The Blog

  • Rich Kassirer

Issue 22: Summer Picks


Summer has come and gone again, bringing its share of hot days and sultry nights. It also brought – as usual – great opportunities to catch live music at outdoor festivals and indoors at steamy clubs.

Our purchase of a new and more powerful camera also brought hopes of better images from these shows. While we’re still trying to figure out all the features of the camera, we were able to capture some of the great moments of what we saw.

We made two trips to Western Mass., one to catch the Great American Hoedown known as the Green River Music Festival, one of our favorite festivals. There we caught up with Crooked Still, now sporting a new lineup that includes cellist Tristan Clarridge and fiddle player Brittany Haas; we also caught Mavis Staples, the Greencards, and Lucinda Williams (a first for us!); plus a fabulous after-hours set by the foot-stompin’ Eilen Jewell band. On our second trip out west we took in the Swell Season, the amazing Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, as well as Josh Ritter playing solo as the opener. The show was intimate and warm despite downpours scattered throughout.

And speaking of Mr. Ritter, his performance at Symphony Hall with the Boston Pops orchestra was a real treat. He and his band, decked out in suits, were in top form for the occasion.

We also visited clubs like T.T. the Bear’s, a great college hang, to see young and hip Thao and her band, the Get Down Stay Down. You actually don’t go to see and hear her, you go to take part in her show as she bounces, bounds, and bobs along to her songs and you have little choice but to follow suit.

We stopped into the Bank of America Pavilion (not one of our favorite venues) to catch the amazing Ryan Adams and the Cardinals, who mixed ’70s-style guitar jams with alt-country accents to soaring effect.

We’re breathless just remembering all the fun we had this summer and can only hope that the fall will be half as fun.

To download the new issue, click HERE.

To read CD reviews in the issue, click HERE.


SONGS THAT HELPED US SURVIVE THIS ISSUE


1. “You, Me & the Bourgeoise,’’ “Honeysuckle Weeks,” The Submarines. What? An upbeat, bouncy song? Impossible. 2. “We Both Go Down Together,” “Picaresque,” The Decemberists. They go down, we follow. 3. “Shady Grove,” “The Pizza Tapes,” Grisman/Garcia/Rice. Spontaneous and just plain fun. 4. “I Envy the Wind,” “Essence,” Lucinda Williams. Great to hear this song live at Green River. 5. “Modern Trick,” “Diamonds in the Dark,” Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles. In honor of guitarist Mike Castellana, who is leaving the band in favor of family. Hopefully, we’ll hear from him again soon.

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