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PACE serves up a month of toe-tapping treats

The Pioneer Valley Arts Center in Easthampton has a full calender of events to will get your spirit going. Dec. 11, 7:30 p.m. "Girl Howdy." Tickets: $10 general / $8 members Honky Tonk Holiday Ho-Ho-Ho Down! Jean Elizabeth Shockley will be leading a free Texas Two-Step workshop from 7:30-8:15 p.m. Playing music from the classic honky-tonk era spanning the late 1940s to the early 1960s, Girl Howdy plays songs from such legends as Hank Williams, Kitty Wells, Buck Owens, Loretta Lynn, Ray Price, the Davis Sisters, Webb Pierce, as well as honky-tonk-inspired originals. Hogwild for raw twang, this band plows through their retro-based repertoire with energy, enthusiasm and utter devotion. Girl Howdy's lineup includes Rose Sinclair on steel, Betsy-Dawn (BeeDee) Williams on guitar, Paula Bradley on piano, Billy Nadeau on drums and Brian Rost on upright bass. The roots honky-tonk mission of Girl Howdy continues, delivering tight vocal harmonies, spare yet punchy arrangements, an infectious honky-tonk groove, and above all one heck of a good time! Dec. 12, 8 p.m. Musical Theater Night, an audience benefit for PACE, Suggested donation: $5-$25 (sliding scale) A Benefit For PACE . like karaoke only better! We provide sheet music and a live pianist. You decide which show tune you want to sing, bring your friends, and enjoy the music! If you love musicals, this is the night for you. Try your hand at singing your favorite show tune. Bring your friends and sing together! Or just come to watch some of the amazing talent that is hidden away right here in the Valley. Many of PACE's past community theater actors are often seen at our Musical Theater nights. Help support PACE's next musical theater project! Dec. 16, 7 p.m. Open Mic Night, Suggested donation: $5, Sign-up is from 6:30p m- 7:30pm. PACE's Open Mics have become quite the thing in the Valley. Come and perform music, poetry or whatever fits your fancy. Dec.17, 8 p.m. Stewart Lewis, Drew Hickun & The Colonels with PB&J, Tickets: $8 general / $6 members Stewart Lewis' soulful blend of pop and folk has been featured on many TV shows including Ghost Whisperer, Dawson's Creek, Party of Five, and MTV's Laguna Beach, as well as the feature film "A Four Letter Word". Drew Hickum and the Colonels play pretty regularly in Northampton which is where they all live, and in the surrounding cities and towns of New England. James Heflin of the Valley Advocate writes of Hickum's album, "Some kind of slow-burn Appalachian splendor. This album is begging to go into the CD player." Dec. 18, 8 p.m. Singers in the Round: Steve Nelson, Heather Maloney & Jamie Kent, Suggested donation: $5 Steve Nelson is two-time winner of the SESAC Americana Music Award, received an Emmy nomination for Sesame Street and scored two Emmy-winning TV series, and contributed to the recent Grammy-nominated Guy Clark album, "Workbench Songs." After quietly slipping us songs all these years via the voices of pop megastars (Barbra Streisand, Dusty Springfield, Paul Anka), Nashville legends (Guy Clark, Doug Stone), outrageously famous puppets (Sesame Street), and the world's most popular bear (Winnie the Pooh theme song), Steve is finally stepping out as an artist to perform favorite songs you may already know plus a shimmering collection of new ones. At the age of 21, Heather Maloney began her musical career performing as a jazz singer alongside Grammy nominee Hui Cox in clubs such as the Society of Illustrators in Manhattan. Now at 23, with the release of her debut album Heather has already proven herself as a skilled songstress and singer, and a powerhouse performer. Jamie Kent is a 22-year-old musician who just graduated from college this past May. He has been writing music and studying voice for about six years. He's proudly played in a Mariachi band, performed in an a capella group, and crooned for a sixteen piece big band, and is returning to PACE's stage after helping to break it in six years ago during PACE's debut community theater production of "Fiddler On The Roof." Dec. 19, 8-11p.m. Planet Zydeco, Tickets:$12 general / $10 members This show begins with a FREE dance lesson with Larry Kaufman (time TBA). Planet Zydeco is an exciting New England-based zydeco band that captures the essence of traditional rural-style accordion-driven dance music as it is played in clubs and dance halls in southwest Louisiana today. The Planet's funky syncopated sound includes Rose Sinclair on accordion, Peter Pettengill and Nick Keil on twin electric guitars and harmony vocals, Alan Bradbury on bass, Paul McTaggart on drums, and Suzanne Wozniak on rubboard. The rubboard, or frottoir, as it is known in Louisiana, is made of corrugated metal, worn like a vest and played with spoons or bottle openers, and is a rhythmic trademark of the zydeco sound. The band plays a popular mix of up-tempo songs, as well as slower blues-inspired numbers and traditional waltzes for enthusiastic audiences throughout the Northeast. The Pioneer Arts Center of Easthampton (PACE) is located at 41 Union St, Easthamapton. For moer info call (413) 527-3700 or visit