The Mansfield Downtown Partnership is pleased to announce the headliner for the 16th Annual Celebrate Mansfield Festival: Parsonsfield!
Parsonsfield, praised for making “the most jubilant and danceable indie roots music this side of the Carolinas” (NPR), is a folk-rock outfit known for their rich harmonies, vibrant songwriting, and energetic live performances. Parsonsfield’s latest release, WE (2018 Signature Sounds), is contemplative, filled with real life struggle and excitement. The album takes us from the joys of childhood discovery to the depression and confusion of a
quarter-life crisis to dancing your way toward the darkness at the end of days. In this collection of songs they push the boundaries of their harmony-driven grassroots origins to create their own distinctive Americana, integrating pop and bold rock flourishes along the way. Produced by Dan Cardinal (Josh Ritter, The Low Anthem, Darlingside), WE captures the band’s maturing sound, having as much influence from 90s rock and 70’s R&B as it does the indie folk material that fans have come to expect.
The band draws their name from the rural Maine town that’s home to the Great North Sound Society, the farm-house-turned-recording-studio of Josh Ritter keyboardist/producer Sam Kassirer. It was there that Parsonsfield cut their outstanding debut, Poor Old Shine (2013 Signature Sounds), which established them as a roots force
to be reckoned with. Their rowdy live performances only upped the ante, with The Bluegrass Situation falling for their “fun and frenzy” and No Depression raving that they’ll “give you rich five-part harmonies one minute… then rock you over the head with unbearably cool and raucous Celtic rhythms.” They once again called on Kassirer for their follow-up, Blooming Through The Black (2016 Signature Sounds), enlisting his engineering and production ingenuity to help convert an axe factory into a temporary recording studio. American Songwriter says Blooming Through The Black captures “the live energy the band has come to be known for.” WNYC says “Parsonsfield is based in western Massachusetts, but their music draws on the string bands of Appalachia. At least in part. They also like to crank up the amps and pin your ears to the wall.” Catch them onstage any night and the band’s joy is palpable. They trade instruments, share microphones, and shoot each other big grins. They sing in tight multi-part harmonies, their voices blending like they’ve been doing this together all their lives. That’s because Parsonsfield is a family band, not by birth but by choice.
Parsonsfield is: Chris Freeman (vocals, banjo, guitar, bass), Antonio Alcorn (vocals, mandolin, banjo, bass), Max Shakun (vocals, guitar, keys, bass), Erik Hischmann (vocals, drums, percussion, bass) Parsonsfield will perform at 6:30 PM on the stage of the Jeffrey P. Ossen Family Foundation Pavilion on Betsy Paterson Square.
“Parsonsfield introduces some of the most jubilant and danceable indie roots music this side of the Carolinas.” — NPR
“a lot of string bands like to talk about how they are innovating, but Parsonsfield actually delivers on that promise. Not only does their sound kick out the windows of what most people think of folk and bluegrass, but their video raises a flag for the millennial generation.” — Folk Alley
“…totally out of left field … comes the music of Parsonsfield, an eclectic American band which happily mingles bluegrass, folk, jazz and anything else that comes to mind…their sound make[s] that biblical “joyful noise” — The Toronto Star
ABOUT THE FESTIVAL
The Mansfield Downtown Partnership hosts the Celebrate Mansfield Festival each fall as a way to promote Downtown Storrs and to highlight the businesses and community organizations that make Mansfield unique. The Festival draws thousands of Mansfield residents and UConn community members together for a day filled with music, food, and fun activities for all ages. The Celebrate Mansfield Festival is free and open to the public.
ABOUT THE PARTNERSHIP
The Mansfield Downtown Partnership is an independent, non-profit organization comprised of the Town of Mansfield, the University of Connecticut, and individual business members and residents. The Partnership seeks to foster the continued development, management, and promotion of Downtown Storrs – a vibrant and economically successful
community in the heart of Mansfield.
16th Annual Celebrate Mansfield Festival
Saturday, September 21, 2019
2:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Activity booths open 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Storrs Farmers Market open 3:00 – 6:00 PM
Parsonsfield performs 6.30 PM – 8:00 PM
Location: On and around Betsy Paterson Square, 2 Dog Lane, Storrs, CT 06268
Rain location: E. O. Smith High School, 1235 Storrs Road, Storrs, CT 06268
Free parking will be available in the Downtown Storrs Parking Garage (33 Royce Circle, Storrs, CT 06268). Directions and additional parking information are available at downtownstorrsfestival.org.