Weekend Ideas: July 4, 2014


Hurricanes, fireworks and outdoor music really don’t mix well. But while the Boston Pops pulled the trigger a day early for its July 4 extravaganza on the Esplanade, revered Berkshires-based troubadour James Taylor and his stellar band (seen in this recent clip) play Tanglewood’s main shed on Friday, with fireworks to follow.

After the storm blows over, the New Bedford Folk Festival kicks into gear with local and national performers across the city – and main events at the beautiful Zeiterion Theatre. Saturday offers a tasty stretch with John Gorka, the humorous team of Christine Lavin and Don White (seen here), Jonathan Edwards and an Everly Brothers tribute that includes Gorka, Pete and Maura Kennedy, and Cliff Everhardt. Gorka and Eberhardt also join a Sunday afternoon songwriters circle with Kate Campbell and Chris Smither, who performs later that evening as well. Here’s the schedule.

Country-folk traditions live on as well in the music of Rosanne Cash, who sings on Saturday at Prescott Park in Portsmouth, N.H. The Brooklyn dream-pop gals of Au Revoir Simone rock out at the Brighton Music Hall on Saturday. And the blues come alive Sunday in a huge bill at Indian Ranch, headed by the legendary B.B. King (despite shows that have grown a bit more shaky at age 88), pedal-steel firebrand Robert Randolph and his Family Band, and robust vocalist Shemekia Copeland. A second stage of regional acts will provide non-stop blues on the shore of Lake Webster.

Finally, for my Thursday Throwback, with the band Yes hitting the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion on Tuesday, here’s a full-concert look at the 1991 Union tour that combined two eras of Yes – and made ironic use of the revolving stage. Lead singer Jon Anderson has even been replaced at this point, though with guitarist Steve Howe and bassist Chris Squire still aboard, it’s hard to go wrong with the current tour’s complete airings of the Fragile and Close to the Edge albums.

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