Boston ready to host the Gram National

, Staff

The Gram National, an annual event to commemorate the legacy of Americana music pioneer Gram Parsons, is bringing its 3rd annual festival to Massachusetts this weekend. Scheduled to take place at The Precinct in Somerville on Friday and Saturday, the Gram National will feature a dozen bands from mostly from Boston and New England, as well as places as far as Ohio, New Jersey and Ireland.

Although the first two Gram Nationals have been held in Nashville, Will Harnack, event organizer and founder of the Gram Parsons Petition Project, which is dedicated to Parsons induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame, says Boston was the place to be this year for several reasons.

“Basically the idea to come to Boston sprang from the realization that it will be 45 years this fall since Gram Parsons started an American musical revolution here when he founded the International Submarine Band in Cambridge,” explains Harnack in a press release.

He also credits the New England Americana Festival (formerly the “Alt Country Extravaganza”) for proving that Boston had plenty of local talent to deliver a high quality Gram National. Among those scheduled to perform are New England-based bands Highway Ghosts, Twang ’em High, 25 Pearl, Loose Salute, Jenee Halstead, The Molenes, and Jeff Byrd & Dirty Finch. They’ll be joined by a range of out-of-towners including Linda Lucas (Ireland), The Derelicts and Brian Molnar & the Naked Hearts (New Jersey), Maynard & the Musties (Brooklyn) and Lydia Loveless (Ohio). The complete festival schedule with estimated set times is available below.

Each of the bands will play their own material. “This isn’t one of those tributes where you just play the dead guy’s stuff, although there will be plenty of that,” says Harnack. “This is to showcase those that Parsons inspired.”

Parsons attended Harvard briefly in the fall of ’65, forming his first band, The Like, with students from Berklee. But Gram’s love for his native Southern music re-emerged in Cambridge, and The Like morphed into the International Submarine Band, which many believe to be the first truly country rock band.

The Gram National comes on the heels of Sierra Records release of Gram Parsons: The Early Years, a four-disk box set earlier this year. The set is complete with previously unpublished pictures of Parsons at Harvard.

The Gram Parsons Petition Project is an online petition drive that has garnered over 3,400 signers so far from countries all over the world. Harnack began the petition several years ago when he realized that many young artists who had named Parsons as an influence on their MySpace pages were instead naming those he had influenced. For more information or to sign the petition, go here.

“Bottom line for the Gram National is, we are here to party,” proclaims Harnack. “For two days. Yes, we want to draw attention to the petition, but this is the one time we set aside the ‘heavy lifting’ and just get together with like-minded individuals who love good music and just have a good old fashioned New England blast!”

Tickets for each night of the Gram National are $10. For fans that attend on Friday, they can purchase a ticket for Saturday’s show for just $5. Fans arriving before 8 p.m. on Friday, will received a free commemorative t-shirt (while supplies last).

2010 Gram National Schedule

Friday, November 5

7:30-8:00: Jenee Halstead
8:00-8:40: Maynard & the Musties
8:50-9:30: Brian Molnar & Naked Hrts
9:40-10:20: Cosmic American Derelicts
10:30-11:10: Lydia Loveless
11:20-12:00: Twang ’em High
12:10-12:50: Highway Ghosts
1:00-1:50: Jenee & Lydia again

Saturday, November 6
7:30-8:00: Jenee Halstead
8:00-8:40: Rocking Horse Rodeo
8:50-9:30: Lynda Lucas
9:40-10:20: Jeff Byrd & Dirty Finch
10:30-11:10: The Molenes
11:20-12:00: 25 Pearl
12:10-12:50: Loose Salute
1:00-1:50: Lynda Lucas with Derelicts

3 Comments

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Boston Music Spotlight - Your Source for Music News and Concert Information ยป Boston ready to host the Gram National -- Topsy.com

  2. Thanks for the writeup! As the link for “go here” isn’t hot (on my browser anyway), the Petition to Induct Gram Parsons Into the Country Music Hall of Fame is at: http://www.gramparsonspetition.com.

    Also, Jenee won’t be there Saturday; but, great news as of today, Sarah Blacker and Maureen Kavanaugh (of the Brooklyns) will be appearing Friday night. Also, you don’t have to buy a ticket for Saturday to get in half price; just bring back your Friday night ticket and get in Sat for $5 (w/out ticket, $10). Fri night is $10.

    Look forward to seeing all of you at The Precinct this weekend!

    Will James (Harnack)
    Director, Gram Parsons Petition Project & Gram National 2010 Boston (and Nashville)

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