Ken Mauri's Tuned In
Arturo O'Farrill and his Family Band
PHOTO COURTESY OF ANNA WEBBER
Paper Hill Casket Company
Thorn and Shout
Trio de Pumpkintown
Jazz vocalist Kurt Elling, still touring for his Grammy-nominated 2012 album “1619 Broadway: The Brill Building Project,” returns to Northampton for a show at the Iron Horse in Northampton Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Manhattan’s Brill Building has been called “the most important generator of popular songs in the Western world,” and anyone with a love of American pop music loves what came out of those cubby-like offices full of hardworking songwriters like Carole King, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, Burt Bacharach and Hal David.
That address was filled with generations of tunesmiths from the 1930s to the 1960s, and Elling, who’s been living in New York City for a handful of years and passes the building regularly while hoofing it around town, decided to dedicate an album to their work.
It covers a wide spectrum, including e_SSRq60s hits (Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil’s ”On Broadway”) and pop jazz standards (Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen’s “Come Fly With Me”) but also tunes that stretch back to the Brill Building’s earliest days, like with the 1934 Harry Warren/Al Dubin classic “I Only Have Eyes for You.”
Elling, a vocalese pro influenced by masters like Jon Hendricks and Mark Murphy (with some Sinatra drama in there, too), builds his version of “I Only Have Eyes for You” from the DNA of the classic 1959 doo-wop remake by The Flamingos and morphs the mood into something as dreamy and woozy as the melody itself.
Tim Eriksen brings his Trio de Pumpkintown (with Zoë Darrow on fiddle and Peter Irvine on percussion) and their “popular folksongs from an imaginary New England village” to the Parlor Room in Northampton Friday at 7 p.m.
Bobb Trimble created his music in Worcester in the e_SSRq70s and e_SSRq80s and stayed largely unknown until his first two albums — now considered lost “psych-folk” classics — were re-released decades later by respected indie labels. A local favorite, Trimble returns with his band Flying Spiders to headline a quadruple bill that includes Sore Eros, Spectre Folk and Frozen Corn at the Elevens in Northampton on Friday at 9:30 p.m.
Paper Hill Casket Company (New Haven, Conn.-based alternative Americana) and Rusty Curtains (honky-tonk punk rock) will be at the Rendezvous in Turners Falls Friday at 9:30 p.m.
The Pioneer Valley Jazz Shares series brings Grammy Award-winning pianist Arturo O’Farrill and his fiery Family Band to the Wistariahurst Museum in Holyoke Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
Thorn and Shout (Maine-based Americana/chamber folk duo) and Liana and Jenny (Philadelphia duo playing bluegrass and country) appear at the intimate Montague Bookmill Saturday at 8 p.m.
Home Comfort (the latest project from MV & EE’s Matt Valentine, featuring John Moloney, Orion Russell and Adam Langelotti) shares a bill with Beneficial Nematode (J Mascis, Justin Pizzoferrato, Pete Nolan) at the Elevens Sunday at 9 p.m.
Dave Houghton (frontman of Fancy Trash) and Brandee Simone (co-vocalist of the Salvation Alley String Band) play solo acoustic sets in the community room at the Forbes Library in Northampton Wednesday at 7 p.m.