The Loft, Portsmouth, NH. Sun. 6-10-18, Doors 7pm. $15. The Narrows Center for the Arts, Fall River, MA. Fri. 6-15-18, Doors 8pm. $17 adv., $19 day of show.* Great Scott, Allston, MA. Sat. 6-16-18, Doors 8:30 pm. $15.* *opening for River Whyless   This is something special. Jalen N’Gonda is a soul/R&B singer with a silvery pure voice. Perhaps his parents knew this before he was born, and chose the appropriate birthplace of Silver Spring, MD. In either case, N’Gonda has one of those voices that you listen to once, and can’t stop hearing thereafter; we mention him at our review of the Newport FolkRead More →

Chris Crofton – Hello It’s Me Arrowhawk Records -out June 22 2.5 / 5   Nashville’s macabre comedian Chris Crofton fights through alcoholism and the loss of a relationship in Hello It’s Me, a smattering of laid-back rock tracks centered around his newfound sobriety. Coming through the other side of a life change has given Crofton a soft, earnest sound and desire to share his insight, and a handful of mainstream musicians have come together to support him: Jim James’ guitar is here, as well as Matt Myers from Houndmouth, among several others. There is something here, certainly, but unfortunately, there isn’t enough to meet up toRead More →

The Sinclair, Cambridge, MA. Mon. 5-21-18, Doors 7pm, Show 8pm. $25 adv., $30 Day of show. The Narrows Center for the Arts, Fall River, MA. Fri. 5-25-18. Doors 7pm, Show 8pm. $35 adv., $40 Day of show. Space Ballroom, Hamden, CT. Sat. 5-26-18. Doors 7pm, Show 8pm. $27.50-$30. NOTE: Lilly Hiatt opens; VIP tickets available all three dates.   Question: this folkie singer-songwriter is reminiscent of a spry James Taylor; he also has a lucky seven full-lengths to his name, hit the Newport Folk Festival in 2011, and looks good in a Portuguese flat cap. That last one is obviously the clincher here, but ifRead More →

Lake Street Dive – Free Yourself Up Nonesuch Records -out May 4 3.5 / 5   Lake Street Dive has come a long way from the dives they (and streetcorners) they’ve performed on. Former Bostonites and now current New Yorkers (no bitterness here!), the quartet digs into a groove similar to their 2014 Bad Self Portraits, a groove of jazzy quartet with pop tendencies and non-standard song choices. Their latest Free Yourself Up hits upon their more whimsical notes (lyrically) in common with 2016’s Side Pony, but it’s in Bad Self Portraits‘ sound where they find their more familiar ground. And that’s what this album is: familiar. It’s a second attempt atRead More →