A highly selective preview of cultural events taking place this weekend in the greater Berkshires region, including a British blues-rock pioneer; a John Coltrane musical meditation; slam poetry meets new music; and a good ol’ rockabilly blowout.
(PITTSFIELD, Mass.) – John Mayall, the “Godfather of British Blues,” performs at the Colonial Theatre on Thursday, March 24, at 8pm. Mayall’s impressive musical career spans over 50 years. The English blues singer, pianist, harmonica player, guitarist, and songwriter founded the band, John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, in the 1960s — a group that was a veritable finishing school for blues-rockers who went on to greater fame, including Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, Peter Green, John McVie, Mick Fleetwood, and Mick Taylor (in other words, Cream, Fleetwood Mac, and the Rolling Stones).
(PITTSFIELD, Mass.) – On the 50th anniversary of “A Love Supreme” by John Coltrane, an interfaith jazz ensemble plus the First Church singers of Between the Banks will pay tribute to Coltrane’s groundbreaking composition in the 9th annual Good Friday experiment in music and meditation at First Church on Friday, March 25, at 7pm. Musicians include Carlton Maaia II, Charlie Tokarz, John Haddad, Jon Grenoble, Dianne de Mott, Eva Perri, Elizabeth McCarthy, Brian Staubach, David McDermott, and James Lumsden.
(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) — Slam poetry meets new music when poet Roger Bonair-Agard joins forces with Kronos Quartet cellist Jeffrey Zeigler, composer/steel-pan player Andy Akiho, and composer/percussionist Sean Dixon, in “M Is Black Enough,” a work-in-progress program in the Hunter Center at MASS MoCA on Saturday, March 26, at 8pm.
(HUDSON, N.Y.) – A mini-festival of rockabilly music featuring regional stars The Lustre Kings and Lara Hope & the Ark-Tones takes place at Club Helsinki Hudson on Thursday, March 24, at 8pm. This date was originally featured to include Wanda Jackson, who had to withdraw from the evening for health reasons. The Lustre Kings dig deep into early rock and related styles, steering away from a greatest-hits oldies approach, preferring to connect the dots among such unlikely musical bedfellows as Conway Twitty, Peanuts Wilson, Link Wray and Duke Ellington (they even render a surf-guitar version of the Duke’s “Caravan”). The Ark-Tones pack the dance floor with their own original musical offerings in vintage style as well as re-workings of rockabilly, rock ‘n’ roll, and R&B classics and standards.