WUMB June Program Guide

The Local Music Corner

‘Tis the season! There are threats of summer breaking out. And very soon the sun itself (i.e., the calendar) will proclaim it to officially be Summer. It must be time to take the snow shovel and ice scraper out of the car.

Which means it is also time to look forward to summer concert festivals, from the Green River Festival north of Northampton…to the Newport Folk and Jazz Festivals in Rhode Island…to the New Bedford Folk Festival…to the Lowell Folk Festival and Lowell’s annual Summer Music Series… and weekly outdoor shows at Aeronaut Brewery’s satellite location in Allston. Not to mention many more that will populate the live music landscape on land and sea as the weather gets hot. But for now, I will be satisfied to start by removing my snow shovel and ice scraper from the car. There must be a song about that as a sign of better days….

Besides upcoming live music, the season seems to be bringing us lots of new music to look forward to. We got a nice hint of that at our May 3rd Thursday At The Burren show with Jimmy Ryan & Hayride. Jimmy’s got lots of new things for you. He’s released a new EP called Brave Brave Gun. He’s also recently put out a live album by one of his many incarnations, Wooden Leg, called Turn Back The World. It is a raucous one – and already one of my favorite releases of the year. Put this in your car CD player for the slog home through the traffic after a rough day or week, and you will be OK.

Dave Westner, who was playing bass for Jimmy Ryan’s Hayride that night, is also a prolific producer in the area. His new release schedule includes a new record from Boston’s Blue Ribbons. I’ve described them before as having (musical) chops that could take down a Sequoia. They backed Carla Ryder on her 2018 album Unguarded Heart. The Blue Ribbons generally play at least once a month at Toad in Porter Square, Cambridge. Go see them.

It’s been two years since Tim Gearan’s stripped down Mostly Love slayed everyone. Dave Westner is working on a new album with Tim. They are going back to a full band sound for this one.

Bringing it back to Jimmy Ryan, Dave will also be working on the forthcoming album by The Nocturnal Adoration Society – which is Jimmy Ryan and his wife Donna Sartanowicz.
I’m pretty sure Mr. Westner has more going on as well…but I can’t remember what else he told me. The details may be suspended in the cobwebs of my mind (another song reference waiting to happen?).

Another guy who contributes to quite a number of musicians – beyond his own band – is Sam Margolis. One of Sam’s fine credits from 2018 was engineering Malcom Holcombe’s Come Hell Or High Water. Sam’s got a studio in Waltham called Riverview Sound. When not producing, mixing, and/or engineering out of Riverview, he does a fair amount of work with Marco Giovino at Marco’s studio. Sam is working on album number five for his own band Comanchero (imagine a band that feels like the 1850’s of the Old West with traces of The Band, Country Joe McDonald, and actor Sam Elliot all on running horses). Besides Comanchero, his dance card is quite full. Here are some of Sam Margolis’s other projects in the pipeline to watch out for:

  • A new Vance Gilbert album which Sam engineered and mixed. Sam promises some amazing guests.
  • The debut full length album by Pretty Saro, a progressive Bluegrass band out of Berklee which Sam produced, engineered and mixed.
  • Due out this year, the latest album from Nashville husband & wife duo The Danberries. This was produced at Marco Giovino’s studio. Marco and Duke Levine play on it. Sam engineered the record.
  • And if you are a fan of Olde British Isles lore and balladry, steel yourself for this one. Sam is in studio with Molly Pinto Madigan recording her forthcoming album – a concept album around the legend of Tam Lin. Excuse me for a moment while I run for some Fairport Convention and Anais Mitchell/Jefferson Hamer. Jenee Halstead, Mark Erelli, Vance Gilbert, and Jay Psaros are among the guest contributors. Wow?

That’s a nice dance card. Oh and Sam, thanks also for getting one of my favorite buskers in Mike Hastings back into the recording studio.

That’s a wrap for now. See you in the record store – if you can find one (that’s another conversation). And we’ll see you on June 20th for our 3rd Thursday At The Burren show with the band Billy Wylder.

Have a wonderful summer.

~ Perry Persoff

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