Nellie McKay 3/25/16

The New Yorker has warily described McKay as ‘funny and touching, ceaselessly clever and scarily talented.’ Since her last album, besides eating potato chips, scratching her ass, and watching reruns of Mister Ed, Nellie has indulged an extended run in the award-winning off-Broadway hit Old Hats and written three acclaimed musical biographies – I Want to Live!, the story of Barbara Graham, third woman executed in the gas chamber at San Quentin, Silent Spring: It’s Not Nice to Fool Mother Nature, an exploration of environmental pioneer Rachel Carson, and her latest, A GIRL NAMED BILL – The Life and Times of Billy Tipton, named one of the Best Concerts of 2014 by The New York Times. Nellie has previously released five full-length albums, including Pretty Little Head, Obligatory Villagers and Normal as Blueberry Pie (‘among the killer overhauls of American standards’ – The New York Times). She has won a Theatre World Award for her portrayal of Polly Peachum in the Broadway production of The Threepenny Opera and performed onscreen in the films PS I Love You and Downtown Express, as well as writing original music for the Rob Reiner film Rumor Has It and contributing to the Emmy-winning documentary, Gasland. Nellie’s music has been heard on the TV shows Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire, Weeds, Grey’s Anatomy, NCIS and Nurse Jackie, and she has appeared on numerous TV shows including The Late Show with David Letterman (with the Brooklyn Philharmonic). In 2010, the Chase Brock Experience produced a ballet of Obligatory Villagers and Nellie contributed the forward to the 20th anniversary edition of The Sexual Politics of Meat, by Carol J. Adams. Her writing has also appeared in The Onion, Interview and The New York Times Book Review. A recipient of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Humanitarian Award in recognition of her dedication to animal rights, Nellie is an annoyingly vocal advocate for feminism, civil rights and other deeply felt progressive ideals. She is currently part of the campaign to get horse-drawn carriages off the streets of New York City.

Pousette Dart Band 3/26/16

The Pousette-Dart Band, led by Jon Pousette-Dart carved a place in the landscape of American music in the 1970’s. They were a mainstay of album radio, a favorite on the college circuit, and became one of the busiest touring groups in the US working with such acts as The Byrds, Bonnie Raitt, Little Feat, The Eagles, James Taylor, The J. Geils Band, Eddie Money, Manfred Mann, Jonathan Edwards, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Emmylou Harris, Gary Wright, Robert Palmer,Randy Newman, Journey, Billy Joel, and many more including the now famous Frampton Comes Alive tour, and the progressive Yes Fragile tour ‘ playing arenas from Coast to Coast.

Marc Ford & The Neptune Blues Club 5/12/16

His time with the Black Crowes, including a second stint in the mid-2000s, are so well documented as to need little repetition here. Except for Ford to say that he can look back on his musical passage with them, and on all of his other stops along the way, with real satisfaction. ‘I’m proud of all the music that’s been made,’ he says. ‘I think that stands, and the Crowes was a fantastic band. Ben Harper’s music was great, ‘There Will Be A Light’ [on which he plays, as he does the later ‘Both Sides Of The Gun’] is a fantastic record. Ryan Bingham, I heard at a club at one in the morning and it was like ‘Please let me record you.” He did so, for Bingham’s lauded Lost Highway albums ‘Mescalito’ and ‘Roadhouse Sun.’ MARC FORD is one of the most gifted, celebrated and in-demand rock guitarists of his generation has switched gears to deliver what will undoubtedly stand as one of the finest Americana albums of 2014. ‘Holy Ghost’ has plenty of space for Ford to demonstrate that his guitar sorcery is as powerful as ever. But it’s textured in a different setting that will also delight a legion of admirers who never knew he could embrace the wide open spaces of American roots music so brilliantly.

6 Women Artists: The Frame of Influence

Through memory, exposure to art in museums, private homes and arts education artists are inspired and influenced by the work of other artists. Additionally, discoveries made throughout the life of an artist have much to do with shaping their sensibility and practice. Each exhibiting artist has been asked to share the origins of their creative process with the viewer through statement and documentation.

An opening reception will take place on Wednesday, July 27th from 5:00 – 7:00 pm. The public is cordially invited. Admission is free.

Curated by Taylor Kane

Images: Top row, L to R
“Looking Up” – Barbara Baum
“Orange Bathing Cap” – Sarah Benham
“Dog 1” – Alexis Brown Spratlin

Second row, L to R
“Front Line” – Sheila Kaczmarek
“Blown by the Wind, Standing Tall” – Ava Orphanoudakis
“Swirl Cloud” – Nancy Train Smith

(Click on image for a larger view)

Experimental Nature

The urge to document our surroundings dates back to the cave paintings of primitive beings. As artists, each of us interprets the world in a different way, whether realistic, stylized, fantastic or even surreal. A natural surrounding can be transformed by each artist’s translation of what they see, and this collection will showcase unique perspectives.

An opening reception will take place on Saturday, June 11th from 1:00 – 4:00 pm. The public is cordially invited. Admission is free.

Images:
Top Row, L – R
Exhibition Postcard
Sachuest Point — Jennifer Daltry – www.jenniferdaltry.com
Phenomena — Maggie Siegel – maggiesiegel.com

Bottom Row, L – R
Tiana And Lizzie — Jennifer Hrabota Lesser – www.jenniferhrabotalesser.com
Dead of Winter — Lauren Scotto – laurenwscotto.com
The Mysterious Benedict Society — Dianne Wilkinson – diannewilkinson.org

Valerie June 6/8/16

It’s been a long night if that’s what happened,’ Valerie June laughs when asked about her seemingly overnight breakout in the UK. By the time she released her debut album, ‘Pushin’ Against A Stone,’ the Tennessee native had already performed on Later’ with Jools Holland, sung a stunning duet with Eric Church at the ACM Awards, toured with Jake Bugg, graced spreads in top music and fashion magazines, and earned some of the year’s most glowing reviews. But June traveled a long road to the remarkable moment at which she now finds herself. ‘I feel like my whole life I’ve always had a stone I’ve been pushing,’ she says, explaining the record’s title. ‘Some days it’s a good thing to have, like a best friend, and sometimes it’s your worst enemy. In the case of this record, I had so many friends helping me move the stone.’ Those friends include the album’s producers, Kevin Augunas (Edward Sharpe, Florence + The Machine), Dan Auerbach, and Peter Sabak, along with an all-star cast of fellow musicians ranging from Booker T. Jones and Jimbo Mathus to some of Hungary’s top session players. Recorded at Easy Eye in Nashville, Fairfax Recording in Van Nuys, CA, and Studio H in Budapest, the album is a showcase for June’s astonishing and singular sound, a blend of rural roots and country that bridges Alan Lomax’s acoustic field recordings with biting, electric indie-blues. From the slide guitar shuffle of ‘You Can’t Be Told’ and heavenly harmonies of traditional spiritual ‘Trials, Troubles, Tribulations,’ to the stark, acoustic ‘Workin’ Woman Blues’ and the uncanny darkness of ‘Twined and Twisted,’ June effortlessly shifts between eras and genres. She can be haunting and melancholy, singing of loneliness on ‘Somebody To Love,’ or full of warmth and charm, fondly recalling her home on ‘Tennessee Time.’ At one moment seductive in a sensual come-on, fragile and vulnerable the next in a display of naked honesty, June transports you to another world the moment you hear her voice.

Comedy Night featuring Joe DeVito and Jim Lauretta 6/11/16

Joe DeVito has the power to start fires using his mind, and he also does standup comedy. Whether taking on relationships, his Italian-American family, or current events, Joe’s dead-on timing, unexpected twists and sheer flights of lunacy make him a favorite at clubs and colleges across the USA, and at the top venues in New York City. After spending a decade as a journalist and advertising writer, Joe gave into his coworker’s demands to try performing so he could find fame, while they finally got some work done. In 2006, he was invited to the prestigious Just for Laughs Festival in Canada, where the Montreal Gazette rated his performance ‘9.5 out of 10.’ Joe’s TV appearances include The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on CBS, Comedy Central’s Live at Gotham, and a semi-finalist turn on season five of NBC’s Last Comic Standing. His savage wit has also made him an in-demand panelist on shows like Chelsea Lately, CNN’s Headline News, Animal Planet’s Wild 100, and a regular guest on FOX News Channel’s Red Eye. As a writer, Joe has contributed to Maxim Magazine, MTV, and the award-winning film Super Size Me. Boston-born comedian/actor Jim Lauletta is one of the most popular headlining cruise ship and nightclub in acts in the country. Performing for over 20 years has made this comedian one of the most versatile top acts around. A clever mix of off beat, cynical and self-deprecating material drawn from Jim’s many life experiences makes each show personal to any audience member. Simply put Jim’s comedy is his pain turned inside out. Throw in a few impressions here and there and Jim’s performance leaves you wanting more and more.

Slaid Cleaves 5/7/16

Slaid Cleaves spins stories with a novelist’s eye and a poet’s heart. Twenty years into his career, the celebrated songwriter’s Still Fighting the War spotlights an artist in peak form. Cleaves’ seamless new collection delivers vivid snapshots as wildly cinematic as they are carefully chiseled. Dress William Faulkner with faded jeans and a worn six-string for a good idea. ‘Slaid’s a craftsman,’ says Terri Hendrix, who sings harmony on ‘Texas Love Song.’ ‘He goes about his songs like a woodworker.’ Accordingly, Cleaves’ earthy narratives stand oak strong. ‘Men go off to war for a hundred reasons/But they all come home with the same demons,’ he sings on the album’s title track. ‘Some you can keep at bay for a while/Some will pin you to the floor/You’ve been home for a couple of years now, buddy/But you’re still fighting the war.’ Few writers frame bruised souls as clearly. Fewer still deliver a punch with such striking immediacy.

The Curtis Mayflower and The Blue Ribbons 5/5/16

This is a great double bill of two of Boston’s best rock and roll bands The Curtis Mayflower is Pete Aleksi, Duncan Arsenault, Jeremy Moses Curtis, Brooks Milgate and Craig Rawding. Five musicians creating a sound that is greater than the sum of its parts. Players who have toured, recorded with acts such as Booker T. Jones, Levon Helm, Howie Day, Heavy Metal Horns, Jim Carroll, Orchestra Morphine, Twinemen just to name a few. Formed in 2013, they have quickly amassed a large body of work and a larger audience for it. Hot on the heels of their self released EP ‘Live At The Dive (2013)’ which showcased the band’s ability to write powerful music on the spot, the debut album ‘Everything Beautiful Is Under Attack (2014)’ was welcomed by many critics as a refreshing take on the blues, soul and rock genres. The Curtis Mayflower currently has their third album written and has released two singles thus far: ‘King of the Fools (2015)’ which The Boston Herald says: ‘inverts the hot, fast pleading of the Temps Motown might with a chill, slow groove. Go if you wanna go, I ain’t begging. I’ll just sit here with my Donny Hathaway records and stand firm.’ and ‘Fourth Wall (2015)’ which The Worcester Telegram says: ‘On a very fundamental level, this is a song about our relationship with art, particularly music. In a lot of ways, Rawding’s voice is a comforting presence: Music’s there to keep you from feeling alone.’ The Blue Ribbons was formed by singer/songwriter/keyboardist James Rohr. They have been building a base of devoted fans with their original and soulful music. Described as ‘Ray Charles and Tom Waits on a pirate ship with Sun Ra and Captain Beefheart,’ they combine ‘upbeat disillusionment and celebratory fatalism with musicianship’ ‘ Charan Devereux;Boston Globe.