Category Archives: Block Party
Yes, there were massive crowds on the street, but the the 150+ people I appreciated most were the folks who came in to encourage me with my battle with cancer and the attack by a gangrenous appendix. Tugboat Captain Doug walked right up to me behind the desk to give me a big bear hug. I thought I was going to get mugged, as he was clean shaven and unrecognized at first. City Councilor Sepatia thrust my rollator/walker aside to give another hug and kind words. Reiki Master Karen Pischke made a promise to bring the resources of her Dreamtime Wellness treatment to me at home. Shelley (with PT/OT calzones) from Den-Mar Rehab, one of my prime physical therapists, came by with half a dozen of her best friends,. Then three nurses from Mass General charged in and offered their support too.
I’d like to thank Valerie Marcley, long time organizer in charge of the Block Parties, for her hard work on the event, her sensitivity, and for being a good friend. She was there cleaning up long after I had gone home. Lastly, I want to mention my “Gyotaku” fish print artist Patrick Horgan, who just happened in from Seabrook, N.H. I convinced him to set up his display outside the gallery. It’s always a pleasure to work with Pat, and he escorted and drove me safely thru the darkness to the refuge of my home in Rockport. Cape Ann is a very special community that cares. They’ll always have your back.
What will they think of next? Circus performers, Dancers, Hula Hoops, Mary Poppins, Reptiles and more invade Main Street tomorrow night for this summer’s second block party — and what an extravaganza it will be (more info here).
Here’s a list of participating restaurants & merchants. Remember to make reservations if you want to get a table.
Everything you need to enjoy a night on the town in beautiful Gloucester!
Put A Good Buzz On – Allen Estes and Will Hunt at the Gloucester Block Party July 2014
Cape Ann TV Video shot by Chris Mullen, Steven Essery, James Frye, John Walker, Dylan Benson and Jim Capillo. Edited by Jim Capillo
Part Two of My Article for the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism Featuring Gloucester’s HarborTown Cultural District
Friday was an especially terrific day for me as my article for Cape Ann Magazine hit the newsstands and later in the day, I learned that part two of my article for the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism, “Gloucester Harbortown Cultural District,” was posted on the MOTT blog, Mass Finds.
I was completely taken by surprise that my photo was chosen for the cover of Cape Ann Magazine and just happened to be in Joey’s office down at the dock when Andrea Holdbook, CAMag’s editor-in-chief posted on goolge that the summer issue had hit the stands. It was especially fun to share the news with Joey because he provides a tremendous forum here on GMG highlighting all the good happenings and events in our community, and because he is so supportive towards all his contributors.
Yesterday I posted an excerpt from Cape Ann Magazine’s “Cape Ann to Mexico: The Monarch Butterfly Connection,” and the following is an excerpt from the MOTT article. Please share with your friends. Thank you! Part One is posted here.
Gloucester HarborTown Cultural District
By Kim Smith
The last days of winter and first days of spring herald the beginning of the nine-day novena leading up to the Feast of St. Joseph, which always takes place on March 19th. With its thriving Sicilian American community, Gloucester is one of only a handful of American cities that celebrates the Feast of San Giuseppe with traditional Sicilian customs. Homes are decorated with altars devoted to the patron saint of the poor and orphaned, and a special trolley takes everyone who is interested around the city to view the altars of San Giuseppe. Special Saint Joseph bread, oranges, and lemons are given to all who come, while everyone eagerly anticipates the coming feast day.
Summertime is Gloucester’s high season. The city is alive with nightly live music, an embarrassment of riches in fabulous restaurants, and bustling shops and galleries. On specially designated nights, Main Street is closed to traffic and the entire town becomes one giant block party. Restaurants open onto the street, merchant booths appear, shops have special offerings, and there are street performers and family-friendly activities at every corner.
Bill and Mayor Carolyn Kirk Family and Friends at the Block Party
In August the tall ships arrive from around the world to participate in Gloucester’s Schooner Festival. “Le Beauport,” Gloucester’s beautiful working harbor, is the backdrop for the races and parades of these magnificent traditional fishing vessels designed during the age of sail. The afternoon lobster bake, nighttime nautical Parade of Lights, and fireworks that brilliantly illuminate the harbor are just some of the fun family-friendly activities that take place during the three-day long Schooner Festival.
George and Charles Ryan at the First Annual Schooner Festival Lobster Bake
Don’t miss the opportunity to take a sunset tour of Gloucester Harbor aboard one of the exquisite schooners built by the living legendary ship builder and National Heritage fellow, Harold Burnham, on either the 65-foot Thomas E. Lannon with Captain Tom Ellis or the Pinky Schooner, operated out of Maritime Gloucester.
My favorite event of the summer is the annual St. Peter’s Fiesta, with both its deeply religious aspect of honoring St. Peter, the patron saint of fishermen, and the jubilant festivities that take place throughout the city during the five-day celebration. Read More Here.
As we head into Gloucester’s spring/summer/fall busy season, I’m glad he brought this topic up because that’s often when musicians are asked to play for free in return for “exposure.”
I don’t expect musicians to perform for free, because I don’t work for free. Actually, the last time I asked any musician to play without pay (except for passing the hat) was when Vickie and I were helping organize the first Block Parties in 2008, at which I played for free too. And that was only because everyone involved in starting the Block Parties donated their time. By last year (could have been 2012) the Block Parties had evolved to the point where the Block Party Committee raises money and pays musicians.
Don’t get me wrong, I do volunteer my time for various causes that I feel are worthwhile — and I sometimes work for trade. But in every trade case, I’m getting something in return for my work — something of equal value to the value of my work.
Next time somebody asks you to play for free, ask “What am I getting in trade?” If the answer is something like, “Oh, you’ll get great exposure,” my advice is just say no.
Lugging your gear into your car, driving to the venue, setting up, breaking down, loading your gear back into your car and driving home would be enough to demand some pay (at least what stage hands get). Then there’s performing, which (among other things) requires years of practice, tremendous dedication, a willingness to trust your artistic instincts and … talent. That should be reserved only for those occasions where the people who’ve asked you to perform value the fact that you’re digging deeper into the human soul than most people ever get and sharing what you find with the rest of us.
I could rattle off a dozen reasons why mere “exposure” is no where near enough compensation for performing — and the first one that comes to mind is that if you’re playing anywhere on Cape Ann, you can get plenty of free exposure right here on GMG and on gimmesound.com.
Plus, because you don’t want to play to an empty room, you’ll probably plug the event on your own social media pages, which gets free exposure for the people who’ve asked you to perform in the first place.
Feel free to share this post with everybody who asks you to play for free …
I know, this is really out of left field, but here goes: In 1974 I discovered the re-release of “Soul of a City Boy” by Jesse Colin Young that had been released for the first time ten years earlier, but didn’t sell then. This LP was recorded in a single 4 hour session at A&R Studios in NYC. Just Young (22 at the time) and his guitar. It remains one of my favorite albums. There’s something haunting, almost mesmerizing about his voice and guitar on this record with six of his originals and 5 covers. One of my favorites of his covers is “Rye Whisky” — and that just happens to be the featured liquor for Saturday’s final Ryan & Wood Cocktail Contest. Back in 1974, when you got a new album, you put it on the stereo, sat on the floor and stared at the cover while it played. Nobody does that anymore. But here’s the next best thing: Watch this video of “Rye Whisky” by Jesse Colin Young. Mostly you’ll just see the Soul of a City Boy cover. Did anybody else do this? Remember what it was like to immerse yourself in your newest purchase from the record store?
This Block Party features some excellent music (details by stage here; details by time here). Be sure to check out Alexandra Valenti (here’s a recent post about this endearing, young, rising star). By the time she’s 22, she might be as good as Jesse Colin Young was.
September’s Block party highlights a variety of entertainment with an emphasis on women performers. In addition to Willie Alexander, Karen Ristuben and Mo Bounce, emerging new talent such as Marina Evans and Alexandra Valenti will fill five stages.
Main Street restaurants serve outside and the stores are open late for shopping. Youngsters are entertained in Kids’ Town.
The third & final Ryan and Wood Distillery Block Party Cocktail contest will feature Rye Whiskey for the September party. Restaurant patrons may enjoy a sample and vote for their favorite creation at the Ryan and Wood information table.
- The July winner was Alchemy Bistro’s “Simpler Tides” created by mixologist Felicia Grossi.
- August winner was Dog Bar’s “Knockabout Jell-O™ Shots” created by mixologist Misty Baker.
The popular contest will continue in September.
September 21 Entertainment
- 6:00 PM – Bonnie Barrish – Romantic concert piano compositions
- 6:45 PM – Toni Ann Enes – Original folk to rock to diva!
- 7:30 PM – Deb Hardy- Dynamic Rockport singer-songwriter
- 8:30 PM – Bradley Royds- X-tra-ordinary guitar and songs
- 6:00 PM – Naoya and Yuri featuring Jamie Song – Japanese pop!
- 6:30 PM – Bill Gleason – Acoustic blues treasure vault
- 7:20 PM – Karen Ristuben - Smooth Jazz Chanteuse with combo
- 8:30 PM – Willie ALexander with the Razdans & Doctor Dave Vincent!
- 6:00 PM – Play Reading – “The Medium” by Judith Sargent Murray
- 6:45 PM – Cape Ann Dance Company – Back by popular demand- this troupe always dazzles us!
- 7:15 PM – Tony Fonseca – Drumming
- 8:30 PM – Livin’ on Luck – Classic rock and choice gems to dance to!
- 6:00 PM – The Docksiders - Gloucester High School’s terrific Big Band
- 6:45 PM – Joe Thomas - Giuseppe’s piano song monster takes requests
- 7:30 PM – Marina Evans - Back from tour with a new CD!
- 8:15 PM – Alexandra Valenti – young voice big talent, one to watch
- 9:05 PM – Johnny and the Firecrackers – Rock ‘n’ roll , punk, new wave and soul
*All times approximate
- Mo Bounce @ 7:30 PM – Funk & R&B
- Joe Thomas – outdoor sing-alongs during the breaks!
One of Gloucester’s most passionate singers, Toni Ann treats us to her original folk, blues and rock with a heartfelt, emotion that reaches through the screen and grabs you.
You can see Toni Ann live this Saturday at the Block Party Sovereign Stage at 6:45pm.
Watch the show tonight and get ready to have your heart strings pulled!
See complete Block Party music lineup here. More Block Party details coming soon . . .
Click the picture below to view the spread!
And remember to fall out for the last Block party of the Season on September 21st and “turn over a new leaf” with some new seasonal accents to your wardrobe! I will also be open block party weekend, with refreshments and snacks! Going to be a great time!
(And be sure to check out Pop’s facebook page for up to date information and special sales!)
Yesterday we were treated to one of our new monthly pleasures: T Max dropped off a few copies of the September issue of The Noise Magazine. It’s one of the perks of living in Magnolia, which, since T Max moved to Gloucester, happens to be right on his delivery route as he takes The Noise to Beverly, Salem, and on down to Boston.
This is an especially good issue, the highlight of which is Eric Baylies’ wonderful interview with Grammy-winner and Rockport native Paula Cole. Paula invites us into her creative process and shares her profound wisdom on the music business in one of the most insightful artist interviews since John Lennon’s 1980 Playboy interview. Paula gives us too many wonderful quotes to list here. You’ll just have to read the article. Kudos to Eric for asking all the right questions, to T Max for printing the whole thing and especially to Paula for allowing herself to be honest, personal and profound in print, without so much as a care in the world for the usual hype and meticulous grooming that usually attends a new CD release from a major star, such as her.
Among many other gems in this issue are two exceedingly entertaining reviews by T Max of live music at Beverly’s Block parties and the Big Shot of Inge Berge by Sheila Roberts Orlando, which proves that Inge is one of Gloucester’s most creative artists!
It was a great evening for a block party!
Among other people I ran into, Joey and his family were dining at Ohana:And Henry Allen’s North Shore Folklore Theatre were doing a reading of part of one of Judith Sargent Murray’s plays, “The Happy Medium”:
I also took a moment to go to The Cave to buy something for a party I was going to later. Peach Chutney, which I put on ice cream! It was delicious!
These are great events!
- Matthew Green
Help select the 2nd Block Party Cocktail Winner at the Block Party on Saturday, August 17, 2013. Ryan & Wood Knockabout Gin will be the featured liquor. Sample selections at participating restaurants and vote for your favorite at the Ryan & Wood table! Make sure you’re at least age 21!
A variety of music, dance and entertainment fills Main Street for the August 17th Downtown Gloucester Block Party. Master Bluesman Joe Mack headline with several dance groups and bands filling five stages. Punk icon Willie Alexander will be headlining at our September Block Party. Main Street restaurants serve outside and the stores are open late for shopping. Youngsters are entertained in Kids’ Town.
Senator Bruce Tarr and 7 year old Gloucester philanthropist Bailee Militello will be on hand to promote Bailee’s Backpack Drive. Block Party attendees are urged to bring school supplies, or purchase at nearby stores to donate to needy students and help them prepare for the school year. Bailee will have an informational table and a donation box at the corner of Kids’ Town.
The second Ryan and Wood Distillery Block Party Cocktail contest will feature Knockabout Gin for the August party. Restaurant patrons may enjoy a sample and vote for their favorite creation at the Ryan and Wood information table. The July vote was close but the winner was Alchemy Bistro’s “Simpler Tides” created by mixologist Felicia Grossi. See Gloucester Daily Times Story the popular contest will continue in September.
August 17 Entertainment
- 6:00 PM – Gary Shane – Legendary Boston songwriter
- 7:00 PM – Choctaw Rocket – Rocking Americana
- 8:30 PM – Gil Clark & Friends - Extraordinary young Rockport musicians
- 6:00 PM – Jamie Shaler – Angry Young Bee rocker gone folk!
- 7:00 PM – Gator Glenn – Blues with a National Steel twist
- 8:00 PM – Annette Dion - Fine Gloucester songstress & writer
- 9:00 PM – Surprise Guest
- 6:00 PM – Latin Dance Patterns Basic Steps – With Club C
- 7:00 PM – Cape Ann Dance Company – Back by popular demand- this troupe always dazzles us!
- 7:30 PM – OmBelly Dance Company – Finger cymbals, exotic costumes…and bellies!
- 8:15 PM – Day Job – Classic rock to dance the night away with!
- 6:00 PM – The Cripple Cove Quintet – featuring the Goddesses - Great old rock ‘n’ roll you may have missed!
- 8:30 PM – Joe Wilkins Noise!
*All times approximate
- The Joe Mack Band @ 8PM
- Joe Thomas – outdoor sing-alongs during the breaks!
VIDEO: Sen. Tarr & Bailee Militello are helping get school supplies to needy Gloucester kids at the next Block Party
Through a program called Bailee’s Backpacks, seven-year-old Bailee Militello is working with Senator Bruce Tarr, Action, Inc., North Shore 104.9 and the Gloucester Block Parties to help needy Gloucester children get the supplies they need to start school off on the right track. Check out the video, filmed by Lisa Smith at Cape Ann TV, yesterday.
You can also see this video streaming on Cape Ann TV’s wicked cool new on-line streaming feature here.
5-8:00 Chowder House at Sailor Stan’s with music by Sunny Fishcakes Review. Chowder and Chili $5 cup/$7 bowl. Fortify yourself for a night of art and dancing.
6-8:00 Opening Reception for Audi Souza’s Cape Ann Views and North Shore Gardens exhibit at Khan Studio, 77 Rocky Neck Ave.
6-10:00 Our annual, traditional, seasonal, communal, danceable, funfilled Beaux Arts Ball at the Cultural Center at Rocky Neck, 6 Wonson Street…come and support your leading community arts organization as we expand our scope and programming for the year-round benefit of all! Meet at the Park at 5:30, party at the Center 6-10 pm, dance & groove to Le Prestige, and bid on many awesome silent auction items including a boat, yes a boat! Costume theme – if you choose to partake – is a VERY WIDELY interpreted ReCycle, RePurpose, ReVive…see you there!!