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Tuned in: Ken Maiuri on Valley music

“I think it contains the best songs I’ve ever written,” said Jamie Kent, local singer-songwriter, about his new EP, scheduled to be released this summer.

Artists are usually excited about their latest work, but Kent has special reason to be. The 26-year-old was one of 14 songwriters — picked from a pool of about 200 — to take part in last year’s Lester Sill Songwriters Workshop at the Los Angeles ASCAP office.

The experience helped Kent decide to focus stylistically on a folk/roots/rock sound and showed him the importance of dedicating himself to working on his craft.

“I want every tune on this EP to hit people hard; melodically, lyrically, and emotionally,” he said. “Great songs are what put people on the national map. I’ve realized that if I’m going to take this to the next level, that’s where I need to be with my songwriting.”

The new material will be played at preview shows this weekend, with Kent and his band, The Options, doing two gigs in one night that (appropriately enough) offer some options to fans and curious newcomers: see an acoustic-oriented set at 7 p.m. or an electric-oriented dance set at 9 p.m. — or both, if you’re so inclined. At the Parlor Room at Signature Sounds in Northampton on Saturday.

Two singing-songwriting duos — Valley twosome Polly Fiveash and Anand Nayak (the latter of Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem) and Michigan-based Seth Bernard and May Erlewine — join forces at a show at the Pioneer Valley Cohousing Great Room in Amherst, tonight at 7:30 p.m.

Happy Jawbone Family Band, the acclaimed Brattleboro, Vt., group that just had a compilation of their earlier work released by the Mexican Summer record label, plays on a bill with Northampton experimental electro-pop duo Home Body at The Rendezvous in Turners Falls, tonight at 9:30 p.m.

Singer-songwriter Sean Ashby appears at Mocha Maya’s in Shelburne Falls on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Molly Durnin opens.

Beatlemania continues in the Valley as the ever-popular Fab Faux return. This time the tribute band — founded by longtime Late Show with David Letterman bassist Will Lee and Conan bandleader/guitarist Jimmy Vivino — will perform the full album of “A Hard Day’s Night” plus a set of other Beatles faves. At the Calvin in Northampton on Saturday at 8 p.m.

“Five Women, One Evening” shines the spotlight on Wishbone Zoe, Carolyn Walker, Katie Sachs, Christa Joy and Lisa Marie Ellinsen at The Rendezvous on Sunday at 9:30 p.m.

Holyoke singer-songwriter Shanta Paloma celebrates the release of her debut CD (featuring songs she’s written over the past decade) with a show at The Elevens in Northampton on Thursday at 8 p.m. Featuring Josh Enemy, Reverend Dan and the Dirty Catechism, Tim Alfano and more.

Potty Mouth (above, from Northampton), Mean Creek (from Boston) and Hortonia (from Amherst) appear at the Sierra Grille in Northampton on Thursday at 10 p.m.

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