Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Ken Maiuri’s Tuned In

  • PHOTO COURTESY OF IHEG<br/>CJ Chenier

    PHOTO COURTESY OF IHEG
    CJ Chenier

  • PHOTO BY DAN BURN FORTI<br/>Nick Lowe

    PHOTO BY DAN BURN FORTI
    Nick Lowe

  • Samirah Evans

    Samirah Evans

  • Shokazoba

    Shokazoba

  • PHOTO COURTESY OF IHEG<br/>Spose

    PHOTO COURTESY OF IHEG
    Spose

  • PHOTO COURTESY OF IHEG<br/>Todd Rundgren

    PHOTO COURTESY OF IHEG
    Todd Rundgren

  • PHOTO COURTESY OF IHEG<br/>CJ Chenier
  • PHOTO BY DAN BURN FORTI<br/>Nick Lowe
  • Samirah Evans
  • Shokazoba
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF IHEG<br/>Spose
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF IHEG<br/>Todd Rundgren

Todd Rundgren achieved pop perfection in the early-e_SSRq70s with instant classics like “I Saw the Light,” “Hello It’s Me,” “We Gotta Get You a Woman,” “Couldn’t I Just Tell You” and others. His record company hoped he’d keep the catchy hits coming, but Rundgren, realizing he could do that in his sleep, decided he’d rather stay awake — and so began his career of mind-expanding music, visionary video work and blazing his own path.

Rundgren takes the stage at the Calvin Theatre in Northampton Friday at 8 p.m.

Over the years, he pushed the limits of how much music a slab of vinyl could hold; created prog-rock epics; expertly aped the sound of his favorite records by The Beatles, Beach Boys and Bob Dylan; made an entirely a cappella album; freely followed his muse anywhere — electronic music, recorded-fully-live R&B, tropical exotica, hard rock, you name it; and yes, even kept writing great pop songs on his own and with his band Utopia.

Rundgren’s had a reputation for ignoring the accessible bits of his past to focus on the new now, but local advertising for the show reveals the subtitle “Four Decades of Hits,” so expect him to play more of his famous tunes than usual, from all across his career. And if recent set lists are correct, there’ll be some classic soul covers in there, too.

A so-new-they-haven’t-decided-on-a-name-yet local jazz group (featuring Matt Clegg, Sam French, Pat Garland and Michael Gleason) plays the Rendezvous in Turners Falls Friday at 9:30 p.m.

CJ Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band makes it a mission to get feet moving at the Iron Horse in Northampton Saturday at
7 p.m. Be there at 6:30 for a free Zydeco/Cajun dance lesson.

Samirah Evans — jazz/blues vocalist and a Leo — celebrates her birthday with her Annual Leo Party/performance at the Arts Block in Greenfield Saturday at 8 p.m. Vocalists and musicians are invited to jam with Evans and her band, Her Handsome Devils. If you’re also a Leo, you’ll get in at a reduced price and receive birthday goodies, too.

A revamped lineup of local Afrobeat ensemble Shokazoba returns to the scene with a show at the Luthiers Co-Op in Easthampton Saturday at 9:30 p.m.

Spose (voted Maine’s best hip-hop act by that state’s arts weekly) headlines a show that also features Chris Lombardi, Matt Maratea and Jap x DJ Lucas at the Iron Horse Saturday at 10 p.m.

Not every singer-songwriter can stay at the top of the game 40 years into a career, but Nick Lowe, who made his biggest chart splashes with “Cruel To Be Kind” and Elvis Costello’s cover of his “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding,” continues to quietly create one fine-crafted pop song after another. Like “Cupid Must Be Angry,” or the haunting “The Beast In Me” (covered by Johnny Cash). His concerts don’t need bells and whistles — or other musicians, as proven by his stellar one-man show at the Calvin some years back. See Nick Lowe at the Iron Horse Tuesday at 7 p.m. Kim Richey opens. Highly recommended.

Rebel Base shares a double bill with Daniel Hales, and the frost heaves at the Arts Block in Greenfield Thursday at 8 p.m.

Bunnies (featuring Speak! frontman Jeremy Dubs, whose latest appearance was singing memorable backup on the new Pixies single, “Bagboy”), Red Favorite and Home Body will be at the Sierra Grille in Northampton Thursday at 10 p.m.

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