Posts Tagged ‘Green River Festival’

LIVE: Green River Festival @ Greenfield Community College, 7/12/14 (Day One)

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014
Trombone Shorty And New Orleans Avenue

Trombone Shorty And Orleans Avenue

Review by Fred Rudofsky
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

This year marked the 28th anniversary of the Green River Festival. Held in mid-July at the picturesque grounds of the Greenfield Community College – a two-hour drive from Albany – it featured more than 30 bands drawn from an array of genres worldwide.

Whereas other outdoor music events generate false hype, book predictable bands and/or cater to the lowest common denominator – the semi-coherent twentysomething who views the world through a selfie lens – the Green River Festival remains an eclectic, cordial, downright fun and affordable two-day gathering ($70 for the weekend!) that you could take your kids or grandparents to without hesitation. It is also a place of progressive ideas – throughout the site there are vendors promoting the arts, education, grass-roots causes concerning the environment (easy to use recycling bins did abound), etc. Add an eclectic choice of foods, hot air balloon rides, rock climbing walls, second-line parades, and new this year a fine selection of craft beers, and it is obvious why the festival sold out quickly.

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LIVE: Green River Festival @ Greenfield Community College, 7/21/13 (Day Two)

Monday, August 5th, 2013

Review by Fred Rudofsky

The two-hour drive to Massachusetts for Day Two of the 27th annual Green River Festival, held at Greenfield Community College, goes by in a blur. Sunday’s crowd appears to be as large as the one the day before, and the temperature feels just as hot, too.

I missed Milton, the duo I had seen open for Chris Smither earlier in the month at Club Helsinki, so I head down to the Yonder Stage to catch a a few songs by the Sun Parade. A five-piece band, they mix acoustic and electric sounds, and it’s safe to assume they probably count Big Star as an influence. “I’m Still Here Till We Can Work It Out” and “Molly” sound decent, but I’m not feeling compelled to stick around – indifference, hunger and thirst are kicking in.

At the Main Stage is Heather Maloney, a singer-songwriter who appears to have some fans in the audience given the reception she and her band get. I try to give her a listen, but her voice has more ticks than a deer in summer. Unimpressed, I take a walk over to a hamburger stand to sate the growling in my gut and rejuvenate in the shade of some trees near the festival entrance.

The music of Louisiana, fortunately, is well represented in the Yonder Stage, so I slug down some water and head on over. Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole have a couple of hundred music lovers two-stepping and waltzing despite the mid-afternoon heat. Watson, age 29 but a seasoned musician, alternates between fiddle and accordion, and his sound draws inspiration from pioneers such as Dennis McGhee, Clifton Chenier, Boozoo Chavis. The band can boogie, too, and the crowd’s energy feeds right back to stage. Lyrics sung in English and Creole French blur together, and the thought of announcing the song titles seems secondary to Watson’s goal of keeping that hypnotic groove going…

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LIVE: Green River Festival @ Greenfield Community College, 7/15/12 (Day Two)

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012
C.J. Chenier

C.J. Chenier

Review by Fred Rudofsky
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

The weather was hot and humid, but the music was cool.

I caught the very last notes of Martin Simpson, the opener, who had played solo on the Main Stage and won major applause from the crowd.

Thirty-One Tigers recording artist Elizabeth Cook strode out onto the stage next with guitarist Tim Carroll and upright bassist Bones Hillman, dedicating “Columbus Stockade Blues” to its author, the late Doc Watson. Her voice was as enthralling as ever, and she had the crowd mesmerized. Cook’s one of the best singer-songwriters in any genre, and her range was incredible, going from the sass of “Sometimes It Takes Balls to Be a Woman” and the romance of “All the Time” to the paradoxes of attraction in “El Camino” and vivid characterization of tragedy and hope in “Heroin Addict Sister.” In between songs, Cook’s rapport with the crowd was candid and spontaneous, sharing stories of her life and impressions of the festival grounds, including her love of kettle corn. On a roaring train song, “T-G-B”, Carroll took the lead and played some rollicking licks on his Gretsch, smiling at his wife Elizabeth as she strummed her Gibson center stage.

Cook’s renditions of Merle Haggard’s “Today I Started Loving You Again,” Gram Parsons’ “Hot Burrito #1” and Lou Reed’s “Sunday Morning” were mesmerizing. Fittingly, on a perfect Sunday afternoon she also featured a trio of songs from her excellent new release “Gospel Plow” – Marty Stuart’s “Hear Jerusalem Calling,” the traditional “Every Knee Must Bow” and “If I Had My Way,” which featured three-part harmonies and an unexpected melodic nod to Little Willie John’s “Fever.”

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LIVE: Green River Festival @ Greenfield Community College, 7/14/12 (Day One)

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012
Arlo Guthrie

Arlo Guthrie

Review by Fred Rudofsky
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

I must admit, summer is not my favorite season. A two-hour drive to the best music festival in the area, however, provided a diversion from the bane of living. More than 30 bands were scheduled on three stages. As Levon Helm said, “If you pour some music on whatever’s wrong, it’ll sure help out.” The music was the balm. Here are some highlights…

SATURDAY, JULY 14:

I arrived in time to catch Samirah Evans & Her Handsome Devils, a talented band from New Orleans, in mid-set. Dancers filled the Yonder Stage floor, soaking up a slew of fine covers such as Chris Kenner’s “Something You Got” and Dr. John’s “Such a Night.”

A last minute change in schedule kept the Crescent City vibe going, with the Grammy Award-winning Rebirth Brass Band taking the stage with a gusto that never let up. They played prime cuts from their recent album “Rebirth of New Orleans” (Basin Street Records): “Exactly Like You,” “I Like It Like That” and “Why Your Feet Hurt.” Hank Williams’ “Jambalaya” and Bobby Womack’s “It’s All over Now” coaxed the wallflowers onto the floor and singing along. Closing out with their classics “Feel Like Funkin’ It Up” “Do What You Wanna,” the eight-piece RBB had the 300 or so patrons in a frenzy under the sweltering tent.

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LIVE: The Green River Festival @ Greenfield Community College, Day Two, 7/17/11

Thursday, July 28th, 2011
Wanda Jackson and Kevin Maul

Wanda Jackson and Kevin Maul

The first day of the Green River Festival was a blast, but Day Two promised to raise the level to new heights with line-up that included headliner Emmylou Harris, as well as also the one and only Queen of Rockabilly, Wanda Jackson.

The sun turned the fest into an almost impossible inferno of sweat for the thousands that came and wandered between the Main Stage, the Dance Tent stage and the aptly named Meltdown Stage. But no worries because the festival was complete with a hospitality tent providing large electric blower fans and plenty of water bottles for those feeling a bit faint, dehydrated or simply wiped out by the oppressive heat.

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LIVE: The Green River Festival @ Greenfield Community College, Day One, 7/16/11

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011
Toots Hibbert of Toots & the Maytals

Toots Hibbert of Toots & the Maytals

“Everybody, look at the moon,” implored singer Toots Hibbert of Toots & the Maytals during the legendary reggae band’s headlining set at the Green River Festival in Greenfield, Massachusetts, last Saturday.

Night had fallen on the first day of the weekend-long music and arts fest, and the full moon – waning for a day, but still spectacular – loomed behind the crowd, next to a massive tree and over a field where rainbow-hued hot-air balloons launched hours earlier.

After a day of inspired and downright fiery performances by a wide range of musical acts – from Terry Adams and the New NRBQ to the up-and-coming Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears – the thick-voiced Hibbert was a salve, preaching a gospel of one-love and reggae-soul to an eager crowd stretched an arms-length away from him behind a security barrier.

If he had a church, even the atheists and agnostics among us would have joined it.

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Festival Fever: The Green River Festival, 7/16-17/11

Friday, July 15th, 2011
Emmy Lou Harris and Toots and the Maytals

Emmylou Harris and Toots and the Maytals

The Green River Festival is celebrating its 25th anniversary this weekend, and they’re doin’ it up big with a whale of a two-fest musical party.

Wanda Jackson, Emmylou Harris, Toots & the Maytals, NRBQ, Black Joe Lewis & the Honey Bees, the Old 97’s

Yes, the musical line-up is mind-boggling, but there’s plenty of other activities going on, too, including hot air balloon shows (both days), a giant puppet parade (5:10pm on Saturday), food, crafts, dancing and a wide array of kids activities.

It all takes place on the campus of Greenfield Community College in Greenfield, Mass. Tix at the gate are $55 per day. But you have until 10pm tonight to buy advance tix – $65 for both days, or $45 per day.

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Festival Fever: Green River Festival, 7/16-17/11

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Over in Greenfield, Mass., the Green River Festival is celebrating its 25th anniversary this summer, and the fab folks who run the fest have put together an extra special line-up of bands. The fest takes place on the campus of Greenfield Community College on Saturday, July 16 and Sunday, July 17.

The fest boasts delicious local food, crafts from a wide range of artists and craftspeople, a dance tent, the River Meltdown tent, balloon illuminations and hot air balloon launches. Oh yeah, and music – lots of music on multiple stages.

Here’s the line-up of musical talent:

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Cartoonist John CaldwellJim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysThe Cock'N'Bull RestaurantCaffe LenaHolly & EvanAdvertise on Nippertown!Albany PoetsThe LindaArtist Charles HaymesLeave Regular Radio BehindHudson SoundsBerkshire On StageMohawk Hudson Humane Society