Millpond Live Roars Out of the Gate This Saturday

Underground System will be the headliners for the first show this Saturday in Easthampton.
Underground System will be the headliners for the first show this Saturday in Easthampton.

Summer’s End Means Great Music in Easthampton

It’s the end of the summer, and like most people, I’m sad about that.

But the one thing that late August brings to the Valley is a series of wonderful outdoor concerts with well-chosen world music stars who make Easthampton’s Millpond Live series come to life on Saturday nights.

Once again, the folks at Laudable Productions have put together a killer line-up that will appeal to a wide array of listeners.  The venue is fantastic–an open-air pavilion with food trucks, plenty of room to spread out, several craft breweries, and musicians that will both inspire and entertain.

The season opener is Saturday, August 25, at 6 pm.  Gates open at 5, to grab a spot for your lawn chair and blankets. The opening band is Locobeach, described as “Peruvian Cumbia rhythms collided with American disco and a splash of spaghetti-western guitar.”  

I’ve seen this band heat up a venue before, they build up an incredible amount of energy and nobody is able to keep still in the room!  Next up is Sinkane, a singer from Sudan who plays afro-pop, soul, reggae, disco, and funk.

Finally, the headliners are Underground System, “a collective of Fela Kuti-worshipping rabble-rousers. Venezuela’s Domenica Fossati, a powerhouse singer, will lead the band and keep the audience jumping!

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Boston based singer Hayley Reardon.
Boston based singer Hayley Reardon.

The music and festivities continue into September, on the 1st, the show is titled “Backyard Birds,” and is dedicated to exquisite songwriting, virtuoso guitar and ‘enchantment beneath the stars.’  Hayley Reardon begins the evening, she’s a songwriter from Boston, in the vein of Patty Griffin, Lucinda Williams, and Tracy Chapman.

She’s followed by Nashville singer Matthew Szlaachetka.  Rolling Stone calls his music, “A continental spin on 1970s California folk-rock, fronted by a songwriter whose guitar chops match his storytelling skills.”

The local favorite Seth Glier from Shelburne Falls, a multi-instrumentalist who debuted during the first Millpond Live series several years back will round out the show.  USA Today compared Seth to Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel!  See for yourself why this guy tours 200 nights a year, and at age 29, already has five albums under his belt.

The following Saturday, Sept 8, will feature Jon Caroll backing his soulful ensemble, BraveSoul.  Then, Chicago-based Indo-Pakistani soul singer Zeshan B will bring powerful soul songs sung in English, Urdu and Punjabi.  Finally, Sidewalk Chalk, a hip-hop, soul and jazz ensemble complete with a horn section, will bring tap dancing, and fun to close out the night.

September 15 is a bit more traditional, with the Easthampton Irish Festival, for the second year. Last year was very popular so be sure to come early and grab a good spot, (bring your blankets and your chairs!).

Gaslight Tinkers will play Millpond Live on September 15.

Gaslight Tinkers will play on Sept 15 at Millpond Live.
Gaslight Tinkers will play on Sept 15 at Millpond Live.

Award-winning fiddle player Winifred Horan will get the foot-stomping, traditional music going, and she will be joined by John Williams, an esteemed concertina/accordion player who with Horan started the famed Irish supergroup, Solas.

Following these Irish luminaries will be the Gaslight Tinkers, who play world music as well as energetic Irish music too. The Valley Advocate describes their music as “Music that consistently fizzes and pops with unexpected textures and turns.”  There will be other guests, Irish dancers, pipers too!

You don’t need any tickets, just show up at the back of 2 Ferry St, Easthampton, and bring your dancing shoes, chairs, a blanket and no booze….they sell everything you need at the venue.

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