Academy at Charlemont Freightshakers Return to Hilltown Spring Festival
Academy at Charlemont Freightshakers
The Academy at Charlemont Freightshakers, a student ensemble that plays originals, bluegrass, folk, and new arrangements of pop songs, will be returning for a second year in a row to perform at the Hilltown Spring Festival on Saturday, May 15. The Festival runs from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. The Freightshakers will perform from 4:00 – 4:45 p.m.
According to Abe Loomis, bandleader and banjo player backing the budding student musicians, “this is a group of 7-10 students who started playing together four years ago. Some were real beginners then, but they have all developed into an extraordinary ensemble and some into emerging individual musical talents.” The group was recently invited to record on WRSI-FM and one of their original songs, “509,” made WRSI’s top 100 last year. In addition to the Hilltown Spring Festival, the Freightshakers will play the Green River Festival this summer, and were also recently featured on WGBY’s “Making it Here Teenstyle.”
The Freightshakers include graduating senior Sophia Imani, who released her own EP, “Gifts of Life” this spring after a year studying songwriting and recording at the Institute for Musical Arts in Goshen, MA. Seniors Isaac Baker (guitar, vocals) and Isaiah Day (cello, vocals), and freshman Connor Steele-McCutchen anchor the male end of the choral harmonics, while soloist Clare Donohue-Meyer and Willow Westwood . The group’s repertoire ranges from Old Crow Medicine Show to Bob Dylan, and includes “I Won’t Wait,” a song by Baker, and several pieces written by Loomis.
The Academy of Charlemont Freightshakers will be one of 15 acts performing this year at the 4th Annual Hilltown Spring Festival, put on by the Hilltown CDC. Musical offerings at the Festival will range from the jazz saxophone of Charles Neville to the Scottish pipes of Dan Houghton. Also on the bill are the local psychedelic Dixieland band, The Primate Fiasco, alt-jazz from Swing Caravan, world music from Gaia Roots, and Celtic fiddler Katherine First. Look for special musical jam sessions and hands-on demonstrations throughout the day.