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The Cannery warms up winter with music in Southbridge

Colin Burdett

TOM O R ROW N IGHT !

WORCES TER THE HANOVER THEATRE FRI | N OV. 20 | 8:00 PM

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here is no denying social media has taken music to infinitely accessible levels. YouTube and Facebook users are able to listen to and watch entire live concerts with the click of a button or a single touch of a smartphone. Living in this digital age of convenience, keeping the local music scene alive may come as a challenge for most concert hall owners. Majke Ellis has proven more than up to the task. Since September 2011, The Cannery Music Hall in Southbridge has been providing a safe, clean, and (most importantly) fun atmosphere for local and touring musicians to showcase their talents. Located next to the Iron Horse Tavern, The Cannery is run by a crew of just

said. “With that, I can be a Dead-head hippie one night and the next I’m a rocker chick. We have music from one side of the spectrum to the other side in one weekend, so we’re not typecast into one specific genre of music. We’re all over the place, which gives our guests a little bit of versatility and diversity.” The four members of the Cannery don’t expect any turnover in their upcoming seasons. “We are all very committed to supporting live music,” Ellis said. “We don’t do it as a source of revenue, we do it because we genuinely enjoy live music. Anybody who is in this business knows that it is very hard doing it. We try to be a responsible venue, our only profit comes from our revenue.” With high-production sound, staging and lighting, The Cannery prides itself on being

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• NOVEMBER 19, 2015

four members, including Ellis, the manager. She describes the Cannery as a place that caters to several different genres. “We love live music,” Ellis said. “We want to do everything we can to support the scene, and it is growing increasingly difficult to do that. If you do any research on live music whatsoever, you will see a lot of music venues experiencing the same thing. There’s decreased attendance at every show. Nobody has come up with any answers with why that’s happening, except there’s speculation that social media feeds people what they need instantaneously, they don’t have to go anywhere to see the bands that they want.” Hosting a wide range of local bands, original songwriters and cover bands, The Cannery has been described lightly by Majke as “schizophrenic.”The Cannery recently hosted, on different nights, a Grateful Dead tribute band and a Deep Purple cover band. “Each one of our members transform,” Ellis

a music hall, not a bar. Most of the acts at The Cannery cater to a 30-plus demographic. With the interest of public safety in mind, The Cannery bar usually closes at least a half hour before the final band stops playing. “Most of the bands we have playing here are very professional, high-quality musicians,” said Ellis. “Every once in a while, we book a band that just comes to play out for fun. They tend to be local bands. They just want to put on a show for their friends and their family and it’s not about being a professional musician, it’s just about coming out and letting loose and blowing off some steam, and we do entertain shows like that too. Some of those are our best-selling shows. These bands just want to come out and party with their friends and family.” With a few more shows planned before the end of the season, including tributes to Rush, Country Music (Trailer Trash and continued on next page

Worcester Magazine November 19 - 25, 2015  

2015 Winter Guide

Worcester Magazine November 19 - 25, 2015  

2015 Winter Guide

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