Chadwick Stokes to headline Pearl Street this Saturday

By Troy Kowalchuk

Dispatch and State Radio singer and guitarist Chadwick Stokes will kick off his solo tour at Northampton’s Pearl Street Nightclub this Saturday with Denver-based band Ark Life and Boston-based band Dingo Babies.

During the show, Stokes will play songs off of his upcoming album, “The Horse Comanche,” and promote his charity, Calling All Crows.

Stokes’ new album is slated to be released on Feb. 3, 2015. In an exclusive interview with the Collegian, Stokes said that becoming a father served as a major inspiration for “The Horse Comanche.”

“I’m a new dad of two, and a lot of that goes into the album,” he said. “There’s a whole new way of looking at life.”

Stokes said he was also influenced by his recent “Living Room Tour,” in which he performed intimate concerts in the living rooms of lucky fans, testing out new music. While most of “The Horse Comanche” was completed by the time of the tour, Stokes asked for opinions from his fans regarding the new material.

“With the people there, we talked about different titles of songs,” Stokes said. “What bridge they preferred or if it’s too long or too short.”

Through this process, he said he was able to make the production of “The Horse Comanche” a more cooperative effort.

While Stokes has explored new themes and ideas over the past few years, he maintained that he has not strayed from his roots in the new album.

“I can’t get away from my love of the trains, and train hopping,” Stokes said. “But there’s also a song about Walter, a kid with disabilities in Uganda. It’s all over the map.”

Stokes is also known for his deep involvement in human rights causes. In “The Horse Comanche,” he said that he further aims to get communities involved in a variety of campaigns. He noted one song, titled, “Our Lives Our Time,” that discusses the industrial prison complex, lack of school funding and intolerance of gay marriage.

The money raised from Saturday’s concert will go toward Syrian women displaced by the country’s civil war as part of Calling All Crows’ newest project promoting women’s rights.

In addition, Stokes said he is excited for Calling All Crows’ sixth annual Northampton Halloween 5K that will be taking place prior to Saturday’s concert. The walk raised more than $100,000 in its first five years.

“Spending time helping to educate local refugees, being informed of events around the world, signing up and joining communities such as Amnesty International and Calling All Crows are amazing ways to give to your community,” Stokes said.

The sixth Annual Northampton Halloween 5K runs from 2 to 7 p.m. on Saturday. Stokes will then perform with Ark Life and Dingo Babies at 8 p.m. at Pearl Street. Tickets are $21 in advance, $25 at the door.

Troy Kowalchuk can be reached at [email protected]

Correction 10/28 4:14 p.m.: An earlier version of this story, as well as the printed edition, originally listed Brooklyn-based band Lucius as the show’s opener. The actual scheduled openers are Ark Life and Dingo Babies.