Ken Maiuri’s Tuned In
PHOTO COURTESY OF IHEG
PHOTO BY CHRIS STRONG
Spanish for Hitchhiking
Legendary gospel/soul singer Mavis Staples is on tour for her latest album, “One True Vine” (produced by Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy), and will take the stage at the Calvin Theatre in Northampton Thursday at 8 p.m.
Staples, 74, has had some recent ups and downs. She won her first-ever Grammy Award in 2011 (for the first record she made with Tweedy, “You Are Not Alone”), but then a degenerative bone condition forced her to have knee replacement surgery earlier this year.
The knee stuff didn’t slow her down at all — she went right back to touring internationally. Her Calvin show will surely show off tunes from her new record, which include covers of Wilco, Low, Nick Lowe and Funkadelic (the acoustic guitar-driven “Can You Get To That”), plus traditional songs like “Woke Up This Morning (With My Eyes On Jesus).”
Staples’ husky voice is as rich and emotive as ever, and a recent live clip of her singing Curtis Mayfield’s “Let’s Do It Again” (a 1975 hit for the Staple Singers), backed only by her guitarist Rick Holmstrom, is so warm and playful you’ll be buying tickets before the four minutes are over. (To see the video visit this story at www.gazettenet.com.)
Sallie Ford & the Sound Outside (from Portland, Ore.) start off the show.
India.Arie, winner of multiple Grammy Awards for her “neo-soul” albums, put out a new record this summer, “Songversation,” which features songs of positivity both club-thumping (“Just Do You”) and gently acoustic (“I Am Light”). She performs at the Calvin Friday at 8 p.m.
Violet Clark (half of the band Grand Duchy, with husband Frank Black) has a solo debut due out in November, entitled “Killjoy,” and she plays the Parlor Room in Northampton Friday at 8 p.m. She’ll be backed by Jeremy Dubs, Jack Godleski, Noam Schatz and Matt Silberstein. Home Body opens.
Popular local “psychedelic Dixieland” band Primate Fiasco throws a post-Halloween Zombie Party at the Iron Horse in Northampton Friday at 10 p.m. Dr. Westchesterson opens.
The Joe Belmont Jazz Guitar Trio plays the Loft Lounge at the Clarion Hotel in Northampton Saturday at 7 p.m.
Spanish for Hitchhiking, the indie-rock band led by Dennis Crommett of Winterpills, shares a bill with Lo Fine frontman Kevin O’Rourke, a onetime Northampton resident returning to the area for a short musical visit. At the Rendezvous in Turners Falls Saturday at 9:30 p.m.
The Canadian indie-rocker trio Born Ruffians has a new album out on Yep Roc called “Birthmarks.” The group returns to the Iron Horse Tuesday at 7 p.m. Local favorites Sun Parade open.
Chicopee Family Moose Project, featuring Eric Gaffney and Les LaBarge, celebrates its new vinyl release at The Elevens in Northampton Wednesday at 9 p.m. Also on the quadruple bill are fellow locals Grammerhorn Wren, plus LightBright (from Boston) and Sat. Nite Duets (from Milwaukee).
Justin Eck (7 p.m.) and Bring It To Bear (8:30 p.m.) perform at the Luthiers Co-Op in Easthampton Thursday.