Susie Agrillo and venue owner Ed Wierzbowski unveil a labor of love this Labor Day weekend.
The two have combined forces to present what they call The Whiskey Treaty, an evening of music that features four acts on two stages at Greenfield's Arts Block this Sunday, Sept. 2.
"There is a wealth of talent in the hills, and it's completely underrepresented on our local music scene," says Wierzbowski. "I'm excited to see talented, professional musicians who grew up in the Valley come back to celebrate in high style."
"There's been something brewing here for a while," echoes Agrillo, who is producing the affair. "It's time to pop the cork and rock out."
Among the ingredients in Agrillo's sonic cocktail is the group Greg Smith & Broken English. A Charlemont native, Smith has hung his hat—and his six-string—in Brooklyn in recent years.
"I can't wait to show the folks back home what we've been doing in the city all this time," he says of the opportunity. "The group has never performed in New England as the full six-piece that we are today."
"[Our] songs are about Franklin County, so we are definitely looking forward to it and fired up to play," adds fellow performer/Conway native Abe Loomis of Bright Lines, a blues/rock amalgam that also includes Amherst's Tom Leslie, Shelburne Falls' Scott Hoffman and Greenfield's Gray Maynard.
Rounding out the Sept. 2 bill are Tory Hanna and the Pondsiders, a group with roots from Pittsfield and Brooklyn, as well as headliners Billy Keane and the Misdemeanor Outlaws, the latter of which are no strangers to the Valley. In fact, according to Keane, he and his brethren practictioners of Outlaw audio have rustled up quite a following 'round these here parts.
"Every time we come out here, the music and the vibe and the crowd is fantastic," he reports. "Franklin County really is like a second home to us."
Tickets for The Whiskey Treaty are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. To purchase or obtain more information, kindly point your browser to theartsblock.com.
In other news, your friendly neighborhood Crawler was able to take in the mother of star-studded tributes, Legends In Concert, during a recent stay at Foxwoods (foxwoods.com) casino. Not surprisingly, many of the, shall we say, seasoned citizens in attendance had come to pay homage to "The King."
And as he gyrated and karate-chopped his way through "Suspicious Minds," "Burning Love" and "My Way" in full Vegas-era rhinestone grandeur, the evening's Elvis impersonator certainly didn't disappoint.
The same could be said for the resident Stevie Wonder sound-alike and Michael Jackson mimic.
While "Shania Twain" was also a rollicking crowd-pleaser in terms of performance, it sure didn't seem to take long to exhaust the hits in the Twain catalogue. Maybe it was the company she was keeping.
In stark contrast, Whitney Houston's catalogue is also stacked and packed... and, although the artist paying homage to her this evening clearly bore the least resemblance to her muse in a physical sense, close your eyes and you'd have sworn someone was playing The Bodyguard soundtrack on the PA.
Perhaps the winner of it all, if there is such a thing, was Lady Ga Ga, of all people. Based on the somewhat lackluster reception, it appeared that most were unfamiliar at best with the actual artist's work. By the conclusion of her set, however, the unique display of talent, quirkiness and flair seemed to transform all in attendance into bona fide "monsters"—which, as we learned, is Ga Gaspeak for "fans."
The Legends In Concert show runs nightly through Sept. 2.
Last but not least, multi-platinum popsters Ben Folds Five have included a Mountain Park (iheg.com) stop in their first world tour with the original band members since 2000. The local play is Sept. 13 and arrives days prior to the newly reunited band's new album, The Sound of the Life of the Mind, in stores Sept. 18.
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