“I was fortunate enough to see these amazing musicians last night,” Shelly Mayer said, “at a little ‘best kept secret’ type of place off the beaten path.” That review was referring to the band Upstate, which is playing at another “best kept secret” type of venue soon, the Weston Playhouse Theatre Company’s Walker Farm Music Series.
Nationally known musicians will be in Weston, performing at 7:30 p.m. Saturdays, Jan. 18, Feb. 1, 22, and March 14. Including Upstate, which Mayer called, “very entertaining. The lyrics range from deep and relatable to fun. I didn’t want the show to end.”
Jed Hughes, music curator, put together the series of eclectic shows, all of which are “pay what you can” events. The tagline of the series is “celebrating the classics, nurturing the new,” and the process of choosing the bands began back in August.
Hughes wrote by email, “In our second year, we decided the series should incorporate bands who are currently relevant, original, high-energy bands, while looking for that crossover appeal for the multi generations.”
First in the series, on Jan. 18, is jazzy Kat Wright, whose dynamic voice has been called “gritty but nuanced … a young Bonnie Raitt meets Amy Winehouse.” Her stage presence and originality makes for an entertaining and very watchable show. “Wright sings gently like a heartache’s apology,” her website states. “It’s funky in spots and beautiful all over. And it hurts a little … like it should.”
Next up is the unusual band Carrie Nation & The Speakeasy, a blend of brass, folk and punk. Mandolin, trumpet, drums, acoustic guitar and standup bass back a gravelly kind of voice you’ve never heard before and a mass of thought-provoking lyrics. Over the past 11 years, CNS has performed their brand of “brass ’n’ grass” in 49 states and eight countries. Check them out Feb. 1.
Sugartone Brass Band, which takes the stage Feb. 22, has been on the brass band scene in New York City for more than a decade. The band got its start in a basement studio in Brooklyn and soon after started its first residency at the Gin Mill on Amsterdam Avenue with its “New Orleans brass through and through.”
Finishing the series March 14 is Upstate, which first emerged from New York’s Hudson Valley in 2015 with its critically acclaimed debut album, “A Remedy.” The Alt called the band “contagious and fun,” and the album earned the band festival performances from Mountain Jam to FreshGrass, as well as a slew of national headline dates and support slots.
“We’re excited to have some strong female leads and horns. Lots of horns!” Hughes said. “We’re hoping to see most of the community out there on the dance floor.”