Music

Nightcrawler: Last Chance To (St.) Mix it Up

Former Ostrich Farm member to "reverse snowbird"; an App-etizing tech tool for aspiring musicians.

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Thursday, June 16, 2011
Photo Courtesy of Bill O'Halloran
Wildcat O'Halloran, leader of the blues band recently honored as top runner-up in the Best Song in The World contest.

His latest CD, Your Table Awaits... At The Rapa Nui Lounge, continues to sell out at Turn It Up! Records in Northampton. His current band, St. Mix (st.mix.com), has a June 17 engagement at McFadden's in Haydenville. And as the mercury rises into the dog days of summer, Tony Jillson intends to.... go on hiatus?

Come on, Tone—you may be best known for your years-long stint with hometown hip-hop heroes The Ostrich Farm, but what is this? You've created reverse snowbirding? The Crawler doth think you've taken the aviary inspirations too far.

"I know, and I hate to take the time off, because you don't want to lose to momentum," the Mix-master says, "but we've been doing a gig or two a month, so we started playing out over a year ago. And the truth is, in addition to playing, I also do all the booking, promotion, arranging, scheduling, artwork, website... and I'm reaching burnout. Time to recharge."

Fans can take some solace in the fact that Jillson intends to record this Friday's final pre-break performance and release it as a live EP. The band itself is slated to resurface live in Springfield this September and aspires to have some new tunes worked up by then, too.

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In contrast, Sunderland's Wildcat O'Halloran Blues Band remains one of the Valley's most reliable—and revered—blues outfits, peddling its patented roadhouse meets Missippi Delta sound the area over for more than two decades. And while the June, 2011 calendar remains true to form—with the band scheduled to appear at the Gin Mill in Bondsville June 17, the Pump House in Southbridge June 18, Replay Music in Greenfield June 24 and Southwick's Skybox June 25—it is actually a recent distinction of note that has the Wild One himself howling.

"Gary Allen [Charlie Daniels drummer turned Nashville producer] chose my new song, 'If God Can Make That, No Wonder He's In Charge,' as a top runner-up in his Best Song In The World contest," O'Halloran reports. "I'm not sure if that makes me the first loser, but I am happy for the honor and to be playing with the best band in the world."

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In other news, the Crawler recently caught up with one Scott Hirsch, a man who, by all outward appearances, is responsible for one of the most App-etizing technological tools this side of Myspace, Facebook, Youtube and Twitter.

"I think more has happened in the last 10 years to help bands and artists market their music than in the last 100," the creator of www.appsbar.com—a website that allows musicians to create and publish customized smartphone applications for free—explains. "Appsbar is the next step in that evolution, allowing artists a richer, fuller way to communicate with fans."

In addition to providing access to audio and video, Hirsch says that Appsbar bands can enhance their cellular creations with interactive fan club options, tour schedule notices and GPS directions.

"We are now even capable of enabling discography—letting fans buy music from the artist Itunes account right through the app," Hirsch adds.

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Last but not least, a little bug in your ear about an upcoming benefit that boasts some of the biggest names the area has to offer. Specifically, homegrown icon Dinosaur Jr. performs its classic album Bug in its entirety next Tuesday, June 21 at the Calvin Theater. Proceeds from the one-night-only performance benefit Whole Children, a nonprofit center in Hadley which provides recreation programs for special needs.

Assisting in the act of audio altruism will be none other than Henry Rollins, who performs spoken word, Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth, and The Warblers. For more information or to purchase tickets, kindly point your browser to iheg.com.

Send correspondence to Nightcrawler, PO Box 427, Somers, CT 06071; fax to (860) 394-4262 or email Garycarra@aol.com.

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