Habib Koite to Perform in Northampton

Habib Koite, a singer and guitar player who lives in Bamako, Mali, in west Africa, will play at the Iron Horse in Northampton on February 16 at 7 p.m. Koite (pronounced KWA-tee) performed an outstanding public concert in Amherst in 2011. He possesses an unusually warm voice and guitar skills that inspired Bonnie Raitt to famously tell him after one concert, "I would drink your sweat."

Photos: March, Rally in Springfield for Justice, Against Big Banks

On September 5, there was a march in Springfield to protest banks that are forcing poor people out of their homes while paying their executives millions of dollars a year. The first photo shows some of the marchers in front of a building at the corner of Maple and Central streets. The march was organized by the same group that organized a rally on July 31 that drew more than 200 people.

The group’s web site is www.SpringfieldNoOneLeaves.org. Last year, the group organized non-violent civil disobedience at Bank of America in Springfield.

Natalie Merchant Will Sing in Northampton on July 13

Natalie Merchant, probably the world’s best female singer, will sing in Northampton on July 13. It will be her first concert in the Valley in at least a decade. Her lyrics, and the music on her albums, are often – but not always – excellent. But Merchant’s concerts are always great, thanks to her incomparable voice.

In the song “Motherland," Merchant sings:

Where in hell can you go
Far from the things that you know
Far from the sprawl of concrete
That keeps crawling its way
About 1,000 miles a day?

Native New Zealander Might Sing in Northampton

Jess Harlen, a new singer from Australia with a stunning voice, has performed in Europe and Japan. Her next stop could be Northampton.

“I’d love to play there,” Harlen told the Valley Post recently. Her most popular single on YouTube, “Watch the Water,” was inspired while she was swimming in the warm ocean waters of Mexico – not too far from the U.S., she noted. A brilliant video of her performing that song is at:


Harlen writes all her own lyrics and music.

UPDATE: Vermont Senate to Vote This Afternoon on Closing Nuke

The Vermont senate will vote on February 24 on whether the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant can run after 2012, said Duane Peterson, president of the Vermont Public Interest Research Group www.vpirg.org

Vermont Yankee is three miles from Massachusetts and a stone's throw from New Hampshire.

Live video of the senate debate is available at www.vpirg.org

Live audio is available at www.leg.state.vt.us

Pigs in Heaven

This video shows pigs at the New Leaf CSA farm in Dummerston, Vermont, near Brattleboro. Most pigs in the U.S. – including organically grown ones -- live in barns and never get to be on grass. Pigs prefer to have access to grass. With their noses, they can turn over large areas of sod in a short amount of time. This video was filmed in the late morning on July 16, a hot and sunny day. The pigs reserve a small area of pasture as their bathroom. Pigs don't smell bad.

Video: Health Care, Anti-Nuke Activists in Brattleboro July 4 Parade

Members of the Vermont Workers Center www.workerscenter.org called for universal health care and members of the Citizens Awareness Network www.nukebusters.org called for closing the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant as they marched in the Brattleboro Fourth of July parade. video by Eesha Williams

Video: Lori McKenna and Mark Erelli, June 26, Putney, Vermont

World famous singers Lori McKenna www.myspace.com/lorimckenna and Mark Erelli www.markerelli.com played a public concert on June 26 in Putney, Vermont, about 10 minutes from Brattleboro. The concert was produced by www.twilightmusic.org which has more concerts coming up in the Valley. video by Eesha Williams

Video: Winterpills in Northampton

On June 20, the Winterpills played at the Iron Horse in Northampton. The audience was appreciative. The show wasn't sold out, but there weren't many empty seats. The band www.winterpills.com will play in Greenfield on July 17 at the Green River Festival www.greenriverfestival.com Some of the Winterpills live in the Valley. video by Eesha Williams

Bellows Falls, Vermont Video: Fred Eaglesmith; Native American Stone Carving

This video shows Fred Eaglesmith and his band playing in Rockingham, Vermont on June 14. It also shows Native American stone carvings, and a waterfall, both in Bellows Falls, Vermont. Bellows Falls is about 30 minutes from Brattleboro by car or train. Eaglesmith said he will play in Bellows Falls again next year at the annual Roots on the River Music Festival. video by Eesha Williams