Jamie Kent to plant seeds of harmony in concert series at Lanesborough farm


LANESBOROUGH -- This summer, Bradley Farm is planting a new crop.

A concert series called The Seeds of Harmony Saturday Evening Concert Series at the Coop is taking root at the farm, a first for the farm and a rarity for Lanesborough.

According to Tracy McManmon, co-owner of the farm, the concert series is not about making a profit but about building community and helping to improve the lives of some local children.

"We see the farm as a vehicle in building community, and we thought music could be one branch in that process by bringing people here," McManmon said. "And with the proceeds benefiting Healing Homes (a program of Berkshire Children and Families), we will increase recreational activities for foster children."

On Saturday, July 19, Northampton native Jamie Kent will bring his five-piece live show to the farm.

For nearly four years, singer-songwriter Kent has been on the road full time -- 200 days each year -- playing concerts and music festivals nationwide including tours with Huey Lewis & The News, The Wood Brothers, Marc Broussard, Ellis Paul and multiple showcases at the South By Southwest Music Festival.

A few months ago, he released his third album, "Embers and Ashes." Its first single, "Broke, Not Broken," recently premiered on RollingStone.com.

Kent, 27, said his music falls into the Americana/Folk category, and sites Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Jackson Browne and Steve Earle as his greatest musical influences.

Kent said his band -- Jamie Kent & The Options -- blends violin, lead and acoustic guitar, ukelele, drums, upright bass, banjo, keyboards and accordian, with enough vocalists for the occaisional three-part harmony.

"I like to say I'm the biggest musician no one has heard of yet," Kent said.

He said the Seeds of Harmony gig intrigued him because he loves to play outdoor shows.

"Just to have live music on a farm I think is a great idea," he said. "Bringing great music outdoors to a farm -- I do that any time I can. I think it's awesome, especially when you're promoting farms and whole food."

On the following Saturday, July 26, Patty Larkin will perform. Larkin, known for pushing the boundaries of folk-urban pop, recently released her 13th album, "Still Green." In this album, she is dealing with the feelings she was experiencing after the passing of both parents and a health scare for her sister. During this period, she sought refuge in the Outer Banks of Cape Cod's National Seashore in a one-room dune shack, where she wrote some of the songs. She brought along an acoustic guitar that she had rescued from the town dump. Some of the recording she did at her studio on the Cape.

Larkin has earned 11 Boston Music Awards and has been honored by former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino with "Patty Larkin Appreciation Day" in recognition of her philanthropic contributions to non-profit organizations.

McManmon said the shows will have an intimate feel, as the performers will play with the chicken coop behind them and a grassy lawn that can seat about 200 in front of them. Concertgoers are encouraged to bring blankets and chairs. The concerts will also offer farm-fresh local food and refreshments.

Susan Jameson, publicist for the concert series, praised the venue.

"It's intimate, it's beautiful, and it's a sweet spot," she said. In the event of rain, the shows will move inside St Luke's Episcopal Church next door

"The church is wonderful and the acoustics are perfect," Jameson said.

Bradley Farm was established in the late 1700s. Today, on about 17 acres, they grow a number of crops organically, including corn and blueberries. They also offer fresh chicken and duck eggs, and run nine bee hives for fresh honey. The Bradley Farm Store on Route 7 offers a wide variety of locally grown produce and other products.

The Bradley Farm boasts 22 CSA (Community Suipported Agriculture) members, and employs several interns who live with Aspergers syndrome or other learning diffderences.

The concert series, McManmon said, "is not about making money -- it's about bringing people to the farm."

If you go ...

What: Seeds of Harmony concerts

When: Jamie Kent performs 6:30 p.m. Saturday, July 19

Where: Bradley Farm,
545 North Main St., Lanesborough

Admission: $20

Upcoming shows: Patty Larkin, Saturday, July 26, $25

Caravan of Thieves,
Saturday, Aug. 2

Emily Hearn, Saturday, Aug. 1

Information: (413) 499-2723, (413) 443-2481 eventbrite.com


If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.

Powered by Creative Circle Media Solutions