Sign In
Sign Out
Cart ()
Saturday, July 27 through
Saturday, August 3, 2024
Get off Facebook Forget Instagram. Go outside. You're wasting you're life on Twitter Youtube isn't real life.

2017 Music at the Festival

Great music is one of the Festival’s hallmarks. Besides the trio of documentaries about several influential musicians, this year the Festival kicks things up a notch with the addition live music at the parties every night of the Festival.

Fifty years ago in 1967,  the “Summer of Love” ushered in the Hippie movement that opposed the Vietnam War. Music played a big role in helping to spread the movement’s message. Three documentaries profile some of the musicians from that era. It’s perhaps no coincidence that all of the featured musicians either performed at or had songs covered at Woodstock two years later.

Soul and blues singer Joe Cocker stands out as one of the period’s most identifiable influences. Although not as well-known in 1967, the former gas fitter from Sheffield, England catapulted to world stardom just two years later at Woodstock with his legendary performance of The Beatles’ A Little Help from My Friends. Joe Cocker: Mad Dog With Soul by veteran music documentarian John Edginton (Pink Floyd: The Story of Wish You Were Here) chronicles Cocker’s 50 year music career, including his meteoric rise, his struggles with alcohol and drugs, and his ultimate comeback, through rare archival footage and interviews with family, friends, and the legendary songwriters and musicians he collaborated with. Billy Joel described him as “one of the great primal rock and roll vocalists of all time.” Former bandmates Cliff Goodwin and Deric Dyer will join filmmaker John Edginton in a post-screening Q&A on Sunday, July 30.

The life of another Woodstock performer, blues harmonica player and singer Paul Butterfield, is profiled in Horn From the Heart: The Paul Butterfield Story by John Anderson, which screens on Friday, August 4. Butterfield, a white, teenage harmonica player from Chicago’s south side, learned the blues from the original black masters, including his mentor Muddy Waters. His interracial Paul Butterfield Blues Band, featuring the twin guitar sound of Michael Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop, the rhythm section of Sam Lay and Jerome Arnold, and the keyboards of Mark Naftalin, added a rock edge to the Chicago blues, brought an authenticity to its sound that struck a chord with the vast white rock audience, and rejuvenated worldwide interest in the blues. Paul continually broke new ground in the blues and stood up for racial equality until his death at age 44 in 1987 of a drug overdose. Through his music and words, along with first-hand accounts from friends, family, and colleagues, the film tells the complex story of a man many call the greatest harmonica player of all time.

RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World by Catherine Bainbridge and Alfonso Maiorana explores the influence of Native American musicians—from the US and Canada—on modern music on Saturday, August 5. Many of those musicians also performed at Woodstock, such as Jimi Hendrix (who was part Cherokee), Robbie Robertson of The Band (who spent his summers on the Six Nations Reservation learning guitar), and Buffy Sainte-Marie (who was born in the Piapot Plains Cree First Nation Reserve in Saskatchewan, Canada and whose song Universal Soldier was performed by Donovan at Woodstock). The film focuses on the symbiosis of Native and African-American musical traditions, the US Government’s efforts to eradicate the cultures of indigenous peoples, and the defiant political statements of artists such as Buffy Sainte-Marie  and John Trudell — the late activist who appears frequently in the film and to whom it is dedicated. Although inspired by the Smithsonian Institution exhibit “Up Where We Belong: Native Musicians In Popular Culture,” the film’s title comes from Rumble, the 1958 smash hit single by Link Wray (born in North Carolina to Shawnee parents), an instrumental piece that was driven by innovative power chord riffs that would later influence Iggy Pop, Pete Townshend, and hosts of other rock, pop, and heavy-metal masters. Taj Mahal, another Woodstock alum who is one of the film’s several on-camera interviewees, recalls that the song actually made him “levitate out of bed about four feet” the first time he heard it on the radio.

Post-screening parties featuring live music by an array of artists, take place every night during the Festival at local restaurants and other venues starting at 10:30 PM. Post-screening parties are a great way to meet the filmmakers and discuss movies with fellow cinemaphiles, while supporting local live music. Musicians and bands at parties this year include:

Violin and Viola pop-up street performances prior to screenings by musicians from Carly Scena’s new group Chamber Music Falmouth.

Saturday, July 29: Willie J. Laws Band
A soulful mixture of Texas Blues and R&B, Tex-Mex Tejano/Conjunto, Louisiana Zydeco, and Country, plus a bit of Rock & Roll. (The Captain Kidd Restaurant , 77 Water Street, Woods Hole)

Sunday, July 30: Brian Sances Band
Familiar classics with a unique twist, as well as original songs. (Grumpy’s Pub in Falmouth, 29 Locust Street, Falmouth)

Monday, July 31: Sarah Burrill
Nationally acclaimed folk/rock/blues artist. (The Captain Kidd Restaurant)

Tuesday, August 1: Grace Morrison
Award winning singer/songwriter performing Country Folk and Americana. (The 41-70, 71 Water Street, Woods Hole)

Wednesday, August 2: The GroovaLottos
A powerhouse soul-funk-blues trio with a wild sense of humor. (The Landfall Restaurant, 9 Luscombe Avenue, Woods Hole)

Thursday, August 3: Wood Soul
Local acoustic duo whose music ranges from the 70s to the present, including pop, rock, R&B and country. (The 41-70).

Friday, August 4: Bittersweet
Cape Cod based band featuring stirring soul and classic R&B music. (Grumpy’s Pub)

Saturday, August 5: The Novel Ideas
Country folk quintet from Boston featuring pastoral, harmony driven, and plaintive Americana. (The Captain Kidd Restaurant)