Bits & Bytes: Oldtone Roots Music Festival; John S. Hall at Club Helsinki Hudson; Helen Epstein at Knosh & Knowledge; ‘Sad Stories’ at Austen Riggs; Cole Porter tribute

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By Tuesday, Sep 5 Arts & Entertainment
The Foghorn Stringband will headline the third annual Oldtone Roots Music Festival taking place this weekend in Hillsdale, N.Y. Photo courtesy Oldtone Productions

Third annual Oldtone Roots Music Festival

Little Country Giants. Photo courtesy Oldtone Productions

Little Country Giants. Photo courtesy Oldtone Productions

Hillsdale, N.Y. — The third annual Oldtone Roots Music Festival will take place Thursday, Sept. 7, though Sunday, Sept. 10, at Cool Whisper Farm. Produced by Kip Beacco, Matt Downing and Jim Wright, the festival highlights historical American music from more than 20 bands performed, shared and taught in the traditional old-time-music way. Featuring performances by the Foghorn Stringband, the Revelers, Jesse Legé, David Davis and the Warrior River Boys, the Karl Shifflet and Big Country Show, Little Country Giants and many regional and local bands, the full-participatory festival will include workshops, informal jam sessions and all-ages entertainment on the main stage, throughout the campground, and in the workshop and dance tents. Local vendors and locally sourced food will also be parts of the festival experience.

Day tickets and camping passes range from $25 to $160. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact Oldtone Productions at (646) 269-9216 or jim@oldtonemusicfestival.com.

–E.E.

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Club Helsinki’s Rogovoy Salon series to present John S. Hall and Unusual Squirrel

John S. Hall. Photo: Megan Koester

John S. Hall. Photo: Megan Koester

Hudson, N.Y. — On Sunday, Sept. 10, at 7 p.m., Club Helsinki Hudson will present John S. Hall and Unusual Squirrel. The performance is part of the Rogovoy Salon music, literary and art series curated and hosted by music journalist Seth Rogovoy.

Best known as the founder and leader of avant-rock group King Missile, Hall emerged from the 1980s East Village spoken-word poetry scene, landing appearances in PBS’ “The United States of Poetry,” MTV’s “Spoken Word Unplugged” and HBO’s “Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry.” Hall formed the first incarnation of King Missile in 1986. After a few albums featuring Hall’s poetry spoken or sung over the band’s hard-edged guitar music were released on independent labels, King Missile was signed to Atlantic Records in 1990. The group developed a strong following on college radio and scored minor hits on CMJ’s and Billboard’s modern rock charts. In January, Hall’s new band, Unusual Squirrel, released its debut album featuring songs concerning many of Hall’s longstanding obsessions: corporate America (“Monsters”), sex, human embarrassment (“The Guy Who Coughs”), classical music (“The Quartet”) and popular culture (“The Quartet”).

Tickets are $15. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact Club Helsinki Hudson at (518) 828-4800.

–E.E.

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Knosh & Knowledge to feature e-publishing expert Helen Epstein

Helen Epstein. Photo courtesy Jewish Federation of the Berkshires

Helen Epstein. Photo courtesy Jewish Federation of the Berkshires

Great Barrington — On Friday, Sept. 8, at 10:45 a.m., the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires’ Knosh & Knowledge program will present Helen Epstein for a talk titled “How an Established Author and Her Techie Husband Embraced Electronic Publishing” at Hevreh of Southern Berkshire. The program will be followed by a buffet lunch.

Epstein is a veteran journalist and author of the critically acclaimed books “Children of the Holocaust,” “Where She Came From,” “Music Talks” and “Joe Papp.” She has been a Berkshire summer resident since 1978. In 2010, she and her husband, Patrick Mehr, merged their professional interests to co-found Plunkett Lake Press, which identifies unavailable classics of nonfiction, obtains the rights, digitizes them and makes them available all over the world. Their very first book grew out of a profile Epstein wrote for the Boston Review about Tina Packer’s founding Shakespeare & Company. PLP now includes 150 titles including books by Stefan Zweig, Sebastian Haffner, Eva Hoffman, Susan Quinn and Epstein herself.

Admission is $11, which includes the lunch. Participants may attend the program only for $5. Advance reservations for lunch are required. For more information or to make reservations, contact the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires at (413) 442-4360 x10 or federation@jewishberkshires.org.

–E.E.

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Daphne Merkin to speak on ‘Sad Stories’ at Austen Riggs Center

Daphne Merkin. Photo: Tina Turnbow

Daphne Merkin. Photo: Tina Turnbow

Stockbridge — The Austen Riggs Center’s Erikson Institute will present “Sad Stories: What We Talk About When We Talk About Depression” with author Daphne Merkin on Friday, Sept. 8, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The talk will be a personal reflection on the subject of depression and the cultural and medical attitudes toward it, including a discussion of stigma and shame.

Merkin is the author of the books “This Close To Happy: A Reckoning with Depression,” “The Fame Lunches: On Wounded Icons, Money, Sex, the Brontës, and the Importance of Handbags,” “Dreaming of Hitler,” and “Enchantment.” She has taught “The Art of Reading” and writing classes at the 92nd Street Y Poetry Center in New York City and has written regularly for the New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, and the New York Times Book Review.

The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Austen Riggs Center at (413) 298-5511 or info@austenriggs.net.

–E.E.

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Cole Porter tribute at Sandisfield Arts Center

Linda Mironti. Photo: Anne Benvenuto

Linda Mironti. Photo: Anne Benvenuto

Sandisfield — The Sandisfield Arts Center will host “An Evening of Song with Music by Cole Porter” on Saturday, Sept. 9, at 8 p.m.

Cole Porter is remembered as a songwriter whose melodies are synonymous with the sounds and style of the Jazz Age, seen and heard on the musical theater stage, and are now part of the American Songbook. Mezzo soprano Kathy Lawrence, soprano Linda Mironti, tenor Brian De Lorenzo and accompanist Michael Rheault, will bring the songs to the stage. The evening will include an intermission with prosecco and a dessert table.

Kathy Lawrence. Photo: Loris Guzzetta

Kathy Lawrence. Photo: Loris Guzzetta

Tickets are $50 and all proceeds will benefit the Sandisfield Arts Center. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact the Sanidsfield Arts Center at (413) 258-4100 or info@sandisfieldartscenter.org.

–E.E.


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