The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include indie-pop, avant-garde, soul, Celtic, old-time string-band music … plus a whole lot more.
Soulful singer-songwriter Sam Evian brings his distinctive, 1970s-tinged psychedelic soft-rock sounds to Club B-10 at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Mass., on Saturday at 8pm. The Brooklyn-based indie artist sounds like a sunny, pop-influenced cross between George Harrison and Marvin Gaye, with a good helping of Yo La Tengo mixed in for good measure.
Avant-garde ensemble Sō Percussion performs music by Steve Reich, Viet Cuong, Julia Wolfe and others in Chapin Hall at Williams College, on Saturday at 7:30. Sō Percussion’s program will include “Music for Pieces of Wood” by Steve Reich, featuring one of the simplest possible instruments: the claves. “Water, Wine, Brandy, Brine” by Viet Cuong explores the various sounds that can be produced by crystal glasses, from the bell-like sounds of “toasting” the glasses to the theremin-like singing produced when the rims are played. “Forbidden Love” by Julia Wolfe includes all the things you aren’t supposed to do to stringed instruments. Sō Percussion will also hold a master class on Saturday at 3pm, in Chapin Hall. Both events are free and open to the public.
Barrington Stage Company’s 10X10 New Play Festival continues its run tonight through March 8, on the St. Germain Stage, located at the Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center in Pittsfield, Mass. Where else can you see 10, new, 10-minute plays all in one sitting? And the great thing is, if you don’t like a play, in less than 10 minutes it will be over.
Over at the Egremont Barn on Saturday night, Boston-based string band Grain Thief holds forth with their blend of folk, bluegrass, and old-time music.
The phenomenal Sister Sparrow brings her old-school soul and R&B to Club Helsinki Hudson on Saturday at 9pm, for the “Souler for Solar Campaign Leap Day Party,” a concert, cocktail, and dance party in support of community-based renewable energy. Catskill Mountains native Arleigh Kincheloe, aka Sister Sparrow, plays a gritty, Southern style of soul-rock. Sister Sparrow has been described as what you get when you cross Amy Winehouse and Tina Turner with Mick Jagger and a dose of Janis Joplin. The evening will include a house music set by MICK!
Grammy Award-nominated Cherish The Ladies, who have been together for nearly three dozen years, bring their Irish sounds to the Towne Crier Café in Beacon, N.Y., on Saturday at 8:30pm. Joanie Madden formed the all-female super group in New York City in 1985 to celebrate the rise of extraordinary women in what had theretofore been a male-dominated Irish music scene. For more than three decades the talented musicians that are Cherish The Ladies have performed at venues all over the world, including The White House and the Olympics. Known for both their vocal and instrumental wizardry, the group, several of whose members are from Ireland and Scotland, continues to entertain audiences with their multipronged Celtic approach.
Looking ahead to next weekend, indie-rock group Gin Blossoms, best known for its 1990s-style jangle-pop sound derived from R.E.M. and the Replacements, performs at the Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, Mass., next Friday, March 6, at 8pm.
Seth Rogovoy is editor of the Rogovoy Report, available at rogovoyreport.com