, Gloucester, MA

January 16, 2013

Four unplug for rock and blues revue

By Gail McCarthy
Staff Writer

---- — A local favorite, bluesman James Montgomery, will be joined by three fellow musicians, each with his own specialty, at a concert at the Shalin Liu Performance Center tomorrow night.

The acoustic evening features Montgomery, a harmonica master, Charlie Farren, the Grammy Award-nominated Jon Butcher and David Hull. Several of these musicians have performed individually on Cape Ann from time to time before sell-out crowds.

“I can’t tell you how excited the four of us are about working together again,” Montgomery said. “Dave, Charlie, Jon and I have been jamming together since the ’70s and we are truly ‘family.’ What makes it even more exciting this time is the venue and how we will tailor our set to fit one of the best places in the country to see and hear live music.”

Montgomery noted that this concert will be an “unplugged”-style set.

“That will make it intimate for both ourselves and the audience. We even have a surprise or two that will make this a very special night to remember,” he said.

Producer Seth McNally of M.E. Productions said it is a rare event when these four can come together for a show.

“This will be like a rock and blues revue,” he said.

When Montgomery plays the harmonica, he is known for his intensity and depth that often gets the audience on its feet. Montgomery has recorded with Kid Rock, sat in with Gregg Allman, and fronted a band for 30 years. He grew up in Detroit, where he learned firsthand from the masters, including James Cotton, John Lee Hooker, and Junior Wells at the defunct Detroit club The Chessmate.

In the summer of 2010, both Farren and Butcher performed at the annual songwriter-in-the-round coffeehouse in Essex, along with Allen Estes and Fly Amero.

Butcher, often described as an influential recording artist of the legendary Boston music scene and MTV videos, continues his love affair with all things Americana — blues, jazz, Dixieland, folk, swing, Cajun, and more. Meanwhile Farren has been part of successful rock bands throughout the 1980s, including The Joe Perry Project and Farrenheit.

Hull, who started with the Buddy Miles Band, went on to record and tour with Joe Cocker, Ted Nugent and Arthur Lee & Love. In the 1970s, he was a founding member of the rock band Dirty Angels, and was tapped in 1979 for The Joe Perry Project. He co-founded Farrenheit with Farren. Perhaps his most high-profile role was when he was tapped as a replacement for Tom Hamilton on the Aerosmith tour in 2006, and again in 2009.

Advance tickets for the show are on sale now from $20 to $35. For information, visit or call 978-546-7391.

Gail McCarthy can be reached at 978-283-7000 x3445, or

If you go What and who: An Acoustic Evening With James Montgomery, Charlie Farren, Jon Butcher, and David Hull When: 8 p.m., Friday, Jan. 18. Where: Shalin Liu Performance Center, Main Street, Rockport. How much: $20 to $35. For information, visit or call 978-546-7391.