The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include comedy, chamber music, Louisiana swamp-pop, Spaghetti Eastern, and a whole lot more.
Comedian Jessica Kirson headlines a night of standup comedy at the Barn at the Egremont Village Inn in South Egremont, Mass., on Saturday at 8 p.m. Also appearing on the bill are Frank Liotti and the Barn’s resident comic, host, and curator of entertainment Jenny Rubin. Jessica Kirson’s TV credits include Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, VH1, NBC’s “Last Comic Standing,” and “The Dr. Oz Show.”
Little-known outside of Louisiana (but still quite popular in the region), swamp-pop ruled in the 1950s and '60s as southwest Louisiana's answer to the R&B and rock 'n' roll that came out of New Orleans, Memphis, and Detroit. When that unstoppable sound reached Cajun and zydeco musicians, they caught the bug and played their own versions the only way they knew how – sometimes in French – and traded in their fiddles and accordions for horns and electric guitars.
And now, Grammy Award-nominated Louisiana supergroup The Revelers brings its mix of "Louisiana jukebox music" and "swamp-pop" to Club Helsinki Hudson on Saturday at 9 p.m. The group's latest album, "Get Ready," was nominated in the Best Regional Roots category at the Grammy Awards. The musicians comprising the Revelers are founding members of the Red Stick Ramblers and the Pine Leaf Boys, the two groups who are at the vanguard of the Louisiana cultural renaissance. With the Revelers, the musicians have formed a Louisiana supergroup combining swamp-pop, Cajun, country, blues and zydeco into a powerful blend of roots music that could only come from southwest Louisiana.
Terrence McNally’s contemporary American classic “Frankie & Johnny in the Clair de Lune” is being staged at Bridge Street Theatre in Catskill, NY, this weekend and next. The production of the romance between a short-order cook and a waitress, stars Broadway’s Rita Rehn as Frankie and Bridge Street’s own Steven Patterson as Johnny.
Singer-guitarist Sal Cataldi brings his self-dubbed Spaghetti Eastern Music to BSP Kingston on Saturday at 7 p.m. Cataldi fuses Eastern beat, blues, techno and funk-influenced guitar instrumentals with gentle acoustic vocal tunes and looping, straight out of the John Martyn/Nick Drake songbook. Also on the bill are Sonic Soul Band and Pitchfork Militia.
“Line and Curve,” a selection of works from the Ellsworth Kelly and Jack Shear Shaker Collection plus iconic Ellsworth Kelly prints from the 1960s through the 1980s, are on view at Jeff Bailey Gallery in Hudson, now through May 13. The show, co-presented by Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon, features Kelly’s worktable, purchased in 1970 near his Columbia County home and used throughout his life. A rare oval box is reminiscent of shapes that can be found in Kelly’s prints, as are the simple lines of a three-drawer chest and the curved slats of a chair.
And on Tuesday, April 3 at 8 p.m., award-winning violinist Soovin Kim will play a concert of solo works for violin by J.S. Bach in a free concert in Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall at Williams College. Kim is slated to play Bach’s Partita no. 3 in E major; Sonata no. 1 in G Minor; and Partita No. 2 in D Minor. Kim is first prize winner of the Paganini International Competition, and serves as the first violinist of the adventurous Johannes Quartet.
Seth Rogovoy is editor of Berkishire Daily and the Rogovoy Report, available online at rogovoyreport.com