Third Annual Uplift Festival to bring, music and arts to Oak Park — and raise money for the Grapevine Community Center

  • Roots of Creation lead vocalist and guitarist Brett Wilson of New Ipswich sings at Big Up Music Festival in N.Y. Wilson and the rest of Roots of Creation will be appearing at the Outside the Box Music Festival in Boston on Saturday, and the Uplift Music Festival in Greenfield on Aug. 3.
  • Roots of Creation with Brett Wilson of New Ipswich, left, Mike Chadinha of Peterborough and Tal Pearson of Brooklyn, N.Y., on tour at Gathering of the Vibes on July 21, 2011, in Bridgeport, Conn. <br/>Photo by David Oppenheimer
  • A group of local musicians come together to stave off the slow winter music scene, and come out with a new band.
  • A group of local musicians come together to stave off the slow winter music scene, and come out with a new band.
  • A group of local musicians come together to stave off the slow winter music scene, and come out with a new band.
  • A group of local musicians come together to stave off the slow winter music scene, and come out with a new band.
  • A group of local musicians come together to stave off the slow winter music scene, and come out with a new band.
  • A group of local musicians come together to stave off the slow winter music scene, and come out with a new band.
  • How do you make the area’s finest psychedelic jam rockers, The Youngest Sun, even better? Add Peterborough native Duncan Pelletier into the mix for added vocals and keys.
  • The Youngest Sun is a four-piece jam band out of Dublin, New Hampshire.

It’s all about community.

The Uplift Music Festival, now entering its third year, celebrates the tight-knit nature of the region, bringing together local musicians, artisans and vendors to raise funds in support of a small business or nonprofit.

This year, there are nine local artists lined up to play the festival, held this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. The line up includes Adeem, Black Eskimo, The Youngest Sun, Roots of Creation, Ghost Dinner Band, Ol’ Factory, Hug the Dog, Modern Fools, The Great Groove Theory and the Jug Stompers.

Uplift began in 2012, when several employees of Harlow’s Pub in Peterborough were seeking a way to raise money for the pub to renovate its kitchen. Since, the festival has expanded its horizons and has made a mission to contribute the total profits of each year’s event to a different small business or nonprofit organization. Last year, the profits went to the Cornucopia Project in Peterborough. This year, it’s the Grapevine Family & Community Resource Center in Antrim.

Every little bit helps, explained Executive Director of the Grapevine Kristen Vance. “Things have been tight for the last several years, since the New Hampshire Legislature eliminated our funding sources from the state budget, so any additional funding certainly is appreciated,” said Vance. She said the Grapevine had heard of the Cornucopia Project’s involvement with the festival last year, and several of the Grapevine staff encouraged putting the Grapevine up for consideration. Now that they have been the chosen recipients, said Vance, the board will have to decide where to funnel the donation, but she said it will likely go to scholarships to allow low-income families to attend Grapevine programs, like their Better Beginnings, a parent-child education class, or the Learning Vine, the Grapevine’s parent-initiated cooperative preschool program. Last year, the Grapevine provided about $6,000 in scholarships.

Modern Fools & Ghost Dinner Band

Modern Fools is a band made up of members that most familiar with Monadnock’s rock music scene will be familiar with. Those who are fans of The Youngest Sun should also enjoy Modern Fools, as many of the members, including Dylan Brown on lead vocals and guitar, Jordan Cusano on drums and Daniel O’Rourke on keyboard and vocals, are either current or former members of the band. The band is also made up of other faces that may be familiar, such as Walker Landis, of local group Run Gazelle Run, and guitarist and vocalist Josh Blair, who will also be on stage twice at Uplift, once with Modern Fools, and once with the Ghost Dinner Band.

The group has all played together at least a few times in various combinations prior to forming a group, said Blair. The band formed out of several of the members holding jam sessions and expressing an interest in working together.

Modern Fools is only a few months old, explained Blair in a telephone interview Monday, but it’s taken a strong start with mostly original music in a vintage rock and roll sound. With songs written for the band by Blair and Brown, the group has amassed enough material for a 45 minute set, explained Blair.

“We’re fresh on the scene, and we’ve been fortunate enough to get some shows together based on our previous connections,” he said.

Modern Fools is a little different than some of his previous band experiences, said Blair. First of all, in Ghost Dinner Band, he said, he plays the bass, where in Modern Fools he plays guitar and shares lead vocals. “It’s kind of a switch of roles for me,” he said, “which is one of the reasons I like it. It’s tough to juggle two bands, but it’s also fun to take on a different instrument and express myself in a different way.”

Blair will also be playing with his other band, Ghost Dinner Band, made up of Blair on bass, Kyle Webber on guitar and lead vocals, Nate Bosworth and Mark Trottier on drums.

“This year, we have a prime slot,” said Blair. Ghost Dinner Band will be playing the second-to-last set of the evening. “We’ve been at Uplift all three years, but we’ve been playing the day shows. So I’m looking forward to more of a late-night environment and playing under the lights.”

Ghost Dinner Band plans to mix up their regular line up by inviting some special guests, teased Blair, including at least one female vocalist to add to their mix.

The band has been working on creating new material and will be presenting that at the festival, in addition to music from their freshly-released live album.

Roots of Creation, Ol’ Factory & Adeem

Festival organizer Mike Chadinha will be kept hopping throughout the day, sharing the stage with his two bands, Roots of Creation and Ol’ Factory, as well as backing rapper Adeem.

Roots of Creation, which was the headliner of the show last year, will be playing a daytime set this time around, and Uplift will be the only opportunity of the summer to see the band, which usually uses a heavy electric sound, play an acoustic set.

“We’re certainly known for our improvisation,” said Chadinha. “We like to do things on the spot. So we’re not going to rehearse. We’re going to try to go for a new sound in the moment. We’re just stripping it down to the raw music and just playing it.”

Ol’ Factory, another Peterborough-based band, was created out of members of other area groups in much the same way as Modern Fools. The group has been together for a year now, said Chadinha, and has spent most of that moving away from its original status as a band that did mostly covers and slowly building up their own originals. Just last week, Ol’ Factory released its first five-song EP, and is working towards a full-length album. The EP has a somewhat raw sound, said Chadinha, because the band wanted it to emulate a live show, despite being recorded in-studio.

“It doesn’t have to be perfect,” he said. “It just has to feel good, and that’s what we focus on.”

Chadinha will also be drumming for hip-hop artist Adeem of Peterborough. Chadinha said he approached Adeem about providing backing during the first Uplift Music Festival, and recently finished backing him during the studio recording of his newest album, which is expected to be out in the fall.

Also gracing the stage will be local indie-psych-rockers Hug the Dog, experimental electronic dance R&B artists Black Eskimo, blues jammers Great Groove Theory and good old-fashioned bluegrass/American from the Jug Stompers. The grounds will be populated by vendors, with yoga, food massages and much more available. The event is BYOB (no glass) and camping is available across the street at Greenfield State Park.

The Uplift Music Festival will be held Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. at Oak Park in Greenfield. Tickets are $17 in advance and available for purchase at Harlow’s or through the Uplift website, or $25 at the gate. For more information, visit

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