Tuned In by Ken Maiuri

  • Vibetown

  • Jay Hoggard

  • Nanny

  • The Magik Markers

  • Nuala Kennedy

  • Bombino Richard DUMAS Photo

Published: 3/14/2019 1:54:05 PM

Nigerien guitarist/singer/songwriter Bombino appears at the Iron Horse in Northampton on Sunday, March 17, at 7 p.m.

His hypnotic sound — what he simply describes as “the music of the Ténéré desert, in the south-central Sahara” — first came to these shores a decade ago via the Sublime Frequencies label and its raw, energetic collection “Group Bombino — Guitars from Agadez, Vol. 2” (partially recorded live at a wedding in 2007). 

The guitarist had taught himself to play as a teen, listening to bootleg tapes of Dire Straits, Ali Farka Toure and Jimi Hendrix. By 2013, after an appearance in the documentary “Agadez, the Music and the Rebellion,” Bombino was in demand, making professionally recorded albums (including one produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys and another by David Longstreth of Dirty Projectors). His latest, “Deran,” recorded in Casablanca, was nominated for a Grammy.

Bombino sings in the Tuareg language of Tamasheq, and his guitar playing is both graceful and percussive, his fingers tickling and plucking at the strings (no pick necessary). The New York Times gave him a silly nickname, The Sultan of Shred, but his style isn’t about endless cocky pyrotechnics — instead, his economic sound is full of soul and trance. And whatever language barrier might exist, the spirit in his performance and the undeniable bounce found in many of his songs let emotion ring through loud and clear.

Opening the show is Dead Messengers, a Boston band (led by multi-instrumentalist/writer/producer Patrick Hanlin) described as “an avant-garde aggro-soul band broadcasting live and direct from the center of the Apocalypse.”

The Magik Markers, the fierce rock band that revolves around the longtime core duo of Elisa Ambrogio and Pete Nolan, has a two-night residency at the Root Cellar in Greenfield on Friday, March 15 and Saturday, March 16 at 8 p.m.  


Northampton-based rockabilly honky-tonkers Flathead Rodeo play a late show at the Rendezvous in Turners Falls on Friday, March 15 at 9:30 p.m. 

The Big Bad Bollocks play their 28th annual St. Patrick’s Day show at the Iron Horse on Saturday, March 16, at 7 p.m. Disorderly Konduct starts off the night.  

Amber Belle & the Ringers team up with The Green Sisters for a show at the New City Brewery in Easthampton on Saturday, March 16, at 7 p.m. 

Nuala Kennedy, right, and Eamon O'Leary (with special guest Jefferson Hamer of The Murphy Beds) are the featured artists at the latest Parlor Session at The Parlor Room in Northampton on Sunday, March 17, at 7 p.m. 

Nanny (Northampton punk-pop shown above), Glazer (“psychy noise rock” from NJ), Spowder (“sludgy but melodic swamp rock” from NJ) and Banana (“sludgy poppy alt-rock” from Boston) are the quadruple-bill at Flywheel in Easthampton on Sunday, March 17, at 8 p.m. 

Vibraphonist Jay Hoggard is the featured musician with the Green Street Trio at this week’s Northampton Jazz Workshop at City Sports Grille inside Spare Time Northampton on Tuesday, March 19, at 7:30 p.m. It’s a unique night, with Hoggard and the band playing two full sets. (The usual open jazz jam is not happening this week.) 

The Yardbirds, with original member Jim McCarty on drums, play the Iron Horse on Thursday, March 21, at 7 p.m. Local trio Colorway opens. 

Local funk-jazz outfit Vibetown plays Click Workspace in Northampton on Thursday, March 21, at 7 p.m.  

Reggae/rock/hip hop artist Matisyahu throws a special “Purim Party” show at Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center in Greenfield on Thursday, March 21, at 8:30 p.m.

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