The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include chamber music, cabaret, roots music, folk-rock … plus a whole lot more.
WILCO’S SOLID SOUND FESTIVAL RETURNS to MASS MoCA
Wilco’s Solid Sound Festival returns to MASS MoCA in North Adams this weekend, today through Sunday, featuring dozens of acts from all over the musical map, including Sylvan Esso, Japanese Breakfast, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Mike Watt, Terry Allen, and the Sun Ra Arkestra. (May 27-29)
MADELINE PEYROUX at the MAHAIWE
Jazz-folk vocalist Madeleine Peyroux — who cites French torch singer Edith Piaf as her role model and greatest musical influence — brings her Careless Love Forever Tour to the Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, Mass., tonight at 8pm. Peyroux’s repertoire draws heavily on works from the Great American Songbook of the Rock Era by the likes of Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Harry Nilsson, Patsy Cline, Randy Newman, Ray Charles, and Leonard Cohen, among others. (May 27)
BERKSHIRE BACH PLAYS BRANDENBURGS
Violinist and nine-time Grammy Award-winner Eugene Drucker, best known as a founder of the Emerson String Quartet, leads the Berkshire Bach Ensemble in its rescheduled “Bach at New Year’s Live!” program featuring the six “Brandenburg Concerti” this weekend in three locations in our region: tonight (May 27) at 6 at St. James Place in Great Barrington, Mass.; Saturday (May 28) at 3pm at Troy Savings Bank Music Hall; and Sunday (May 29) at 3pm at the Academy of Music in Northampton, Mass. Drucker will be joined by harpsichordist Kenneth Weiss.
ALI McGUIRK BRINGS SULTRY SOUL to EGREMONT BARN
The phenomenal New England-based soul-folk singer-songwriter Ali McGuirk brings her sultry blend of 1970s-style quiet storm, 1990s neo-soul and modern alternative R&B to the Egremont Barn in South Egremont, Mass, tonight at 7:30pm. Think of Ali as a cross between Norah Jones, Amy Winehouse, and Sade. (May 27)
JOSHUA HENRY BRINGS CABARET to BARRINGTON STAGE
Broadway star Joshua Henry reopens Barrington Stage Company’s Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Centerwith his one-man cabaret show, “Joshua Henry Up Close,” on Sunday at 8pm. The event, featuring the star of “The Scottsboro Boys,” “Hamilton,” and “Carousel,” also celebrates the BSC’s second stage’s 10th anniversary. (May 29)
TONY YAZBECK BRINGS CABARET to COLONIAL
A CLOSE ENCOUNTER WITH OBOE at MAHAIWE
Liang Wang, first oboist of the New York Philharmonic, will be joined by violinists Itamar Zorman and Susan Heerema, violist Michael Strauss, and cellist Yehuda Hanani, in a program called “Reeds and Strings,” featuring works by Mozart, Cimarosa, Benjamin Britten and Beethoven, as part of the Close Encounters With Music series at the Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, Mass., on Sunday at 4. (May 29)
BERKSHIRE LYRIC CHORUS SINGS MOZART and BRAHMS at TANGLEWOOD
While the official Tanglewood season has yet to get underway, you can sneak into the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra this Sunday at 3pm for a concert of works by Mozart and Brahms at Ozawa Hall, presented by Berkshire Lyric. On tap for the 80-voice Berkshire Lyric Chorus, accompanied by a full orchestra and joined by a stellar solo vocal quartet featuring soprano Maria Valdes, is Mozart’s Requiem and “Schicksalslied”, or “Song of Destiny,” by Brahms. (May 29)
BERKSHIRE FARM AID with BILLY KEANE and CHRIS MERENDA at APPLE TREE INN
The Harry Conklin Fund for Farmsteads, a project of the Berkshire Community Land Trust, kicks off its fundraiser concert series to help save Berkshire farmland tonight at 8pm at the Apple Tree Inn in Lenox, Mass., with Whiskey Treaty Roadshow members Billy Keane and Chris Merenda plus special guests. (Friday, May 27)
STEPHEN CLAIR BRINGS NEW SONGS to THE LINDA
Stephen Clair rocks with the grit of Bruce Springsteen and sings with the sardonic poetry and phrasing of Lou Reed. The folk-rock singer-songwriter will celebrate the release of his terrific new album, “To The Trees,” at the Linda, WAMC’s Performing Arts Studio, in Albany, tonight at 8pm. (May 27)
NEKO CASE BRINGS COUNTRY-TINGED FOLK-ROCK to LEVON HELM STUDIOS
Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter Neko Case brings her original, country-tinged folk-rock that might remind listeners of Jefferson Airplane’s Grace Slick to Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock, N.Y. for a two-night stand, Saturday and Sunday, at 7:30pm. (May 28-29)
KARLA BONOFF SINGS HER OWN HITS at BEARSVILLE THEATER
And finally, soulful folk-rock singer-songwriter Karla Bonoff has been crafting hits for the likes of Bonnie Raitt, Wynonna Judd and Linda Ronstadt since the 1970s. But Bonoff is a terrific singer and performer in her own right, as you can see for yourself tonight at 8pm at the Bearsville Theater in Woodstock, N.Y. Bonoff wrote “Someone to Lay Down Beside Me,” one of Linda Ronstadt,s signature songs, as well as “Tell Me Why,” which was a huge hit for Wynonna Judd, introducing Bonoff to millions of country music fans.