Thomas Mapfumo in Northampton July 22

Thomas Mapfumo, a musician and activist from Zimbabwe, will perform a public concert in Northampton on July 22 at 7 p.m. Mapfumo was forced to leave Zimbabwe because he spoke out against the government. He lives in Oregon. Samples of his music can be heard for free at:

www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-music&field-k...

Devil Makes Three Leader Will Play in Putney

One of the best bands that is currently performing is Devil Makes Three. The band's lead singer, Pete Bernhard, will perform a public concert in Putney, Vermont, near Brattleboro, on March 25 at 7 p.m. He will perform with several other musicians. Details are at:

www.HookerDunham.org/docs/TWILIGHTCALENDAR.htm

and

www.TheDevilMakesThree.com

Concert Review

On February 19 in Brattleboro, six musicians played an excellent concert at the Hooker-Dunham Theater, the town’s best live music venue. The theater was almost sold out, and the audience applauded the music warmly. The musicians sang and played Scottish smallpipes (like bagpipes except, rather than blowing into the instrument, the player pumps it like an accordion), a wooden flute, piano, guitar, and a lute. The absence of drums was pleasing.

Legendary Folk Singer Charlie King Concert To Aid Valley Nuke Foes

Charlie King, Karen Brandow, and Rebel Voices will perform an evening concert in Greenfield on January 21. It’s a benefit for the Safe and Green Campaign, which works to replace the Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor with solar panels, energy efficiency programs, windmills, geothermal energy, and other renewables. Safe and Green works closely with www.nukebusters.org and www.vpirg.org

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

Pete Seeger said, "Charlie King is one of the finest singers and songwriters of our time."

Review: Nationally Known Bands Played Near Brattleboro

Seven local bands, some of which tour nationally, played at a festival whose mission was to close the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. The music festival was on September 17 in Newfane, Vermont. The bands were outstanding. Among the highlights were Simba and Pulse Prophets. Hundreds of people attended; many danced. The autumn weather was sunny and comfortable.

Here are the web sites of the bands that performed:

www.EamesBrothersBand.com

www.shokazoba.com

www.PulseProphets.com

www.MoAmbesa.com

www.ClaytonSabine.com

www.DeWaltMusic.com/simba.shtml

Concert Review: Red Molly

Red Molly performed an excellent public concert in Putney, Vermont, near Brattleboro, on April 17. According to the Boston Globe, "Red Molly may be from New York, but their bluegrass and old-time gospel sounds and buoyant three-part harmonies are so down-home it's as if their notes are carried to you on the crisp air of the Ozarks."

Red Molly will play in North Carolina on April 29 and in California on June 23. The band performed in Putney with singer Chris O'Brien, who performed on Garrison Keillor's radio program, "A Prairie Home Companion."

Vusi Mahlasela in Northampton

Vusi Mahlasela, a singer-songwriter, guitarist and activist who lives in South Africa, performed an outstanding public concert in Northampton on February 16. Mahlasela was active in the movement that overthrew the apartheid government in South Africa. In 1994, he performed at Nelson Mandela’s presidential inauguration.

"Vusi has a sort of profound beauty about him. He has a light on," said two-time Grammy award winner Dave Matthews.

Amy Ray in Amherst Nov. 17

Amy Ray and Emily Saliers founded the the Grammy Award-winning band the Indigo Girls. The first few seconds of Ray's latest CD, Didn't It Feel Kinder, are taken up by her voice alone. Throughout the album, Ray's voice is direct, unsentimental and free of irony.

This record sounds more like the Indigo Girls than Ray's first three solo recordings, which were more punk. The best song on the new CD is "Cold Shoulder," a celebratory rocker: "See that girl over there, she's gonna give me the cold shoulder/ she may be straight tonight, but last night she let me hold her."

Legendary Folk Singer Charlie King Concert Will Benefit Valley Post

Charlie King will perform a benefit concert for the Valley Post on October 2 in Hadley, Massachusetts, near Northampton. Pete Seeger said, "Charlie King is one of the finest singers and songwriters of our time."

Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars Will Play in Northampton Sept. 14

The Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars band will play its soulful, dance-able reggae and Afro-pop music at the Iron Horse in Northampton on September 14 at 7 p.m. The members of the band lived in Sierra Leone until they fled the civil war there in the late 1990s. The uplifting story of their meeting in a refugee camp in Guinea is told in a documentary film that's named after the band. The DVD is available at your local public library, video store, or from Netflix. The band's new CD was released by the Vermont record label www.cumbancha.com Tickets to the concert are available from www.iheg.com