Elvis Costello ended his three-way residency in the WAMC listening area last night with a concert at UPAC in Kingston, New York and I was there. Costello previously performed at the Calvin Theatre in Northampton and the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall. Although he has a terrific new album out which he recorded with funk group the Roots, this was a solo show, mostly acoustic, featuring songs from throughout Costello’s 40-year career, plus a few old tin pan alley tunes, including a few phrases from Brother, Can You Spare a Dime, vocalized gloriously off-mic into the old theater. Highlights of the performance included a version of Radio Radio, sung with the original lyrics, in an arrangement that more overtly nodded to its twin inspirations: Bruce Springsteen and Van Morrison. Costello lovingly introduced his hit song Veronica as a tribute to his grandmother, and pulled off incredible vocal feats with the complicated, twisted melody of Deep Dark Truthful Mirror. It was a great evening, and the crowd kept Costello on stage for two lengthy encores.
The Klezmatics, the world’s greatest modern klezmer group, perform at the Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, on Saturday night at 8 p.m. Founded in 1986 in New York City, The Klezmatics almost singlehandedly pioneered the klezmer renaissance, helping to revive the traditional music and give it a contemporary, universal appeal in much the same way the Beatles did with early rock ‘n’ roll. More than that, the singular accomplishment of The Klezmatics is to have mastered the traditional music, which dates back to Eastern European Yiddish religious music, folk tunes, and dance rhythms, and deliver them in such a way that they remain with one foot firmly planted in the cultural milieu from whence they came, and the other foot in a universal sphere, speaking to audiences of any age, shape, color, or background. It’s probably why The Klezmatics are the only klezmer group ever to have won a Grammy Award, and why they are fast approaching their 30th anniversary. That’s The Klezmatics at the Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, tomorrow night at 8.
Cellist Edward Arron leads a string quintet performing works by Mozart, Brahms, Arvo Pärt, and others at The Clark in Williamstown on Sunday, at 2 p.m. Arron will be joined by world-renowned violinists Jennifer Frautschi and Tessa Lark and other performing artists in residence at The Clark.
The Yellow Ticket, a forgotten gem of the silent film era, will be screened at MASS MoCA in North Adams on Saturday at 8 p.m., with a new score composed and performed live by violinist Alicia Svigals. Featuring a larger-than-life performance by the great Polish silent film star Pola Negri, the film is the first to explore anti-Semitism in imperial Russia.
Singer-songwriter Allison Moorer will bring her country-inflected brand of folk-rock to Club Helsinki Hudson tonight at 9. The Alabama-raised singer -- the younger sister of country singer Shelby Lynne and sometime singing-partner of Americana icon Steve Earle -- garnered an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song for A Soft Place to Fall, which was featured in Robert Redford’s film The Horse Whisperer. Allison Moorer plays a darkly intimate style of folk-pop that should appeal to fans of Shawn Colvin and Lucinda Williams.