Join us for a spectacular day of over 20 varieties Chili, Cold Beer, Live Music featuring The Glue Factory, Kids Activities, Cash Prizes & more outside at the Devens Common Center.
Enter your chili to win the Grand Prize or bring the whole family to enjoy the day! Proceeds from this year’s chili cook off will go to benefit the HealthAlliance Community Mental Health Fund. Each year hundreds of young adults in the North Central Mass Region contemplate suicide as a result of mental illness, depression and other life challenges along the way. Through this Fund, HealthAlliance Hospital will be able to provide Mental Health Navigators, Social Workers and Case Managers to young adults who visit the Emergency Department with Behavioral Health issues whether it be mental illness and/or substance abuse.
GRAND PRIZE WINNER One chili entry will be chosen to win our Grand Prize. The winning chili entry will win a Cash Prize, a Trophy announcing that you made the Best Chili in Central Massachusetts and be featured on the Bull Run Restaurant's menu for one week. On the Saturday night of the week your winning chili recipe is featured at Bull Run, you will act as "Celebrity Host" for the evening, greeting guests at the door and urging them to try your chili!
TO ENTER YOUR CHILI IN THE CONTEST $5 per entry includes one free beverage! After purchasing your chili contest ENTRY ticket below, print out & bring your confirmation code to the event. You MUST provide your phone number.
TO ATTEND THE CHILI COOK-OFF $10 Donation provdes access to the event & all you can eat chili. $8.00 of your donation goes directly to Health Alliance Community Mental Health Fund. Kids under 10 are free!
For more information, contact the Devens Complex Sales Office at 978-772-0188.
Thanks to our generous sponsors: UMass Memorial Health Alliance Hospital, The Devens Common Center, The Bull Run Restaurant, Spring Hill Suites Marriott, Hilton Garden Inn, Wachusett Brewing Co., & Bemis Worldwide.
When: Oct 11, 2015 2 PM in Shirley, Massachusetts (Sun, 11 Oct 2015 14 )
At the young age of 15 Gilbert Gottfried began doing stand-up at open mike nights in New York City and after a few short years, became known around town as "The Comedian's Comedian." After spending several years mastering the art of stand-up comedy, producers of the legendary NBC late night comedy show "Saturday Night Live" became aware of him and, in 1980, hired him as a cast member. A few years later MTV hired him for a series of improvised and hilarious promos for the newly formed channel. This led to television appearances on "The Cosby Show" and "Late Night with David Letterman." Gottfried's work in television soon led to roles in film. Most notable was his improvised scene as business manager Sidney Bernstein in the hit sequel "Beverly Hills Cop II," for which the New York Daily News said, "Gilbert Gottfried steals the picture with a single scene." Aside from his glowing reputation in comedy clubs, Gottfried began to gain a reputation as the king of quirky roles in both movies and television. He appeared in such movies as "Problem Child," "Problem Child II," "Look Who's Talking II" and "The Adventures of Ford Fairlane." He was also the host of the very popular late night movie series "USA Up All Night." After his stellar performance as the wise cracking parrot, IAGO, in the Disney classic "Aladdin," Gottfried became one of the most recognizable voiceover talents, lending his voice to several commercials, cartoons and movies, including the frustrated duck in the AFLAC Insurance commercials. He is also the voice of DIGIT in the long running PBS Series "Cyberchase," can be heard on the Comedy Central series, "The Annoying Orange," and as the voice of the horse on "Family Guy." Gilbert has appeared on the ABC series "Celebrity Wife Swap," numerous Comedy Central Roasts and the Comedy Central series, "The Burn with Jeff Ross." His hilarious viral video reading of "Fifty Shades of Grey" (College Humor) received over 4 million views on YouTube. Gilbert was a frequent guest on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" and "The Howard Stern Show." In addition, has had a recurring role on "Law and Order" SVU as TARU tech Leo Gerber. Gottfried stole the show in the hit comedy documentary "The Aristocrats," with Entertainment Weekly saying that "out of the 101 comedians who appear on screen, no one is funnier - or more disgusting than Gilbert Gottfried." "Gilbert Gottfried Dirty Jokes" was released on both DVD and CD, featuring 50 non-stop minutes of Gottfried telling the funniest and filthiest jokes ever. The show was filmed live at the Gotham Comedy Club in New York City. Also featured on the DVD are some of the funniest bonus features ever, including wild stories, indignant ranting and celebrity impressions. As a famed comics comic, Gilbert puts aside political correctness for his live performance and fires an onslaught of jokes that know no boundaries. Stephen King says of Gottfried, "More than a national treasure, he's a secret weapon. If we had had Gilbert Gottfried in World War II, Hitler would have given up in 1942."
When: Nov 6, 2015 8 PM in Shirley, Massachusetts (Fri, 06 Nov 2015 20 )
"Back by popular demand" - You asked for them and here they are!
Formed in 1969, Wishbone Ash has more than 20 original studio recordings and several live albums to their credit. The group has appeared at all the major music festivals and enjoys a history with some of the world’s classic music labels, Universal and Atlantic Records. Back in the day, Wishbone Ash cut their teeth on the US stadium circuit first opening for The Who. Once they began headlining in the States, Wishbone’s opening acts included Springsteen, Kiss and Aerosmith. Citing Wishbone Ash as an influence on their style, Thin Lizzy, Iron Maiden, Southern Rock outfits like Lynyrd Skynyrd and, more recently, heavyweights like Opeth and some of the guitar-based Indie/ Alternative bands, have all taken a little something from the legendary twin-guitar approach of Wishbone Ash. Truly, there is no other rock band on the planet that has done more with the twin guitar concept than the Ash.
Their 24th album “Blue Horizon” once again features their signature twin-lead melodies and powerhouse rhythm section from one of the most influential guitar bands in the history of rock. 10 new studio tracks reflect the diverse realm of styles and moods we've come to expect from a Wishbone album. Watch a trailer for "Blue Horizon" HERE
The group coalesces around strong songwriting and serious chops. Founding member Andy Powell, who Rolling Stone Magazine named as one of the top 20 guitarists of all time, handles lead vocals and trades licks with Finland’s guitar wizard Muddy Manninen. Bassist Bob Skeat, a 14-year veteran of the band and in-demand studio musician, keeps the bottom rocking with Joe Crabtree, one of the best of Britain’s new breed of drummers, having played with Pendragon and David Cross of King Crimson
Their newest album "Still The King" celebrates the music of their biggest influence, Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys. This album marks the band's third full-length Bob Wills tribute album following 1998's Ride with Bob and 1993's A Tribute to the Music of Bob Wills, with four GRAMMY awards and over half a million copies sold collectively. The new album features genre-spanning collaborations with critically acclaimed artists, old friends and new favourites including Willie Nelson, Brad Paisley, Jamey Johnson, Merle Haggard, George Strait, The Avett Brothers, Amos Lee, Old Crow Medicine Show and Lyle Lovett. Asleep at the Wheel, the famed western-swing, boogie, and roots-music outfit are, amazingly, still on the upswing. That’s saying something, too, considering the group’s been around for nearly 40 years, turning out an incredible 25+ albums and charted more than 20 singles on the Billboard country charts, while playing an unrelenting schedule of one-nighters that would make a vaudevillian dizzy. In 1971, the band signed their first record deal after Van Morrison mentioned they "play great country music" in an interview in Rolling Stone
“In terms of how many people we played for, what we accomplished, and how much money we made – well, we didn’t make any money – this year was absolutely our best year ever,” says Wheel founder and front man Ray Benson with a chuckle.
And even as the Wheel rolled on, the reinvention had begun. You could see and hear it in their live shows, where new vocalist Elizabeth McQueen invited comparison with the classic female vocalists of the band’s earlier era, and fiddler-singer Jason Roberts gave the band a second male lead voice to complement Benson’s immediately identifiable baritone.
These days, the reinvented Wheel is also rolling down a couple of new avenues. One involves to the critically acclaimed musical play, "A Ride With Bob," which stars Benson as himself -- encountering the ghost of Bob Wills on a tour bus – Roberts as the young Wills, and McQueen as Minnie Pearl and other famed entertainment figures, with the rest of the band members featured as well. Originally designed as a one-off celebration of Wills’ 100th birthday in ’05, A Ride With Bob quickly took on a life of its own and, notes Benson, “it’s absolutely a part of what we do now.” Another success has been the adaptation of the Wheel’s repertoire for pops symphony.
Over the last 42 years, Asleep at the Wheel has boldly defied the fickle lures of the mainstream and thrived by sticking to their cause of keeping Western Swing alive and kicking. For their efforts, theyve earned nine Grammy awards.
“Clever lyrics, speed-demon picking, and lightness of spirit characterize great Western Swing, and Asleep at the Wheel – a phenomenon since the ‘70s - is one of America’s most gifted purveyors of the genre.“ - Chelsea Now
I get more emails from people to bring Paul back than for anyone. OK, here he comes.....
Maybe it's because Paul Thorn is an ex-prizefighter and the son of a pentecostal preacher, but they say that attending one of his concerts is like "taking a 6-pack to church!" Proof to that can be found by listening to his song "Mission Temple Fireworks Stand." The first thing you notice is the voice, distinctively soulful and funky, of a man who has walked a long, hot span over dusty Mississippi country roads. For an artist you may never have heard of, Paul has had a long successful career working with musical giants like Sting, Bonnie Raitt, John Prine and Huey Lewis to name a few. Artists like Tanya Tucker, Toby Keith and Sawyer Brown, have covered his songs, but, no one sounds like Paul. Hailed as the "Mark Twain of Americana", Paul was born in Elvisville (Tupelo, MS), and had the unique background of singing to congregations since early childhood. Connecting with and getting over with the crowd was in his blood from the start. Thorn was working in a chair factory and playing little gigs at night, like pizza parlors etc., in Birmingham, Alabama when Miles Copeland, manager and brother of Stewart (who drummed for the Police), happened to catch one of these gigs, and "discovered" him. On the road to recording a follow-up to his most successful release, 2010's Pimps and Preachers, which was was #1 at Americana Radio for 3 weeks and has spent 7 weeks in Top 5, the critically acclaimed singer/songwriter decided to do an album of covers. "I wanted to take a break from myself," he reveals, "do something different, and just have fun." The collection, entitled What The Hell Is Goin' On? found Thorn putting his own gritty rock stamp on some of his favorite songs. The album's centerpiece was penned by blues-rock icon Elvin Bishop, who also played his "wonderfully raw and dirty" guitar solo on the tune. Other special guests on the album were Delbert McClinton and the marvelous McCrary Sisters. Paul's new album, "Too Blessed to be Stressed," is out now and is probably his best to date. It's full of charmers like Don't Let Nobody Rob You Of Your Joy, where Thorn's warm peaches-and-molasses singing dispenses advice on avoiding the pitfalls of life. And his trademark humor is abundant throughout. I Backslide On Friday is a warm-spirited poke at personal foibles. This album is a masterpiece and whether you already have it or not, you're going to want Paul to sign this one.
"Paul is one of my favorite artists!" - Bonnie Raitt
THE RAFTERS The modern pop-folk duo of Miki and Dave Fitzgibbons met in college and have been playing shows all over the Northeast US ever since. Miki’s compelling lead vocals and thoughtfully crafted lyrics are backed by husband Dave’s atmospheric guitar, vocal harmonies, and recording expertise. Their new EP “Departing,” released in April of 2015, (produced and mixed by Crit Harmon) was preceded by 3 self-produced CDs and one LIVE CD.
ELIZABETH LORREY Elizabeth Lorrey crafts a dark blend of edgy, intense acoustic rock. Engaging and funny onstage (and off!), she delivers a compelling combination of humor, energy, and power to create a very personal connection with each new audience. She has shared the stage with Suzanne Vega, Amy Ray, Catie Curtis and more, and is currently writing and recording her third CD.
OPENER: ADAM FAROUK Adam Farouk, a Malaysian musician based in the US, has worked extensively across genres, collaborating with a colorful array of talented artists from around the world to develop a style that is both distinctly global and grounded in the heart. His current brand of art-pop seeks to bring about both enjoyment and healing through music.
Don't miss The Tubes' annual "Pre-Halloween Show" at Bull Run
From humble beginnings in Phoenix, Arizona to the streets of San Francisco THE TUBES were catapulted into Rock and Roll’s limelight in the mid 1970’s with such classic rock staples as White Punks On Dope, What Do You Want From Life, Mondo Bondage, Don’t Touch Me There, Sushi Girl, Talk To Ya Later and their Number 1 Billboard hit She’s A Beauty. No matter how memorable their recordings were, the lifeline of the band has always been their live performance. From the exuberant and imaginative to the outrageous, they continue to perform for hordes of fans throughout the world. Their current line up (still retaining four original members) consists of the enigmatic and unforgettable vocalist Fee Waybill, the elusive guitarist Roger Steen, the solid bass playing of Rick Anderson, the legendary Prairie Prince on drums, and keyboardist extroardinaire David Medd. The Tubes will go down in the rock history books as one of the most exciting, in-your-face, tight- knit group of musicians who epitomized the hilarity of popular American culture by making it into the ultimate rock’n’roll extravaganza. Their live shows involve mock bondage rituals, simulated sex, 12-foot high rock stars by the name of Quay Lude singing ‘White Punks On Dope’, exploding televisions, chainsaws and an array of semi-clad dancers. They didn't invent the idea of rock & roll as theater, but they have certainly thrived on the concept. Few bands have had a more entertaining and over the top live show. Their influence can be seen in many of the visually oriented groups of today such as The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Marilyn Manson and others. Though they may have been ahead of their time in the eighties, they haven’t lost a step and continue to reinvent themselves. In a world where visual stimulation is king, they are right at home and masters of their domain. They’ve been recognized not only as a great band to watch, but a great band period! They continue to write clever, provocative material as heard on their most recent critically acclaimed release "Genius Of America" and continue to add to their body of work with DVD/Video releases from their live shows including "The Tubes World Tour" and the 2005 release "Wild In London."
At their best, they have the uncanny ability to highlight the absurdity of everyday American life, occasionally shocking audiences, but always making them think twice. Perceived by fans and media alike as the ‘Marshall McLuhans of rock’n’roll’, the Tubes became both the medium and the message, stimulating the senses through their dynamic, controversial and politically incorrect audio visual live spectacles. They continue to innovate, evolve and ignite, no matter where they go by combining art with trash, comedy with tragedy, and rock theatre with consummate musicianship.
When: Oct 25, 2015 7 PM in Shirley, Massachusetts (Sun, 25 Oct 2015 19 )
The "Cream" were undeniably the first rock "supergroup" of the 1960s. And though they were together for less than 3 years, Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker and Eric Clapton left a gigantic impression on the world of rock music forever.
Now Ginger Baker's son Kofi, along with Jack Bruce's son Malcolm, team up with super guitarist Godfrey Townsend to pay humble tribute to the world's greatest power trio.
Guitarist Godfrey Townsend has worked with many of rock music’s most influential names. In the past decade alone, he has performed with John Entwistle (bass guitarist of The Who), Jack Bruce (bass guitarist/vocalist of Cream), Dave Mason (guitarist/vocalist of Traffic) and Alan Parsons (producer/engineer/recording artist). After hearing Godfrey jamming on some Cream tunes in a club one night, Eric Clapton's guitar tech, Lee Dickson commented to John Entwistle of The Who: "This guy's got Clapton down better than Clapton!" Townsend's mastery is so complete that Jack Bruce has been recruiting him and his band to back him up for the past eight years.
As the son of Cream's legendary drumming icon Ginger Baker, Kofi Baker has a name that’s synonymous with drumming excellence. And Kofi strongly lives up to his name. With his outstanding skills, drive & dedication, he continues the great "Baker" legacy. Besides amazing shows with his dad, Kofi has toured with John Ethridge (Soft Machine), Steve Waller (Manfred Mann) and Randy California (Spirit).
Malcolm Bruce is a composer and multi instrumentalist, playing guitar, bass, piano and voice. Besides performances with his father off and on over the years, and appearing on several of Jack's CDs, he has toured with Leslie West and Corky Laing of Mountain, as part of West, Bruce Jr. and Laing, played support for Joe Satriani across Europe, the US and Canada and most recently a special Jimi Hendrix Birthday tribute at BB Kings Blues club in NYC with Eric Schenkman (Spin Doctors) and Corky Laing.
If you never saw Cream live, and you probably haven't, this is the closest you'll ever come to the real thing outside of the real thing itself. Continuing where Cream left off, Sons of Cream is the ultimate Cream tribute, combining Cream's innovative and experimental style with amazing virtuoso talent.
Two Hall of Fame and Grammy-winning songwriters share the stage and their most famous compositions. Karla Bonoff has written hits for Bonnie Raitt, Wynonna Judd, Lynn Anderson, Warren Zevon and, most notably, Linda Ronstadt. Jimmy Webb provided career-making classics for Glen Campbell, Art Garfunkel, The Fifth Dimension,Joe Cocker and many, many more. But to call Webb and Bonoff "songwriters" doesn't do justice to the fact that both have also released (and sung on) their own wonderful albums over the years.
Karla Bonoff has been described as one of the finest singer-songwriters of her generation and, in her case, the description is not exaggerated. With a career spanning four decades, she has enjoyed critical acclaim, commercial success, enduring popularity and the unwavering respect of her peers. Starting out at an open mic at LA's Troubadour Karla found herself singing backup for LInda Ronstadt, who recorded three of Bonoff's songs on her album, Hasten Down the Wind. This led to a recording contract for Bonoff and the release of three albums, the last of which, Wild Heart of the Young, featured the Top 40 hit “Personally." Writing hit songs for Ronstadt and many others, Karla became one of the most successful songwriters of her generation. Billboard Magazine put it best, "Long before Alanis and Jewel, there was a breed of singer/songwriters whose earthly anthems of soul-searching, heartache and joy touched souls in a way few can muster today." Her songs have also been featured in several films, such as "About Last Night" (with co-writer J.D. Souther), "Footloose" and "8 Seconds."
The critical acclaim Jimmy Webb has received during his more than 40 years of success is as remarkable as his accomplishments. The composer and singer is a member of the National Academy of Popular Music Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, the Nashville Songwriter’s Hall of Fame and is the only artist ever to have won Grammy Awards for music, lyrics and orchestration. Jimmy is best known for the astonishing string of multi-platinum hits he has provided for artists such as Glen Campbell (“By The Time I Get To Phoenix,” “Wichita Lineman,” “Galveston”), Richard Harris (“MacArthur Park”), the Fifth Dimension (“Up, Up and Away”), the Brooklyn Bridge (“The Worst That Could Happen”), Art Garfunkel (“All I Know”), Linda Ronstadt (“Easy For You To Say”) and the Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash & Kris Kristofferson country supergroup The Highwaymen (“The Highwayman”), among many, many others. Whatever your preferred genre of music is, chances are there's a Jimmy Webb song on your personal playlist. Each night during his live shows, Webb reminds audiences why this preacher's son from Oklahoma has been a hit maker since the age of 16 and a beacon through five generations of the Great American Songbook, enhancing his virtuoso performance of iconic tunes with riveting tales of the inspiration behind some of pop music's biggest songs and singers, and a humorous tour into the days and nights of a songwriting prodigy.
More than just a concert, an evening with Karla Bonoff and Jimmy Webb in performance is a master class you can sing along with.
When: Nov 20, 2015 8 PM in Shirley, Massachusetts (Fri, 20 Nov 2015 20 )
Over ‘Lost Time’s’ twelve tracks, Dave Alvin and Phil Alvinpay homage to a number of artists and songs that had an early, formative influence, in Dave’s words “the masters of the Blues, the most transcendental form of American music.” Everyone from Lead Belly to James Brown is represented, but the figure who looms largest on the album, and in the brothers’ own musical journey, is Big Joe Turner. The Alvins met Big Joe as teenagers, and he would mentor them for the remainder of his life. They remain his humble students, and cut four Turner songs for ‘Lost Time.’ If their GRAMMY-nominated 2014 album ‘Common Ground’ was the sound of a partnership rekindled, ‘Lost Time’ is a four-alarm fire. Dave’s guitar work slithers and stings as never before, and Phil’s feral howl cuts to the core. Dave and Phil both sing and play guitar throughout ‘Lost Time,’ and are joined by a crack band including Lisa Pankratz (drums), Brad Fordham (bass), and Chris Miller (guitar).
The Alvin brothers founded seminal early LA punk roots bandThe Blasters in 1979, blending American roots and blues with searing punk energy to critical acclaim. Rolling Stone hailed their “bright, raw playing, terrific taste and …Phil’s full-bodied vocals.” Robert Christgau of the Village Voice wrote that Dave was “a major songwriter, one with John Fogerty’s bead on the wound-tight good times of America’s tough white underbelly.” The band performed with everyone from X and Black Flag to The Cramps and Queen, and even gave early breaks to Los Lobos and Dwight Yoakam by inviting them on the road as openers. As AllMusic puts it, “it’s practically impossible to imagine the roots rock scene of the ’80s and onward existing without The Blasters as a roadmap.” After Dave left the group in 1986 they did not record an album together again until ‘Common Ground.’ In addition to its Grammy nomination, that record earned wide critical acclaim, and features with NPR’s Fresh Air, The LA Times, Wall Street Journal and more. Dave and Phil will tour extensively behind ‘Lost Time’ with Dave’s band The Guilty Ones.
"Dave Alvin and Phil Alvin have solidified their own legacy as one of roots music’s most exceptional duos. Grammy Nominated in 2015 and Simply the Best! ... A Roof-raising performance..." LA Times
Though most associate Jimmy Thackery with his 15 years as the co-founder of one of the most respected bands in the business, The Nighthawks, he has since been on the road doing nearly 300 shows a year, proving each night that he is still the guitar powerhouse of the blues. Whether he headlines a festival in South Dakota or jams for hours in one of numerous blues bars that dot the musical landscape, he'll always unleash an intense volley of rockin' blues guitar guaranteed to leave crowds emotionally spent.
After Thackery left The Nighthawks he formed a six piece R&B band, The Assassins, an all-star R&B, funk band from the DC area, and recorded three albums with them. Then, in '92, he put together his three piece power trio called The Drivers to highlight his explosive guitar playing and hit the blues highway. The 1990's were a fabulous time for the band, playing close to 300 shows a year and recording eight discs for Blind Pig.
Because every record is more about originals than covers, he began to travel to Nashville to work out his songs with some of the best songwriters in the biz. This was not about Jimmy Thackery goes country. This was about Jimmy Thackery rocks the blues. Jimmy and the Drivers rock the house, then burn it to the foundation. And when you walk away you can still "feel the heat" and see the embers burning.
When: Aug 15, 2015 8 PM in Shirley, Massachusetts (Sat, 15 Aug 2015 20 )
Irish Entertainer - and so much more! Seamus Kennedy, originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, has been entertaining audiences all over the United States for the past 32 years. His ready wit and vast store of songs will make you forget your cares for a while as he encourages the crowd to sing along to silly lyrics and daft ditties. The endless supply of rib-tickling jokes, the stories and one liners will leave you delighted. And when he plays a lively Irish jig, you might even jump up and dance. He travels from Alaska to Florida, Maryland to California, performing for audiences which range from Popes and presidents to bartenders and bricklayers, from college students to kindergartners. But the Irish have their serious side too, and when Seamus performs one of the more somber ballads such as Tommy Sands' There Were Roses or Pete St. John's Dublin In The Rare Old Times you can hear a pin drop as the words sink in. That moment of silence before the applause can raise goosebumps.
Washington Area Music Awards (WAMA): Best Irish/Celtic Male Vocalist, Ten Years Running -1993-2002.
When: Oct 9, 2015 8 PM in Shirley, Massachusetts (Fri, 09 Oct 2015 20 )
Legendary keyboardist, songwriter, and producer, Al Kooper created and played the classic organ riff on Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone," appeared on Dylan's albums Highway 61 Revisited (1965) and Blonde on Blonde (1966) and produced New Morning for Dylan in 1970. He also toured as a member of Dylan's band off and on over the years. He was a member of the influential group The Blues Project with Danny Kalb and Steve Katz from 1965 to 1967. He formed Blood, Sweat & Tears in 1967, remaining with the group for its debut album Child Is Father to the Man (1968). Kooper was also the principal songwriter for both bands. As if all of that weren't enough, he also appeared on and produced 1968's platinum Super Session album with Mike Bloomfield and Stephen Stills.
In addition to his legendary '60s work, Kooper has recorded and released over 10 solo albums over the last 40 years, including his latest release, 2008's White Chocolate. He has played as a sideman on albums by George Harrison, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, B.B. King, The Who, Cream, and many more. He also discovered Lynyrd Skynyrd and produced the band's first three albums, which include the iconic tracks "Sweet Home Alabama," "Free Bird," and "Saturday Night Special."
Kooper has also lent his production talents to The Tubes, Nils Lofgren, Mike Bloomfield, Stephen Stills, Appaloosa, The Don Ellis Band, Lenny White, B.B. King, Green On Red, Jimmy Vivino, David Essex, Johnny Van Zant, a Harry Nilsson tribute album and many other projects. His autobiogarphy, Backstage Passes and Backstabbing Bastards, was published in 1998 and was critically hailed as one of the best rock books ever written.
Al Kooper has been there, done it all and lived to tell about it. A one of a kind show.
When: Oct 9, 2015 8 PM in Shirley, Massachusetts (Fri, 09 Oct 2015 20 )
2015 Grammy Nominee for Best Country Album - The Way I'm Livin'
Country Royalty if there ever was one, Grammy and CMA Award winning singer and songwriter, Lee Ann Womack, is best known for "I Hope You Dance," “Last Call," “Think of a Reason Later” and “Mendocino County Line" (with Willie Nelson). After spending several years as a professional songwriter, Lee Ann's eponymous album was released in May of 1997. And shortly after its release it reached the Top Ten on the country chart. "I Hope You Dance" followed in mid-2000, reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Country Chart and the Top 15 of the Billboard Hot 100. It became her signature song. "Something Worth Leaving Behind" appeared in mid-2002, and it was a sure fit for Womack to move into the country mainstream for good. She also earned two Grammy nods: one for Best Female Country Vocal Performance for "Something Worth Leaving Behind" and Best Vocal Collaboration for her duet with Willie Nelson on "Mendocino County Line."
And now, on a rare tour out with a brand new album, "The Way I'm Livin'," she has already been nominated for another Grammy. Lee Ann made a decision seven years ago to follow her heart. And if people thought she was crazy to walk away from the multi-platinum world of mainstream country to record the songs that moved her, it would seem that Womack’s heart won out. This 9-time Grammy nominee from East Texas just picked up another pair of prestigious Americana Music Awards nominations for "The Way I’m Livin," proving it to be the little record that could. She joins Shakey Graves’ "And The War Came," Lucinda Williams’ "Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone," Sturgill Simpson’s "Metamodern Sounds In Country Music" and former North Carolina Chocolate Drop Rhiannon Giddens’ "Tomorrow Is My Turn" in the Album of the Year category.
In this world of faster, harder & louder, Lee Ann Womack wants something far more radical; to be real, to strip it all away and get to the core of life, love and raw emotion. Written for the jagged shards of life's rugged spots, turned over with some of the best melodies you'll hear, not fancy, big or glossy, these songs take your breath away.
"It just seems like music is most powerful when it hits you right between the eyes," Lee Ann says.
Ana Popovic is an award-winning, hard-touring, guitar slinger blends smoking electric funk and slide guitar, jazzy instrumentals and a tight blues groove with soulful, feminine vocals. Add in her incredible stage presence and you have an irresistible force in the world of contemporary blues music.
In 2013 she appeared on the cover of Vintage Guitar, Guitar Player's Gear Guide and American Blues Scene. Her album 'Can You Stand The Heat' was a "Pick Of The Week" by USA Today and featured on NPR Music. In 2014 she received her 5th Blues Music Award nomination for 'Contemporary Blues Female Artist' of the year. Nearly all of her albums made it the Top 5 of the Billboard Blues Charts and are being played regularly on US radio. Her newest album, "Blue Room" already has a single out, "Catfish Blues" which is ripping up the Blues airwaves.
Ana and her phenomenal four-piece band as well as her Mo' Better Love Big Band are tirelessly touring, playing major blues, jazz and rock festivals around the world. She is endorsed by Fender, Mesa Boogie, Ovation and DR strings. She has most recently been sharing and headlining stages with B.B. King, Robert Cray, Buddy Guy, Robert Randolph, Jonny Lang and many others. When not on tour, she resides in Memphis, TN.
If you missed her last show at Bull Run, please do not make the same mistake twice.
It has been 40 years since "Midnight at the Oasis" was riding the top of the pop charts. And now Maria Muldaur had the brilliant idea to put together a show where she chronicles her 50-year musical journey through American Roots Music, to the Oasis and Beyond. Maria and her Bluesiana Band perform her iconic hits, including "Midnight at the Oasis," "I'm a Woman," "Richland Woman Blues'" "Don't You Feel My Leg" and many others, as well as many oft-requested "fan faves' from the 40 albums she has recorded in the past 40 years.
She treats her audience to previously unseen photographs and videos, (A PowerPoint presentation) and shares fascinating, often humorous personal stories from every stage of her 50-year career - from her early days in the '60's with The Jim Kweskin Jug Band, through her years of "pop stardom" and on to her continuing exploration of the many forms of American Roots Music; Blues, Bluesiana, Jazz and Gospel, Maria has sung it all. And through the years her voice has deepened, strengthened and become even more convincing. She sings with enough soul and raw power to recharge the emotional batteries of anyone in the audience.
"She has spent much of her career as a musical hobo, riding the rails from jazz to bluegrass, gospel to Appalachian folk, blues to Tin Pan Alley. She never loses the sassy, teasing sexuality that has always served as her calling card." - Critic's Choice
When: Oct 17, 2015 8 PM in Shirley, Massachusetts (Sat, 17 Oct 2015 20 )
A Ton Of Blues were voted the Best Blues/R&B Act at the 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 & 2015 Worcester (MA) Music Awards and won the 2011 Boston (MA) Blues Challenge, earning them the opportunity to compete in the 2012 International Blues Challenge on Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee. They were created out of the love for real Blues Music and appreciation for the old school Open Blues Jams. Adopting a modern, aggressive approach to the old school blues format, A TON OF BLUES burst onto the New England Blues Circuit in the summer of 2010. While taking notes from the likes of Ronnie Earl, Gary Clark Jr and the Fabulous Thunderbirds, as well as the old Chess Records' stable of blues masters, this award-winning guitar and harmonica driven, 5-piece powerhouse has been winning audiences over wherever they perform with their high-energy show and superb musicianship. Band members: Mike Kelly - Vocals; Scott LeBlanc - Guitar, Vocals; Jeff Lorenzon - Bass Guitar; James Thomas - Drums; "Shakey" Steve Prunier - Harp, Vocals.
Grassroot is a quintet based in Boston, MA. Formed in the spring of 2011 by a group of noted session players and journeymen musicians, they combine elements of rock, blues, roots, funk, soul and jam to make a sound that, while familiar in many ways, is very unique. Their EP “Seed”, recorded in 2012, has received high praise from industry members and fans alike, with regular rotation on local radio. Their newest release in 2014, “Lost & Aimless”, continues that trend. With performances that are equal parts tight groovin' rock, and adventurous improvisation, Grassroot will capture and keep your attention until the last note! Band members: Dan Muise - Lead Vocals; Jeremy Carter – Guitars - Vocals; Billy Egan - Bass; Jay Breen - Drums / Percussion; Phil Selesnick - Keys / Vocals
When: Aug 28, 2015 8 PM in Shirley, Massachusetts (Fri, 28 Aug 2015 20 )
Howie Day’s emotionally resonant lyrics and inventive melodies have earned him both critical praise and a legion of devoted fans. He is known for his energetic, heartfelt shows, where he connects with audiences through the strength of his songwriting and his quirky sense of humor. Day’s warm tenor voice “soars into fluttering, high registers, but also grates with real, pleading grit,” as one critic put it. After sales of over a million albums and two Top 10 hits, Day is back on the road showcasing old favorites, as well as new material from his upcoming studio release.
With top 40 hits, including “Collide” and “She Says,” Howie’s skillful guitar chops and poignant lyrics have won him a legion of fans who adore the humor and charm speckled throughout his live performances. His songs have been featured on numerous TV shows, including Grey’s Anatomy, Cold Case, Bones, Scrubs and One Tree Hill; as well as the promotional trailer of the new adaptation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. After infiltrating the Boston Coffeehouse circuit at 17, developing a huge college fan base and opening for the likes of Sting, Sheryl Crow and Tori Amos, he exploded into the national conciousness.
This Bangor Maine native wrote, financed and released his first effort, "Australia," which was named Best Debut Album at the 2001 Boston Music Awards. The Boston Globe called Day “gorgeously seasoned, far beyond his years” with “a brave, beautiful singing voice.” He went on to sell over 30,000 copies of "Australia" as he navigated the independent music scene and continued to hone his craft.
After signing with Epic Records, Day released his major-label debut, "Stop All The World Now," and hit the road to support it. The constant promotion paid off: Stop was certified gold in the U.S. and spawned his two Top 10 radio hits. After three subsequent years of intense worldwide touring, Howie moved to L.A. and returned to the studio. His next release, "Sound the Alarm," built on the emotionally complex spirit of its predecessor and delved into Day’s journey from indie wunderkind to platinum-selling artist. It’s lead single, “Be There,” became a staple at modern AC radio.
After parting ways with Epic and relocating to New York City in 2010, he released the Ceasefire EP on his own label, Daze. On April 14 Howie Day released his fourth studio album, "Lanterns," produced with the help of longtime friend and producer Mike Denneen. “There is a sense of inherent creativity and imagination to these sessions,” Day says. “Everything seems to be in perfect balance, and I want to capture that energy as it’s happening. Nothing is over or under thought, it’s just in the moment.”
Opener:Anna Rose - a spitfire of rock and roll passion, a mix of Jim Morrison’s sexy bravado with Brigitte Bardot’s seductive stare onstage. A dichotomy of masculine and feminine, retro and modern, strong and vulnerable.
When: Aug 21, 2015 8 PM in Shirley, Massachusetts (Fri, 21 Aug 2015 20 )
Quintessential New England singer-songwriter Ellis Paul helped to revitalize both the Boston/Cambridge and the national Folk scene in the 1990's. His urban, literate, folk rock style has the rare ability to take dead aim at a subject while avoiding the in-your-face approach of many of his contemporaries. The newest album, "Chasing Beauty" takes shots across the bow at some touchy subject matter and is as spectacularly stunning as any of his material has been over a 20-plus year career.
"I got a word machine in my head. It's a damn noisy contraption. Constantly running. No 'off' switch," says Ellis. After growing up on a potato farm in northern Maine, he began writing songs while attending Boston College on a track scholarship and was laid up for several months with an injury. He's often called the quintessential New England songwriter, and he's got a baker's dozen Boston Music Awards to prove it. Ellis's passionate, literate character sketches, delivered in a soaring, lyrical voice, have influenced a generation of folksters toward the shamelessly poetic. The Boston Globe calls him "literate, provocative, urbanely romantic." Whatever you call him, he's one of the major songwriters of our time.
The new release, "Chasing Beauty," was produced by Kristian Bush of the country band Sugarland.
Absolute Punk, which you might not think would be reviewing Ellis's albums, says: "Everyone can relate to Ellis Paul and his songs, and for that reason he continues to be a national treasure."
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