Folk singer and composer Mark Erelli returns to the Salmon Brook Music Series on Saturday, June 9. Since his first album (Signature Sounds) in 1999, his rigorous touring schedule has included the major folk festivals at Newport and Philadelphia. He once sang the national anthem at Fenway before a Sox game. In addition to singing and writing, he has he accompanied Lori McKenna, Paula Cole and Josh Ritter on many different instruments in Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry and London’s Royal Albert Hall. The far-ranging diversity of his music encompasses western swing, lullabies, bluegrass, ballads and songs of stirring social conscience. In 2016 he released his tenth solo album, For A Song. It has been likened to, “the best of Paul Simon or Jackson Browne’s work . . . stories that are immediately relatable and reflective of the small moments in our lives.”
Now comes Mixtape, a collection of covers drawn from his thirteen years of sold out annual shows at Harvard Square’s famed folk mecca Club Passim. It draws on inspiration from the past 50 years of popular music. Erelli cites The Band and the Grateful Dead as fundamental influences on this album. He describes his “approach to these hits more like texts, as something that isn’t so sacred it can’t be reinterpreted.” In Roy Orbison’s Crying, he highlights the weariness and despair of the lyric while unleashing the dynamic control of his singing voice. He performs Phil Collins’ Against All Odds in a string-drenched soul style reminiscent of Marvin Gaye. Don Henley’s Boys of Summer springs forward with a darker edge than the original. Reflecting on how he really connected with the darkness and desperation in that song, Mark says, “I didn’t even know I had that in me.”
Check out this fabulous entertainer on June 9 at the Salmon Brook Music Series, South Congregational Church Hall, 242 Salmon Brook St (Rte. 10/202), Granby. Doors open at 7 p.m., show at 7:30. Homemade desserts will be available for purchase. Call 860-916-5066 for reservations or purchase online at sbmstix-merelli.evenbrite.com. Tickets are $15 now or $18 at the door. Proceeds support the mission of South Church.