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Local Montague, MA Events & Happenings

  Things to do in Montague, MA  

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Horn From The Heart: The Paul Butterfield Story

The Shea Theater will present a screening of Horn From The Heart: The Paul Butterfield Story, on Thursday November 14 at 7:30. Tom Reney, producer of Jazz a la Mode at New England Public Radio, will introduce the documentary and host a Q&A following the feature-length film. The New York Times hailed Horn From the Heart as “smart and thorough,” and said that “spending 90 minutes with [Butterfield] and his music is exhilarating.”

Paul Butterfield is one of only a handful of musicians elected to both the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame (2015) and the Blues Hall of Fame (2006). He is the only bandleader to have performed at three of the most significant music festivals of the Sixties: the 1965 Newport Folk Festival; Monterey Pop; and Woodstock. The film includes performance clips from all three fests.

Produced by Sandra Warren and directed by Chicago-based filmmaker John Anderson, Horn From The Heart celebrates Paul Butterfield’s pivotal role as a trailblazing bandleader whose group delivered the blues to white, middle-class audiences in the mid-1960s. Butterfield’s powerful singing and virtuosic harmonica playing, honed in the blues bars of Chicago’s South Side, established him by age 23 as the archetypal white bluesman. His racially integrated band included guitarists Michael Bloomfield, renowned as America’s first blues-rock guitar hero, and Elvin Bishop, and the powerhouse rhythm section of Jerome Arnold and Sam Lay, who had formerly worked with Howlin’ Wolf and Little Walter.

The Butterfield Blues Band would eventually include such players as David Sanborn, Buzzy Feitin, Trevor Lawrence, Mark Naftalin, and Geoff Muldaur. They, along with Bishop and Lay, appear in Horn From The Heart. The documentary features extensive, rarely seen performance footage, and includes interviews with Bonnie Raitt, B.B. King, Maria Muldaur, Nick Gravenites, Jim Rooney, Todd Rundgren, Clydie King, Happy Traum, Paul Shaffer, and Al Kooper.  Together with the perspectives of Butterfield’s sons Gabriel and Lee, his wife Kathy, brother Peter, and sister-in-law Pam, Horn From the Heart provides an intimate and unsparing look at a brilliant and daring musician whose career became hampered by ill health and drug and alcohol addiction. Butterfield died in 1987 at 44.

Horn From The Heart provides a detailed account of Butterfield’s appearance at the legendary 1965 Newport Folk Festival, where the controversy generated by his performance of amplified Chicago blues led to Bob Dylan’s appearance later that weekend backed by members of the Butterfield Blues Band. Dylan’s decision to “go electric” continues to make Newport ’65 a major landmark of rock history. Butterfield’s appearance at Newport, the subsequent release of his debut album, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, and its single “Born in Chicago,” and his continual promotion of the blues masters he knew and learned from, Muddy Waters, Otis Rush, Little Walter, and B.B. King, helped bring this influential but largely segregated mode of American music to the attention of a vast new audience.

Tom Reney has hosted Jazz a la Mode at New England Public Radio since 1984. A winner of the Marian McPartland-Willis Conover Award for Career Excellence in Broadcasting, he has written extensively on Paul Butterfield for various publications and for his blog at NEPR.net

Reney served as a consultant to the filmmakers during the making of Horn From the Heart, and he’s hosted screenings of the film throughout New England. His feature on Butterfield’s induction into the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame links to several other articles he’s  written about the blues harp legend.


When: Nov 14, 2019 7:30PM in Montague, MA
Welcome Yule: Midwinter Celebration

For 35 years, Pioneer Valley’s Welcome Yule: A Midwinter Celebration has been celebrating the return of the sun with a show full of music, dance, song and story. Our cast of adults and children, supported by our faithful volunteers, present a lively show to brighten up the cold winter season.

This year finds us in a forest with magical and mythical beasts in the form of puppets large and small as we tell a tale of the importance of music in our lives. Written by Liz Smith, this year’s program will include traditional songs and dances as well as new material from Rose Sheehan, Welcome Yule’s founder, and Colin De la Barre. As ever, the Abbots Bromley Horn dance and border morris will be performed by Juggler Meadow Morris, and a sword dance and some social dancing will be performed by the cast.

Our audience enjoys the dances and stories as they sing along with us on the now- familiar carols and join us in laughter at the mummers play. They leave the theater ready to face the winter.

Come and join your friends and neighbors as we bring each other strength, joy and hope for the new year! Friday and Saturday, December 13th and 14th at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, December 15th at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for children 5 – 16 years and seniors. For reservations and information check the website www.welcomeyule.org or email info@welcomeyule.org.


When: Dec 13, 2019 7:30PM in Montague, MA
John Hodgman and Monte's Holiday Spectacular

SHEA PRESENTS: John Hodgman and Monte Belmonte’s Holiday Spectacular: With tales from Hodgman’s new book Medallion Status-True Stories from Secret Rooms

Saturday, December 21st

Doors at 7:30pm, Event at 8pm



Medallion Status-True Stories from Secret Rooms:

“[An] affecting and hilarious meditation on fame and prestige as seen through the lens of an airline loyalty program.” —The AV Club

A hilarious and honest new book in which John Hodgman, New York Times bestselling author of Vacationland, leaves vacation behind and gets back to work as a still somewhat famous person . . . and then loses his job

After spending most of his twenties pursuing a career as a literary agent, John Hodgman decided to try his own hand at writing. Following an appearance to promote one of his books on The Daily Show, he was invited to return as a contributor. This led to an unexpected and, frankly, implausible career in front of the camera that has lasted to this very day, or at least until 2016.

In these pages, Hodgman explores the strangeness of his career, speaking plainly of fame, especially at the weird, marginal level he enjoyed it. Through these stories you will learn many things that only John Hodgman knows, such as how to prepare for a nude scene with an oboe, or what it feels like to go to a Hollywood party and realize that you are not nearly as famous as the Property Brothers, or, for that matter, those two famous corgis from Instagram. And there are stories about how, when your television gig is canceled, you can console yourself with the fact that all of that travel that made your young son so sad at least left you with a prize: platinum medallion status with your airline.

Both unflinchingly funny and deeply heartfelt, Medallion Status is a thoughtful examination of status, fame, and identity--and about the way we all deal with those moments when we realize we aren't platinum status anymore and will have to get comfortable in that middle seat again.

When: Dec 21, 2019 8pm in Montague, MA
Franklin County Last Night

Come one, come all to the *FIRST EVER* Franklin County Last Night. Mark your calendars for Tuesday, December 31st from 6pm-1am at The Shea Theater Arts Center.

JOIN FACEBOOK EVENT:www.facebook.com/events/2506583962733475/Let's ring in 2020 together and support the prolific art-making born out of Franklin County. All ages welcome! #GETTOTHESHEA

When: Dec 31, 2019 6pm in Montague, MA
Jared Sims
With Charlie Kohlhase and the Saxophone Support Group

When: Apr 4, 2020 8pm in Montague, MA