By Jimmy Craven
When people think of rock music, they think of being young and carefree. They also think of rebellion and counterculture. They fondly recall an unfettered time in their lives. More recently, rock music has gentrified, so there is a nostalgia element involved in the reminiscence as well. And, over time, “like a rock star” has become the ultimate compliment!
While everybody has their favorite rock bands, these always find themselves at the top of the heap: The Rolling Stones, U2, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses, Green Day, The Foo Fighters, and our homeboys, Aerosmith. What draws us in are the rebellious lyrics, great songwriting, and awesome guitar-playing (rock is a guitar-centric art form). Rock music is a fun way to escape our everyday lives! Just think of all the current pop culture events that harken to rock music, such as the film Bohemian Rhapsody or Spinal Tap, or Wayne’s World, or the upcoming Woodstock Reunion. People flock to these movies to relive the music. Contemporary rock bands, such as The 1975, The Regrettes, Arcade Fire, and Yungblud, are all doing their part to keep rock alive as well.
On May 10, South Shore Conservatory’s Jazz/Rock/Pop faculty musicians are keeping the classic rock train running here on the South Shore, by presenting Classic Rock UnPlugged: intimate stories from the stage at Hingham Heritage Museum at Old Derby Academy. Unplugged, or acoustic shows such as these, are the raw, stripped-down-to-the-bone side of rock, without the hubris and amphitheater-style arrangements. No cords, no amplifiers, no auto-tune – just unenhanced instruments and voices. The audience will enjoy rock classics from the 60s through the 90s in an intimate setting that doesn’t damage your hearing. Plus you can talk to your friends without yelling! I’ve played multiple shows at Old Derby, and it’s killer for really connecting with the audience. When we’re playing, it feels like we’re in someone’s living room, having a conversation.
I started playing rock guitar in sixth grade. By seventh grade I was playing teen events and school dances. Performing “I’m A Man” (which I wasn’t) by the Yardbirds before a group of 1700 people in my hometown was an early performance highlight for me. And, I still play some form of rock every weekend. So, I have a million stories to share. In between songs, musicians will tell the stories behind the songs, and/or share the stories that each song created in our lives as musicians. There should be some pretty funny recollections. I’ll be playing keyboards and guitar, and perhaps singing a bit for the audience. I’ve performed with all of these musicians, individually, in various settings in the past, but this is a unique band created just for this one event. It’s gonna be epic!
If you’re looking to get in touch with your rebellious teen-aged self, hear classic tunes by an all-star SSC unplugged band, and have a memorable night out in Hingham, then this concert is for you!
South Shore Conservatory’s Jazz/Rock/Pop Series, sponsored by Chateau Edmus, presents Classic Rock Unplugged: intimate stories from the stage, on Friday, May 10, 7 pm at Hingham Heritage Museum at Old Derby Academy, 34 Main Street in Hingham. This is the fourth of six performances in the 2018/2019 season. For more information or for tickets, visit https://sscmusic.org/jrpseries/ or call Beth at
781-421-6162, ext. 204.
Pianist, guitarist and synthesist Jimmy Craven has been with South Shore Conservatory since 2009.