He may very well, as the lyrics to his hit song say, “carry contraband across state lines.” When it comes to the annual benefit concert for his It Takes A Community(ITAC) Foundation, however, hometown hero Aaron Lewis will not have to leave the confines of the Bay State, where he was born and raised.
The show will occur this Friday, June 14 at Springfield’s Mass Mutual Center.
“We moved to Worthington, Mass. because we wanted our children to grow up and go to school in a community where everyone looks out for everyone else,” says Lewis’ wife, It Takes A Community Foundation co-founder Vanessa Lewis.
“Vanessa and I joined with the neighbors to keep the doors of the community school open after state funding was eliminated,” adds Aaron. “We asked ourselves, if ITAC could make a difference in our little corner of Massachusetts, couldn’t we give additional communities a similar leg up in other forgotten areas of rural New England?”
Fellow “country boys” Jerrod Neimann, Craig Morgan, Eric Paslay and Jared Ashley lend some starpower to this Friday’s affair.
Tix range from $35 to VIP experiences at $109. For more information or to obtain yours, kindly point your browser to massmutualcenter.com.
In other news... Americana faves Boxcar Lilies (boxcarlilies.com) are primed for a sweet release on Saturday, June 15.
The all-female trio celebrates its freshly pressed Sugar Shack CD at Greenfield’s Arts Block starting at 8 p.m. Recorded this past winter with producer extraordinaire Lorne Entress (Lori McKenna, Catie Curtis), Shack is reportedly packed with lush harmonies, pedal steel, dobro and James Taylor and Townes Van Zandt covers, too.
Tix are $15 in advance, $18 at the door. A light fare menu is available 6-8 p.m. at the Arts Block Cafe.
Last but not least: a proverbial rock ’n’ roll dog fight in the Stone Temple Pilot camp. As reported in this column several weeks ago, the core battery of the seminal alt-rock band—brothers Dean and Robert Deleo and drummer Eric Kretz—had replaced ousted frontman Scott Weiland with Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington.
The new STP incarnation debuted at radio KROQ’s “Weenie Roast” mid-May and was, to all appearances, gearing up for a full-blown tour when Weiland reared his spiky-haired head to cry foul. Things escalated to the point that the three original band members drew up a court order insisting that the oft-maligned singer stop using the band’s name and music in performances. It went on to state that he was officially ousted for chronic tardiness and poor performances.
On Friday, May 31, Weiland returned the favor in kind, countersuing his Plush partners for more than $5 million in damages.
“How do you expel a man from a band that he started, named, sang lead on every song, wrote the lyrics and was the face of for 20 years, and then you try to grab the name and goodwill for yourselves?” Weiland’s complaint states. “You don’t, but the three instrumentalists from the Stone Temple Pilots tried it.”
In the meantime, the Bennington-led Pilots appeared grounded—the “tour” tab on their stonetemplepilots.com site yielded only a “no upcoming dates” message. Weiland, however, continues to ramble on with his Purple at the Core tour, a thinly veiled reference to the fact that he and his new band, The Wildabouts, will be playing many, many songs from two of the best-selling albums in the Stone Temple catalogue—Core and Purple. As of press time, the closest stops for that trek appear to be Huntington, New York’s Paramount Aug. 11 and The Asylum in Portland, Maine Aug. 15.•
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