October 26, 2006

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Two days, 30-plus bands
The Granite Rock Music Festival brings a weekend of music to Manchester
By Erica Febre efebre@hippopress.com

The Granite Rock Music Festival will come to downtown Manchester with a two-day river festival featuring more than 30 New England bands and carnival attractions on Saturday, Oct. 28, and Sunday, Oct 29.

“Our hope is that this event will turn people on to some great new music that they didn’t even realize existed in the area,” said Gary Burns, one of the volunteers organizing the festival. “We believe that Manchester has needed a fun, positive event like this for quite some time, and we hope people will take the opportunity to come out and explore something new, exciting, and enjoy themselves while helping some worthy causes.”

Burns is one of the founding members of the Applause for the Cause organization, the group bringing the river festival to Manchester. The event has been in the making since the founding of Applause for the Cause, a local not-for-profit entertainment group.

“Applause for the Cause was started more than two years ago, by what was at the time a group of high school friends. We were all kind of fed up with the fact that there’s nothing to do for the all-ages crowd. We’ve been trying to do some sort of festival since we started and finally this year, mainly because we were able to find a private venue, it’s been a lot easier to plan,” Burns said.

This all-ages event will showcase some of New England’s newest bands including Mark Florio and Finer Things (an alternative rock and pop band that blends in jazz, blues and reggae) and Bob Jr and the Martini Gardeners, a local acoustic alternative soft rock band. The Sly Geralds, packing a bus of 50 fans, will come to the festival from New York City with their blues and funk.

Coming from Massachusetts is acoustic outfit Delhill, with their soulful and funk-inspired soft sound; Tides, with an alternative pop rock style blended with energetic rhythms and melodies, and Ryan McCalmon, a solo acoustic soul rock artist, recently nominated for the Boston Music Awards for his new album, Come Home.

“It’s soul music, crossed between singer/songwriter styles like James Taylor, Jeff Buckley and other solo artists, going from low-key, laid-back, kick-it-on-the-beach type music to the live stuff that really picks up the tempo. It fits in with that John Mayer and Jack Johnson acoustic soul rock sound,” said McCalmon about his album.

Duty Free, a funky jam band from Manchester, comes to the stage with a jazz and lyrical influence. Warrior Poetes, a female trio from Connecticut, brings their piano-driven indie rock pop style set apart with violin and flute instrumentals.

The cause behind the show’s applause is a collection of nonprofit organizations such as Toys for Tots, which will receive a portion of the proceeds from the festival. Making this truly an all-ages event will be carnival attractions, available throughout the day as the music takes the stage. The carnival is courtesy of Mark Fanelli’s Travelling Amusement Park and will feature attractions such as the Round Up, the Terminator, Chaos and the Zipper among others.

Be at the fest
The Granite Rock Music Festival will take place in Arms Park, located on Commercial Street in downtown Manchester along the riverfront, on Saturday, Oct. 28, and Sunday, Oct. 29. Tickets cost $10 a day, or $15 for a two-day pass. Gates on both days open at 10 a.m. with the first acts going on at 11 a.m. Tickets will be available at the gate, but are also available for purchase online at www.applauseforthecause.org or by calling 1-800-595-4TIX. The line-up:
• Saturday, Oct. 28: Tides, Tables Up, Motion Sick, Soupbone Throne, Duty Free, Ethic, Warrior Poetes, Dreamline, Eric Haydocy, Andrea and the Nighthounds, Andy Laird, Cookie Cutter Girl, Michelle Cummings, Blue Moon Harem, Forgetful Jones, Woodshed and Mark Florio & Finer Things.
• Sunday, Oct. 29: Pete Kilpatrick, Brian Bergeron, Delhill, OSB, Ryan McCalmon, Lourds, Mr. Nick’s Blues Mafia, Bob Jr. & the Martini Gardeners, Ionia, Rootes, Sly Geralds, Maxxtone, Soundside, Casey Desmond, Jillian Wheeler, Stolen Records and Lucille’s Mixed Nuts.


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