Veteran troubadour Roger Salloom leaves the meek in the hands of a higher power with respect to whether or not they will truly inherit the earth. But according to the man oft regarded as "America's Best Unknown Songwriter," all positive vibes from his July 18 Look Park engagement will go directly their way.
"I would like to dedicate any good feelings we create that night to the people who daily work hard to help others," he explains. "I know that sounds unusual, but if you are one of those people who help those in need, the sad, the disabled, the poor, the forever lonely, the misfits, the disenfranchised, the meek... this dedication is for you."
This Wednesday's concert is a continuation of a record Salloom invented and holds—specifically, the record for "the longest-running, largest free concert in Northampton."
Among those lending sonic support to this, the 29th annual installment of the series, are no less than Grammy Award winner Charles Neville, resident six-string king Joe Boyle and up-and-coming vocalist Jessica Freeman, to name a choice few.
While there are far too many local sponsors to list here, Salloom is quick to note that without their support, his cents-less act of audio would not be possible.
When it comes to any other secrets to the series' longevity, its creator claims to have nothing up his sleeve.
"I don't know," he concludes. "I guess I keep throwing them and people keep showing up."
The concert begins at 7 p.m. and will occur rain or shine (in Look Park's Garden House in the event of the former, Pines Theater proper for the latter). Food is allowed; drinks and high-backed chairs are not. For more information, call (413) 584-5457.
In other musical milestone news... July 14, 2012 marks the 100th birthday of American music icon Woody Guthrie. And that's a fact that certainly wasn't lost on Signature Sounds' Jim Olsen as he was booking talent for the 26th annual Green River Festival (greenriverfestival.com) to be held on the grounds of Greenfield Community College July 14-15.
"We thought we'd celebrate the occasion by having Arlo Guthrie and the Guthrie Family Reunion perform a special set," Olsen reveals. "So the band includes three generations of Guthries, and National Public Radio is going to stream the show live on its website. It's really a big deal."
Among the other acts slated to perform at the event perenially picked as the "best summer festival" by Advocate readers are Los Lobos, Ozomatli, Richard Thompson and Pokey LaFarge & The South City Three (the last of whom appears on Jack White's latest studio effort, Blunderbuss, and were recently tapped to open for him during select tour dates in August).
"This is easily the biggest lineup ever—over 30 bands," Olsen says. "We're thrilled we were able to get the headliners we did and even opened up our Meltdown Stage to accommodate more music."
Tickets for the Green River Festival are $75 per weekend/$55 per day in advance, $75 per day at the gate. Children 12 and under are free.
A special kickoff party is also slated to occur on lucky Friday, July 13 at the Arts Block in Greenfield. This is a separate, ticketed event ($17/advance, $20/door) that will feature Rounder Records recording artist JD McPherson, NPR regular David Wax Museum and Falcon Ridge folk fave Heather Maloney.
Last but not least, since we're in free, folkie and festive mood, the nation's largest free folk festival—the Lowell Folk Festival—realizes its 26th annual installment July 27-29. Among those already inked to perform are the Claire Lynch Band, Lunasa and Magic Slim. For full schedule/more information, kindly point your browser to lowellfolkfestival.org.
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