Today, July 22nd, marks the beginning of the 2016 Downtown Northampton Summer Concert Series, presented by the Northampton Arts Council. Every Friday for the next five weeks, some really amazing local and regional musicians will be performing for free from 6-8 PM on the Hampshire County Courthouse Lawn (and at the WWII Club on Conz Street if it rains!). There will be an array of outdoor activities for kids during the concert, and the A2Z Yo-Yo Team will be making appearances on July 29, August 12, and August 19. This year looks like a phenomenal line up, and promises to be a great way to bring the community together this summer.
Friday July 22nd - Blue Ribbons, Izy Coffey
Formed by singer/songwriter/keyboardist James Rohr, this jazzy band won the 2015 Boston Music Award for Best Live Ongoing Residency. "The kind of band I want to be in is one where you can move from a jump blues to a country ballad to a rocker," Rohr told The Boston Globe, "where there are no boundaries and you can play all sorts of genres, but it still sounds like you."
A Pioneer Valley native, Izy Coffey is a folk singer-songwriter and self-described “ramblin’ woman”; her sweet vocals and soothing guitar make for a set of heartfelt tracks.
Friday July 29th - Outer Stylie, Ray Mason Band
Outer Stylie is a rock band based out of the Pioneer Valley, and they’ve been steadily acquiring a solid fanbase over the years. Their music is a pleasing combination of hard rock, psychedelic, and soul, and their newest album, “Puzzles”, was released in April 2016.
Ray and his favorite guitar (a 1965 Silvertone) have been touring since 1982; he’s opened shows for well-known musicians such as Fountains of Wayne, Yo La Tengo, They Might Be Giants, and Joan Jett. Often referred to as “the Godfather of the New England music scene”, this pop/rock musician released his most recent album on May 13, 2016.
Friday Aug 5th - Wocky, Carinae
Hadley’s very own rock/folk artist Wocky--a one woman show-- provides us with simple, relaxing tunes accompanied by beautiful vocals.
Based out of Western MA, this Psych-Rock band prefers to take matters into their own hands; they have independently produced both of their albums, host their own shows, and make their own art. Their second album was released in April 2016, and features tracks filled with heavy guitar and prominent drums.
Friday Aug 12th - Cocek! Brass Band, The Fawns
This 5-piece ensemble from Boston, MA will have you up out of your seats in an instant. Their music is influenced by a variety of genres, including New Orleans dance songs, Klezmer, and Afrobeat; they’ve got talent, soul, and a sharp stage presence. Their most recent music video, “There Goes Shlomo”, was a 2016 Manchester UK Film Festival Nominee.
Northampton band The Fawns describes their genre of music as “Jangly Pop Indie Rock”. The group of five, led by well-known local singer/songwriter Lesa Bezo, is comprised of members who have shared the stage with a number of notable artists, including Mates of State, Of Montreal, and Juliana Hatfield. Their most recent album, “Goodnight, Spacegirl”, has been in the making for ten years, and exemplifies how comfortable, talented, and experienced they are as a group.
Friday Aug 19th - Drunk Stuntmen, House of Waters
These Massachusetts natives play music that hearkens back to classic rock. Sonicbids describes their sound as “a common ground between Americana, good time rock’n’roll, and improvisatory stretching-out”. This high-energy band has been performing their own stunts since 1992, and have no intention of stopping anytime soon.
This talented group from Brooklyn, NY combines bass, percussion, and dulcimer to create dreamy instrumental compositions. Inspired by a myriad of international styles of music, Timeout NY has claimed that the band is “a sight to behold”. They’ve shared the stage with a number of influential musicians, including Pandit Ravi Shankar and Jimmy Cliff.