PATRIOT LEDGER: Local musicians entertain outdoors at PorchFest Quincy

By Mary Whitfill
The Patriot Ledger

QUINCY – From dining to concerts to movies: al fresco is the way to go in the summer. Taking the idea of unconventional venues to a whole new level, local bands flocked to the porches of Quincy neighborhoods on Saturday to share their music in an outdoor setting.

“PorchFest is so fun,” said Quincy resident Shari Kurtzman, who danced with Abington’s Dan Kent on Prospect Avenue to the music of Drunken Logic pianist Jake Cassman. “Our family is visiting from New York, so we wanted to bring them to something local and fun.”

PorchFest invites residents to volunteer their porches, driveways and front yards to be makeshift venues for live bands. From there, acts volunteer their time and play sets while neighbors wander the streets and listen to every type of music they can think of, from Oldies to heavy metal. The festival came to Quincy for the second time on Saturday, with over 100 bands playing in 70 different spaces in four different neighborhoods.

“Our son and his band have an opportunity to play their music and he’s super excited,” said Kevin Adams, whose son is a member of the band Psytera Veridan. “It’s also a great way for people to see what an excelled neighborhood we have in Wollaston Heights.”

New York-based band The Muckrakers played PorchFest for the second time this year. The bass player, Shannon Muñoz, is a graduate of Eastern Nazarene College.

“We’re trying to gain as much experience in other states as we can,” he said after his set on Saturday. “It (PorchFest) was really good, some things even sounded better than they did in practice.”

A few miles away in Wollaston, father-son Irish duo Celtic Law played to a large crowd on Elm Avenue. Al and Brendan Gavaghan drew about 40 listeners to their three hour set, including Davis Street residents John Mahoney and Karen White.

“I’m Irish so I know it all,” Mahoney said while waiting for the band to start. “We like to get the nephews and the kids next door and go for walks to all the neighborhood stuff.”

Over the course of the day, bands played in Wollaston, Wollaston Heights, Squantum and Merrymount.

“It’s wonderful that the community has embraced this type of event,” organizer Walter Hubley said. “It shows that the city of Quincy really had a desire for more live music.”