Tuned In

  • Brooks Williams

  • LittleBoyBigHeadonBike

  • Lori McKenna

  • © Jason Quigley photo

  • Mary Lattimore

Published: 6/29/2018 9:22:38 AM

This week, The Root Cellar in Greenfield is showcasing two musicians whose instrumental music can help your mind breathe. Restorative sounds.

Harpist Mary Lattimore (top photo) released her beautiful and mesmerizing new album “Hundreds of Days” last month (and contributed music to the must-see Mr. Rogers documentary, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” (now at Amherst Cinema). Her music is both simple and intricate: she plucks notes on her magnificent Lyon & Healy harp and uses a Line 6 effects box (balanced on her left leg) to loop and expand them into melodies, scattering them like a sparkling field of stars. It’s experimental and accessible at the same time. As a viewer commented on one of her more soothing YouTube videos, “I’m bookmarking this page for stressful times.”

Even when Lattimore adds harsher sounds to the mix — knocking her ring against the harp’s wooden frame, scratching her fingernails down the length of a string — the effect is earthy and atmospheric, and her live improvisations can transport you to other galaxies entirely. She’ll appear at The Root Cellar on Friday at 7 p.m. Wet Tuna is the supporting act.

Guitarist Marisa Anderson has been hailed for “re-imagining the landscape of American music,” and her compositions are rooted in traditional blues, country, folk and gospel sounds, with some real personal joy coming through. 

Like the quick-picked “Galax,” inspired by the time Anderson found herself standing in awe in the parking lot of a bluegrass festival, hearing live music from many different stages mixing together in a wild swirl — it’s a song that makes you want to dance. “Sinks and Rises,” played on the lap steel, is about the best swimming day of her life at a hidden-away swimming hole in Kentucky and uses open droning strings and a slide to create a mood that’s playful and alive. 

Anderson’s brand-new album is called “Cloud Corner” (put out by Thrill Jockey) and its ten diverse songs cover a lot of emotional ground, from the desert noir of “Slow Ascent” to the delicately skipping sunshine of “Sant Feliu de Guíxols.” She appears at The Root Cellar on Monday at 7 p.m., with Moonfed as the opening act.

Blues/Americana singer/songwriter/guitarist Brooks Williams has a new record coming out on July 13, “Lucky Star,” and he’ll play the esteemed Guthrie Center in Great Barrington as part of their Troubadour Series on Friday at 8 p.m.

Jazz-pop vocal/guitar duo Tuck & Patti return to The Iron Horse in Northampton on Friday at 7 p.m.

LittleBoyBigHeadonBike (the project of Providence, Rhode Island songwriter William Orchard), Wishbone Zoe (the Valley’s own), Allegra Kriegler (NYC singer/songwriter) and Sam Talmadge (Boston finger-picking guitarist/songwriter) make up the quadruple-bill at Flywheel in Easthampton on Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Steve Westfield’s playful and unpredictable ska band Beige performs at the Luthier’s Co-op in Easthampton on Friday at 9:30 p.m., with Vibetown at 8 p.m., and John Fuzek at 7 p.m.

It’s an evening of old-school electric Cajun music featuring Les Taiauts and the Terrible Mountain String Band at The Root Cellar on Saturday at 7 p.m.

Lori McKenna has a new album coming out next month entitled “The Tree,” and she’ll appear at The Iron Horse on Saturday at 7 p.m. Ben Danaher opens.

Klezperanto! It’s Ilene Stahl’s long-running dance band of merry music makers, who rewire traditional klezmer and Mediterranean melodies (and they might also play some cumbias or cop show TV themes or Romanian surf tunes). They’ll be at the Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center in Greenfield on Sunday at 7:30 p.m.

Hoonah, aka Sarah Smith, performs at the Luthier’s Co-op on Thursday at 7 p.m. Also appearing that night are Erica Russo (7:45 p.m.) and Amber Belle & the Ringers (8:45 p.m.).

 

 




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