The Gaslight Tinkers’ music has always defied easy labeling. Since forming in 2012, the way the band blends Afro-pop, funk and reggae beats with traditional New England, old-time and Celtic fiddle music sets them apart from any other band in the local scene. . From the start, the audience responded to the upbeat music they created, which always led to lots of twirling and twirling on the dance floor.
There’s an undeniable burst of positive energy when the Gaslight Tinkers take the stage, so get ready for feel-good vibes when the band perform a Halloween show at the Shea Theater Arts Center in Turners Falls on Saturday, October 29. at 8 pm Costumes are strongly encouraged.
This show is also an informal record release for the band’s new album, “Gaslight Tinkers II”. They soft-released the album in June to coincide with their Green River Festival appearance and are now working hard to get it to more listeners.
The band describes this new album as the next chapter in the Gaslight Tinkers sound. It’s the sequel to their self-titled seven-song EP released in 2015. At that time, the band consisted of founding members: bassist Garrett Sawyer, guitarist and vocalist Peter Siegel, violinist Zoe Darrow and drummer Dave Noonan. There have been lineup changes since then with Siegel and Sawyer the only original members remaining.
With line-up changes and a pandemic to deal with, it’s easy to see why this record took five years to prepare.
“The CD is almost like a retrospective of the band over the past five years,” Siegel said in a recent phone conversation. “The CD features Audrey Knuth on fiddle, along with vocalist I-Shea, who joined the band in 2018, and Choc’late Allen, who sings quite a bit with us. There’s stuff on there that I listen to and it’s like ‘oh wow, I remember when we did that.’
Joe Fitzpatrick, who is known for his work with many local bands, is now the band’s drummer and performs on the album.
Siegel, originally from Brattleboro, has a background in folk music. He started the band with Sawyer, who has a long history in reggae and world music. Their goal was to combine their different musical influences and create music that fused various divergent styles. They succeeded in this goal, and there is an even wider range of styles on the new album.
“There (are) definitely more styles out there,” Siegel said. “I think I-Shea brought so many other different Caribbean styles. We used to do a lot of calypso and Afrobeat before, but part of I-Shea’s heritage is that his family is from the Dominican Republic. , and she can sing in Spanish so we branched out into a bit more Puerto Rican and Dominican Republic sounds and even classic rock.
With his strong voice, skillful drumming and dynamic stage presence, I-Shea was a welcome addition to the group. Siegel agrees that she boosts the energy level of the already energetic band.
Choc’late Allen, who is originally from Trinidad, occasionally sings with the band and his Calypso-style voice also adds a lot to the band. “We know about Choc’late because Garrett cut his teeth playing Calypso In Trinidad with his family who are Calypso royalty in Trinidad. The Tinkers toured Trinidad a few years ago and worked with Allen, and then when she came here, we had her join the band.
Then there is fiddler Audrey Knuth who joined the band when Darrow left and also plays in the typical Scottish fiddle style. Knuth moved to California shortly after joining the band, but remains a member. She appeared on the album and performs with the band when they are on tour, particularly playing counter dances, which is her specialty and something the Tinkers do on occasion. Knuth contributed a beautiful version of the old folk song “Hush a Bye” to the record.
“Audrey had never really sung before, and we asked her to find a song that she knew very well and she chose that song and we recorded a very sparring version of it. Garrett is such a sound engineer that he turned it into a very ethereal song unlike any of the many other versions that have been done before.
You’ll find that “Gaslight Tinkers II” is a mix of sounds that reflects the evolving, ever-changing nature of the band and all of the diverse influences that each member brings to the table.
“When I started this band with Garrett, I really wanted it to be a collective experience where we use all of our expertise in these different genres and come up with something that’s very authentic that holds all of these different traditions and is true to each of them. between them traditions,” Siegel said. “When I-Shea came into the band in particular, I wanted it to feel more like a collective than a band because we’re all contributing and all evolving that in some way. any way.”
Siegel went on to point out that he is not the leader of the group and that everyone contributes equally. This is most evident in their live broadcasts which may feature changing programming.
“Because Garrett and I can cover so many different genres, it’s exciting to take the songs we play and play them differently each time,” Siegel said of the band’s gigs. “So it’s always an evolution and it’s always changing. I almost feel like calling us the Gaslight Tinkers Collective.
The lineup for this show will include Siegel, Sawyer, Fitzpatrick, Emerald Rae, I-Shea and Choc’late. Siegel mentioned that they don’t do a lot of local shows, so catch them while you can. The DiTrani Brothers, who play music heavily influenced by 1920s and 1930s jazz, and music from Eastern Europe and the Balkans, will open. Siegel chose the band himself. “They’re from Brattleboro and they fit in perfectly with our vibe and I think it’s going to be a great night, it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
For tickets, visit: https://www.showclix.com/event/gaslight-tinkers-and-ditrani-brothers. Doors open at 7 p.m. All ages. $20 in advance / $28 at the door.
Jimmy Can’t Quit, the ultimate cover band, will be on hand to host the Halloween costume party at the Hawks and Reed Performing Arts Center in Greenfield on Saturday, October 29 at 8 p.m. Tickets are available at hawksandreed.com or at the door. The venue also announced that Jimmy Can’t Quit would be one of the bands playing at their New Year’s Eve party.
There will be a queer dance party at ‘Voo in Turners Falls on Saturday starting at 9 p.m. with music provided by DJ Longlegs and DJ Callus. There will be a costume contest, full bar and snacks. Suggested donation of $5.
Hitchcock Brewing Company in Bernardston will hold its second annual Halloween party on Saturday evening. There will be a costume contest with prizes for first, second and third place. Music will be provided by Afterglo who will play your favorite classic rock tunes from 6-9 p.m. This is a 21+ event.
Ten Forward in Greenfield is hosting two Halloween parties this weekend. Friday night is a costume party with music from local avant-garde rock band, The Leafies You Gave Me. Experimental music creator Ron Shalom from New York will also perform. The party continues Saturday night. DJ Jake Mission Meginsky will provide music for this show. Ron Shalom will return, and that night he will perform in his Minivan Soundsystem pop/drag persona. Again, costumes are encouraged, and there will be a costume show and contest. 8 p.m. start time, both nights.
There will be a Halloween costume party with Lady Pop at Deja Brew Cafe & Pub in Wendell on Saturday, starting at 7 p.m. Best costume award.
Sheryl Hunter is a freelance writer who resides in Easthampton. His work has appeared in various regional and national publications. She can be contacted at [email protected].