WUMB April Program Guide

The Local Music Corner

For a guy who is pulling out or at least taking a significant pause from the musician’s conveyor belt life – constantly practicing, writing, gigging, learning material, occasionally having a night with the family, etc – Boston lapsteel/pedal steel/dobro go-to guy Michael Bean is having another busy spike.

Chances are pretty decent that you’ve heard and seen Michael play with many artists in the area. Next month he will be doing a session with New Jersey-based guitar hero Vinnie Moore. Moore has been with the band UFO since 2003. Prior to that he had many solo albums and even did a guitar clinic tour over many continents. This could be an interesting musical mix with Michael Bean.

Michael also recorded a dobro solo for the bridge to one of country singer Annie Probst’s forthcoming songs.

He seems excited that he’s had time to start learning piano, and getting “in touch with the bass again.” So, much as I miss hearing and seeing Michael Bean play some sweet dobro or lap/pedal steel guitar, it’s good to know that when the Muse does show up again for him, he’ll be ready with some new inspirations.

HAPPY SPRING AT LAST!!! Now, the hot theory is that where Spring walks…Summer follows. I am drinking the cool aid on that rumor.

So let’s take a quick recap of a traditional summer music event that in February announced it will be returning. And that is the Green River Music Festival. If you missed it in last month’s Program Guide column, the Green River Festival will return a month later than usual, August 27-29th. And recently they announced that the fest will be moving, from Greenfield Community College to The Franklin County Fairgrounds, also in Greenfield. In fact, it’s about 2-1/2 miles and a six minute drive south of the college. Keep up to date with what they are doing – as they keep up to date with local and state health authorities – at www.GreenRiverFestival.com.

By the time you read this, Professional Baseball will have returned. I could bounce from this to a scathing editorial on how Red Sox management seems to be depleting and destroying the team (words I will gladly eat if the Sox become competitive every year), or how MLB commissioner Rob Manfred must be trying to destroy the game with horrendous rule changes like starting extra innings with a runner on 2nd base. Ughhhh… But that may be better suited for an issue of Barstool Sports.

For us, the return of Baseball gives us the opportunity to metaphorically link great comeback efforts on the field with our beloved and beleaguered local music scene. Think of, say, the Red Sox comeback over the Yankees in the 2004 American League Championship series, where they’d been down 3 games to none in a best out of seven games series. Now, look at the Fallout Shelter club in Norwood (aka, The Extended Play Sessions at The Fallout Shelter).

Comeback #1: After it had been shut down, the venture was re-born in 2018 as part of the Grass Roots Cultural and Performing Arts Center.

Then in 2020 came…the Pandemic. The Fallout Shelter was fortunate enough to do some streaming over You Tube. But due to safety concerns there were no live events after March 13th of last year.  Then last October the mill that housed the venue was temporarily closed. Which leads to…

Comeback #2: This past January, the club was approved to reopen, pending final inspection. So, they are planning to resume recording and streaming this month. Otherwise they are working to make things more spaced apart in the venue and to improve the air circulation system. Why? So that they can reopen to living human music fans in May!!!! Of course, it would be an even more limited capacity with more space apart. And the audience will have to wear masks. But what a tremendous step in the right direction.

Not too surprisingly, these changes will create, shall we say, “financial challenges.” To offset those “challenges,” the Fallout Shelter will be creating a “coffee table” book of pictures and stories from the club’s brief but potent history on the Boston area music scene. They’ll be making a limited run of 300 of those books, which will go on sale May 15th. For more information, take a gander at https://www.facebook.com/epsfalloutshelter/. Or just do a general online search for Extended Play Sessions at The Fallout Shelter.

Congratulations Bill Hurley and crew at the Fallout Shelter; thanks for keeping the torch going despite negative odds. Or as Kevin Millar of the Red Sox might have said in 2004, “way to Cowboy Up.”

~ Perry

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