The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include a scion of America’s first family of folk; classical concerts in solo, ensemble, and orchestral formats, playing everyone from Bach to Gershwin to Pärt to Higdon; and an original roots music duo.
Singer-songwriter Annie Guthrie, a scion of America's first family of folk, brings her unique spin on the tradition to the Barn at the Egremont Village Inn in South Egremont on Sat, Feb 3, at 8pm. A prolific songwriter and versatile musician, Guthrie, who is the daughter of Arlo, granddaughter of Woody, great-granddaughter of Martha Graham dancer Marjorie Mazia, and great-great granddaughter of famed Yiddish poet Aliza Greenblatt - accompanies herself on acoustic guitar, bass, and autoharp on original country-, rock- and pop-influenced folk songs that are direct and honest, as heard on her 2016 full-length debut album, "Dragonfly."
The Williams Chamber Players will perform works by Arvo Pärt, Anton Arensky, and J.S. Bach in "Spirituality and Romanticism," a free concert in Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall at Williams College tonight at 8pm. The program will include Arvo Pärt's "Spiegel im Spiegel" and his work "Fratres"; two works by Bach; and the Arensky Piano Trio in D Minor, op. 32.
Peter Sykes will give a recital of works written for organ by J.S. Bach and his 19th-century followers, including Mendelssohn, Brahms, and Niels Gade, at the Unitarian Universalist Meeting House in Housatonic, Mass., on Sat, Feb 3, at 4pm. The Berkshire Bach Society concert showcases the church's 1893 Johnson Organ.
The Orchestra Now will perform George Gershwin's "An American in Paris" together with works by Jennifer Higdon and Robert Schumann, in the Fisher Center at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y., on Sat, Feb 3, at 8pm, and Sun, Feb 4, at 2pm. Led by associate conductor James Bagwell, the program includes Jennifer Higdon's "blue cathedral" and Robert Schumann's Symphony No. 2.
Looking ahead to next weekend, Son Lux guitarist Rafiq Bhatia brings his new trio and his genre-defying atmospheric sounds to Club B10 at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Mass., on Saturday, February 10, at 8pm. Bhatia's new trio includes Son Lux drummer Ian Chang and bass/synthesizer/electronics virtuoso Jackson Hill. Using an arrangement of analog and digital effects, expect chill, psychedelic beats to flood the room, which - complemented by smooth, fluid riffs - invite listeners to settle back and escape into a meditative state.
And tonight at 9pm, roots-folk duo Hudson Dusters bring their rich blend of sounds to Club Helsinki Hudson. Local singer-songwriters Jon B. Woodin and Foggy Otis met at Club Helsinki's weekly open mic. Mutual admiration quickly led to collaboration. Stylistically, the Hudson Dusters weave a rich tapestry of sound over the solid foundation of Woodin's acoustic guitar and Otis's ukulele. From delicately performed folk ballads to up-tempo country-rockers to soulful bursts of vocal harmony to sonic assaults of distortion served up via ukulele, the Hudson Dusters deliver their songs in a manner all their own.
Seth Rogovoy is editor of Berkishire Daily and the Rogovoy Report, available online at rogovoyreport.com