A selective, curatorial view of the cultural highlights of the upcoming weekend in the greater Berkshire region.
(SOUTH EGREMONT, Mass.) – A few years ago, Monica Rizzio traded her membership in an East Texas bluegrass band to try her hand at the singer-songwriter craft, in Cape Cod, of all places. Songs like “Willie Nelson” – yes, a tribute to her hero – along with “Luckier Than You” and “Washashore Cowgirl” garnered her a nomination for an Independent Music Award for Best Country Album in 2016. Rizzio brings her cowgirl attitude and her literate, Texas-based approached to songwriting (think Townes Van Zandt and John Prine) to the Barn at the Egremont Village Inn on Fri, Nov 24, at 8pm.
(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Tarbox Ramblers brings its patented blend of raw roots and blues music to Club Helsinki Hudson on Saturday, November 25, at 9pm. Longtime favorites of Helsinki audiences going back to the club’s roots in Great Barrington, Mass., the Tarbox Ramblers are left-field traditionalists whose rough-hewn, direct sound has drawn raves from Rolling Stone, All Things Considered, the New Yorker, and many more.
(PITTSFIELD, Mass.) – The flavor of early “Prairie Home Companion” will be in the air when Garrison Keillor and Robin & Linda Williams share the stage at the Colonial on Wed, Nov 29, at 7:30pm. Keillor of course was the founder and longtime host of the weekly public radio variety show for decades, and Robin & Linda Williams were regular guests, performing their original folk and roots compositions years before anyone called that sort of music “Americana.” The concert is produced by the regional outlet of “A Prairie Home Companion,” aka WAMC Northeast Public Radio.
(HILLSDALE, N.Y.) – Hometown, a solo exhibition of oil and watercolor paintings of small-town life by Jeffrey L. Neumann, is on view at Neumann Fine Art now through Sat, Dec 30. Anchoring the exhibition is Neumann’s latest oil painting, “Hillsdale, April afternoon,” a view of the hamlet which preserves a moment in time prior to the town’s recent addition of new sidewalks and streetlamps. The artist will present a framed giclée print of the painting to the Town of Hillsdale during a reception and artist talk on Sat, Nov 25, at 6pm.
COMING SOON: LONNIE HOLLEY BRINGS OUTSIDER MUSIC to MASS MoCA
(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) — Artist and musician Lonnie Holley recorded his first album in 2012 at age 62 after making home recordings for more than two decades. Holley’s music, like his art, defies classification — haunting vocals, keyboards, and new renditions of songs with every performance. He brings his unique, outsider-y, improvised sound – described as “somewhere between Sun Ra and spoken-word poetry” and profiled in the New York Times — to MASS MoCA on Sat, Dec 2, at 8pm. The evening will start with a screening of a short documentary about Holley entitled “The Man Is the Music.” Preferred ticket buyers are invited to a gallery tour with the artist at 3pm.
(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Jamaican-born funk-poet Everton Sylvester and Searching for Banjo bring their unique blend of spoken word and deep reggae grooves to Club Helsinki Hudson on Sunday, December 3, at 7pm, as part of the monthly Rogovoy Salon music, literary, and art series curated and hosted by cultural journalist Seth Rogovoy.
Sylvester’s song-poems recount acutely observed scenes from the life of an immigrant in New York City. Sometimes political and often humorous, Sylvester brings a sly, deadpan wit to scenarios from the point of view of a son, a father, a teacher, and a would-be U.S. citizen, that alternately surprise, delight, or infuriate. Everton’s band, Searching for Banjo (which does not include banjo), lays down Jamaican-infused accompaniment and reggae beats, providing the perfect context for Sylvester’s cleverly crafted, alertly ironic lyrics.