Tim Eriksen: Pumpkintown
At The Parlor Room
Friday, April 7th
SHOW 7:30pm // DOORS 7:00pm
ADV Tickets: $20 GA / $18 MEMBERS
DOS Tickets: $25 GA / $23 MEMBERS
PUBLIC ON SALE: Friday, March 17
A mysterious old trunk found in a Yankee attic, full of leatherbound tunebooks, letters, musical instruments, 8 track tapes, a handwritten sheaf of ballads, a machete and even an old “magic lantern”: an ancient projector, with a box of painted glass slides… Was this the trunk Silas had been looking for? The one his antiquarian great uncle Josh Billings Jr. promised would be full of answers, missing verses, the truth behind local legends, and the details of Silas’s own murky past? Historic Deerfield musician in residence Tim Eriksen presents Pumpkintown, with paintings and projections by Susan Brearey, percussion and sound design by Peter Irvine, and sometimes live gravestone carving by Allison Steel, unlocking the mysteries of the trunk and the curious multicultural history of the village.
Pumpkintown offers a fresh take on history and American music, from a region rarely associated with a regional sound: New England (Northern Appalachia?). Beyond the truck stops and broken hearts of “Americana,” Pumpkintown reveals a reality that has never been just a faded black and white photograph but evidences a deeply multicultural dynamism where history and imagination, dreams and genealogies collide. Here shape- note harmony by the first published Native American composer, fiery fiddle tunes, apocalyptic Afro-Celtic gospel, traditional songs of war, the sea, traveling, tragedy and love, meet original songs that tie it all together as the sound of a place that is at once imagined and deeplytrue. It’s Americana through the looking glass, where the village may be imaginary but the music is real.
Tim Eriksen is a musician, ethnomusicologist and author who is best known for a hardcore Americana sound that unites a mastery of traditional American folk styles with innovative arrangement, original and experimental music. His current projects outside of Pumpkintown include writing songs for Americana star Allison Krauss and preparing material for a follow up to the his twice Grammy nominated 2009 collaboration with Afro-Cuban pianist Omar Sosa. In 2018 Joan Baez chose his original song I Wish The Wars Were All Over as her final recorded musical statement, and his previous work has included performing as a soloist in composer Evan Chambers’ symphonic song cycle The Old Burying Ground, touring and recording with English traditional folk legend Eliza Carthy, a posthumous recording project with Esma Redžepova (“the queen of Gypsy music”), and extensive contributions as a performer and consultant to the Oscar-winning film Cold Mountain. With his longtime involvement in Sacred Harp or “shape-note” singing he has helped spearhead an international revival of the music. As a professor he has taught at Amherst, Smith, Hampshire and Dartmouth Colleges, Wesleyan University and the University of Minnesota.
As an applied ethnomusicologist he worked with a team led by Target CEO Bob Ulrich to conceptualize the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix. Eriksen’s media appearances have included Prairie Home Companion, Mountain Stage and the Academy Awards.
Susan Brearey received her MFA in painting & printmaking in l994 from the Rhode Island School of Design. Her work has been widely exhibited in the United States, Europe and Asia. In 2007 at the invitation of the Meridian International Center in Washington, DC, her work was included in “Out West, The Great American Landscape” and exhibited at the National Art Museum of China in Beijing, subsequently traveling to six major museums in China. Also recently she has exhibited in Santa Fe, NM at the Gerald Peters Gallery, New York City as part of "Generations" a celebration of women's visibility in the art world, at A.I.R. Gallery in Chelsea. She was included in the Hood Museum’s “Post Pastoral, New Images of the New England Landscape” at Dartmouth College. A distinguished panel of curators including Klaus Kertess, New York art critic and curator and
Maureen O'Brien of the RISD Museum of Art, included Brearey's work in The Parrish Art Museum's Centennial Open Exhibition in Southampton, NY in April l998. Susan has received awards from the Grumbacher Corporation, Liquitex Corp. and The Cheekwood Museum of Art in Nashville, TN. Brearey is represented by the Gerald Peters Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Texann Ivy Fine Arts, Orlando, FL and Carol Corey Fine Art, Kent, CT. She currently lives and works in Putney, Vermont. She will be working in Sardinia and Rome Italy from October, 2022-May 2023 and exhibiting new works in Kent, CT, Santa Fe, NM and Rome, Italy.
Peter Irvine practices law with a focus on artists and the arts in Northampton, MA. A descendant of Jonathan Edwards and Timothy Dwight, he has a deep history in the Connecticut River Valley. As a percussionist he is a founding member of Cordelia’s Dad, “the only band to have performed with both Doc Watson and Nirvana.” He taught the course Music Business and Law at the University of Minnesota and, an avid shapenote singer, he has taught numerous“singing schools” in the early American Sacred Harp tradition.
Old New England ballads, original songs, shape-note and Afro-Celtic Yankee gospel, fiddle tunes and songs from Bosnia and beyond. Northern Roots music. The Painting and Projections Graveyards and snowmobiles, ferns, wolves and the village church, alongside re-purposed and re-imagined historical slides.
Mice that sing, a woman back from the grave, a breastbone fiddle and migrating birds.
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
Fri, Apr 7, 2023 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM