HIPPO NITE Nite Roundup Phil Vassar for the Cause Local music & nightlife news Annual fundraiser series begins with country star By Michael Witthaus [email protected] By Michael Witthaus closing credits of Touchback, due for release [email protected] later this year. The film stars Kurt Russell as a former high school jock recalling the injury • Barking man: On Monday, radio and tele- Child and Family Services of New Hamp- that ended a promising football career. vision personality Scorch moves into a dog shire’s annual Concerts for the Cause kick off Vassar wrote, recorded and mixed the song cage for the week to raise money for the Ani- with a June 3 show at Manchester’s Palace The- in one day, and delivered it to Handfield that mal Rescue League of New Hampshire. To atre followed by another at the Lebanon Opera night. “Just having the ability to do some- get things started, Craving Lucy, Soundtrack House on June 4, both starring - thing like that,” he says with amazement. “At to Monday, Snake Bite and Seven States Away er Phil Vassar and Boston duo Farren-Butcher, a major label I’d have to run it up the flagpole Inc. The June 22 finale at Capitol Center for play an afternoon benefit, emceed by Chris and get 50 different people to sign off on it. the Arts in Concord is a “Blues Summit” with It would have never happened, because they Kilgore (Lords of Audio). Attend the Paws for the Robert Cray Band and opener Ronnie Earl needed it right away. It’s stuff that can get the Cause Kickoff Show on Sunday, June 5, at & the Broadcasters. done right now; I don’t’ have to ask anybody, 2:30 p.m. at Mad Bob’s Saloon, 342 Lincoln Phil Vassar is a take-charge guy. Before sell- and that’s a refreshing thing.” St. in Manchester. Tickets are $10; for more, ing his first song, he bought his own restaurant Vassar released the label’s first single on go to www.facebook.com/rock101fm. just to have a place to gig. May 23. “Let’s Get Together” is a party-ready • Gonzo squared: Protean punk twang “I was playing a bunch of clubs in Nashville record, with images of iced-down beer, rev- from The Caught Flies is paired with Yankee and developed this big following,” he said elers playing air guitar to classic rock and Phil Vassar. Courtesy photo. during a recent telephone interview. “Then Cockfight, a duo one scenester described as a driveway lined with the new country sta- I had the opportunity — this building came ple, tiki torches. “There ain’t no curfew here services for victims of abuse and neglect, trou- “punk and metal make a baby.” Given their up for sale, and one thing led to another and tonight,” Vassar sings. “We’ll worry about bled youth, children in foster care, babies at deep blues influences, the new family likely after about a year or two of negotiating, they tomorrow tomorrow.” risk and impoverished families. settled into a house near the crossroads where just about gave it to me. So I started out there He co-wrote the tune late last year with “I hope we raise a lot of money. I do a lot Robert Johnson sold his soul to the Devil. Two and stayed until I sold it and put out my first Tony Mullins (Rascal Flatts, Montgomery of benefits for kids,” says Vassar, who has two other bands round out the free (18+) show. See single.” Gentry and ) after one too daughters aged 7 and 12. “Kids are growing up The Caught Flies, Yankee Cockfight, The Old That song, 1999’s “Carlene,” reached the many snowy days in Nashville. “It was win- faster and they’re getting into things, there’s top five, and the follow-up, “Just Another more availability of drugs, it’s very scary. So Edison and Blake Patria on Friday, June 3, at ter, cold and nasty, and we were just thinking Day in Paradise,” became Vassar’s first num- about good weather,” he says. “That’s where I’m proud to be part of it.” 9 p.m. at the Green Martini, 6 Pleasant St. Ext. ber-one record. As a songwriter, he’s also the song came from, a longing for … when it in Concord (www.greenmartini.com). penned chart-topping hits for , wasn’t 20 degrees outside.” • Metal and mirth: In Manchester’s Mill Tim McGraw and . But after As the summer approaches, Vassar is back Concerts for the Cause District, comedy stars Super Secret Project five in 10 years, Vassar grew weary of in his element, his schedule filled with outdoor Phil Vassar and special guests Farren- (“Granite State of Mind”) leaven a hard rock working for the music industry, and decided to shows and festivals like the recent Suwannee Butcher, Inc. with Charlie Farren & Jon start his own label, called Rodeowave. River Jam in Florida. Butcher lineup led by Age of End, an accessible Mas- Friday, June 3, at 8 p.m. at the Palace The- “A lot of people made a lot of money and “We just played at the Preakness last week- sachusetts quartet balancing aggressive metal atre, 80 Hanover St., Manchester now there’s a shell of a business,” he says. end, it was tens of thousands of people, nuts Saturday, June 4, at 7:30 p.m. at the Leb- with melodic elements. The show, a fundrais- “They didn’t change when they had the and crazy, people drinking at 10 a.m. and all,” anon Opera House, 51 North Park St., er for cancer charity Relay for Life, is an chance, and in business there’s the quick and he says. “I get to do a lot of different venues Lebanon all-day affair featuring a total of six bands. the dead.” and it makes for different kinds of shows. “ Tickets: $39.50 Attend Rock for Cancer on Saturday, June 4, Though Vassar is Rodeowave’s only artist A loose mood will likely prevail for Vassar’s at 5 p.m. at Jillian’s, 50 Phillippe Cote St. in at the moment, he has plans to recruit talent New Hampshire appearances. “It’s always fun Robert Cray Band and special guests Manchester. Tickets are $20; for more, call in the future. — we go out there without a set list and every- Ronnie Earl & the Broadcasters 978-476-4205. “There are a lot of guys I know who aren’t one gets involved,” he says enthusiastically. Wednesday, June 22, at 7 p.m. at Capi- on a anywhere,” he says. “Which “We play songs we don’t know and anything • Heavenly Harley: A barbecue feast and a tol Center for the Arts, 44 S. Main St., is good for them — if they’re on a major label from requests, cuts, deep tracks.” Concord live performance by Christian rockers We Are they’re looking at three to four years before Charity events are a regular part of Vassar’s Tickets: $40 and $27. the Nine follows a morning bike rally, silent they even get a shot at a single.” work. This is his first effort for CFSNH, an auction and a raffle for a 2011 Harley Super A recent call Vassar received from movie organization that works on behalf of fami- $150/person VIP packages are available for Glide, with proceeds going to Manchester director Don Handfield helped the decision to lies, with a particular focus on at-risk children. both shows. Visit www.cfsnh.org for more Teen Challenge, a faith-based drug recovery go it alone. Handfield needed a song for the All the money raised will be spent locally on information. program. Attend the Teen Challenge Bike Ral- ly with We Are the Nine on Saturday, June 5, at Manchester Harley Davidson, 115 John E. Stack ’em up Devine Drive in Manchester. Registration at Shana Stack Band making all the pieces fit 10 a.m., ride begins at 11 a.m. For more infor- By Michael Witthaus provides the band’s songwriting power. A Nash- Cellular Pavilion show on Sept. 24. mation, call 647-7770. [email protected] ville veteran who grew up on George Jones and “Reba’s not bringing an opening act; she • Local color: The Londonderry High Merle Haggard, Leavitt knows his subjects. A has such a huge stage that it literally takes an School Jazz Ensemble performs in the first of Unlike many musical genres, a good coun- ballad, “Pleasure and Pain,” explores the for- entire day to set up,” said Leavitt recently dur- try song leads with melody and lets the beat a free concert series that over the summer will bidden affair of a “soccer mom” and her former ing a break from rehearsals in their drummer’s follow. With the Shana Stack Band, it begins college flame, while the upbeat “Perfect Pair” (a Newport garage. “So we’re playing on the side feature indie darlings Tripping Lily, folkie Liz with a crisp lead guitar, the kind perfected by co-write with frequent collaborator Pat Kelley) stage, but we’re technically the opener.” Longley, sax player David Milazzo and Jim- Vince Gill and Brad Paisley, coupled with the celebrates a quirky love that’s likened to “Bon- The group includes Stack and Leavitt (who my Buffett cover band The Coconut Monkeys. sultry sway of pedal steel. Then the rhythm nie and Clyde, Sonny and Cher.” also plays rhythm guitar) sharing lead vocals. The kickoff show also includes a performance kicks in, guided by gentle acoustic strumming. The songs are part of a CD the band hopes Drummer Rick Leavitt (Ed’s brother) and vet- by the new LHS Rock Orchestra. See the Lon- That’s Shana Stack’s moment, as she steps to release by July or August in support of a eran bass player Kevin Miller form the rhythm donderry High Music Showcase on Monday, up to the microphone and begins to sing. busy summer schedule filled with several out- section, with Ed Sanchez on lead guitar and Ultimately, though, a memorable tune is July 6, at the Town Common in Londonderry. door shows in places like Sunapee, Antrim and backing vocals. The many varying influenc- all about emotion, as any crooner from Pat- Hanover. The season ends with the band on the es make the group greater than the sum of For information on this and future shows, go sy to Reba will attest, and it’s Ed Leavitt who bill for Reba McIntire’s Meadowbrook U.S. its parts. Miller comes from a rock and roll to www.londonderryculture.org.

Hippo | June 2 - 8, 2011 | Page 50 Sign up now for our summer nite Program dance floor and kept everyone Cleanse drinking,” Stack recalls. “At Lose weight, feel great and learn how to the end of the night, we were change your health habits for life. booked for four more gigs — and we got extra money, Tuesdays at 6:30p.m. which never ever happens.” Class size is limited. Call now to register. The band earned the Mead- owbrook gig through tenacity 228-0407 and hard work, sending vid- Take the Pledge eos and song samples to venue Learn About Degrees in the 603 June 7, 14, 21 & 28 management and engaging in a lengthy negotiation. Fans Win Cool Stuff & Money for College

wishing to get up close and Visit www.iamcollegebound.org personal with the headlin- er, whether to gush about a 068375 46 S. Main St., Concord, NH • (603) 228-0407 Registered Users Enter Code: HIPPO www.concordnaturopathic.com favorite song or ask to have 069858 Shana Stack Band. Courtesy photo by Kendal Bush a cherished piece of memo- rabilia signed, are advised to background, having opened for the Who and buy tickets using the special Steppenwolf. promotional code SSTSSB, which will auto- Sanchez studied classical guitar in college, matically enter them for a chance to win a but he’s a full covert now: “It’s all about the meet and greet with McIntire at the show. Telecaster,” he says with a laugh. The band members themselves are fans Eibner, on the other hand, claims to have hated and are eagerly anticipating the early fall until he heard nascent Americana show. Stack’s husband celebrated by picking bands like New Riders of the Purple Sage, Poco up a Reba Signature Barbie doll at Wal-Mart, and Gram Parsons in the early 1970s. hoping the star will autograph it. “He loves The Leavitt brothers represent the old- Reba,” says Stack. school contingent, having formed their first country band as teenagers. From her vantage point as afternoon DJ on Shana Stack Band country station WINK-FM in Keene, Stack Friday, June 3, at 9 p.m. at the Chop Shop Over 400 Selections of Beer, Cider and Mead keeps an eye on emerging hits for the band Pub and Grub, 920 Lafayette Road in 1100 Hooksett Rd, Hooksett NH, 03106 (NH-28/US-3, next to Bull Run) to cover. The latest addition to the set list is Seabrook (760-7706) ’s “My Kinda Party.” Saturday, June 4, at 11 a.m. at the 27th 603.413.5992 | www.BertsBetterBeers.com Playing out, they’re able to mix a larger Annual WOKQ Chowder Festival in 070028 number of originals than a lot of other bands. Prescott Park, Portsmouth (rain date Sun- McCue’s Billiards in Keene is a regular stop, day, June 5) but their first time through they were warned Saturday, June 11, at 9 p.m. at Midnight to stick to covers — which they did for the Rodeo Bar (Yard Restaurant), 1211 South Please oh please Mammoth Road in Manchester (703-8444) most part. “But our stuff got people on the take me to Superdogs today! CONCERTS

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