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Mary Chapin Carpenter

Mary Chapin Carpenter

The Egg, Thursday

With the release of her 12th album, The Age of Miracles, Mary Chapin Carpenter reminds audiences why she’s one of the most respected and rewarded singer-songwriters around. It’s one of those personal yet universal “statement” records that only a writer of her seasoning can bring to life. As if her critical and commercial successes weren’t enough to ride on, this April Carpenter was awarded the “Spirit of Americana” Free Speech in Music Award by the Americana Association, an honor that recognizes artists who use their music to “raise awareness and promote free speech.” She’s just the eighth artist to receive the award, placing her in an elite group that includes Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, and Joan Baez. (June 24, 8 PM, $34.50-$49.50, Empire State Plaza, Albany, 473-1845)

30th Annual Old Songs Festival of Music and Dance

Altamont Fairgrounds, Friday-Sunday

The Capital Region is lucky to host some of the nation’s best participatory folk festivals each summer—and longest-running, too. This weekend, the Old Songs Festival celebrates its 30th year of bringing together great musicians and dancers—professional and amateur—for three days of pickin’, grinnin’, and promenadin’. It’s as big a festival as ever, featuring 80-some performers at three concerts (Friday and Saturday evening, Sunday afternoon), plus more than 120 daytime performances, workshops, classes and dances. Pretty much everything here is suitable for all ages, but there’s a family stage as well. Check out the full schedule and other details at oldsongs.org. (June 25-27, times and prices vary, Route 146, Altamont, 765-2815)

Tosh 1

Bearsville Theater, Saturday

Before his death in 1981, Bob Marley brought 11 children into the world—seven of whom would go on to become reggae musicians. For Peter Tosh, Marley’s bandmate in the Wailers who was murdered in 1987, one son carries his legacy: Tosh 1. Having grown up in Boston, Tosh 1 draws as much on American hip-hop as Jamaican reggae (the contemporary dancehall form of which itself features as much rapping as skanking), but he’s been careful to preserve the roots reggae sensibilities of the Wailers, not to mention his father’s militant politics, based in what he calls “the language of struggle.” We Must Be and Jamaica’s Starcade will support. (June 26, 8 PM, $25, 291 Tinker St., Woodstock, 845-679-4406)

Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey

MASS MoCA, Saturday

An “alt cabaret” summer of fun begins in MASS MoCA’s Club B-10 with those genre-benders the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey. Hipsters know there’s neither a “Jacob” nor a “Fred” in the combo, just four virtuosic dudes on keyboards, pedal steel, bass and drums. JFFO appreciate the finer things in life, like fusing the musical sensibilities of Dr. Dre and Beethoven, or cranking out free-jazz reworkings of Beatles classics. Led by original “fredster” Brian Haas, JFJO describe their sound as “an ongoing musical discourse that’s been developed during 16 years of touring.” Cut out the fancy-pants jazz adjectives, and that sounds like a jam band to us. (June 26, 8 PM, $16, $10 students, 87 Marshall St., North Adams, Mass., 413-662-2111)

Young@Heart Chorus

Colonial Theatre, Sunday

One of our favorite little-seen films of the last few years was Young@Heart, where a Western Massachusetts man decided to teach a bunch of senior citizens to sing alternative-rock hits and stage a concert tour. We thought the film was like a spiritual soulmate to Waiting for Guffman. Turns out, it was a true story! This band of 70-plussers travel the world with a bizarrely life-affirming rock & roll show, and they’ve been doing so for 25 years now—not the same members, obviously. This is a show that practically defies irony. (June 27, 4 PM, $25-$75, 111 South St., Pittsfield, Mass., 413-997-4444)


Also Noted

Okbari Middle Eastern Ensemble

Oud, baby: The Okbari Middle Eastern Ensemble of Portland, Maine, bring Turkish and Armenian folk music to Red Square tonight (Thursday) (8 PM, 465-0444). . . . Area troubadour Rob Jonas plays at the Pine Hills branch of the Albany Public Library tomorrow (Friday) as part of the new Acoustic Sidewalk series (5 PM, free, 482-7911). . . . The Egg’s season of legendary double bills continues Friday with Johnny Winter and James Cotton (7:30 PM, $29.50, 473-1845). . . . Local band Maaze and Brooklyn music-and-dance duo My Pet Dragon are at Valentine’s on Friday (9 PM, $7, 432-6572). . . . While we’re going on about New York bands, four very good ones—the Mommyheads, Ida, Babe the Blue Ox, and Johnny Society—get together Saturday afternoon at the Bearsville Theater, Woodstock, to raise money for the family of late Mommyheads drummer Jan Kotik (11:30 AM, $8, 845-679-4406). . . . Be thrifty with your rock dollar right here in Albany, and take in four fine bands—Alta Mira, Emerald City Lights, the Tins, and Boyish Good Looks—for just a couple bucks per, Saturday at Red Square (8 PM, $8, 465-0444). . . . If you’re jonesing for some moe., get your fill—two sets worth—Sunday at Mountain Park in Holyoke, Mass.; the veteran jammers will be joined by Martin Sexton and the Ryan Montbleau Band (5 PM, $27.50, 413-586-8686). . . . Here’s a Sunday service we can get behind: The Lee Boys bring sacred steel to Caffe Lena Sunday evening (7 PM, $18, 583-0022). . . . The Skidmore Jazz Institute concert series kicks off with the Capital Region’s own Grammy-nominated vibraphonist Stefon Harris and his group Blackout at Skidmore’s Zankel Music Center on Tuesday (8 PM, free, 580-5320). . . . Wrap up Wednesday with a Rockin’ on the River concert featuring Solid Smoke with the Mount Olive Gospel All-Stars (5 PM, free, 727-9786).


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