Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Taste of the Bayou in the Canal District: Paulie’s big festival moves its acts

Like most kids of the ‘70s and ‘80s, Paulie Collyer grew up listening to stations such as WZLX to get the daily allowance of The Who, Led Zeppelin, Clapton and the Rolling Stones. He liked classic rock, and never branched out much in his tastes. Collyer went to New Orleans in 1981 for the first time. He was 17, and thought it was cool to have a beer in the morning, but didn’t think much of it.

But in 2007, touched by Katrina, he started turning his eye toward the area. Many of his friends had made the annual trek down there for its jazz festival, and Collyer decided to join them.

 “They said, ‘Just go. Van Morrison is playing,” said Collyer. “I was in my late 40s and the city just took me over. I saw everything. There are so many different types of music. Here, we have lots of heavy metal and things, but in New Orleans there are so many different types. Now, I listen to WCUW on Friday nights. It just took me over. I started to listen to new music, and my neighborhood needed something.”

Maybe he wouldn’t transform his neighborhood into a hopping zone where women lifted their shirts for beads, but he sure could bring on a party. In 2008, when Collyer started his jazz and blues festival in Worcester, he did it just because he “wanted to throw a good party for his neighbors.” He popped up some tents in a parking lot that he owned on Chandler Street in Worcester, booked some local bands, and some 300 people showed up. Seven years later, and his event has moved twice, this year for the first time to the Canal District.

Centered around the field in front of Crompton Collective, Paulie’s New Orleans Jazz and Blues Festival spans three days and features more than 15 national, regional and local acts. “It’s going to be very interesting for Kelley Square that weekend,” said Collyer. “I had a hard time looking for a new space. The Canal Alliance approached me and said, ‘Hey, why don’t you bring it down here?’ There aren’t a lot of spaces in the city, really, since we sell food and need a three-day liquor permit. I was looking for the route of least resistance, and they came at me with a private lot to use and were very receptive to the idea.”

 The Bobby Paltauf Band and Mem Shannon and the Membership kick off the festival, opening for Friday night’s headliner Roomful of Blues, the eight-piece powerhouse known for its kicking horn section and punching mix of R&B and blues.

 Big Al Carson and the Blues Masters kick off the music at noon on Saturday. Carson, before taking to the front of the stage, started out at a young age on the tuba, joining some of New Orleans’ best brass sections. Billy Iuso and the Restless Natives, which formed in 2002 in New Orleans, play a mix of originals in the jam and funk vein from 2-4 p.m. The Honey Island Swamp Band, which plays what is described as “Bayou Americana,” goes on at 4 p.m. and Eric Lindell and the Sunliners follow. Guitarist George Porter Jr. and his band the Runnin’ Pardners light it up before Saturday’s headliner, Marcia Ball, performs. Singer and pianist Ball pulls in elements Zydeco, Louisiana and swamp blues and boogie boogie.

 Buckwheat Zydeco headlines Sunday, with openers that include Little Freddie King and Big Chief Juan Pardo& The Golden Commanches.

 “The festival is Louisiana-centric, with an emphasis on New Orleans,” said Collyer. “Buckwhat is closing out the show. He’s from Lafayette. He won a Grammy a few years ago. From Big Jon Short to Marcia Ball, there isn’t a weak link in the whole bunch. We have a potpourri of Zydeco, funk, blues and New Orleans jazz. This is a who’s who of New Orleans. The first year, I had the local guys and slowly developed it. I wanted an authentic Louisiana festival. It’s like painting your house; you want to have good lines and everything.”

 Get lots of information on bands, food, vendors and more, right here:

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Accept the Challenge - the comics challenge at WAM

Do you have the creative and physical stamina to draw a 24-page cartoon story in 24 hours? Find out this weekend at the third annual 24-Hour Comics Day Challenge at WAM, which happens Saturday, Oct. 2 through Sunday, Oct. 3 - 3 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Artists of all ages will pack into WAM's classroom studios to participate in this international comic marathon, which was developed by Comics Professional Retail Organization (Comics PRO). Photographs of completed works will be submitted to Comics PRO for consideration in their annual 24-Hour Comics Day Anthology.

WAM will also offer 3-hour and 8-hour challenges that start at 3pm. All completed works will be displayed in the Higgins Education Wing until Friday, October 29. The cost to participate is $5 per person, and pre-registration is required. All artists under 18 years old must be accompanied by an adult. Register online or by calling 508- 793-4333. This event is sponsored by Boom! Studios.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Event notes, Sept. 10, 2010

Friday, the Jennifer Lee band is rocking Creegan’s; the Brooks Milgate Quartet is at Clark University with an early show at 7:30 p.m.; the Phreaks headline Tammany Hall; Donny Dark and the Black Souls crank out AM Gold ‘70s tunes at the Celtic Tavern in Northboro; Last Call is at Dante’s, which is in the back of Firefly’s in Marlboro; Crumb, White Chocolate and Danny Bedrosian and the Secret Army make it an all out funkathon at the Lucky Dog.

Saturday, there’s a jazz jam at 2 p.m. at the NuCafe; Niki Luparelli and Dan Burke team up for another night of the Speakeasy Combo at Nick’s; it’s a phenomenal pop lineup with Sanveen, Hey Now Morris Fader, Pako and Thinner at the Lucky Dog; MSB is at Boston Billiards.

Other events:

Friday, through 8 p.m., Isador’s celebrates four years. Located in Oxford, you can drop by for samples, giveaways and a chance to congratulate them.

Saturday, it’s CanalFest. In and around the Canal District – Water Street, Harding Street, Millbury Street and Green Street – enjoy food, live music, vendors, contests and a lot more.

Sunday marks the 12th annual Pet Rock Festival, held noon to 5 p.m. at Quinsigamond Community College. It features live music by Charlie Farren, Jon Butcher, Ian Mitchell’s Bay City Rollers and many more. Also food, vendors, speakers, doggie water park, adoptable pet parade, contests and a lot more. Log on to for a full lineup.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Event notes, aug. 27, 2010

Friday, Panache plays outside at the Oxhead Tavern at 7 p.m.; Subculture Zero shares the bill with Polluted Remains at The Raven; Groove Street’s at JJ’s in Northboro; Jon LaCouture plays every Friday at Art’s Diner; Phase II rocks the Cannery; Trina Vargas sings with the fantastic Bobby Gadoury Trio at Nick’s; Under Pressure’s cooking at Classic’s Pub; CJ Hudson is the headliner at Tammany Hall; Mocha Java regroups at Beatnik’s; the Faith No More tribute Angel Dust is the headliner at The Lucky Dog Music Hall, supported by Burn the Witch, Mafia Bonghit and Mike and Amanda; and Dawn of the Dead joins Toxic Avenger at Ralph’s.

Saturday, Toni Knott and Marc Smith are together at the Gardner Ale House; The Nightlife Band plays outside at the Oxhead Tavern; Shryne for the Love of Sloan is at The Raven; New Pond Fondle is back out at Partner’s Pub in Fitchburg; Whalebone Farmhouse hits the Sahara Restaurant; One Step Further joins the Tone Deffs and Kenny Crisis at the Lucky Dog Music Hall; Andy Cummings sings some hits at Vincent’s; The Mike Crandall Band jams at Beatnik’s; Mindset X and lots more are at the Get Your Rock On Festival out in Dover, New Hampshire, which continues on Sunday at the Dover Brickhouse. Apparently, scouts from Capitol Records will be there.
Sunday, Chet Williamson plays the Jazz on the Patio series in the afternoon at the Castle Restaurant.

Other events:

Friday is the opening reception of Love Hope Sex Dreams by Don Hartmann is from 6-8 p.m. on August 27 at the Aurora Gallery, 660 Main Street, Worcester. It is free, open to the public and refreshments are provided.

On Saturday, Indian Ranch holds its summer brewfest all day – sample microbrews from the area, and beyond. Also, the Millbury Fire Department holds its annual field day at the Shaw Elementary School with food, demonstrations and performances by lots of artists, including Ayla Brown.

Remember the Worcester Cultural Coalition’s Art in the Park is happening through October at Elm Park.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Event listings, Friday, Aug. 20, 2010

Friday, The Bee’s Knees join the bill with the Hurricane Horns, Touch 2 Much and the Dave Rivers Group for the Ed Lindberg Benefit Concert at Ralph’s - On July 2, 2010, Eddie was struck and killed by a drunk driver while riding his Harley home. The proceeds from this benefit show will all go to help his mother deal with this terrible burden; Jubilee Gardens is at Amazing Things Art Center in Framingham; Brett and Lisa sing at Point Breeze in Webster; Touched is at Chopsticks in Leominster; Guitar Shorty’s rocking it blues style at the Bull Run; and Steve Foley is at the Black Sheep Tavern in Sterling.

Saturday, Scott Ricciuti is out at Scully’s in Marlboro; Jefferson Starship is headlining Indian Ranch; Sins of America joins Demons Alley and Genre at the Raven; Auntie Trainwreck is rocking the Kaz Bar; harp legend Babe Pino brings his blues band to Greendale’s Pub; The Eisman Hunter Band is playing at Cigar Masters; The Numbskulls headline the Vernon Hotel; The Issues, formerly known as Mood Disorder, return to JJ’s in Northboro; First Class Fool pays tribute to Rod Stewart at Speakers in Marlboro; and Sinfest includes Crazy Train and Primal Scream at Break-Away Billiards.

Synergy’s the cover band for the weekend at Sakura Tokyo, playing both Friday and Saturday night.
Sunday, there’s a hip hop show at Tammany Hall with the Freelance Assassins.
Next Tuesday, Lousy Instruments perform with the Numbskulls, the Closers and Mack the Knight at Ralph’s.
Other events:
Henry Fest is happening Friday, starting at 5 p.m. at the VFW in Millbury. Henry Fest is to help pay hospital bills for Henry, the yellow lab who is a therapy dog at the McGrath School. Bills totaled more than $4,000 to repair his leg, and he’s hoping to get back on those paws again soon and help the kids at school. Henry Fest includes a chicken barbecue, raffles, music and of course meeting Henry, who is coming along nicely in his recovery.

Also Friday, Salem Cross Inn in West Brookfield is hosting a CSI New England Murder Mystery Dinner Theater.

Mount Wachusett Community College theater group is putting on The Wedding Singer with shows on Friday and Saturday.

Saturday, the annual Latin American Festival takes over downtown starting at noon and continuing through 9 p.m. This popular event features great Latin American food, vendors and of course music.

On Sunday, it’s a picnic with 19th century flair at Fruitlands Museum in Harvard with Alcott’s Family Picnic, starting at noon.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Event notes Aug. 13, 2010

Friday, Cloud Nine does an outdoor show at Oxhead Tavern in Sturbridge, starting at 7 p.m.; Jazzed Up plays every Friday at Luciano’s Cotton Club, located in Union Station; Scarlitt headlines Tammany Hall; Seams to Reason, Seven Minute Stagger and more team up for a heavy night of rock at the Lucky Dog Music Hall; Gorilla Radio is with Rare Breed at Beatnik’s; Mack the Knife’s with Go!, the Clozapines and Hello Ninja at Ralph’s.

Saturday, the Electrolux Combo returns to Vincent’s; in the afternoon at the Lucky Dog there is a femme show, starting at 3 p.m., followed by the night’s lineup, which has the return of Spit Shine at the helm, joining Deep Six and Three Years Gone; Herra Terra, Ghost Ocean, the Organ Beats and Desperate Strangers share the stage at Ralph’s; Guns of Navarone are with Rikki Rocksteady at Beatnik’s; Sun Jones and Doghouse Flowers are out in Fitchburg at Partner’s Pub; the Allens return to Speaker’s Nightclub in Marlboro; Lonestar headlines Indian Ranch with an afternoon show.

Touched rocks Sakura Tokyo Friday and Saturday night.

Other events:
On Friday, Life and the Art(s) of Improvisation" takes place at 6 p.m. at ArtsWorcester. The event pairs musicians and artists Lennie Peterson and Mark Campbell to discuss and demonstrate the improvisational creative process blending visual art and music.

The Worcester World Cup takes place Friday through Sunday at Foley Stadium. Check out the Worcester World Cup facebook page for information and times of games.
Illustrations by Doug Chapel and photographs by Joan Gage are on display through September at the Futon Company on Highland Street in a show called “Welcome to Worcester.”

Saturday, the 61st annual antique auction starts at 10 a.m. on the Sturbridge Common.

The famous Bolton Fair is taking place at the Lancaster Fairgrounds throughout the weekend. Also throughout the weekend, Sturbridge Village is all about textiles.
Next Friday afternoon, Aug. 20, Hat On, Drinking Wine is the featured act at the Out to Lunch concert series, taking place at noon at City Hall Plaza.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Event notes Aug. 6, 2010

Friday, Castine, Hot Protestants and Eolune join the Ten Foot Polecats at Ralph’s; Sheez Late joins the Classic Ruins at Beatnik’s.

Saturday, Hey Now Morris Fader joins This Burning World, Stone Crusher, Leaving Eden and Hard No. 9 at Ralph’s; Touched rocks the Oxhead Tavern; Beatles for Sale is at the Grafton Inn; Ric Porter and the Sons of Soil return to Vincent’s; The Phreaks are at Irish Times; Lisa and Brett sing at Val’s in Holden.

On Friday and Saturday, the Transmission Festival brings in a ton of bands including Silverstein, Story of the Year, Crime in Stereo and Call the Cops to the Palladium. Check out their website for a list and details.

Other events:

On Saturday, the Puttin’ for Paws golf tournament happens at Cyprian Keyes in Boylston. This tournament benefits the Worcester Animal Rescue League.
On Sunday, it’s Art in the Parking lot, the parking lot being that of the Sole Proprietor’s. This free event from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. includes vendors and artists, demos, chalk art, breakdancing, live music, and Art in the Park sculptures.