Upstate Rubdown in Northampton March 11

The band Upstate Rubdown will play in Northampton at the Parlor Room March 11 at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance. A video of them performing is at:

Roger Salloom and Charles Neville Concert is November 28

Roger Salloom and Charles Neville plus a five person band will perform at the Arts Block in Greenfield on November 28 at 7 p.m. Rolling Stone magazine said of Salloom, "Superb storyteller with a great sense of timing and the music is incredibly infectious." Neville has performed with James Brown, B.B. King, and Ray Charles. Tickets are $15.

Interview: Emily Saliers of the Indigo Girls

The Indigo Girls is one of the best bands that's currently performing live. The band will play three concerts near the Valley this fall. The Indigo Girls have sold more than 14 million albums and won a Grammy award. In June, they released a new album, One Lost Day. In early November, the band will play in Boston; Troy, New York; and New York City. Details are at

Vieux Farka Toure Concert is September 18

Vieux Farka Toure and Julia Easterlin will perform a concert in Northampton on September 18 at 7 p.m. Toure is from the west African nation of Mali. Easterlin is from the USA. The concert will be at the Iron Horse Music Hall. On his current tour, Toure will perform at prestigious venues in Paris, New York City and San Francisco. A video of him performing is at:

A video of Easterlin performing is at:

Blues Concert Review

Luther Johnson and the Magic Rockers performed an excellent, public concert in Northampton on July 25. The Iron Horse Music Hall appeared to be almost sold out. The audience applauded enthusiastically after all the songs. Johnson sang, "She said, 'Luther, you don't have to be a superstar, I love you just the way you are.'"

A highlight was Johnson's version of the Jeannie Cheatham song "Meet Me With Your Black Drawers On."

Review: Live Reggae

The Thunderballs performed an outstanding concert in Brattleboro on July 3. The crowd danced and cheered. The band will play on July 12 at 5 p.m. outside on a deck above the Connecticut river at the Whetstone Station restaurant in Brattleboro.

Lead singer and guitar player N.L. Dennis is from Jamaica. On July 3, the band played a roughly equal mix of songs by Dennis – many with lyrics calling for justice – and reggae classics like “Pressure Drop” by Toots and the Maytals.

More information is at:

Garland Jeffreys Will Play in Northampton June 6

Rock and roll musician Garland Jeffreys will perform a public concert at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton on June 6. His recent albums have received positive reviews from the New Yorker magazine and NPR's "Fresh Air with Terry Gross." You can hear free samples of his music at:

Sierra Leone All-Stars Concert is April 25

The Sierra Leone All-Stars will perform a public concert near Greenfield on April 25 at 7 p.m. The concert is a fundraiser for a group that helps poor people in Africa. It will be at the Shea Theater in Turner's Falls, Massachusetts.

Daniel Kasnitz is a member of the board of directors of the theater. He told the Valley Post there will be room for people to dance at the concert.

Tickets are available at The money will go to a group whose web site is

Franti at Pearl Street February 13

I love live music. I have seen dozens of bands perform live, including U2, and working class bands that perform only in the Valley. Highlights have been Fishbone at small night clubs in New York City in 1990; Natalie Merchant at a historic theater in Oakland, California; and Toots and the Maytals at a tiny bar in Long Island, NY.

The best concert I have seen was Michael Franti with his band Spearhead at the Iron Horse in Northampton in 2002.

Concert Review: John Sheldon Band with Samirah Evans

John Sheldon and his band played an outstanding concert with Samirah Evans on New Year's Eve at the Arts Block in downtown Greenfield. The venue appeared to be sold out, with at least 100 people dancing for hours.

Sheldon's band is called Blue Streak. They played original and cover songs; a highlight was “All Along the Watchtower” by Bob Dylan.

John Sheldon and his band with Samirah Evans performed at the Arts Block on New Year's Eve in 2013 and 2014.

National Public Radio called Sheldon “one of the great guitarists of our time.” Jimi Hendrix called him “a great player.”