There are more than 70 live music events in Eastern Iowa this weekend. Here’s a few:
The Minnesota-based artist returns to the Englert for the first time since 2009. Jennings is touring in support of his ninth album “Minnesota,” his most eclectic and possibly most introspective album to date. A diverse collage of sounds and poignant lyrics, the album takes the listener on a personal journey of love while trying to survive the transition into being a grown-up in a complex world. “The album is called Minnesota because it’s a metaphor for an ever-changing landscape. More than any place I’ve ever been, things change so much here, even month-to-month. But even as things change, Minnesota is where my home is, where my center is,” he says.
Iowa natives and up-and-coming duo The Pines will open the evening. David Huckfelt and Benson Ramsey celebrated the release of their new CD, “Dark So Gold,” at CSPS in February. The release features a distinct blend of atmospheric indie-folk, rock and blues.
Folk singer and songwriter Peggy Seeger celebrates her 75th birthday and her final tour of North America with an Easter performance at CSPS Hall. Born in 1935 into one of North America’s foremost folk music families, Peggy Seeger is a singer of traditional American songs and an activist songmaker who has written hundreds of songs, the best known probably “The Ballad of Springhill” and “I’m Gonna Be an Engineer.” She plays six instruments (piano, guitar, five-string banjo, Appalachian dulcimer, autoharp and English concertina) and has recorded 22 solo albums.
Her first life partner was English songwriter Ewan MacColl, who wrote “First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” for her, and with whom she bore three children. Considered one of North America’s finest revival singers of traditional songs, she also has written music for films, television and radio. In the mid-1970s she began to concentrate on feminist and ecological issues.
Seeger’s Iowa stop includes a songwriting workshop at 2 p.m. ($30 registration fee includes admission to the 7 p.m. show). In “Songs of Love and Politics,” Seeger will share tips from her own experience, and extensive knowledge of Anglo-American songs spanning four centuries. No special experience or preparation is required for the workshop.
Led by drummer Sunny Jain, Red Baraat melds the infectious North Indian rhythm Bhangra with brass funk, expressing the human spirit through improvisation and a powerful live sound. Comprised of dhol (a double-sided, barrel-shaped North Indian drum slung over one shoulder), percussion and horns, this NYC-based group plays fresh originals, as well as traditional Punjabi songs and Bollywood numbers. The group’s stage presence is explosive, and the energy is contagious.
Baraat is Hindi for a marriage procession. In North India, it is a tradition on the day of the wedding for the groom to travel to his bride’s home on a magnificently decorated horse, surrounded by an entourage of family and friends. Led by a dholi and/or a marching band, this joyous celebration naturally induces a riot of dancing and singing, much like a Red Baraat show. The group officially became Red Baraat for a performance at the New York Gypsy Fest in 2008. By then, the drum-and-brass wedding-band sound had been crossed with the influences of jazz, funk and more.