Rogovoy Report 11/24/17

Nov 24, 2017

Thanksgiving weekend is typically a quiet one, culturally speaking, and this weekend is no exception. But there are a few events worth noting, and it’s also not too soon to start planning for next weekend, which promises more fun things to do.

A few years ago, Monica Rizzio traded her membership in an East Texas bluegrass band to try her hand at the singer-songwriter craft, in Cape Cod, Mass,m,of all places. Songs like “Willie Nelson” –a tribute to her hero – along with “Luckier Than You” and “Washashore Cowgirl” garnered her a nomination for an Independent Music Award for Best Country Album in 2016. Rizzio brings her cowgirl attitude and her literate, Texas-based approached to songwriting (think Townes Van Zandt and John Prine) to the Barn at the Egremont Village Inn in South Egremont, Mass., on Fri at 8pm.

Hometown, a solo exhibition of oil and watercolor paintings of small-town life by Jeffrey L. Neumann, is on view at Neumann Fine Art in Hillsdale, N.Y., now through Sat, Dec 30. Anchoring the exhibition is Neumann’s latest oil painting, “Hillsdale, April afternoon,” a view of the hamlet which preserves a moment in time prior to the town’s recent addition of new sidewalks and streetlamps. The artist will present a framed giclée print of the painting to the Town of Hillsdale during a reception and artist talk on Sat at 6pm.

Tarbox Ramblers brings its patented blend of raw roots and blues music to Club Helsinki Hudson on Saturday at 9pm. Longtime favorites of Helsinki audiences going back to the club’s roots in Great Barrington, Mass., the Tarbox Ramblers are left-field traditionalists whose rough-hewn, direct sound has drawn raves from Rolling Stone, All Things Considered, the New Yorker, and many more.

The fifth annual Farm & Flea Holiday Market at Basilica Hudson takes place this weekend, Friday through Sunday. This year’s market features over 100 vendors, the vast majority drawn from the Hudson Valley’s artisanal talent pool. Inspired by the passionate and talented farmers, collectors, and artisans in the Hudson Valley, Basilica Farm & Flea was born Thanksgiving Weekend 2013 as an alternative to the big box, mass-manufactured nature of Black Friday. The 2017 Holiday Market is designed to be locally focused, serving as testament to the growing region and reflecting the abundance of makers in the Hudson Valley area.

Looking ahead to next week:

The flavor of early “Prairie Home Companion” will be in the air when Garrison Keillor and Robin & Linda Williams share the stage at the Colonial in Pittsfield, Mass., on Wed, Nov 29, at 7:30pm. Keillor, of course, was the founder and longtime host of the weekly public radio variety show for decades, and Robin & Linda Williams were regular guests, performing their original folk and roots compositions years before anyone called that sort of music “Americana.” The concert at the Colonial is being brought to the region by WAMC.

Artist and musician Lonnie Holley recorded his first album in 2012 at age 62 after making home recordings for more than two decades. Holley’s music, like his art, defies classification — haunting vocals, keyboards, and new renditions of songs with every performance. He brings his unique, outsider-y, improvised sound – described as “somewhere between Sun Ra and spoken-word poetry” -- to MASS MoCA on Sat, Dec 2, at 8pm. The evening will start with a screening of a short documentary about Holley entitled “The Man Is the Music.” 

Jamaican-born funk-poet Everton Sylvester and Searching for Banjo bring their unique blend of spoken word and deep reggae grooves to Club Helsinki Hudson on Sunday, December 3, at 7pm. Sylvester’s song-poems recount acutely observed scenes from the life of an immigrant in New York City. Sometimes political and often humorous, Sylvester brings a sly, deadpan wit to scenarios from the point of view of a son, a father, a teacher, and a would-be U.S. citizen, that alternately surprise, delight, or infuriate. Everton’s band, Searching for Banjo (which does not include banjo), lays down Jamaican-infused accompaniment and reggae beats, providing the perfect context for Sylvester’s cleverly crafted, alertly ironic lyrics.

Seth Rogovoy is editor of Berkishire Daily and the Rogovoy Report, available online at

The views expressed by commentators are solely those of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the views of this station or its management.