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The Beat Goes On: Acclaimed dobro player shows her singer-songwriter side in Northampton, an eclectic duo comes to Florence, and more
02-08-2024 1:37 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

The Parlor Room features a steady stream of singer-songwriters, given the Northampton club’s intimate setting is ideal for acoustic music.The vast majority of those performers come bearing acoustic guitars. But Abbie Gardner will bring her dobro, or...

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Arts Briefs: New exhibits and a gallery expansion in Easthampton, a musical cabaret in Amherst, and more
02-01-2024 3:08 PM

A grand reopeningEASTHAMPTON — With a dramatic increase in space, 50 Arrow Gallery will inaugurate its new locale Feb. 8 with a celebratory reopening and the unveiling of a new exhibit, featuring the work of Valley artist David Andrews.The gallery’s...


The Beat Goes On: A busy couple of weeks at The Drake, a new acoustic music series in Holyoke, and more
01-25-2024 2:58 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

In my last column, I mentioned that The Parlor Room in Northampton and the Marigold Theater are maintaining busy schedules right through these early, dead-of-winter days.Another area venue that keeps pumping up the music is The Drake in Amherst, and...


Arts Briefs: A musical goodbye at Anchor House of Artists, varied exhibits in Amherst and Northampton, and more
12-22-2023 2:16 PM

A stylish and artistic send-offNORTHAMPTON — Anchor House of Artists, which is closing for a couple weeks beginning Dec. 24, will be open Dec. 30 to host a send-off for pianist and poet Eliot Cardinaux, who has spent much of the past decade shuttling...


The Beat Goes On: Innovative solo piano in Amherst and Northampton, an album release party in Easthampton, and more
11-02-2023 10:23 AM

By STEVE PFARRER

Like solo piano? Specifically solo piano from classically trained musicians who have infused their music with lots of other elements, from hip hop to jam band grooves to pop?If that’s the case, next Thursday, Nov. 9, you’ll have a tough choice to...


Amherst College makes $1.3M promise to region for Jones Library, hospital emergency department and the Drake venue
11-01-2023 12:07 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A $1 million gift from Amherst College is supporting the renovation and expansion of the Jones Library expected to break ground next year, marking the largest contribution so far to the ongoing $14.6 million capital campaign.The college’s...


The Beat Goes On: Big-throated blues in Amherst, classical music in Hadley and Florence, and more
10-19-2023 3:30 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

Matt Andersen may not be a household name in the U.S., but he’s plenty well known in our big neighbor to the north. The New Brunswick native has won a slew of Maple Blues Awards, Canada’s biggest blues honor, while also earning nominations for the...


The Beat Goes On: A guitar wizard, a pair of LGBTQ singers, two music festivals, and more
09-07-2023 2:05 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

There are any number of guitar virtuosos in the world, but there are few if any who combine melodicism, technical skill, and sheer exuberance as well as Tommy Emmanuel, who grew up in Australia but was heavily influenced by fingerstyle American...


Expanding the musical horizons: Pioneer Valley Jazz Shares readies for new season with 22 shows and some new venues
08-31-2023 1:43 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

A few years ago, Pioneer Valley Jazz Shares (PVJS), the member-supported concert series, faced the same issue all musicians, clubs, and show promoters were dealing with: a problem called COVID-19.Like others, PVJS went online during the worst of the...


The Beat Goes On: David Wax Museum in Hatfield, Shakey Graves, Lucius and Roger Salloom at the Pines Theater, and more
08-10-2023 2:49 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

In recent years, David Wax Museum, which mixes Americana influences with pop music and traditional Mexican folk sounds, had spent a lot of time recording a new album, “You Must Change Your Life,” that the group — the husband and wife duo of David Wax...


The Beat Goes On: Two bands channel the Grateful Dead, jazz legend Bill Frisell comes to Amherst, and more
05-26-2023 10:52 AM

By STEVE PFARRER

EDITOR’S NOTE: Bill Frisell’s performance at The Drake, May 27 at 8 p.m., is sold out.Calling all Deadheads: If you’re a longtime fan of Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, and the other players who once made The Grateful Dead one of the original jam bands, you...


Short stories from a long road: James McMurtry delivers a standout show at The Drake
03-30-2023 2:25 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

He’s been hailed as one of the best songwriters around, a troubadour of small-town America and the hardscrabble lives of its citizens.But James McMurtry has always taken a low-key approach to his music, and he did it again last week when he played a...


Two roads converge: Academic and musician Florence Dore mines connections between her passions
03-18-2023 8:45 AM

By STEVE PFARRER

Who says you can’t merge a Ph.D. and rock and roll?    As Florence Dore explains, she spent a long time traveling on seemingly disparate tracks. On one hand she was the professor who’d devoted years to studying American literature and teaching...


Amherst accused of inequitable distribution of rescue funds
12-27-2022 7:49 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — For a dozen years, Yasmin Brandford has owned and operated Amherst Extensions and Beauty Salon, specializing in maintenance and care for African American hair.But Brandford says she didn’t seek American Rescue Plan Act money to grow her 460...

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