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Tuned In by Ken Maiuri

  • Elisa Tyler Photo

  • Julian Marley

  • Zoe Prinds Flash Photo

  • Eavesdrop

  • Graham Parker Jeff Fasano Photo

  • Los Mirlos

  • Joe Jackson

  • Shervin Lainez Photo

  • Krysta Brayer Photo

Published: 5/9/2019 2:32:36 PM
Modified: 5/9/2019 2:32:25 PM

Joe Jackson burst onto the scene looking sharp in 1979. Now on the road with a new album called “Fool,” Jackson is celebrating the past and the present on his “Four-Decade Tour,” coming to the Academy of Music in Northampton on Wednesday, May 15, at 8 p.m.

As Jackson said on his website, “Here comes a big tour. We want to celebrate the fact that this is happening after 40 years — anything else would be like sulking in a room by yourself on your own birthday party.”

Jackson’s always been the opposite of a sulker anyway, brightly following his inspirations wherever they’ve taken him — short sharp rock, a super-fun album of jump blues and swing influenced by Louis Jordan and Cab Calloway, cosmopolitan pop with Latin percussion, jazz/soul-rock with a horn section, movie soundtracks, concept albums, song cycles, reinterpretations of Duke Ellington tunes and more.

Jackson said the show will draw on one album from each decade, but also include hits from other discs and even a new cover or two. He’s never shied away from playing his biggest songs (which include “Is She Really Going Out With Him?” “Steppin’ Out,” “Breaking Us In Two” and “You Can’t Get What You Want (Till You Know What You Want)”), and early reports suggest he’ll likely include a few of those. Whether you’re a fan from his earliest days or somewhere else along the way, you’ll be happy.

His October 2015 appearance at the Academy of Music was one of my favorite shows of that year and remains a memorable night. Highly recommended!

The Alex Smith Organ Trio features Smith (keyboardist and arranger for Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett), plus guitarist Jesse Lewis and drummer Tony Jefferson, performing at The Parlor Room in Northampton on Friday, May 10, at 7:30 p.m.


Josh Ritter and the Royal City Band take the stage at the Calvin in Northampton on Friday, May 10, at 8 p.m. Texas duo Penny & Sparrow start off the night.

Vocalist Deva Mahal, top, (daughter of Taj) appears at the Iron Horse in Northampton on Saturday, May 11, at 7 pm.


Julian Marley (son of Bob), right, second from top, performs at Hawks and Reed Performing Arts Center in Greenfield on Saturday, May 11, at 8:30 p.m.


Indie rockers Bad Bad Hats , right, third from top, leave their Minneapolis home to play the Iron Horse on Saturday, May 11, at 10 p.m. Local band Nanny opens.


Harmony-powered Valley band Eavesdrop, bottom right, and John Brandoli share the bill at The Parlor Room on Sunday, May 12 at 7 p.m.


Ruth Moody (known to many as one-third of The Wailin’ Jennys) brings her own group to the Iron Horse on Sunday, May 12, at 7 p.m.


Boston-born trio Lula Wiles has a new record out on Smithsonian Folkways (“What Will We Do”), and they perform at Hawks and Reed Performing Arts Center on Sunday, May 12, at 7 p.m.


Joey Agresta headlines a special Mother’s Day show at the Root Cellar in Greenfield on Sunday, May 12, at 8 p.m. Sharing the bill are Holy Basil, The Cradle and Holy People.

Singer/songwriter Damien Jurado, shown at left, plays Gateway City Arts in Holyoke on Monday, May 13 at 8 p.m.


DuoDuo is the unique collaboration of harpist Maeve Gilchrist, percussive dancer Nic Gareiss, cellist Natalie Haas and acoustic guitarist Yann Falquet; together they draw from the Scottish, American, Quebecois traditional repertoire and more. They appear at The Parlor Room on Wednesday, May 15, at 7 p.m.


Graham Parker, shown bottom left, released the album “Cloud Symbols” last year, and he’ll be at the Iron Horse on Thursday, May 16, at 7 p.m. James Maddock opens.



Iconic 1970s Peruvian chicha/cumbia band Los Mirlos are on their first-ever U.S. tour and will make a stop at New City Brewery in Easthampton on Thursday, May 16, at 7 p.m. Part of the Planetary Party concert series.

Ken Maiuri can be reached at






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