As promised, Summertime has arrived. Now we head into the height of the season. The 4th of July. The New Bedford Folk, Lowell Folk, Newport Folk, and other Festivals. Outdoor music gatherings small and large to make us forget all those months where we forgot what our legs and feet looked like.

And of course, new and forthcoming releases from our vaunted Greater Boston and New England music community.

In addition to the traditional summer music festivals, there is yet another Porchfest to announce. As opposed to the six towns that had Porchfest in June, there is only one I know of for July. And that is in…drum roll, please…Fenway…on Saturday July 9th.

Marco Giovino continues to be a producing machine. He has passed along a couple of tracks from the forthcoming Joe Lilly & The Mystix release. One of the two tracks makes me think of Ray Bonneville with an even more gravelly throat. Of course, Ray used to live in the Boston area but later spent six years in New Orleans. Joe Lilly & The Mystix are Boston based…while Joe has an almost New Orleans gravelly drawl.

Besides being an active producer, Marco Giovino shows up on so many other bands’ projects – recorded and on stage – as a drummer. Another veteran “secret weapon” with multiple bands and artists over at least 20 years in the Boston area would have to be Sean Staples.

His new solo album Still Far is out. Sean says this about it: “Songs I’m proud of. Some older, some brand new. Some loud, some quiet. Some mine alone, some co writes with talented friends Dietrich Strause, Dave Godowsky, Laura Cortese, Mark Erelli, Jimmy Ryan, Dinty Child and Lisa Bastoni.” You might recognize which of these artists go with which song. Also Sean produced Lisa Bastoni’s recent album that included the song, “Nearby,” which they co-wrote. So Sean recorded his own version here. Other “secret weapons” on the album are James Rohr, Chris Anzalone, Russell Chudnofsky, and Jess Tardy.

The actual release date was June 3rd. But now here we are at the crux of July as I am listening to it, and the album seems almost ironic…in that most of it feels like a winter album. And go figure, Sean wrote the album between October and February of last year. The winter vibe is especially true right at the very top. The album begins with New Year’s Day, a song driven by the sentiment that “it’s going to all be different New Year’s Day.” Anyone else ever get that feeling late in December, that everything could change, get better, etc, come the start of the new year? Yeah, I don’t remember either. But I’m sure I will once December hits. But who wants to think about December at this time?

HAPPY SUMMERTIME (have I said that yet?)!!

And thanks for being a part of us at WUMB.

~ Perry Persoff