Mark Erelli will bring his string quartet to Bellows Falls in the first of this year’s concert series to honor the memory of Ray Massucco (inset).
Sam Kassirer/Courtesy photo; inset: Courtesy photo/Commons file
Mark Erelli will bring his string quartet to Bellows Falls in the first of this year’s concert series to honor the memory of Ray Massucco (inset).

Mark Erelli string quartet will perform in Bellows Falls

Performance opens the second year of a festival honoring the memory of Ray Massucco, a ‘full-time music lover’

BELLOWS FALLS-Mark Erelli kicks off the 2024 Ray Massucco Concert Series at the Bellows Falls Opera House on Thursday, July 18, with a typically unique twist: Instead of being backed by a band, Erelli's voice and guitar will be accompanied by a string quintet.

"I've always wanted to do this," Erelli said in a news release, "and this summer we were able to put together a run of shows that allowed for it."

It is, he writes, "in a word: classy!"

The New England singer-songwriter burst onto the scene in the 1990s with consummate guitar skills and a distinctive voice.

Since then, he has established a reputation as a sideman for Josh Ritter, Marc Cohn, and Paula Cole. He's produced albums by Lori McKenna, and been a member of Barnstar!, a regional bluegrass band.

Alongside his highly regarded self-penned material, his albums have also revived Civil War–era songs and interpreted the work of the late New Hampshire tunesmith Bill Morrissey.

Phil Henry is billed as the "special guest" for the performance.

The series is named after Ray Massucco, a civic-minded attorney, part-time concert promoter, and full-time music lover who died unexpectedly in 2022.

A group of Vermont friends who had worked with him on Rockingham's Roots on the River music festival quickly coalesced around the idea of a concert series.

"Ray loved music," says Ezra Veitch, production manager of Ray's the Roof, which is presenting the series in association with Next Stage Arts of Putney, "and Ray loved Bellows Falls. I think he'd be thrilled to see how successful the series was in 2023 and looks to be in 2024, as well."

The 2024 series continues Sunday, Aug. 4, with a matinee performance by Garrison Keillor, followed by a double bill of Ray Wylie Hubbard and Mary Gauthier on Saturday, Sept. 28. The series concludes with the Chris Smither Band on Thursday, Nov. 14.

Erelli played at Massucco's celebration of life in 2023 and was specifically requested for an Opera House show by the Massucco family.

The doors of the Bellows Falls Opera House (7 Village Square) open at 6:30 p.m.; showtime is 7:30 p.m.

Tickets and information can be found at or by calling 802-387-0102.

This Arts item by was written for The Commons.

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