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.”

Kris Delmhorst Concert Is October 23

Kris Delmhorst will perform a concert at the Parlor Room in Northampton on October 23 at 7 p.m. A Boston Globe staff writer called her music "sterling," which means excellent. You can hear one of Delmhorst's best songs for free at:

Ruthie Foster Concert is August 21

Ruthie Foster will perform a public concert at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton on August 21 at 7 p.m. She sings the blues. Her current tour includes stops in Los Angeles, California and at New York City's Highline Ballroom, a nightclub where Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder have performed since it opened in 2007.

You can hear one of Foster's songs for free at:

There are photos of her at:

Devil Makes Three Concert July 24

This summer Devil Makes Three will perform concerts at prestigious venues in New York City; Paris, France; and London, England. On July 24, they will play in Putney, Vermont, near Brattleboro. The band is donating the money they make from the concert to help save 144 acres of forest in Putney from being turned into houses. The group leading that campaign is

You can hear a Devil Makes Three song at:

The band is Pete Bernhard, Cooper McBean and Lucia Turino. A picture of them is at:

Alyssa Bonagura Concert Is July 15 in Northampton

Alyssa Bonagura will perform a concert at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton on July 15 at 7 p.m. She will be accompanied by Rebecca Correia and Harrison Whitford. You can hear Bonagura performing a song that she wrote, "Make My Own Sunshine," at:

Robin Gibb was a member of the Bee Gees, a band that has sold more than 200 million albums. "Alyssa is stunning, original, a future star in the making," Gibb said.

Tickets for Bonagura's Northampton concert are available at

Concert Review: Sierra Leone All Stars

In Northampton, the Iron Horse Music Hall has concerts almost every night of the year. It regularly hosts world famous musicians like Michael Franti and Dar Williams. On April 9, one of the best concerts in years at the Iron Horse was performed by the Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars. The dance floor was full of people of all colors, and full of energy, reflecting the full-on performance on the stage.

The band released a new album, Libation, last month. Most of the songs on the album are Afro-Pop or “high life” style. Some are reggae. It's an excellent album.