This just in from That’s Entertainment – Record Store Day is April 14 this year! The day for all record lovers to celebrate! Here’s the details on the local celebration…

The internationally observed Record Store Day is the one day that all of the independently-owned record stores come together with artists to celebrate the art of music. That’s Entertainment will participate by offering for sale special limited vinyl releases made exclusively for the day, and by hosting live music in-store. Record Store Day 2011 will commence on Saturday April 16th.

In addition to having a slate of limited-release vinyl records available for Record Store Day 2011, on Saturday April 16th That’s Entertainment will also present a free, in-store show by Roger Salloom, who has been called “America’s best unknown songwriter.” Salloom will appear beginning at 3 p.m. with band-mates Jeff Dostal on bass and Tom Filiault on lead guitar. Drawing from traditions in blues, roots, Americana, country and soul, Salloom always speaks in his unique voice and from his heart. He has a self-deprecating, humorous, “everyman” quality– laid on a foundation of spirituality and empathy. Salloom has said, “… I feel the listener is exactly, completely and totally as important to the art form we call music as the music maker, no more no less.”

Salloom, who grew up in three Worcester neighborhoods within a 2-mile radius of That’s Entertainment, began his journey in music as a 13 year-old banjo and guitar playing novice. His influences included Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie and Hank Williams. Some of his later compositions would center on memories of his life and friends in Worcester locations, including Elm Park and Lovell Street. Leaving his hometown of Worcester behind in 1966, Salloom landed in Bloomington at Indiana University, building on those early influences through the revolutionary music of Van Morrison and Bob Dylan.

While in Bloomington, Roger formed the band Salloom, Sinclair and Mother Bear, which brought him to the hub of the late 1960s psychedelic scene, San Francisco. He played The Carousel, The Fillmore and The Avalon Ballroom alongside contemporaries such as Santana, Procol Harum and BB King. In the 1970s Salloom moved to Nashville to pursue songwriting. He then “disappeared” for 20 years to raise a family as a single parent and to draw a syndicated cartoon.

Salloom wrote the local hit single “(Gotta Get) Out of Worcester” circa 1975 after driving his family here from Nashville in a pick-up truck camper. “We hit a bump and broke a chain in the last mile inside Worcester city limits, and that helped stimulate the first verse.” He was further motivated by what he saw as excessive practicality in Worcester, and not enough focus on people and creativity. In recent years, Salloom says the memories of his hometown have been softened by nostalgia. Salloom will offer for sale a handful of copies of the original 1975 release of “(Gotta Get) Out of Worcester” on 45 rpm vinyl.  Salloom will autograph these true relics that day.

Roger returned to Massachusetts for good in 1980, settling in Northampton, MA, and he continued songwriting and recording. He played with artists such as The Band, John Prine and Leon Russell. He has also performed each year at the largest outdoor free concert in Western Massachusetts– originally held (for 23 years) at The Pines Theatre, this show currently takes place at Northampton Academy. In 2006 Chris Sautter filmed a documentary about Roger titled, “So Glad I Made It: The Saga of Roger Salloom, America’s Best Unknown Songwriter.” The film won 6 awards and was nominated for a Grammy Award. In recent years Salloom has toured with a band that featured Charles Neville on saxophone, as when he visited the Hanover Theater in 2010.

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