Music

Nightcrawler: Upping the Dosage

Upper Valley Music Fest delivers decibels to combat cancer; Colorful characters converge on Sierra Grille.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014
courtesy of VQPR
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After a two-year stint in Turners Falls, Upper Valley Music Fest co-founder Jessica Byrnes is hoping that a return to downtown Greenfield will help raise even more greenbacks for the cause. That and a packed music lineup, of course.

“Not only are we returning to where it all began in 2011, but we will be featuring 40 acts on seven different stages, presenting some 12 hours of live music,” Byrnes says of the July 26 fete. “As always, the goal is to raise a ton of money for cancer research, and with everything from performances by the Celtic Heels Irish Step Dancers, Sun Parade, The Equalites and more, this is really shaping up to be the best fest ever!”

For a full schedule of performances, locations, ticket acquisition information and more, kindly point your browser to uppervalleymusicfest.com.

 

In other news, Alex Johnson checked in to report that there will be some colorful—and familiar—characters converging on Noho’s Sierra Grille this Thursday, July 24.

“We’re going to party like it’s 1999, as the Sierra is located in the old Baystate and our billmates The Fawns are certainly no strangers to the room,” Colorway’s Johnson notes. “Back in my Drunk Stuntmen days, I probably played there at least 30 times, too... and remember at least 15.”

Rounding things out this Thursday is Bunk, an experimental/indie trio from Hadley. Cost is $3 at the door, and the first band goes on at 9:30 p.m.

 

Last but not least, the Crawler caught up with ex-Guns N’ Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke just prior to his upcoming slate of area plays, including Boston’s Wilbur Theater (July 24), Hampton Beach’s Ballroom Casino in New Hampshire (July 25) and Bleacher’s Bar in Bristol (July 27). Here’s some of what went down.

 

Nightcrawler: Can you give us some insight as to what to expect in terms of a set list and current personnel?

Gilby Clarke: I play mostly songs from my solo records, but we throw in some GNR gems as well as some Stones. A little rock ’n’ roll for the kids, you know?

 

I enjoyed your stint on the TV show Rockstar: Supernova, which suggests a few followup questions. First, what happened to your band Supernova? Did it ever really get off the ground? Have there been any more television offers for you?

I get asked a lot to do television. Sometimes it’s intriguing, but mostly it’s the same old pitch. If the right idea comes along, I have no problem trying it. I liked Rockstar: Supernova because we got to play original songs and the singers had the opportunity to really showcase their talents. It didn’t work out with Lukas for many reasons, one of them being—in my opinion—that we were rock guys and he was more alternative. Even though we tried to modernize our music, we just didn’t blend well at the end of the day.

 

And of course, a couple of Guns N’ Roses questions—do you have a favorite and least favorite memory from that time? And I’m wondering about your thoughts regarding the Rock ’N’ Roll Hall of Fame. Must have been disappointing not to have Axl Rose show to make it an official reunion.

My favorite memory of that band was the Freddie Mercury tribute concert. We played alongside many of my personal idols, of course, and I had the opportunity to have a very long chat with Mick Ronson that day. I thought our performance was very good also. My least favorite was our last show in Argentina. I knew it was the end.

As far as the Rock Hall, it was my honor to play on the same stage as my contemporaries like Run DMC, Madonna and LL Cool J.•

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

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