The remaining November performances at the Stoughton Opera House include a wide range of talent and feature two shows by iconic folk musician Steve Earle.
Earle, who went mainstream in 1989 with the song, “Copperhead Road,” makes his debut at the historic venue, playing solo shows Friday, Nov. 15 and Saturday, Nov. 16 beginning at 7:30 p.m.
The month began with country and Americana music from two artists familiar to Opera House fans – Suzy Bogguss, and Rhiannon Giddens with accompanist Francesco Turrisi (the latter performing two sold-out shows).
This week sees the return of Livingston Taylor, younger brother of five-time Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter James Taylor, edgy comedy and commentary from rising star Jena Friedman and country-folk music from a trio of Texans known as the Flatlanders.
Taylor made his first recording at age 18 and has performed concerts for more than five decades while maintaining a career at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. He’s released 20 albums comprising mostly original songs with the singer accompanying himself on guitar, banjo and piano.
Friedman, a writer, filmmaker and standup comedian who’s written for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and the Late Show with David Letterman, is known for her creative humor and unflinching discussions of sexuality and politics. Her sharp political voice has made her a favorite guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and she currently stars on Soft Focus with Jena Friedman on the Adult Swim network.
The Flatlanders – the trio of Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Butch Hancock and Joe Ely – first got together in 1972 and were initially rejected by the country music establishment for their relationship to the outlaw country movement. The three singer-songwriters went on to enjoy successful solo careers, regrouping occasionally to perform as The Flatlanders, and are widely regarded as the founding fathers of Americana, with songs blending country, folk and rock music. The group has established a dedicated following and released a half-dozen albums since 1980.
Che Apalache, a quartet performing Latin folk music and bluegrass, returns to the Opera House Wednesday, Nov. 13. They first performed here last year and wowed fans with their original sound. The group hails from Argentina features founder Joe Troop on fiddle and lead vocals, Pau Barjau on banjo, Franco Martino on guitar and Martin Bobrik on mandolin. They shine with four-part harmonies and stellar instrumentation.
“In 2017, we finally decided to start fusing bluegrass with Latin American folk music and this instrumentation,” Troop told the Hub last year. “And that’s when the magic started happening.”
Che Apalche recorded its debut CD, “Latingrass,” in 2017. The album includes songs like “The Wall,” “The Dreamer” and “March 24th, Day of Remembrance,” examples of the group’s topical and political music.
Two blues journeymen – Tommy Castro and Tinsley Ellis – will take the stage Thursday, Nov. 14. With 32 albums released between the two of them, Castro and Ellis are classic blues guitarists and vocalists with over three decades each of touring and recording experience.
Ellis and Tinsley are followed by Steve Earle, the Texas rock-folk-country musician known for his outspoken, left-leaning political activism. Earle has recorded 16 albums, including a bluegrass collection with Del McCoury, and has won three Grammy Awards since releasing the 1986 album “Guitar Town.”
The music turns in a holiday direction on Friday, Nov. 22 with On A Winter’s Night, a series of concerts that began 25 years ago featuring folk musicians Christine Lavin, John Gorka, Patty Larkin and Cliff Eberhardt. Lavin organized the first concert and album of the same name in 1994, and their holiday tour has been a favorite of folk music fans ever since.