(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) – Birds of Chicago, the husband-and-wife roots-music collective that garnered many new fans with their compelling performance at last September’s FreshGrass Festival, return to Club B10 at MASS MoCA on Saturday, January 23, at 8pm, when they will offer a preview of their upcoming album, “Real Midnight,” due for release on February 19. Birds of Chicago’s music seamlessly spans genres, drawing on the soulful balladry of the gospel tradition while simultaneously embracing deep grooves of country and soul. At times the focus is on the scaled-back pairing of Nero and Russell, and at other points the band swells to a full cast of musicians, including former members of JT & the Clouds and singer-picker Michelle McGrath. At the heart of the genre-defying sound remain Nero and Russell’s powerful vocals.
(SHEFFIELD, Mass.) – Jazzy roots-duo Calumette performs in the Barn Space at Race Brook Lodge on Friday, January 22, at 8pm. The duo, composed of West Texas native Hale May and Swiss guitarist Antoine Salem, performs a soulful blend of country, folk, blues, Gypsy swing, jazz and gospel. The music should appeal to fans of Norah Jones, Melody Gardot, Diana Krall, Rebecca Martin and Madeleine Peyroux.
(WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.) – The Williams Opera Workshop, under the direction of Erin Nafziger and Keith Kibler, will perform works by Mozart, Weill, and Humperdinck in Chapin Hall on the Williams College campus on Tuesday, January 26, at 7 pm. The event is free and open to the public. From Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro,” the singers, recruited from the ranks of talented Williams music students as well as faculty, perform the finale to Act II of this beloved opera accompanied by a student-led orchestra. Humperdinck’s “Hansel and Gretel” receives a semi-staged performance of Act III, scene III. The ensemble also performs “Ice Cream Sextet,” from Kurt Weill’s opera “Street Scene.”
(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Singer-songwriter Adrien Reju, who calls Hudson home, brings her eclectic original music – a blend of rock, soul, pop, folk and other influences – to Club Helsinki Hudson on Thursday, January 21, at 8pm. Woodstock-based singer-songwriter Elijah Wolf warms up the crowd for Reju.
On her debut album, “Strange Love & The Secret Language,” Reju’s diverse background shows on a wildly eclectic collection of 10 love songs, ranging from original, soulful pop tunes such as “Moonlight,” the Motown-inspired “Last Call,” and the Roy Orbison-like tearjerker “Still Not Over You,” to a sultry take on David Bowie’s “Soul Love,” a deep-funk remake of Prince’s “If I Was Your Girlfriend,” and a pitch-perfect indie-rock rendition of King Missile’s “Hemophiliac of Love.” Reju’s distinctive vocals, a fleet instrument itself born to convey intimacy and vulnerability, ties it all together, as does her penchant for dramatic melodicism on what stands as her gorgeous manifesto, “Solo Mission.”