WUMB January Program Guide


A fond farewell, two fun annual local music festivals, and some notable concerts by area artists. October is shaping up to be pretty packed for Local Music. Let’s dive into it.

I was going to save this item as a “last but not nearly least” entry. But I’ve got to lead with it…

Only two years after I first moved to Boston from California – anxious to see the legendary Boston music scene I’d been somewhat enthralled about for years – Mark Sandman died on tour in Italy with Morphine. One of the Boston bands that wound up making a significant impact on me years before my move to Boston was Treat Her Right. Mark Sandman being an important part of that band (as all the players were, come to think of it), I felt the need to attend the concert in his memory hastily put together three weeks later by many of his musical friends and compatriots. It was on the street in Central Square, Cambridge. Intermittent rains and the occasional thunderstorm could not stop the show. It had an amazing “community” vibe. Among the musicians who made an immediate impression on me – such as Catie Curtis and Jimmy Ryan – was a young Christian McNeill. Christian himself was a pretty recent arrival to Boston by a couple years from Ireland. Now 20+ years later, Christian is reportedly preparing to move back to Ireland in November. As far as I know, that is still the case. On October 13th there will be a farewell show of sorts at The Burren in Davis Square, Somerville. It’s being billed as “The Long Goodbye,” and will feature not just Christian as a solo artist, but also some of his previous bands. We’ll be able to go through the Wayback Machines of our minds to remember Christian with Hybrasil, The Sea Monsters, and a band represented at that show for Mark Sandman in Central Square back in late July 1999, Orchestra Morphine.

Meanwhile, Christian is on the calendar at Sally O’Brien’s pub to continue his residency with Tim Gearan every Tuesday night in October. But not in November.
We’ll miss you, Sir. Come back and visit…

And speaking of Mr. Gearan, this just in from his guitarist Russell Chudnofsky: according to Russell, Tim’s endless Friday night residency at Atwood’s Tavern is apparently… coming to an end. Oct 11th and 18th will be the last Friday night shows of the residency. But, Russell added, “we’ll be back; just not as often.” So that’s good news.

Back to Christian McNeill, another feather in his Boston cap is being the first performer of WUMB’s 3rd Thursdays at The Burren series in September of 2016. The series continues on Thursday October 17th at 7pm with The Wolff Sisters. Yes, it’s another name you may recognize from the concert and club pages over the last few years. You have probably also seen their name as part of articles with positive accolades. Come see what all the attention is all about. And of course, if you are a member of WUMB, you will get in for half price. Besides that, it’s just a fun excuse to get out on a Thursday night…and feels like a Friday one day in advance.

In general, the month of October will be pretty active for local music right out of the chute.

For example, you will need a cloning machine for October 4th. On that day, the long awaited new album by Chris Hersch & The Moonraiders, Space Lasso, will be released. And what’s an album release without an album release show? It will be at the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge that night, with Cousin Bobby Bluegrass opening.

Also on October 4th, Comanchero is slated to play at Harpoon (Boston) Octoberfest on Stage 1 from 6:30 to 7:30. Old Jack follows at 8pm with Seven Day Weekend closing the music for the night. The festival continues the next day, Sat Oct 5th, with live music from Noon to 6:30 on three stages. Among them will be Will Dailey on Stage 3 from 2:30 to 3:30. For more information check the Harpoon website.

Speaking of the Harpoon website, I spent more time than the average potential customer will spend trying to find WHERE the festival is. I wish they would put that information right up front on the page for the event. That way, even people who are thinking of giving them free promotion (like me for this article…) can find that trivial piece of information right away for their readers – without having to dig through every sublink on the site. Not to mention that making it harder for people to find where the event is does not exactly help the performers playing it, should people want to go because they are fans of those bands. This is not genius rocket science stuff we’re talking here.
After looking through sublinks, I assume the show is at the brewery itself at 306 Northern Avenue in Boston (even the location of the brewery is something you have to find through a sublink).

Meanwhile, here’s a festival that’s easy to find. Because it just runs through the center of town. It’s the 12th annual Honk Festival of activist street bands, Friday night Oct 11th through Sunday afternoon October 13th. Just take a bus or subway to Davis Square in Somerville, then walk around following your ears and various signs. It’s like New Orleans Mardi Gras meets Berkeley, California (but with far less crowds…). Friday and Saturday the festival will be throughout the Davis Square area. Sunday afternoon Oct 13th, the festival finishes with a parade from Davis Square to Harvard Square along Massachusetts Avenue. LOADS of bands will be performing, primarily brass and marching bands. Most are local or from New England. Some will come from as far away as New Orleans, Brazil, and Europe. And of course, an atmosphere of community and celebration will flow. If you live in Somerville, you can be excused for glowing with pride during HonkFest and thinking, “it’s grrreat to be a “Villen.” But everyone from everywhere is welcome. More information is at http://honkfest.org.

Finally, just a few notable shows to circle on your calendar for October:

At The Burren Backroom:
The return of Greg Klyma (with band) on Oct 10th. Keep tabs on Greg through his website for his third album of the last year or so via the brave new world of online music. https://klyma.com/
Jimmy Ryan’s Wooden Leg on Oct 12th. Earlier this year, Jimmy released a live Wooden Leg album. The album is smokin’! If it’s any indication, get a sitter that night and get to this show.
Bill Janovits’ monthly residency at The Burren on Oct 26th. Bill started 2018 with a new Buffalo Tom album. It’s good to see him still evolving as a solo artist as well. But don’t be surprised if he’s joined by some friends.

At Atwood’s Tavern:
Hazel Royer and her dad Eric Royer open for Charlie Parr on October 4th. Young Hazel is amazing. She is carrying the Bluegrass/Folk/Country torch from her dad with her own touches. So don’t miss the opener!
If you can’t make it to Jimmy Ryan & Wooden Leg, Jimmy Ryan & Hayride are here on Oct 6th.
Julie Rhodes on October 10th. She has been attracting critical attention over the last couple years or so.

At the Arts at the Armory Performance Hall in Somerville:
Vermont native Anais Mitchell on October 10th, with Mark Erelli opening (Mark released a new song last month called “Her Town Now” that he co-wrote with Chuck Prophet; can an album be on the way).

At the Narrows Center For The Arts:
A couple of Boston area alums return…
Darryl Scott on October 3rd,
Eilen Jewell on October 19th.

And there is lots more. You get the idea. As the saying goes, “support live music; it supports you.” There’s nothing like the dynamic energy of a good live music performance, whether it’s in an arena or a small club.

We’ll see you out there,

~ Perry Persoff


Leave a Reply