Sam Cohen Brings Psychedelic Pop to MASS MoCA

Sam Cohen

(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) — Pop-rock singer-songwriter Sam Cohen brings his individual brand of retro-psychedelia and his buzzsaw guitar licks to Club B-10 at MASS MoCA on Saturday, February 25, at 8pm. The former frontman of Apollo Sunshine and The Yellowbirds, who has lent his guitar talents to the likes of Bob Weir and CeeLo, will be fronting his full band at the show, which injects a sunny blast of summer into the cabin-fever season.

Cohen has developed his solo career while collaborating with a disparate range of nationally and internationally recognized artists, including Norah Jones, Shakira, the National, and the aforementioned Bob Weir and CeeLo. Cohen’s musical posse widened during his tenure as the musical director of “The Complete Last Waltz,” a 41-song concert that paid homage to The Band’s iconic album, in which he directed and played with artists Nels Cline, Dr. Dog, and Cass McCombs.

Cohen also released his first solo album in 2015, a feel-good album of “reverb-soaked vocals with jangling guitars, propulsive basslines and lush string charts” (Rolling Stone). Backed by a full band, Cohen is currently touring with songs from last year’s “Cool It.”

A young musician who originally grew up in Houston listening to the likes of Roy Orbison and Buddy Holly, Cohen relocated to Boston in 1997 to attend college and pursue a career in music. After enrolling in a summer program at Berklee College of Music — concentrating on record production and audio engineering — Cohen befriended his future bandmate, Jesse Gallagher. In 2001, the two connected with Jeremy Black, and Apollo Sunshine took form.

A bright light in the psych-rock genre, the band’s self-titled 2005 album garnered critical acclaim, warranting a feature in Rolling Stone’s “Artists to Watch” segment and earning the group a spot on Amazon’s “Best of 2005” list. The band’s final album received similarly strong reviews, in which the New York Times praised it for the “bouncy ‘60s-style melodies.”

The band separated in 2009 while each musician pursued his solo career. Cohen subsequently formed Yellowbirds, a solo project that ultimately developed into a multi-member band. Active from 2009 to 2014, touring around the globe, the Yellowbirds accrued commendation for its “hazy summertime feel” (Rolling Stone).

Lickety Split, MASS MoCA’s café, serves up crisp salads, hearty soups, and lip-smacking pub fare before the show. A full bar serves Bright Ideas Brewing beers and Berkshire Mountain Distillery spirits throughout the performance. Tickets are $10 for students, $16 advance, $22 day of, and $28 preferred. Tickets for all events are available through the MASS MoCA box office located on Marshall Street in North Adams, open 11am to 5pm every day except Tuesdays. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during box office hours or purchased online at MASS MoCA.



MASS MoCA is one of the world’s liveliest (and largest) centers for making, displaying, and enjoying today’s most important art, music, dance, theater, film, and video. MASS MoCA will nearly double its gallery space in spring 2017, with artist partnerships that include Laurie Anderson, the Louise Bourgeois Trust, Jenny Holzer, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, and James Turrell.


Gallery admission is $18 for adults, $16 for veterans and seniors, $12 for students, $8 for children 6 to 16, and free for children 5 and under through May 21, 2017. Members are admitted free year-round. The Hall Art Foundation’s Anselm Kiefer exhibition is open seasonally, spring–fall. For additional information, call 413.662.2111 x1 or visit MASS MoCA.


Hours: 11am to 5pm, closed Tuesdays





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