Music in Tanglewood: The Place to be

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Black Star News At Tanglewood

If you live in the tri-state area and want to escape the city heat there is no better than place to go than the "Berkshires" in western Massachusetts.
Just a three hour ride from Port Authority, the Berkshires is a cluster of towns that offer urban vacationers just about everything under the sun. From hiking and camping in October Mountain to sipping a fine Merlot at Tanglewood watching the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
If the Adirondacks are "forever wild," then the Berkshires is semi- wild. They too have vast swaths of pristine preserves of nature and woods- just not as much. One spot that bridges nature and civilization is Tanglewood, in the stunningly beautiful town of Lenox. Tanglewood, owned by the BSO, is one of the most unique spots in the world to experience music. The BSO, unlike many other state orchestras, has a special and much more visible presence, precisely because they spend their summers outdoors and are much more visible in the public sphere.
But Tanglewood has much more to offer than just the BSO. This year they have already had Dolly Parton. Earth Wind & Fire and Brian Wilson perform at the "Shed," an old barn that has been converted into a music stage. This week they will be host three popular music cults of personality : For Deadheads there is the Jerry Garcia Symphonic Celebration, Friday, July 1, 2016 8PM. For Dylanologists, Bob Dylan with Mavis Staples, July 2, 7PM and for baby-boomers who normally watch PBS all weekend long, there James Taylor | July 3 and 4, 8PM (Sorry, Sweet Baby is SOLD OUT)
The "Jerry Garcia Symphonic Celebration" with renowned guitarist Warren Haynes returns to Tanglewood in an orchestral adventure of Deadhead favorites. Lockhart, Haynes, and the Boston Pops will present a program featuring some of Jerry Garcia's masterworks including "Terrapin Station," "Bird Song," and "Morning Dew." Warren Haynes (Allman Brothers Band, Gov't Mule, The Dead) lends his soul-soaked, introspective blend of rock, blues, R&B and jazz to the evening's program.
Legendary singer-songwriter Bob Dylan has performed twice at Tanglewood, first in 1991 and again in 1997 while Sweet Baby James, who lives in Lenox, plays Tanglewood just about every summer.
Last week, Black Star News caught 70's rock singer-songwriter Jackson Browne at the Shed, who at 67, is hardly "running on empty." Browne, who has been laying low for decades was surprisingly in great form with his stellar back up band and truly loyal fan base. I had met several people who have been following JB around the country the whole summer.
Browne played all his hits, Running on Empty and Lawyers In Love (one of the great, subversive parodies from the 80's that no one ever caught) as well as the Eagles' Take It Easy, that he wrote for them in 1972 at age 23.
The band was tight, and Browne had no problem letting them shine on their own for a solo or two. Unlike many jaded professional musicians, Browne appeared to be genuinely enjoying himself on stage. In fact, the only pretentiousness at Tanglewood that evening came not from the rock star dancing on our paycheck, but from a few on the lawn- with their elaborate ankle high picnic tables covered in lobster tails, bottles of rosé and organic, bio-degradable, hummus dip.
Be sure to read Black Star News at Tanglewood Part 2 for a review of Bob Dylan's show 7/2/16.

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