Ken Maiuri’s Tuned In

Last modified: Thursday, March 20, 2014

Singer/songwriter Marcia Gomes is new to the Valley, but she’s already gotten praise from such local luminaries as Evelyn Harris and Samirah Evans and filled the room at the Thirsty Mind Coffee and Wine Bar in South Hadley. She has a return engagement at the venue on Saturday at 7 p.m.

Gomes, a graduate of the Berklee College of Music, moved to town from Boston, where she was part of numerous groups, including the all-female R&B dance band Sistahs of the Yam and jazz outfits Straight Ahead and MaShanDi Jazz.

Her website highlights some homemade solo recordings. The soul bossa nova “Be Gentle” has a slinky backbone of electric piano; over dusky chords Gomes harmonizes with herself with a grace and playfulness that calls to mind such ’70s greats as Joni Mitchell, Phoebe Snow and Stevie Wonder.

The lyrics of “Overcome” combine the personal and the political with a swingy gospel-soul rhythm and a very catchy hook. The two original songs are so strong that you want to hear more — and audiences will hear a full set (including her song “Trayvon”) at the Thirsty Mind show. Gomes will be joined by Jeff Olmsted on piano and vocals, Charlie Braun on guitar, Susan Farrell on vocals and Annie Philips on flute and vocals.


The Eddie Forman Orchestra (local polka legends since 1968!) and Shiprock and Anchordog (the popular area act that performs songs and stories about two traveling dogs) play a kid-friendly Pancake Polka Party at Flywheel in Easthampton Saturday at 10 a.m.


The Great Mix CD Mix-Up Show happens every year at this time, combining live performances with a participation hook for music nerds: come to the show with a compilation CD you made at home, stick it in a special box (the “CD Mixer”), get a number, and at the end of the concert, the numbers are called, you stick your hand in and grab someone else’s hand-crafted collection to bring home. This year appearing live on stage are Beach Honey, The Fawns, The Mountain Movers and The True Jacqueline. At The Elevens in Northampton on Saturday at 9 p.m.


Banjo master Tony Trischka celebrates the release of “Great Big World,” his new album on the Rounder Records label, with a show at the Parlor Room in Northampton Sunday at 7 p.m. The night will be one part concert, one part jam led by Trischka. Anyone who attends the show can join in (bring your own instrument), or just sit back and enjoy the sounds.


Potty Mouth, California X, Vacation and Blessed State make up the quadruple bill at The Elevens Wednesday at 9 p.m.


Singer/songwriter Eilen Jewell has been wowing crowds for years with her country/blues/honky-tonk sounds. She just began work on her fifth album with her usual crack backing band and she’ll return to the Valley for a show at the Iron Horse in Northampton Thursday at 7 p.m.


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