As you listen to singer-songwriter Matt Turk's music, one thing quickly becomes apparent -- Turk really cares about the world.
So it comes as no surprise that one of his musical mentors was Pete Seeger. Turk first teamed with the folk legend in 1992 as part of the Street Singers, a group that taught folk songs to schoolchildren and adults in and around New York City.
Because of Seeger, and his year-and-a-half stint working for God's Love We Deliver, bringing food to folks homebound with AIDS, Turk was inspired to write songs of social justice that are melodic, moving and hopeful.
He'll perform Friday, April 5, at 7:30 p.m. at Lyrics Coffeehouse at the Redding Community Center. The concert will be the last of the 2012-13 season at Lyrics.
Turk first gained national recognition performing in the folk duo Gillen & Turk, with fellow Hudson Valley singer-songwriter Fred Gillen Jr. The duo was featured in an Associated Press article on the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority's Music Under New York series. In the summer of 2008, the group was featured on the television show "NYC Soundtracks."
As a solo artist, Turk has been featured on many film and TV soundtracks. His cover of the seasonal classic "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" is heard in the 2007 Warner Bros. film "Fred Claus." In 2006, his original song, "Bette Says," was heard on the CBS television show "Love Monkey."
In 2011, Turk scored the full-length documentary "The Lion of Judah," chronicling Leo Zisman's tale of Holocaust survival.
Besides Seeger, Turk has shared the stage with such legends as Bob Dylan and the Doobie Brothers. He has performed and toured throughout the U.S.A, Israel, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, appearing at scores of festivals and venues, including Clearwater's Hudson River Revival, the Gathering of the Vibes, and Jazz at Lincoln Center.
For folk and acoustic pop fans, his live shows are not to be missed.
The Redding Community Center is at 37 Lonetown Road, Redding. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. Call 203-938-2551 or visit www.townofreddingct.org.
My Dad's Truck, a local acoustic trio, will perform its popular monthly show of free-range Americana roots music at Molten Java in Bethel on Saturday, April 6, from 8 to 10 p.m.
Members of the trio are Susan Lang of Woodbury, Leif Smith of Redding and Bill Wisnowski of Danbury. Wisnowski will be back at Molten Java the next day, Sunday, April 7, from 2 to 4 p.m. for his monthly solo show, and Smith is host of a weekly Pickers Night Out, Wednesdays from 8:30 p.m. until closing at the Redding Roadhouse, Route 53, Redding.
Molten Java is at 213 Greenwood Ave. (Dolan Plaza), Bethel. There's no cover. 203-739-0313, www.moltenjavaevents.com.
All you Needham
The Andy Needham Band, a Christian rock group, will perform at the Community Coffeehouse in Danbury on Saturday, April 6, at 7:30 p.m.
At the forefront of the burgeoning Christian music scene in the greater Boston area, this group rapidly evolved from a summer camp praise and worship ensemble to a full-time ministry band with an impressive national debut album, "Lifted High."
This is a band Christian music enthusiasts won't want to miss.
Born Arnold George Dorsey in India, then raised in England, Humperdinck took his unusual stage name from the famed 19th century opera composer.
He crooned his way through the '60s charts with such classic hits as "Release Me," "After the Lovin," "The Last Waltz" and "A Man Without Love."
More recently, he voiced the tongue-in-cheek, platinum-selling theme song "Lesbian Seagull" for the film "Beavis and Butt-Head Do America."
The Ridgefield Playhouse is at 80 E. Ridge, Ridgefield. Tickets are $110 and $95. 203-438-5795, www.ridgefieldplayhouse.org.
Reggae pioneers Toots and the Maytals will perform at the Ridgefield Playhouse on Thursday, April 11, at 8 p.m. The opening act will be Griff Anthony.
Toots Hibbert is one of the great voices of Jamaica, a legend whose career spans every development in Jamaican music, from ska through rock-steady to reggae.
Described as "one of the true architects of reggae," Toots & The Maytals (initially just The Maytals) have been working together since the 1960s and are even credited with having coined the term "reggae," with the 1968 single "Do the Reggay."
The band won the 2005 Grammy for best reggae album for "True Love" -- an album consisting of re-recorded versions of the group's classics alongside such musicians as Bonnie Raitt, Willie Nelson, Eric Clapton and Keith Richards, as well as No Doubt, Ben Harper, The Roots and Shaggy.
The group received another Grammy nomination for the 2008 release, "Light Your Light."
Tickets are $48. 203-438-5795, www.ridgefieldplayhouse.org.
The Tannahill Weavers, one of Scotland's premier traditional bands, will perform at The Towne Crier Cafe, in Pawling, N.Y., on Friday, April 12, at 8:30 p.m.
The group's diverse repertoire spans the centuries with fire-driven instrumentals, topical songs, original ballads and lullabies. The Weavers' instrumentation includes, guitar, violin and the bagpipes.
The Towne Crier Cafe is at 130 Route 22, Pawling, N.Y. Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door. 845-855-1300, www.townecrier.com.
On Saturday, April 13, at 8:30 p.m., Popa Chubby and his band will perform at the Towne Crier. Chubby is an in-your-face blues/rock/R&B guitar slinger, with a hard-knuckle, guitar-screeching style in the vein of Stevie Ray Vaughan. He's been celebrated for years in blues circles and has garnered fans worldwide.
Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door. 845-855-1300, www.townecrier.com.
Rock and world rhythm band Rusted Root is celebrating 20 years of music on its current tour, which stops at the Ridgefield Playhouse on Sunday, April 7, at 8 p.m. The group's hits include "Send Me On My Way," "Back to the Earth" and "Ecstasy and Martyr."
"The Movement" is the band's latest album, and blends jam band sounds with the colorful rhythms of world music.
Opening for Rusted Root will be Brian Jarvis and his band. Jarvis is an award-winning singer and songwriter from Manchester, who won the Hartford Advocate "Best Solo Artist" award in 2007.
Tickets are $42. 203-438-5795, www.ridgefieldplayhouse.org.
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