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Concerts focus on music from 1969

Concerts focus on music from 1969

Concerts focus on music from 1969
Singer Roger Daltrey The Who.
Photographer: Photo provided

Music of 1969 comes back to Tanglewood (297 West St., Lenox, Mass.) this week in the hands and voices of some who first made it in that epic over-achieving year.

In 1969, the year of Woodstock, the Who released “Tommy,” hailed as rock’s first opera, and Crosby, Stills & Nash released the lost-love lament “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” on their self-named debut album.

On Friday, the Who singer Roger Daltrey and members of the Who’s touring band plus the Boston Pops play “Tommy” at Tanglewood; Saturday, David Crosby takes over; then Sunday afternoon, Crosby’s sometime band mate Stephen Stills plays with Judy Collins, subject of “Suite."

The Who’s guitarist Pete Townshend, who wrote “Tommy” isn’t playing this tour, but Who touring musicians will accompany Daltrey: guitarists Simon Townshend and Frank Simes, keyboardist Loren Gold, bassist John Button and drummer Scott Devour, plus new violinist Kate Jacoby, borrowed from Joe Russo’s Almost Dead.

Last week at Bethel Woods – where the Who played most of “Tommy” at Woodstock and where Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young played their second gig – Daltrey and band and a regional orchestra played a 24-song main set. They performed all of “Tommy,” then a three-song encore of later songs and a Daltrey solo-album number. The Who released several versions of “Tommy,” which Ken Russell neon-splashed in his over-the-top film and the Hellbenders explored in a bluegrass version that took SXSW by storm in 2015. But hearing those songs in Daltrey’s voice seems more like the real thing somehow. 8 p.m. $170-$40 lawn. 413-637-5180 www.bso.org

On Saturday, David Crosby brings his Sky Trails band to Tanglewood, plus great folk-country singer-songwriter Mary Chapin and the veteran Americana duo Chris Hillman with Herb Pedersen. Inspired by Steely Dan’s complex pop-jazz, Crosby collaborated with the inventive Denton-to-Brooklyn jazz improvising cooperative Snarky Puppy and sometime Steely Dan singer and ex-Doobie Brother Michael McDonald on “Sky Trails;” Crosby’s son James Raymond produced. Crosby still writes like a romantic-despite-the-odds, and he’s still pissed; but the album’s questing, open sound surrounds his still-strong/sweet voice in fresh energy. He’s arguably survived more trouble than any artist of his generation, some self-inflicted; a marvel of durability and persistence.

Carpenter has cruised past problems, too, including health challenges and an almost career-long misunderstanding of her literate, sophisticated writing as ordinary mainstream country. She’s far from ordinary, far above it. Chris Hillman played bass in the Byrds alongside Crosby, from 1964 until Crosby left; but he plays mostly mandolin with guitarist Pedersen. Both sing, in bluegrassy harmony. Ace band-member with the Flying Burrito Brothers, the Byrds, Manassas (with Stephen Stills, the Desert Rose Band and others, Hillman recently released “Bidin’ My Time,” one of few releases on his own. If any show promises visits and sit-ins among acts, it’s this one. 7 p.m. $49, $69 and $109 inside, lawn $29

Sunday afternoon Stephen Stills and Judy Collins revisit an old romance on their first-ever tour together. Stills’ love letter to Collins, “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes,” was both an early CS&N hit and No. 418 on Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Songs Of All Time” poll.

Stills and Collins both crafted superstar careers; Collins mostly interpreting songs by others, Stills writing and leading bands as the first rocker inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame twice in the same night with CS&N and Buffalo Springfield. Restless during a typically disputatious CS&N (and Y) hiatus, Stills formed the Rides with Kenny Wayne Shepherd and others, releasing two albums and playing last year in the Hudson Valley. Kenny White opens. 2:30 p.m. – yes, 2:30 p.m. $69.50 and $49.50 inside, lawn $26

Jumping across the Berkshires and the Hudson into the Catskills, from Tanglewood to Bethel Woods, the LSD tour – Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle, Dwight Yoakam – hits on Friday. A top three-fer, this tour stacks deep-conviction singer-songwriters of alt/poet-country, troubadour-country and Bakersfield-twang, respectively, alongside Earle’s tremendous band the Dukes. FYI, Williams was 16 in 1969, Earle was 14 and Yoakam 13. King Leg opens; actually Bryan Joyce, a Nebraska to LA via Nashville transplant who wasn’t born yet in 1969. 7 p.m. $35 to $107 inside. 866-781-2922 www.bethelwoodscenter.org

Alison Krauss plays Tanglewood Tuesday. Born two years after 1969, she sang songs from earlier decades on her Grammy-nominated “Windy City” album including Cindy Walker’s “You Don’t Know Me” (1955), Brenda Lee’s “Losing You” (1963) and Willie Nelson’s “I Never Cared for You” (1964) – all with a twangy vintage feel. Stephen Delopoulos opens. 7 p.m. $99, $79 and $55 inside, $33 lawn

CAFFE AT SPAC
Sunday “Caffe Lena at SPAC on the Gazebo Stage” presents three top young folk/roots-music acts in a free showcase on the Charles R. Wood Stage between the SPAC amphitheater and the Hall of Springs (Rts. 50 and 9, Saratoga Springs). The Oshima Brothers (Sean and Jamie) from Maine sing sibling harmonies at noon, the Seattle electro-Americana quartet Kuinka follows at 1:30 p.m.; then the super-eclectic quartet Darlingside (from Williams College, now Bostonians) plays and sings unclassifiable/beautiful music at 3. They were a smash at The Egg last year. 518-583-0022 www.caffelena.org

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