Grain Thief & Mamma's Marmalade at The Parlor Room

  • October 28, 2023 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
  • The Parlor Room

    32 Masonic Street
    Northampton, Massachusetts 01060
Ticket Price $20.00-$25.00 This event is now over

Grain Thief & Mamma's Marmalade
at The Parlor Room
Saturday, October 28th
SHOW: 7:30pm / DOORS 7:00pm

Grain Thief

“Old time music has always been a part of our live repertoire since we started the band” says Grain Thief’s Patrick Mulroy. “Until now, this was never really represented in our recorded repertoire. There was a piece missing in the discography. Thus, our new record Something Sour, Something Sweet; mostly traditional fiddle tunes, with a few extra recordings from the archives.”

There’s something about a record cut by a bunch of folks that have put as many miles on their fretboards of their instruments as they’ve put on the van’s odometer. While Boston, MA quintet Grain Thief's prior releases Animal (EP, 2015), Gasoline (2020) and Stardust Lodge (2018) both explored the boundaries of Americana, while also showcasing the group's core as a roots string band, Something Sour, Something Sweet is an ode to the influences that brought these musicians together in the first place. 

Patrick Mulroy (guitar, vocals), Zach Meyer (mandolin, vocals), Michael Harmon (bass, vocals), Tom Farrell (resonator guitar), and Alex Barstow (fiddle) know there’s no room to fake it when it’s just the band, acoustic instruments, and a microphone. “Our goal is to record everything as we would play it live, with as few overdubs as possible” Harmon tells. “We recorded everything ourselves and worked up each tune differently, swapping instruments and recording around one microphone.”

Recorded at Harmon’s Wachusett Recording studio in Princeton, MA, the record features flautist Anh Phung of the band Twisted Pine on the tune “Farewell to Trion”. “We all wound up jamming on this tune one night in Boston” explains Mulroy. “I couldn't get the sound out of my head, so I knew if we were going to record it, we had to have Anh on the track!” As is the case with all Grain Thief records, Something Sour, Something Sweet is imbued with a tangible internal cohesion. They play together whenever possible - and at least twice a week - to maintain their melodic brotherhood at the highest level. 

With a sorely missed piece of the puzzle now in place, Grain Thief are once again deep into writing their next record of originals. “It feels great to have the fiddle tune repertoire represented in our recorded material” says Mulroy. Their last record of originals Gasoline was a natural progression from prior releases, and Something Sour, Something Sweet is coming home to their foundational influences. Whatever the bands come up with next, there’s little doubt it will find a place of honor in the ever-evolving canon of American music. 

Mamma's Marmalade

Mamma’s Marmalade started in a UMass dorm room when Sexton (fiddle) and Mitch Bordage (mandolin) bonded over bluegrass. In 2016, the pair were participating at an open mic when a tall young man named Sean Davis asked to join them on stage for a tune. Davis’s tenacious flatpicking caught their attention immediately. “The guitar is an incredibly integral part of any band, but within bluegrass, a guitarist has to fill so many roles,” says Sexton. “They have to be rhythmic magicians, and sometimes you get lucky with the rare player who can take leads as well.” With his expansive understanding of the fretboard, improvisational skill, and exquisite timing, Davis was the full package. “I was in school for mathematics when I met them, but I was miserable with it,” says Davis. “I wanted to be a musician, I just didn't know it completely. They helped me recognize my true calling and I quickly adopted the mindset that I had to do music full-time.” He joined later that year and the band released their debut album Goodbye, Black Velvet, the following summer. In 2019 the band released their sophomore LP Rockabee Fields. “You can really hear the ways we were stretching and exploring on those first two records,” says Sexton. “We gigged so much in those days, learning the life of a touring band as we went along.” That time on the road paid big dividends. We’ve spent years honing our improv skills, our instrumental tone, our ability to harmonize, our rhythm, and our energy to create a compelling live show,” says Davis.

The pandemic years produced two albums while the band was off the road. Rabbit Analog (2021), recorded in a live room setting, is equal parts inviting, dark, and tender. Fakin’ It: Covers Deserving Coverage (2022) was an opportunity to stretch creatively for the group. Not only were the artists crafting 70’s rock’n’roll songs into bluegrass pieces; each track features some of the best players in the genre, including Twisted Pine and Jacob Jolliff.

In 2023, the band found their missing piece (as many fans will enthusiastically articulate) in bassist Josh Ballard. Ballard immediately captivates audiences with his deep grooves, creative soloing techniques, and rich, warm tone.

Regardless of their relative virtuosity at the beginning of their adventure, today Mamma’s Marmalade is composed of a group of artists that know how to work together as one.


The Parlor Room is a BYOB venue. Tickets are non-refundable.

The Parlor Room is located at 32 Masonic Street Northampton, MA 01060

Date & Time

Sat, Oct 28, 2023 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM

Venue Details

The Parlor Room

32 Masonic Street
Northampton, Massachusetts 01060 The Parlor Room
The Parlor Room