WHO'S WHO in MONTAGUE?
(alphabetical by first name or band name)
Addie, Becky, & Joe
This trio features Becky Ashenden on accordion, Joe Blumenthal on percussion, and Addie Rose Holland on clarinet and vocals. They hail from Shelburne Center, Northampton, and Montague, respectively. Most often playing with a larger group called Orkestar Banitsa, the trio will feature songs and dance tunes from or inspired by the regional music of Southeastern Europe, including Bulgaria, Macedonia, and Greece. Join them for a musical journey dancing through the rugged mountain villages and seaside towns of the Balkan Peninsula. Pergola, set 6
AyreCraft will perform excerpts from their Renaissance Jukebox program. It will include music from the late 16th and early 17th century lute song repertoires, paired with modern popular songs from the 20th and early 21st centuries. Each pair of songs illustrates a mood, image, or story common to each song across the centuries. Think of the Elizabethan and Jacobean courts visited by Archie Fisher, Bob Dylan, Taylor Swift, and Richard Thompson, all accompanied on period instruments. The result is a lively and varied program, full of wit and emotional resonance.
First Congregational Church, set 5
Becky's Badass Bassoons
Montague’s own Becky Eldridge (of Vermont Symphony fame) will anchor a bassoon quartet that also includes Michelle Huddy, Anna Goudreau, and Emma Dennis-Knieriem. Join them for double-reed mayhem! Montague Common Hall, set 2
Brian Bender & Robbie Roiter Jazz Duo
Brian Bender (trombone, piano, vocals) and Robby Roiter (guitar) perform a fun blend of jazz standards, original compositions, and an occasional pop tune. Barn, set 5
Expandable Brass Band
Loud, raucous, and full of fun, the Expandable Brass Band is dedicated to spreading joyful music to the people of Western Massachusetts and beyond. Inspired by the Honk Festival and New Orleans style "Second Line" street bands, the band plays a lively variety of classic and funky tunes, featuring drums and percussion, trumpets, trombones, saxophones, tubas, and tenor banjo. Got a horn? Bring it & join in! On the common, set 1
Fatty Bolger mixes tight grooves with crisp guitar - melding genres, decades and feels into familiar yet contemporary originals. With Jake Goldman on Guitar, Aaron Knapp on bass and Ben Letcher on drums, Fatty Bolger will get you on your feet and ready to shake it off. Porch, set 6
The Frost Heaves & HaleS
Anchored by singer/guitarist/songwriter/madman Daniel Hales, the Frost Heaves also includes James Lowe on bass and special guest James Heflin on guitar. Here's what the press has to say:
“With each listen, the album grows more and more reflective, striking a perfect balance between moments of quiet meditation and tripped out mind expansion, creating a sound that is difficult to pigeonhole, yet easy to digest…There is something very refreshing about the debut release by Daniel Hales and the Frost Heaves. It’s becoming increasingly rare in the circles of indie rock to hear an artist whose lyrics are obviously the work of a well read and intelligent individual, while still maintaining a simplicity that keeps the artist from coming across as an arrogant jerk. Daniel Hales manages to accomplish this amazing feat with ease, as Frost Heaves is a warm, endearing album that is smart, yet free from all pretentiousness…The album really shifts into high gear with the psychedelia of Loose Thread, where the slight twang of Hales’ voice is still intact, but when enshrouded amid swirling guitars and trippy percussion, it comes across as something totally different. Shepherd Of Lost Shopping Carts is a breezier number with a dreamy psych pop sound that is nothing short of intoxicating." Barn, set 1
Harvey Diamond & John Lentz
Harvey Diamond is described as legendary. A decades-long performer and teacher in the Boston music scene, he has performed across the U.S. and in Europe. He can be heard on several recordings by European artists, as well as leading two self-produced recordings in the U.S. He was among Lennie Tristano’s last students in the 1970’s, and has done concert appearances with NEA Jazz Masters Sheila Jordan, Dave Liebman and Art Farmer. He has also performed with Charles Neville, Herb Pomeroy, Harvie S, Jay Clayton, Joe Hunt, Don Alias, and many others. While his music is both deeply intricate and deeply emotional, it is also accessible to even the most casual listener. He is known for performing unrehearsed and without a set list. His music is immediate and real.
John Lentz sang folk music on the streets and in clubs during the 1970’s and 80’s. As an early member of Tony Lechner’s Valley Jazz Choir, he was a regular soloist and eventually studied vocal jazz with Samirah Evans, Jay Clayton, and Sheila Jordan. Up until the pandemic time, he sang in and led the John Lentz Trio, performing regularly in the Pioneer Valley area.
Harvey and John first met at the Vermont Jazz Center’s summer sessions. In the Fall of 2020, during the first winter of the pandemic, they recognized their need to keep music alive, even for themselves. They began jamming together weekly. Their Good Music Makes Good Neighbors set continues the energy of those sessions, but in a public performance setting. First Congregational Church, set 3
Klez Kebal is a klezmer string trio playing old-timey European klezmer music with a modern chamber music vibe. Montague Common Hall, set 4
Mark Fraser & Matthew Duncan
Originally from Montreal, cellist Mark Fraser is a founding member of the Adaskin String Trio and the Executive Artistic Director of Mohawk Trail Concerts, one of New England’s longest standing and most renowned chamber music series. He also performs frequently as a soloist and in recital - recording credits include a CD of works by Bach, Schumann, and Prokofiev with pianist Sooka Wang, and a 2013 CD of three of the Bach Suites for Solo Cello.
Originally from St. Louis, Matthew is the co-founder (with his partner Nicole Nemec) of the Good Music Makes Good Neighbors music festival in Montague Center (now celebrating its 6th year). He plays piano and writes music for any ensemble willing to play his pieces. He is grateful that Mark indulges his compositional whims (which sometimes involve absurd double-stops) and his affection for the music of Paul Hindemith. First Congregational Church, set 4
Mary Fraser & Julia Friend
Mary (fiddle) & Julia (clawhammer banjo & vocals) play and sing traditional tunes from Kentucky, North Carolina, Virginia, and Texas interpreted through life in Montague. Mary & Julia will get anyone's feet tapping and ears intrigued. Pergola, set 1 & Strolling set 12:50-1:10
Michael Nix performs on Banjar, classical guitar, banjo, lute, and mandolin, throughout the United States and Asia; has recorded for the PBS series "American Experience", several independent documentaries, numerous CD projects; and his compositions are performed internationally. His music has been heard "Weekend Edition", and other NPR programs.
Michael Nix plays on the seven string Banjar, an instrument he has designed, which combines elements of the classical five string banjo and the classical guitar. The Banjar's seven high tension nylon strings sound somewhat like a cross between the banjo and guitar or lute. Nix combines lyrical expression with an insatiable musical curiosity to forge an intriguing performance style incorporating various styles and textures drawn from classical guitar and banjo, jazz, blues, folk. His repertoire includes original compositions, jazz, ragtime, Irish and folk music, Renaissance and Baroque lute dances, and pieces from the classical banjo and classical guitar canon. Pergola, set 2
Montague Common Singers
Singing through the pandemic and beyond. Join us on our 809th day raising voices together on the Common. Easy tunes and choruses. Sing a song, share a song, or just listen! On the common, set 3
Pat & Tex LaMountain
Pat & Tex LaMountain have been singing, writing, performing, and harmonizing together for almost 40 years. Writers of dozens of songs, they have developed a diverse collection of material that includes American standards, swing tunes, folk, rock, jazz, bluegrass, gospel, and country. Their music has been described as “upbeat and rhythmic, inspirational, and sensitive…catchy…with Pat & Tex there’s heart and soul.” Their songs are a vibrant blend of melody, message, and harmony, with Pat’s crystal-clear vocals and Tex’s tenor voice and unique flat and finger picking styles at the forefront. Barn, set 3
“Louise Mosrie may well be the brightest young folk-oriented artist to emerge from Nashville in many a year” - Rich Warren
"Mosrie’s compositions are thoughtful, refined creations. Given repeated listening, they will penetrate your consciousness. Spend your time thus, you’ll also be hooked.” - AW Porch, set 4
Rebecca Weiss & Becky Hollingsworth
Rebecca and Becky will be leading all comers in the Open Traditional Music Session.
Rebecca Rose Weiss has played for contra dances around the country and recorded on a variety of albums. She eagerly learns from elder musicians about community music and the old days and tunes, notably as mentee of David Kaynor, legendary New England dance caller and musician. Lately, she has been following around a variety of other New Englanders in hopes of absorbing not only rock solid rhythm but also winter driving tips. She gets especially excited about harmonizing, teaching, and composing. https://www.rebeccaroseweiss.com
Becky Hollingsworth’s first encounter with a piano was in an unused, unheated room in her grandparents’ farmhouse, where she would attempt to plunk out tunes on an old upright, undeterred by missing key tops, stuck keys, and keys that didn’t sound at all. A quarter-century or so later, she discovered the exhilaration of contra dancing, which re-introduced her to the joys of banging on a piano, particularly when someone else is doing the hard work of playing the melody. She loves to play for dances of all sizes and at multi-level sessions. She has helped anchor numerous open band dances at the Guiding Star Grange in Greenfield, Massachusetts, and has played with the Fiddle Orchestra of Western Massachusetts (https://fiddlewesternmass.com), a wonderfully welcoming organization whose possibilities she encourages musicians at all levels to explore.
Montague Common Hall, pre-fest (10:30)
Rebecca Weiss & Rose Jackson
Based right here in Montague Center, Rebecca Weiss and Rose Jackson are young folks playing old music. Both students of local fiddle greats (Rose studied with Becky Tracy of Brattleboro, and Rebecca with Montague's own David Kaynor), they discovered a mutual love of classic contra dance tunes hardy enough to keep you going through a New England winter. Expect to hear reels, jigs, and waltzes, all decorated with twin fiddle harmonies. Strolling set 2:40-3:00
Sophisticated Lady & the Tramps
Gary & Amanda Bernhard (father and daughter) have played music together since Amanda was a young child. Gary is an exceptional jazz pianist, and Amanda sings along on their favorite standards from the 30s and 40s, as well as some more contemporary tunes. This year they are joined by Joe LoMonaco on drums and James Daggs on bass who, among their many musical accomplishments, are members of the Butterfly Swing Band, of which Amanda has recently become a member. Montague Common Hall, set 5
Stephen Katz sings and plays mostly original compositions on cello. His groove-driven music is made possible by a strumming approach he calls “Flying Pizzicato.” The results are contrapuntal, multi-voiced textures that have been described as appearing both easy and impossible at the same time. Montague Common Hall, set 3
Tim Van Egmond
Raised in a musical family, a lover of books from an early age, enraptured by daily sing-alongs at day camp, enchanted by a storyteller who performed at his grade school, Tim Van Egmond had a lot leading him to his chosen profession as a folksinger and storyteller from an early age. He graduated from college with a degree in French, but spent his senior year as a Fellow at Hampshire College building a hammered dulcimer and other instruments. After graduation, he spent six months with a friend and fellow former Fellow at his farm in New Hampshire for what he now considers a perfect decompression from academia. He sang ballads to Jennifer the Jersey cow while milking her, work songs while digging post holes, and yodels while driving the tractor. In 1983 after a few years as an instrument builder, Tim realized his dream was to inspire and entertain people with music and storytelling the way many had for him. He began performing at libraries, schools, museums, senior centers, and churches, and he was hooked.
A gifted singer, musician and storyteller, Tim is known for his captivating talent, warmth, and engaging humor. He’s been chosen for the New England States Touring Program, and has performed at notable festivals such as Old Songs, the Philadelphia Folk Festival, and the New Jersey Storytelling Festival. He’s also presented workshops at various educator, librarian, and performing artist conferences. He plays mountain and hammered dulcimers, limberjack, and mouth bow. Renowned author and storyteller Jane Yolen has said, "Tim is a triple treat. He can sing, he can play a variety of wonderful instruments, and he can tell whopping good tales!" Strolling set (1:45-2:05)
Vimana is an instrumental jazz-rock trio that plays original compositions that weave tight grooves with improvisational passages in a way that reflect this historical era we are experiencing together. They are: Brian Rodrigues, bass; Bruce Todd, drums; Leo Hwang, guitar. Porch, set 2