WUMB November Program Guide

More Thoughts on Music as a Force For Healing and Why I Love The Boston Music Community

I suppose you would expect that I would tell you about something from one of my recent shows. But it’s something that happened on Albert O’s show just after me in the closing days of June. It’s something that encapsulates why I am glad to have commercial-free WUMB around. Albert’s show began with one of the many powerful songs from Mary Gauthier’s latest album Rifles and Rosary Beads, the track “I Got Your Six” (written by Mary Gauthier with Iraq War veterans Meghan Counihan and Britney Pfad ). It was followed by Tom Petty’s “Don’t Fade On Me.”

I looked at the song titles and thought – in terms of mood, sound, and lyrical atmosphere – what a natural match these songs were. Yet how likely are you to hear Mary Gauthier and Tom Petty back to back on the radio? Not very. And so…thank you all very much for your contributions to keep WUMB going in our recent end-of-the-fiscal-year mini fundraiser. If you are a new member, welcome to the fold.


Before I moved to Boston in 1997 I was well aware of the Boston music scene. Two years before I made the move, I was made more aware of the Boston/Cambridge singer-songwriter scene. That’s when I met Jim Infantino and Martin Sexton at the High Sierra Music Festival in Bear Valley, CA. That’s an annual music and camping festival over the 4th of July weekend.

Two years after I’d moved to Boston, on July 3rd 1999, something very significant happened to the Boston music community. That’s when Mark Sandman passed away on stage in Italy with his band Morphine. I had been a huge fan of his previous band Treat Her Right (with David Champagne, Jim Fitting, and Billy Conway). Three weeks later, “Community” would prove to be the operant word. A multitude of musicians who had worked with Mark Sandman came together to play a show in his honor. It was outside on Brookline Street at Mass Avenue in Central Square, Cambridge. From Catie Curtis to the Either/Orchestra, Christian McNeill and Laurie Sargent, to Peter Wolf and many others. The start of the show was postponed by rain, with roadies covering the gear in plastic sheets. But as the rain backed off, the festivities began. The rain would occasionally come back alternately as a thunderstorm or as a gentle shower. But always after a pause, the musicians and the fans would come back. In the end, the rain would not defeat this occasion. And as Laurie Sargent led the crowd through “You Look Like Rain” under a gentle and ironic drizzle, a sad occasion had been turned into a celebration. My soaked windbreaker and I felt welcomed into the diversified Boston music community.


I hope you will join me for Local Folk on WUMB, Sunday nights from 7-8pm, as we check out music past and present from the Greater Boston and New England music scenes. Here are some things we can look forward to on the show this month:
July 1st — A pair of post-Father’s Day songs (that should have been in my brain two weeks earlier…), a Boston “super group” with a souped-up bluegrass sound, and we’ll remember Mark Sandman.
July 8th — A sampling of Boston & New England-based musicians playing the weekend’s New Bedford Folk Festival. Plus new music from Duppy Conquerors drummer Sarah Mendelsohn.
July 15th — New music from singer/guitar picker Zak Trojano (album due out in August).
July 22nd — New music from Samantha Farrell, from one of two music projects she has in the works.
July 29th — Good music for summer hikes, including one from the band Hank Wonder.

With apologies to the late great Mel Blanc, “That’s All, Folks” (for now)!

Thanks for listening and being a part of us at WUMB,

~ Perry Persoff

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