The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include bluegrass, chamber music, folk-rock, soul-jazz, modern dance, drone music, and a whole lot more.
David Davis & the Warrior River Boys are best known for their traditional style of bluegrass, straight out of the Bill Monroe school. But on their latest album, “Didn’t He Ramble,” the group digs back even deeper to a generation earlier than Monroe, showcasing the music of the pre-bluegrass outfit Charlie Poole and his North Carolina Ramblers. Davis and the Boys bring their traditional-style bluegrass to Dewey Hall in Sheffield, Mass., tonight at 7:30pm.
After a nearly decade-long hiatus, folk-roots outfit the Mammals have rebooted themselves, recorded a new album, and are bringing their reunion tour to the Egremont Barn in South Egremont, Mass., tonight at 8pm. Fronted by Ruth Ungar and Mike Merenda, the group’s brand-new album, “Sunshiner,” features 14 new original compositions in vintage Mammals style.
Choreographer and dancer Ephrat Asherie is best known for her fusion of street and club styles of dance, including breaking, hip-hop, house, and vogue. Asherie offers a preview of “Odeon,” a new high-energy work set to premiere officially this summer at Jacob’s Pillow, at MASS MoCA in North Adams on Saturday at 8pm in Club B10. The dance is set to the music of Brazilian composer Ernesto Nazareth, whose songs blend early 20th-century classical music with samba and popular Afro-Brazilian rhythms.
And similarly, the Jamal Jackson Dance Company performs “Rob Day,” its evening-length work exploring gun culture through a fusion of African dance with modern and hip-hop techniques, at PS21’s new black box theater in Chatham, N.Y., tonight and Saturday at 8pm.
Violinist Soovin Kim and pianist Roman Rabinovich join cellist and Close Encounters With Music artistic director Yehuda Hanani in a program of mid-19th century “Grand Piano Trios,” featuring works by Felix Mendelssohn and Bedřich Smetana, at the Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, Mass., on Sunday at 3pm. Works include Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio in C minor and Smetana’s Piano Trio in G minor. That’s two of my favorite keys.
Writer Susan Orlean and actor Sarah Thyre will record an episode of their Crybabies podcast with special guest Malcolm Gladwell, at the Bard Fisher Center on Saturday at 7:30pm. For Crybabies, Orlean and Thyre interview comedians, musicians, actors, and writers about the movies, TV, music, plays, and art that make them cry.
The annual 24-HOUR DRONE Festival, featuring an international roster of musicians and sound artists working in electronic, psychedelic, classical, non-western, instrumental, and other genres incorporating drone, takes place at Basilica Hudson from Saturday at noon until noon on Sunday – 24-hours of unbroken drone. Artists include experimental cellist Julia Kent, Laraaji, Pharmakon, Arone Dyer of Buke and Gase, Grammy Award-winner Steve Gorn, and artist and composer Mark Wagner, performing two sets as Son of the Sun, blending his own drone compositions with his practice as a whirling dervish.
Singer-keyboardist Jarrod Lawson brings his blend of blue-eyed soul and smooth jazz to Club Helsinki Hudson tonight at 9pm. Lawson should appeal to fans of Steely Dan, Donny Hathaway, and especially Stevie Wonder.
Seraph Brass, an all-female quintet that performs a diverse repertoire that includes original transcriptions, newly commissioned works, and well-known classics in new arrangements for brass, plays at Hudson Hall in the Classics on Hudson series on Saturday at 7pm. The concert will include works by Grieg, Mozart, Puccini, Debussy, Leonard Bernstein, and Michael Kamen, among others.
Seth Rogovoy is editor of Berkishire Daily and the Rogovoy Report, available online at rogovoyreport.com