The summer festival season shifts to the Berkshire foothills as the Green River Festival takes over the fields of Greenfield Community College the next three days. Friday kicks off with local favorite Josh Ritter and his band, Birds of Chicago, Amy Helm (daughter of Levon) and local string upstarts Twisted Pine before Saturday goes all out with crowd-pleasers Michael Franti and Spearhead, rockers Dr. Dog and Deer Tick, Afrobeat scion Femi Kuti, indie-pop songstress Lucy Dacus, jammy keyboardist Marco Benevento and many others. Sunday rounds out with roots revivalists Old Crow Medicine Show, I’m With Her (jump to my recent inverview here), Robert Earl Keen, Ballroom Thieves and others. And best of all, catch hot-air balloons rising to the music in the early evenings, including a balloon glow planned about 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Here’s the lowdown.
If you’re hanging in Boston, you won’t find a more wild and wooly Friday bill than heavy 2016 Rumble winners Worshipper (perhaps springing their new cover of Uriah Heep’s “Easy Livin”), noir-punk combo the Devil’s Twins, roots rawkers Tigerman Woah and blues-rockers Heavy Necker, all getting down at Once in Somerville. Soulful standout Ali McGuirk heads a Friday night bill at the Sinclair, which resurrects electropop outfit Freezepop and synth-funk rockers Party Bois on Saturday. And local bands shine at Somerville’s ArtBeat Festival in Davis Square on Saturday, starting early in the afternoon with a highlight of instrumental eclecticists Matthew Stubbs and the Antiguas with blues singer Julie Rhodes and rolling into an evening finish with psych-country siren Hayley Thompson-King and hip-hop heroes the Perceptionists. Here’s more info on that.
Saturday also brings the retweaked second-line sounds of New Orleans to the Lowell Summer Music series with the Rebirth Brass Band at Boarding House Park. And the night’s big concert event will be bluesy jam-rockers Gov’t Mule (pictured), with guitarist Warren Haynes’ outfit presenting its rare Pink Floyd tribute Dark Side of the Mule, last staged locally at the Orpheum for Halloween 2008) and anthemic roots-rock family the Avett Brothers at Mansfield’s Xfinity Center.
Country outlaw Jamey Johnson hits Indian Ranch on Sunday afternoon, while the night belongs to the chameleonic, Grammy-winning Beck, who brings his frisky, hip and atmospheric amalgam of folk, pop and funk to Blue Hills Bank Pavilion.