Leave it to Atomic Scissors' singer/six-stringer Sean Callaghan to cut to the chase.
"We've been somewhat moribund of late, say, 10 years or so," he admits in his preamble to the announcement of the Scissors' June 1 engagement at the Black Moon in Belchertown. "But back in the day, we headlined an Iron Horse show, opened for NRBQ and shared some whiskey, laughs and the stage with gonzo journalist Hunter Thompson."
A former publicist for the Horse in the mid-80s, Callaghan regaled the Crawler with tales from one of his favorite duties of the era (aside from weaving sonic Beatles/Beach Boys/XTC-influenced tapestries with the then-fledgling Scissors): "ferrying around talent."
"On one such occasion, I went to pick up Tiny Tim at the Springfield bus station in the middle of a hellacious blizzard," he recalls. "Well, he couldn't wait and hitch-hiked. He arrived at the Horse after I got back, waltzing forth in a decrepit, stained, one-piece jump suit with comic book characters embroidered on it, his long, copper hair streaming with snow and carry his legendary ukulele in a wet paper bag. I wondered what the folks who gave him a ride thought."
Signaled by Tiny Tim's equally legendary "Maestro, the key of 'C'" later that evening, Callaghan says that he and the Scissors backed the eccentric performer with a continuous medley from Tin Pan Alley, interspersed with an impromptu "Q&A" with Tim about his friendship with "Mr. George Harrison of The Beatles."
"Great show, after all, with about five people in the snowbound club," he concludes.
Considering that The Atomic Scissors still have a fervent base and have only played a handful of area gigs in recent months, Callaghan and bandmates Dan McKenna and Drew Hutchinson can safely expect a much larger audience awaiting them at the Black Moon this Friday. (For more information on the group or the gig, check out the band's Myspace at /atomicscissors.)
Meanwhile, down at Connecticut's Mohegan Sun (mohegansun.com), a venerable mix of world class performances hasbeen laced into the casino's first annual "Largest BBQ Fest in Connecticut." From June 1-3, nine-piece powerhouse Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds (Friday), Mammoth Jack (Saturday) and five-time Grammy Award winner Robert Cray (Sunday), to name a choice few, will lend their di-tinctive sounds to the three-day homage to steaks, ribs and the never-ending quest for the greatest American hamburger.
All shows are free with paid admission to the festival ($30 per day for adults, which includes eight food tickets; kids 10 and under free but with no food tickets). The Largest BBQ In Connecticut will occur in the Mohegan Sun's "Winter" parking lot.
Not to be outdone, journeyman musician Dave LaValley checks in to report that he literally intends to spice things up for his third annual Blues for a Cure concert.
"If anyone out there thinks they have a great chili recipe, we challenge them to prove it," he says, throwing the gourmet gauntlet down for the new 'Chili Challenge' that will coincide with the multi-band Blues for a Cure concert, slated to take place at Crossroads in Palmer June 24. "We try to add to the event every year, and in addition to being fun, we thought it would be a good way to raise even more awareness and funds."
All proceeds from Blues for a Cure are earmarked for the National Foundation for Ectodermal Dysplasis. Entry forms for the chili contest can be picked up at Casa de Nana's Mexican Restaurant on Boston Road or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is a $25 fee to enter, and each contestant will be asked to donate their culinary creations to the cause.
Send correspondence to Nightcrawler, P.O. Box 427, Somers, CT 06071; fax to (860) 394-4262 or email email@example.com.