WUMB August Program Guide

September Sighs – Local Music Events to Have You Looking Forward to September

September already…sigh. I guess it’s time to reflect on our summer highlights. Music-wise, I think of seeing Australia’s The Waifs (or WAiFS from their early days, which probably stands for Western Australian Folk Singers). I’ve been curious about them for about 15 years; they’ve been a band for most of 27. The Waifs are really big in Australia. How big? In Boston, we’d refer to them as “Yuuuuge!” Yes, with the extra “u’s.” They play for thousands Down Under. I saw them in the 246 seat Center For The Arts in Natick. The next night they finished off the tour – their first US tour in four years – with two shows at the Iron Horse in Northampton, seating capacity around 230. Lucky us in the US.

Australia is a place I’ve wanted to visit for years. Last February a couple of friends of mine went to Australia. Part of their planned trip was to see The Waifs in concert there. This had the impact on me of reviving my interest in both Australia and seeing The Waifs live.

The show? I really enjoyed it, and am looking forward to the Waifs’ next stateside junket. Unless of course, I get to visit Australia and see them there.

OK, on to our music scene here in the greater Boston/New England area, it’s…


It doesn’t matter how many years beyond my school days I am, September is a tough pill for me to swallow. The end of summer. The beginning of school. And while I do love Autumn in New England, a part of my brain doesn’t let me forget what season follows Fall. Let us not speak of it by name at this time. Let’s just say I am not anxious to return the scraper & snow shovel to my car. Does anybody else need an occasion to look forward to September?

Happily, WUMB provides one! September brings the return of WUMB’s Third Thursday at The Burren series. To begin the series’ 4th year, it’s the band Hank Wonder. Named for Williams and Stevie, they sound like neither. The band has a motto which actually describes them very well (amazing, right?): “Soulful Americana.” They include Darren Buck on lead vocals, Mike Loria on guitar, and Annie Bartlett on fiddle. The general story I heard is that they formed doing open mics in the area. The host of an open mic competition they won suggested they should learn some original songs. Darren Buck started writing a few that he would bring to the band. Guitarist Mike Loria was really impressed with them, responding to Darren, “Have you been holding out on us?” Now that’s a nice compliment to receive from your bandmate.

[Author note: a good story…but not quite right. The more accurate version is even better, as Darren himself tells it:
“ Mike, Annie, and I signed up for Tom Bianchi’s Lizard Lounge Open Mic Challenge. That night, we played our only two “ready for prime time” originals: “Rust In The Rain” and “Baby Likes Bourbon.” We waited around all night to see if we were one of the top three acts picked by the guest judge, who I forget the name of. We were, and when we got up for the third tune, we decided to play a Sam Cooke cover… not feeling like our third original, “Nothing To Chance,” was ready yet.
Since the winner of Tom’s open mic needs to be able to play three originals, he stopped me (on mic) after I announced the Sam Cooke tune and said: “If you’re gonna do a cover, I gotta offer the stage to someone else.” We ended up playing “Nothing To Chance,” and it went over really well. Tom took the mic after our third tune, and in his inimitable style said something like, “Whaddaya mean, you don’t have a third original, you knucklehead?! (Though) we didn’t win that night… it was a huge confidence boost!”
Thanks for correcting me, Darren. I want to get it right. –Perry.]

Join us on Thursday September 19th, as we continue to celebrate locally performed live music. It’s a community gathering in music. And…it’s just so much fun. Yes, a pre-Friday night if you will. I look forward to seeing you at The Burren in Davis Square, Somerville, Thursday Sept 19th at 7pm. Details at wumb.org.

Congratulations to Lisa Bastoni. She is releasing a new album on September 20th called How We Want To Live. Hometown musical hero and multi-instrumentalist Sean Staples produced it and plays on it. They’ve got some great people helping out on the album, including Mark Erelli, Rose Cousins, the ladies from Lula Wiles, and Naomi Sommers. And Sean himself is getting ready to make a new album. We’ll keep our eyes and ears open for it…

I hope that as you are reading this, we are having an Indian Summer – a last blast of summer weather (under 90 degrees, please) before Fall hits. Get out and enjoy the good outdoor/sunscreen weather while it’s still here. Only a few nights ago as I write this, I actually wore a T-shirt to bed and got under the covers. My air conditioner looked at me with a disappointed expression. “Oh no,” I thought, “is the (weather) change already upon us?!?” Time to cue Mark Erelli’s song, “August,” the kind of song about getting in the last of your favorite summer activities while you can. The kind of song that makes you think Mark was there with you when you had your various experiences, or every time you said to yourself, “I can’t believe I let the summer slip away again.” Funny how good songwriters do that. Over a recording career that has now hit 20 years, Mark has consistently been dynamic with the craft of songwriting.

And he’s still doing it. For example, his embrace of summer from a different view – his current perspective as a dad – on his newest song, “The Hitter.” You don’t have to be a parent to connect. Although if you are, you may need the box o’ hankies nearby. You don’t have to be a baseball fan to relate. Although if you’ve ever played, the first line will floor you. Then again, isn’t that what good songwriters do? Find this song at www.MarkErelli.com. Pull it out again in the middle of winter.

In the meantime, congrat’s to Mark on playing Americana Music Fest in Nashville this September. Congrat’s also to Lula Wiles from the Boston music community who will be at Americana Music Fest, along with former locals like Miss Tess, Ray Bonneville, and Amelia White.

Just a quick bug in your ear. A few days ago I got a brief look at some of the concerts lined up for Fall at various Boston area venues. We are in for some terrific shows. Oh why do we need to sleep? Again, something to look forward to as we segue from Summer…

Support live & local music, and it supports you.

See you at a venue soon,

~ Perry

Leave a Reply