The Winchendon Courier
Serving the community since 1878 ~ A By Light Unseen Media publication
Week of February 29 to March 7, 2024

DA Early to Host National Health Expert to Discuss Overdose Crisis

Dr. Wilson Compton
Dr. Wilson Compton
Photo courtesy of Lindsay Corcoran

WORCESTER - On March 7, Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early, Jr. is hosting a free event for the public to hear from Dr. Wilson Compton, Deputy Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, regarding addiction and rising overdose rates.

Dr. Compton will present on a variety of topics, including the root causes of addiction, the evolving dynamics of polysubstance use, health aspects and their impacts in the criminal justice system, and the state of current National Institutes of Health-backed research projects in Massachusetts.

"It is so important for our community to come together to address the underlying causes and the ongoing issues perpetuating the substance misuse and overdoses that continue to claim the lives of so many of our family, friends, and loved ones," Mr. Early said. "Dr. Compton is a nationally recognized expert who can lead us in this conversation and help guide us on a path forward that includes less pain, suffering and loss."

The event on March 7 will include a presentation from Dr. Compton, as well as community resource tables and networking. The networking begins at 5:30 p.m. with Dr. Compton starting his presentation at 6:30 p.m. The event is free, open to the public, and requires no pre-registration. It is being held at Worcester Technical High School, 1 Officer Manny Familia Way, Worcester.

Mr. Early has been passionately committed to addressing the polysubstance use crisis, as well as trauma and mental health. In 2015, he formed the Central Mass. Opioid Task Force, which he renamed last year the Prevention and Support Network. There are more than 700 members in the network. In 2020, Mr. Early launched the Critical Incident Management Systems (CIMS) software for police in Worcester County to track overdose incidents in real-time and then follow-up with survivors to get them into treatment. The office has since received federal grant funding to add recovery coaches to the program and expand drug diversion programs in the county courts. In 2021, we established the Worcester County Drug Endangered Children's Alliance in an effort to support children who've experienced trauma. Federal grant funding was awarded in 2022 to support the expansion of the alliance and the implementation of the Handle With Care programs to schools throughout the county.

For additional information on the March 7 event, please contact Caroline Root at or Luke Piers at

"The King of Blarney" is at The Park Theatre This Friday

Ireland's renowned comedian George Casey is part of Andy Cooney's Irish Celebration in Jaffrey on March 1

JAFFREY, New Hampshire (February 27, 2024) Ireland's renowned comedian George Casey is part of Andy Cooney's Irish Celebration at The Park Theatre in Jaffrey this Friday, March 1 at 7:30 p.m.

George Casey was born in a remote seaside village on the west coast of Ireland legendary for its storytelling. Growing up in a large family, George saw humor everywhere and honed his skills as a comic at the expense of his brothers and sisters.

For over 30 years now, George has been entertaining audiences all over the US with his self-deprecating sense of humor and clean jokes and stories. Some of the acts George has opened for and toured with include Rosemary Clooney, Melissa Manchester, Charley Pride, The Osmond Brothers, Ray Price, Three Dog Night, Brooklyn Bridge, Donald O'Connor, and Bobby Vinton. George performed with Bobby Vinton as his Special Guest Comedy Star in Vinton's Blue Velvet Theatre in Branson, Missouri, until it's close in 2002. He has performed at Caesar's Palace, The Sahara, and was a regular act at The Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

George is part of Andy Cooney's Irish Celebration variety show at The Park. Mr. Cooney is one of America's most acclaimed tenors. His Irish-American roots and his incomparable voice have enchanted audiences around the world including the legendary Carnegie Hall in New York City. The New York Times calls Mr. Cooney, "Irish America's favorite son." His variety show also includes Irish folk singer Ciara Fox, the Guinness Irish Band and the Emerald Fire Irish Dancers. Reserved seat tickets are $29-$49.

Tickets for George and the Irish Celebration can be reserved by going to Any questions about the festival can be answered by calling the theatre's box office at (603) 532-8888. The event kicks off Shamrock Fest 2024.

The Park Theatre performing arts center is located at 19 Main Street in downtown Jaffrey, New Hampshire, just 90 minutes from Boston. There is a bar lounge, and the facility is fully accessible.

Frank Sinatra Tribute at Park Theatre This Saturday

Acclaimed Frank Sinatra tribute artist brings his band to The Park Theatre in Jaffrey, NH, this Saturday, March 2

JAFFREY, New Hampshire (February 26, 2024) The Eppes Auditorium at The Park Theatre will be swinging this Saturday night with the always memorable sounds of Frank Sinatra. Patrick Tobin, New England's premier Sinatra tribute artist, brings his band and tuxedo to the Jaffrey stage on Saturday, March 2 at 7:30 p.m.

Singing professionally since 1996, Patrick Tobin is a leading, internationally acclaimed Frank Sinatra tribute artist, impersonator, and singer. Feeling at home in a club environment, on stage in a symphony hall, or anything in between, Patrick delivers a thrilling musical experience.

Covering songs from all of Sinatra's career eras, every fan will feel included as Patrick croons his way through the American Songbook. A common statement from more "experienced listeners" is that they were taken back 50 years after watching Patrick's show. Amazingly, younger listeners are always surprised at how "cool" Sinatra's music is.

Tickets are $30, $35 and $40. They can be purchased online at or by calling the box office (603) 532-8888. Group sales are also available. Doors open at the theatre's Lounge Bar at 5:30pm, with Bernie & Louise Watson playing all the great standards on the Lounge's baby grand Steinway.

The Park Theatre Performing Arts Center is at 19 Main Street in downtown Jaffrey, New Hampshire. The facility is fully accessible.

The Oscars® are coming to The Park Theatre

Oscar® nominated Short Films and Oscar Viewing Party from March 8-10

JAFFREY, New Hampshire (February 26, 2024) If you love the movies, The Park Theatre is your place to be on Oscar® Weekend. On Friday, March 8, and Saturday, March 9, the theatre will present all of the Oscar® nominated short films for 2024. On Sunday, March 10 the Jaffrey performing arts center will present the entire Academy Awards telecast live, including the red carpet activities. All Oscar® events will be shown on The Park's giant screen in their 333-seat Eppes Auditorium.

Since 2016, The Park Theatre has proudly brought the Oscar® Nominated Short Films to Western New England audiences. This special release features the year's most spectacular short films. Each nominee is released in one of three distinct feature-length compilations according to their category of nomination: Live Action, Animation, or Documentary. All three will be screened on Friday, March 8, and then again (at different times) on Saturday, March 9. Tickets are $10/$9 for each category. You can buy a Triple Pass for all three categories and save $5. For schedule and more info, go to

The Park continues its Oscar® Weekend with a viewing party of the big event on Sunday, March 10, starting at 6pm. The telecast will look like you have never seen it beforeā€¦ massive on The Park's 27-foot wide screen with 17-speaker surround sound. The party is free, no tickets required. A $10 donation to The Park Theatre is suggested. Special tasty appetizers and champagne will be on sale in addition to the regular concession and bar fare featuring the best popcorn in New England (with real butter). There will be an Oscar® Ballot contest to see who can accurately pick the most winners. Guests are also invited to walk The Park's own Red Carpet and be interviewed live on ParkTV's Facebook broadcast. Bernie and Louise Watson will provide music in the theatre's Lounge Bar with their performance of classic standards and movie themes.

Information, schedule, and tickets for Oscar® Short Film and Oscar® Viewing Party can be found by going to Questions about the special weekend can be answered by calling the theatre's box office at (603) 532-8888.

The Park Theatre, a nonprofit performing arts center, is located at 19 Main Street in downtown Jaffrey, New Hampshire, just 90 minutes from Boston. There is a bar lounge, and the facility is fully accessible.

Coming Up at Nova Arts in Keene

Wildflower Playing on March 1

Join us at Nova Arts in Keene this week for another exciting show! Friday, March 1, Wildflower is the songwriting project of Adrian O'Barr, based in Portland, Maine. Writing primarily about place and the power of nature, the music seeks to explore a distinctive vision of "Atlantic" music and tell stories of a changing coastline. Combining influences as far ranging as 1970's British Isles folk music, Laurel Canyon, and ambient, Wildflower's third album, "Green World" arrives 3/1/2024 via their own label Dog's Breath Records. It features contributions from friends and collaborators Andrew Weaver (Mail the Horse, Widowspeak), Joseph Shabason (Destroyer), Hamilton Belk (Cut Worms), MorganEve Swain (Huntress and the Holder of Hands), Matthew Maiello, Jason Eckerson, and Kevin Sullivan.

Wildflower has toured both locally and nationally and played with many of their heroes, including Little Wings, Michael Nau, Kacey Johansing, and Steve Gunn, among others. Their previous album, "The Ocean Rose" was released by Los Angeles label Night Bloom Records. Wildflower has been featured in Aquarium Drunkard, New Commute, Various Small Flames, Uncut Magazine, and For the Rabbits. Their new album was made in part with funding from the American Rescue Plan Maine Projects Grants, a sub-granting program administered by SPACE Gallery for the National Endowment for the Arts.

Fiddler Mike Gangloff plays free Appalachian music that includes melodic composition, improvisation and traditional tunes learned from older players around his home in Southwest Virginia. A founder of longtime improv drone unit Pelt and old-time rowdies Black Twig Pickers, Mike often performs solo on hardanger-style and octave fiddles. His most recent solo album is "Evening Measures," with a follow-up presently in the works. A new collaborative album with improv duo Elkhorn, "Shackamaxon Concert," has just been released by VHF Records, and another collaboration, with UK guitarist C Joynes, is due out later this year.

Liam Grant is a New England guitarist with a punk ethos, cut from the American Primitive cloth. The restless guitar explorations, modal epics, and driving uptempo rags recall the likes of Grant's pedagogue, Takoma Records, and the path that was paved by his forebears John Fahey, Robbie Basho, Peter Walker and later Glenn Jones, Steffen Basho-Junghans, Jack Rose, and others.

Bridging that past Grant evokes the pith of the landscape in which he was raised. Personal instrumental memoirs and ruminations on the banks of the Merrimack River. Amoskeag. And the place where the waters flow around it. Salmon tails up the falls and black pearls from the river. The exodus to Stratton-Eustis and the Last Night on the Dead River before the great flood.

"Although only 23 years old, Liam's become a leading force in a much needed third wave revival of American Primitive music. Despite his age, Liam's the very definition of 'an old soul' and while he draws on a wide variety of contemporary influences, he also channels a comprehensive history of the blues as well as a deeper energy that informs both his playing and songwriting." -- Rob Vaughn, Portland, Oregon -- July 2023

Caitlin Wilder is a singer-songwriter and artist from New Hampshire, who's folk inspired songs are a profound reflection on life, inviting listeners into an experience of introspection and connection. She is at work on her debut album, which she plans to release later in 2024.

Doors open at 7:00 p.m. and music begins at 7:30 p.m. Seating is first come first served and this show is all ages.

Thursday Night March 7

Alynda Segarra is 36, or a little less than halfway through the average American lifespan. In that comparatively brief time, though, the Hurray for the Riff Raff founder has been something of a modern Huck Finn, an itinerant traveler whose adventures prompt art that reminds us there are always other ways to live.

Born in the Bronx and of Puerto Rican heritage, Segarra was raised there by a blue-collar aunt and uncle, as their father navigated Vietnam trauma and their mother neglected them to work for the likes of Rudy Giuliani. They were radicalized before they were a teenager, baptized in the anti-war movement and galvanized in New York's punk haunts and queer spaces. At 17, Segarra split, becoming the kid in a communal squat before shuttling to California, where they began crisscrossing the country by hopping trains. They eventually found home--spiritual, emotional, physical--in New Orleans, forming a hobo band and realizing that music was not only a way to share what they'd learned and seen but to learn and see more. Hurray for the Riff Raff steadily rose from house shows to a major label, where Segarra became a pan-everything fixture of the modern folk movement. But that yoke became a burden, prompting Segarra to make the probing and poignant electronic opus, 2022's Life on Earth, their Nonesuch debut. Catch your breath, OK? We're back to 36, back to now.

During the last dozen years, these manifold tales of Segarra's voyages have shaped an oral folklore of sorts, with the teenage vagabonding or subsequent trainhopping becoming what some may hear about Hurray for the Riff Raff before hearing the music itself. Segarra has dropped tidbits in songs, too, but they always worried that their experiences were too radical, that memories of dumpster diving or riding through New Orleans with a dildo dangling on an antenna were too much. But on The Past Is Still Alive, Segarra finally tells the story themselves, speckling stirring reflections on love, loss, and the end or evolution of the United States with foundational scenes from their own life. "It felt like a trust fall, or a letting go of this idea of proving something to the music industry--how I can be more digestible, modifiable, sellable," Segarra says. "I feel like I'm closer to what I actually have to share."

NNAMDÏ has never been able to stay in one place. The Chicago multi-instrumentalist and songwriter set a blistering pace in 2020 with his critically acclaimed genre-fusing LP Brat, a punk EP Black Plight, and Krazy Karl, a full-length tribute to Looney Tunes composer Carl Stalling. Add in his role as co-owner of label Sooper Records, as well as recent tours with Wilco, Sleater-Kinney, black midi, and Jeff Rosenstock and it's an overwhelming schedule. However, his latest album, Please Have A Seat (out 10/07/22 via Secretly Canadian / Sooper Records), is the result of a much-needed pause.

"I realized I never take time to just sit and take in where I'm at," says NNAMDÏ. "It's just nice to not be on 'Go, Go, Go!' mode, and reevaluate where I wanted to go musically." This period of reflection allowed him to take stock of his life and his relationships. "I wanted to be present," he says. "Each song came from a moment of clarity." Please Have A Seat serves as an invitation to listen. It's a request to sit down, be present, and take in a moment. With this quiet introspection, NNAMDÏ found inspiration in silence and nuance.

While making the record, he decided to stretch the limits of his pop songwriting: every track had to be hummable. Though he's written earworms throughout his career from playing in bands in Chicago's DIY community or releasing goofy raps as NNAMDÏ's Sooper Dooper Secret Side Project, here, his shapeshifting hooks are undeniable. Each of the album's fourteen songs, which NNAMDÏ wrote, produced, and performed entirely himself, are relentlessly replayable, careening into unexpected and disorienting places. With NNAMDÏ's singular vision, Please Have A Seat is yet another leap from Chicago's hardest working musician. By taking a minute to sit down and catch his breath, he reemerged with the most ambitious, accessible, and nuanced work of his career.

Doors open at 7:00 p.m. and music will start at 7:30! Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 on the day of the show.

Tickets are available at, at Brewbakers / Terra Nova Coffee, or at the door.