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May Music Highlights

Th 5/12, Sa 5/14- NEKO CASE w/ Y LA BAMBA (5/12); Corazon de Dahlia benefit featuring SOÑANDO (5/14), at Bearsville Theater, Woodstock—Making up for a weather-cancelled gig in February, American (and part-time Canadian) Neko Case passes through during a more reasonable season, bringing her distinctive indie “country-noir” for a night (Th 5/12) to Bearsville. Case has forged a singular musical path over the last decade, starting with straight-up country on her debut The Virginian (1997), and what was supposed to be a one-off side project with Seattle’s The New Pornographers in 2000, which has since gone on to record five CDs and frequently tour. Case left Seattle for Chicago, continued her parallel career (with and without band, a.k.a. “Her Boyfriends”), recording seven acclaimed and well-received releases, and even snagged “Sexiest Babe of Indie Rock” in a 2003 Playboy online poll, while turning down Hef’s offer of a photo spread. The concentration of effort is paying off: her most-recent 2009 Middle Cyclone debuted on the Billboard charts at #3. With Y La Bamba opening. Then it’s a special (and lately rare) performance of the Hudson Valley’s premier Latin band Soñando (Sa 5/14), benefitting Corazon de Dahlia, a non-profit group raising funds to build a Community Development Center in Peru. Food and desserts will be courtesy of Culinary Institute of America-trained chefs, and silent auction and raffle items include contributions from Elliot Landy, Michael Lang, Bistro-to-Go, Bread Alone, and New World Home Cooking, among others. Bearsville Theater, 291 Tinker St., Woodstock,, 845.679.4406. Both shows 8 PM

Fr 5/13- The Hudson Valley Bluegrass Association presents THE TONY RICE UNIT, at Christ Church, Poughkeepsie—He’s like the Eric Clapton of bluegrass guitar. OK, maybe not the greatest analogy, but get a roomful of knowledgeable bluegrass folks talking guitar, and if this guy’s name isn’t on just about everyone’s top five list, clear the room. Virginia-born Tony Rice grew up in California with music in the family, moved back to Kentucky to form the Bluegrass Alliance in 1970, and J. D. Crowe’s New South shortly afterwards, a progressive bluegrass group with drums and electric instruments. (The band included major firepower: Ricky Skaggs, Jerry Douglas, Bobby Slone). Rice moved back to California to join the David Grisman Quintet, blending in jazz and classical into the mix, before starting his own projects in 1979, reaching his stride with Cold on the Shoulder, a collection of bluegrass vocals. Rice has stayed busy, recording six volumes of music with the Bluegrass Album Band, albums with Norman Blake and his brother Wyatt (as the Rice Brothers), and experimental “spacegrass” with The Tony Rice Unit, which he brings here to Poughkeepsie. All in all, just an amazing acoustic flatpicker, all round musician, one of the very best in the business. Christ Church, 20 Carroll St., Poughkeepsie, 7:30 PM

Fr 5/20- RICHARD BARONE with DENI BONET and special guests, at the Rosendale Café, Rosendale—Now this guy has one hell of a cool backstory. Age seven: “The Littlest DJ” on a Tampa Top 40 radio station. Meets Tiny Tim at sixteen, the Monkees two years later, starts getting into pop music production, forms The Bongos in Hoboken NJ in the early 80s, debut Drums Along the Hudson becomes a trans-Atlantic classic. Signed by RCA, Numbers With Wings hits on MTV soon after with eponymous single. Band splits in ’87, Barone continues with chamber-pop solo nugget Cool Blue Halo, three more solo releases, production work for Jill Sobule and The B-52’s Fred Schneider, musical director work with the New York Theatre Workshop, and producer of The Nomi Song (2005), the award-winning documentary film on new wave counter-tenor Klaus Nomi. Also, a cool memoir, FRONTMAN: Surviving the Rock Star Myth (a must-read for all aspiring and retiring “rock stars,” Backbeat/Hal Leonard Books, 2007). And in 2010, a benefit concert for the cleanup of the BP oil spill, with The Roches, Freedy Johnston, and Pete Seeger. Barone even recorded a BP spill- inspired song by Seeger, while on the Sloop Clearwater. Now that’s seriously cool. Presently, he’s touring his new release Glow (Bar None, 2010), produced by legendary producer/arranger Tony Visconti (Bowie, T. Rex, Morrissey), coming to the cozy room of the Rosendale Café. With singer/songwriter/blue violinist Deni Bonet and special guests. Rosendale Café, 434 Main St., Rosendale,, 845.658.9048. 8 PM

Su 5/22- Benefit for Marbletown Multi Arts (MaMA) with THE TRAPPS and BLUE DOLL with SARAH PERROTTA, at Marbletown Multi Arts, Stone Ridge—There’s a wealth of good community things going on at Marbletown Multi Arts (MaMA) year round: yoga, karate, dance, Pilates, Tai Chi, Chi Qung, even acupuncture lessons. Also in the house is the Center for Creative Education, with music performing and recording programs geared primarily toward young people. But during late spring through the fall, MaMA’s Cliff Rockmuller makes the space a music venue with his “One World” concert series, attracting talented regional and national—sometimes even international—artists to Stone Ridge (upcoming shows feature Carrie Rodriguez, Terri Hendrix & Lloyd Maines, and Pat DiNizio). For this particular show benefitting those programs at MaMA, two of the more popular musical groups in the region have donated their time and talent. New Paltz/Kingston-based The Trapps bring a rootsy Americana-based sound, fueled by the earnest singing and rhythm guitar by main songwriter Sean Schenker. Their latest independently released CD Cheap Seats (2010) has garnered critical acclaim and local airplay, and recently they’ve been on tour in the opening slot for Assembly of Dust. And though her most recent release was 2008’s The Well (with guest stars Garth Hudson and Tony Levin), singer/songwriter/keyboardist Sarah Perrotta has kept a steady presence performing in the interim with her neo-pop trio Perrotta, and here presents her new project Blue Doll. Marbletown Multi Arts (MaMA), 3588 Rte. 209, Stone Ridge,, 845.687.4143. 6:30 PM

Fr-Su 5/13, 14, 15- THE WOODSTOCK MUSIC TRADE SHOW, at the Kingston Holiday Inn Conference Center, Kingston—Though the focus on Woodstock is often on the music, there is also a vibrant community of luthiers, electric stringed instrument and percussion makers, and amplifier/effect designers in the Hudson Valley. If you’re a fan of the NAMM (National Association of Musical Manufacturers) show, this is along those lines: a modest entry fee allows you access to the products of Spector, Tobias, Babicz, Citron Guitars, Mancuso Guitars, LaBella Strings, Veillette Guitars, Champtone, Vincitore’s, Planet Woodstock, and U.S. Custom Drums, to name but a few. Musical performances by John Platania and Friends, featuring Phelonius Funk (with Gov’t Mule’s Danny Louis, Machan, Randy Ciarlante, and Charlie Kniceley), Marshall Crenshaw, The Erin Hobson Compact, Nik Rael, Inferphonic, Johnny Marnell, Sasha and The Vocal Soul, Swear and Shake, Michael Dimin, Todd Mihan & Downside Joyride, Mr. Roper, The Drive, Antidote 8, Sarah Kyles, and more. Clinics, product giveaways, career discussion panels: if this industry stuff rocks your world, check it out. Holiday Inn Conference Center, 503 Washington Ave., Kingston, Trade show hours Sa 5/14 10 AM-6 PM, Su 5/15 10 AM-5 PM. Music Fr 5/13 8 PM-1:30 AM, Sa 5/14 10:30 AM-1:30 AM, Su 10:30 AM-7 PM

Sa 5/7- JAMES COTTON and MATT “GUITAR” MURPHY, at Columbia-Greene Community College, Hudson—Forgive me folks, but I am one of those dreaded “blues snobs.” Not an aficionado or expert, mind you—just a straight-up snob. Not proud of it, but neither am I ashamed. See, living half your life in the Delta, mere miles from the plantations worked by Charley Patton and B.B. King, seeing the real guys in the real Mississippi joints, you get to the point where young eager white Boston cats with just the right guitar/amp combo just don’t cut it, no matter how talented or reverent of the genre they are. So if you’re a blues snob like me, or you just like great blues, run- don’t walk- to Hudson for this show. Mississippi-born James Cotton is the undisputed master of the blues harmonica, learning the instrument from none other than Sonny Boy Williamson, and spending years on the road with Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters before stepping out as bandleader in the 60s. Thirty solo releases, a Grammy Award, induction in the Blues Hall of Fame, and a harmonica in the Smithsonian: you’d think those are laurels enough to rest on. But no, he’s on the road again, touring his most recent Giant, this time with fellow legend Matt “Guitar” Murphy. With one of the biggest full-time smiles in the biz, it’s hard to believe Murphy gets the blues, until of course he lets fly on his Telecaster. Then you soon see why Howlin’ Wolf, Junior Parker, Memphis Slim, and Bobby Blue Bland had to have him aboard, and why the Blues Brothers immortalized that fierce grin—and tasty picking—in their popular movies. Columbia-Greene Community College, 4400 Rte. 23, Hudson,, 518.828.4181, ext. 3344. 7 PM

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