Tuned In by Ken Maiuri for 10-11-19

  • Josh Rouse Manolo Millan photo

  • Toubab Krewe Kenneth A. Appelbaum photo

  • Heather Maloney

  • Arvilla

  • Mark Mulcahy Ken Maiuri photo

  • Luna Luz Gallardo photo

Published: 10/10/2019 4:38:49 PM
Modified: 10/10/2019 4:38:38 PM

Josh Rouse has an unmistakable voice, both cool and warm at the same time, and the singer/songwriter takes the stage at the cozy Parlor Room in Northampton on Thursday, October 17, at 7 p.m.

My doorway in was Rouse’s 2003 album “1972,” his attempt to recapture the smooth pop sounds of that era — all it took was one listen to tunes like “Love Vibration” and “Come Back (Light Therapy)” to make me a fan for life. The former has the best pop song sax solo since “Waiting On a Friend,” and the latter is an amazing time machine express to the world of classic ‘70s pop radio (circa 1978, I’d say), with a smooth hook, funky bass line and brilliantly arranged strings and woodwinds.

“Nashville” was another top Rouse record for me, one of the CDs I listened to constantly in my then-new home of Poulsbo, Washington. I was anxious and melancholy in the scenic but strange locale, and Rouse’s catchy, easygoing, sometimes wistful songs like “Winter In the Hamptons,” “It’s the Nighttime” and “My Love Has Gone” were the perfect security blanket; I blasted them with the windows down while driving to work.

Rouse has been releasing sparkling records ever since, no matter where he’s called home. Originally from Nebraska, he lived in Nashville for some time, moved to Spain in 2004 (his album “El Tursita” features him singing a few songs in Spanish), and now splits his time in both places.

His newest project is “The Holiday Sounds of Josh Rouse,” due out November 1. It’s a record he’s been working on sporadically for a decade, and he recorded it in Nashville with the same musicians and producer (the genius Brad Jones) as “1972” long ago. The first single is “Mediterranean X-Mas,” a percolating two-minute ditty that adds a light refreshing breeze to any season.

Singer/songwriter and critical fave Slaid Cleaves plays the Parlor Room in Northampton on Friday, October 11, at 7 p.m.

Asheville, N.C., quintet Toubab Krewe has been fusing rock and West African music since 2004. The band’s latest album is called STYLO (check out the groovy single “That Darn Squash,” which somehow has a slamming beat but still swings light on its feet) and they’ll be at Hawks and Reed Performing Arts Center in Greenfield on Friday, October 11, at 8 p.m. The Jonathan Scales Fourchestra (featuring Scales on steel pan drums) opens the show.

Singer/songwriter Heather Maloney celebrates the release of her new album “Soil In the Sky” with a big show (featuring a string quartet!) at the historic Academy of Music in Northampton on Saturday, October 12, at 7:30 p.m. Starting off the night is the Maine-based sibling duo Oshima Brothers.

Local acts Arvilla (“freaky Americana sweetness”) and Toney Sea (aka singer/songwriter/guitarist Miranda Brown) appear at the Ashfield Lake House on Saturday, October 12, at 8 p.m.

Portland, Maine, indie trio Weakened Friends headline a quadruple bill that also features Blis, I Love You!, and Laveda, at the Stone Church in Bratlteboro on Sunday at 8 p.m.

Mark Mulcahy has a new record out, mysteriously called “The Gus,” and after successful tours of the U.S. and U.K., the singer/songwriter brings his trio down the interstate to Gateway City Arts in Holyoke on Sunday, October 13, at 8 p.m.

Luna and Versus sharing a bill together? Is it the mid-‘90s? No, we’re just lucky people who get to see two great bands back at it again. Dean Wareham’s double-guitar-driven VU-inspired band headlines the show, but don’t miss Versus, led by Richard Baluyut and Fontaine Toups, who played often in the Valley during their original run (they have a new album out, Ex Voto, their first in almost a decade). At Gateway City Arts in Holyoke on Thursday, October 17, at 8 p.m.




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