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Arts & Culture

Rogovoy Report 10/23/20

The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include folk-rock, chamber music, vocal music, organ jazz … plus a whole lot more…

British singer-songwriter James Maddock brings his gritty, original folk-rock to the Egremont Barn for a two-night stand on Fri and Sat, at 8pm. Maddock has been carving his unique path since the 1980s, when he kicked off his career with a raw, soulful voice; a storyteller’s sense of narrative; and the ability to blur the lines between folk, classic pop, and rock. Think Steve Forbert meets Tom Waits, with a bit of Rod Stewart, Bruce Springsteen, and the Replacements thrown in for good measure.

Ike and Trudy Taylor of Boston and then North Carolina raised five incredibly talented musical children, the best known of them being of course James Taylor. But James's younger brother, Livingston, was hardly any slouch. Livingston Taylor has enjoyed his own fruitful and successful career as a folk-rock singer-songwriter for 50 years. He kicked off his career as part of a folk trio during the heights of the folk music revival, covering hits by the Kingston Trio and Peter Paul and Mary. By 1970, he was one of the first artists to sign with Capricorn Records, where he worked with an up-and-coming young producer named Jon Landau, who would later go on to enjoy a long and successful career producing and managing a performer named Bruce Springsteen. But that’s all ancient history. Liv Taylor is a consummate professional as a songwriter and performer, and you can catch him on Saturday in an intimate afternoon concert at 2pm on the porch of the Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge. Older brother James lives just up the road apiece, so who knows who just might show up as a surprise guest?

Close Encounters With Music is morphing into Virtual Encounters with Music this fall, hosting livestreamed concerts from the Mahaiwe in Great Barrington. The first one up feature the Escher String Quartet playing works by Beethoven, Brahms and Debussy on Saturday at 7:30pm. The program includes Brahms’s magnificent String Sextet No. 1, featuring Daniel Panner on viola and Close Encounters artistic director Yehuda Hanani on cello.

The Berkshire Opera Festival is offering a free virtual world premiere of “The Trial of Susan B. Anthony,” a new song cycle by Steven Mark Kohn, on Monday evening at 8pm. Celebrating 100 years of women’s voting rights in America in the week leading up to Election Day, the performance features mezzo-soprano Adriana Zabala and pianist Myra Huang.

World renowned keyboardist John Medeski is joined by avant-garde guitarist Marc Ribot and New Orleans drummer Joe Dyson at the Falcon in Marlboro, N.Y., on Sunday at 7pm, in an evening of far-out organ jazz. Medeski, perhaps best known as one-third of the groundbreaking, genre-defying jam-band trio Medeski Martin & Wood, has a seemingly inexhaustible musical palette from which he draws for his inspirational improvisations. Guitarist Marc Ribot’s work ranges from downtown no-wave to free-jazz to collaborating with John Zorn, as well playing Cuban music and working with the likes of Tom Waits and Elvis Costello. 

Seth Rogovoy is editor of the Rogovoy Report, available at rogovoyreport.com

The views expressed by commentators are solely those of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the views of this station or its management.