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Highlights from the Green River Festival

Boxcar Lalies.

Boxcar Lalies.

The Green River Festival has another genre-spanning lineup of roots music this year, as well as local food and craft vendors and the event’s signature hot air balloon rides. A few of the many acts worth catching:

BOXCAR LILIES Forty-plus years old isn’t the typical age at which to venture into a career in music, but that didn’t stop the three women who make up this Western Massachusetts group. They play an engaging mix of folky bluegrass and acoustic country with prominent, twining harmonies.

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BRANDI CARLILE Sometimes rootsy and sometimes rocking, singer-songwriter Carlile cites Patsy Cline and Elton John as two of her biggest influences.

GOGOL BORDELLO Unsurprisingly, most of the acts appearing this weekend will take the stage to simply play music, but along with its delirious Gypsy-punk mashup, Gogol Bordello’s performance will provide careening theater.

Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole.

Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole.

CEDRIC WATSON & BIJOU CREOLE Former Pine Leaf Boy Watson is a rising force in Cajun and Creole music, and a multifaceted one, too, singing, playing fiddle and accordion, and writing much of the material that he and his band, Bijou Creole, play.

JD MCPHERSON McPherson can talk all he wants about the Smiths and the Wu-Tang Clan as musical influences. When he plays, the music is a full-blown blast of ’50s-style R&B, and when he sings, you can hear Little Richard and the hillbilly Elvis screaming and hiccupping to get out.

SALLIE FORD & THE SOUND OUTSIDE Rooted in the jazzy, bluesy side of vintage Americana, Ford infuses her music with a modern energy, but what makes her really stand out is her big, brassy, love-it-or-hate-it voice.

Stuart Munro

Stuart Munro can be reached at sjmunro@verizon.net.
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