Friday March 1, 2013

EDWARD DAMON

North Adams Transcript

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- A two-night festival celebrating local music will return tonight and Saturday.

The third-annual Billstock will be held both nights, from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Hops and Vines at 16 Water St.

Organizer Michael Williams said he first started the festival after seeing a need for more performance venues.

"I realized about 90 percent of my friends were making music," he said. "I thought it was interesting for such a small community to have so many musicians.

"I chose this time of year because there’s so little going on, and I thought people need something to brighten things up," he added.

The name Billstock was chosen as a combination of Billsville, a nickname for Williamstown, and Woodstock, he said.

Williams said it’s important for people to hear what a talented community Northern Berkshire is.

"I think (attendees) are really going to be excited by the quality of performances," he said. "Each act has a strong Williamstown connection. There’s a lot for people in the area to be proud of." Williams said with the amount of diversity in the artists, there will be something for everyone.

"There will be music to finish your dinner and have a drink to, and also music to get you out of your seat and move," he said.

Hops and Vines will offer their usual menu earlier in the night, Williams said, and later on will offer a menu catered towards attendees.


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Artists scheduled to perform Friday night include Good Good, Wandering Rocks, Jen Crowell, Gentleman Art Thieves, Homage and Trophy Husbands.

New to this year’s festival, Homage is a 10-piece funk band made up of Williams College students, and their covers include songs by Kanye West, Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder. Jen Crowell, a singer who describes her lyrics as having a roots in bluegrass, folk and jazz.

Artists performing Saturday night include The Grizzlies, Jeff Hudson, Blind Reckoning Project, Misty Blues and DJ Skylab. To reach Edward Damon, email edamon@thetranscript.com.

The essentials

What: Billstock 2013 music festival

When: Friday and Saturday

Where: Hops and Vines, 16 Water St., Williamstown

Price: $10 for both nights, $7 for one night, students pay $5 for

both nights

More information: billstock.wordpress.com