On Saturday, Feb. 23 at Greenfield's Arts Block Cafe, Brattleboro-based funk-rock faves Sugarhouse play their last show with Eric and Jaye Simms.
Maybe Bon Jovi did it—as the title of their new single/current tour suggests—“Because We Can.”
Perhaps there was also a dash of “because we were there anyway” sprinkled into the mix.
But according to an official statement from the band’s website, Bon Jovi decided to perform a free concert for snowed-in fans at the Mohegan Sun (mohegansun.com) Feb. 9 because they “recognize how much preparation it takes for fans to attend a concert, and [they] wanted to honor that the best way they know how.”
And just how is that? As the kick-off track to the band’s breakthrough album declares, the Jersey boys “Let It Rock”—a good two-plus hours, treating the couple thousand in attendance to 23 tunes, replete with full stage lights and sound.
“Thanks to Bon Jovi’s idea to do a free concert for all our stranded guests, we were able to turn a record blizzard into a record PR blitz,” notes the Mohegan Sun’s Vice President of Sports and Entertainment.
For those who weren’t fortunate enough to catch the pro bono Bon Jovi concert, the concert proper has been rescheduled to October 25. All original tickets will be honored.
Meanwhile, some bittersweet news from Brattleboro funk faves SugarHouse: While the band is psyched to throw it down at The Arts Block (theartsblock.com) this Saturday, Feb. 23 and help raise funds for local food banks in the process, singer/six-stringer Daniel Kasnitz informs me that the Greenfield gig will also be a bon voyage for two of the founding members.
"Eric [Simms] got a wonderful work promotion that was too good fror him to pass up, even though it means means moving to Buffalo, N.Y.,” Kasnitz explains. “So we want to celebrate before they shuffle off to Buffalo, and are throwing this farewell party in their honor.”
Any way you slice it, this shindig is far from exclusive. In fact, not only is it free to attend (just bring a can of food for the local food pantry), but the band is inviting musical friends of the group old and new to join them onstage.
“Don’t be shy, come and play” Kasnitz invites.
Since we’re talking Block, there’s also another bit of housekeeping to attend to. The Mardi Gras benefit for—and featuring—Samirah Evans, originally slated for Feb. 9 at the Arts Block, has been rescheduled to Saturday, March 2 due to winter storm Nemo. Samirah has been displaced from her home since Feb. 2 as a result of a chimney fire.
Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. The show begins at 8 p.m.
Last but not least, “Lord” Russell Brooks—best known in these parts for fronting the now defunct Aloha Steamtrain—checked in to shed some light on his impending Iron Horse play Feb. 23. “I’m having a CD release party for Heir of Mystery, my first official solo release in 10 years!” he declares.
From the acid-washed psychedelic pop of disc opener “Moroccan Desert Air” to sexed-up rockers like “Cadaques Cabaret” and “Love Song Trilogy,” Lord Russ gives a sly tip of the fedora to Ziggy Stardust-era Bowie and other icons of the glam rock ilk.
He is at his best, however, when he alternates between the ethereal (like the dreamy “Some Velvet Morning”) and downright playful (as is the case with the bossa nova driven “Crivelli”).
“Places”—evoking images of early Floyd/Sgt. Pepper period Beatles, is another clear standout. And through it all, adorable little 30-second vignettes like “Do You Like Me Better Now That I’m Rich?” and “At The Theatre” serve as tasty sonic table-setters for the lush audio entrees that follow.
Tix for Lord Russ’ Heir Of Mystery CD release party are $8 in advance and $10 at the door. To obtain yours, kindly point your browser to iheg.com.•
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