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Entertainment Highlights: A Singer-Songwriter Stays True to His Roots

Though Richard Shindell didn’t kick off his folk singer-songwriter career until his late 20s, it wasn’t because it took him that long to discover a love of music.

“I had always been very focused, from the time I was a kid, 6, 7, 8 years old, on songs,” said Shindell, who will perform at Mountain Folk at the Tunbridge Town Hall Sunday. “I just loved songs. Pop songs, The Beatles, Dylan, Gilbert and Sullivan, whatever, I just loved listening to songs.”

But it never occurred to him that he could write his own. He learned guitar, tried to write music in his early 20s, became disillusioned with his output and abandoned the idea.

Several years later, though, while living in New York and going through a divorce and a miserable graduate school experience, Shindell found songwriting to be a refuge, especially as he wrote lyrics totally removed from those experiences.

“I would just go into this stairwell and play the guitar, and songs just started appearing,” Shindell said. “It’s kind of a mystery.”

That was in the late 1980s. Shindell, who currently travels between America and Argentina, where he lives full-time, has since released more than 10 albums, with another one — Viceroy Mimic — that he hopes to bring out at the beginning of next year.

The new album bends the rigid folk-music barrier Shindell has constructed around himself, he said, incorporating bits of other genres and plenty more electric guitar.

“There are a few more lighthearted songs on the record, although lighthearted calibrated to my standards,” he said.

In Tunbridge, though, Shindell will be performing as part of a trio, and the lush sound of Viceroy Mimic will be pared down by necessity.

But the folk artist has folk roots, and Shindell said all of the songs he writes need to be able to be played solo, with just the singer, his stories and his guitar. As such, he’s not worried about pulling out sparer arrangements when he debuts new songs on this tour.

“We can’t duplicate what’s been done on the record, but I think it’s a win-win situation,” he said. “There may be some gigs in the future where we try to do that, but I think it’s really cool to try to just play them.”

Richard Shindell will perform Sunday at M ountain Folk at the Tunbridge Town Hall. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door, and can be purchased from mtnfolk.org.

Best Bets

Eclectic roots blend Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem will play at the Blue Horse Inn in Woodstock as part of Pentangle’s Studio 31 series at 7:30 p.m. on Friday. Tickets are $28 and can be purchased from pentanglearts.com. This morning, the group will teach kids from kindergarten to grade 5 about music, including their recycled percussion drum kit, at the Woodstock Town Hall Theatre. Admission is $5 per person, and it starts at 9:30 a.m.

∎ Four touring improv comics will perform their show “How Men Think (or Do They?)” at West Lebanon’s Fireside Inn and Suites on Saturday. Tim McIntire, Jesse Bickford, Brian Ronan, Lamont Price and Tony Moschetto will anchor the show, which skewers male behaviors. Tickets are $45 for the show and a dinner, while tickets for the show only are $20 in advance and $30 at the door. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. and dinner begins at 6 p.m. For more information go to drinkwaterproductionsevents.com. The show is a benefit for the cancer center at the Eastern Maine Medical Center in Brewer, Maine.

Looking Ahead

Enfield’s Shaker Bridge Theatre will perform Sharr White’s The Other Place, a psychological thriller about a neurologist whose life begins to go off the rails, starting on Friday, March 28. Friday and Saturday shows are 7:30 p.m., and the Sunday matinee is at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased by calling 603-448-3750 or emailing reservations@shakerbridgetheatre.org.

Music

Boston-based folk-rock supergroup Session Americana, which features 10 members including Ry Cavanaugh and Laura Cortese, will play at Haverhill’s Alumni Hall at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets are $20, and can be purchased from alumnihall.org.

∎ Guitar-and-voice duo Second Wind will play at the Claremont Opera House on Saturday as part of its Cafe 58 Series. The duo — Suzi Hastings and Terry Ray Gould — will be joined by Patty Miller, Nate Thompson and Andrew Miller. The show begins at 7 p.m. Advance tickets are $17.64, and can be purchased from claremontoperahouse.org or 603-542-4433.

∎ South Royalton-based folk and blues artist Mark Vogel will perform at the Hotel Coolidge in White River Junction on Friday as part of its free Coolidge Salon Series. Vogel will have backing by Corey Unger and Dave Clark, and the show begins at 6 p.m., an hour after doors open. Snacks will be provided; a cash wine and beer bar will be open.

∎ Jazz saxophonist and vocalist Cercie Miller and Dominique Eade will perform at Grantham’s Center at Eastman as part of the Jazz on a Sunday Afternoon series. Tickets to the 4 p.m. show are $18, and can be purchased in advance by calling 603-763-8732 or emailing bill.wightman@comcast.net.

Theatre

The Chandler Center for the Arts’ Issues Play Series will continue on Sunday in Randolph with staged readings of Mommytalk (by Adriana Elliott) and Blood Ties (by Dvora Zipkin), which deal with sexuality and mortality, respectively. The two short performances begin at 7 p.m. Tickets for adults are $12 the day of the show or $10 in advance, and can be purchased from 802-728-6464.

∎ The Dartmouth Theater Department will present a performance of Ben Jonson’s 17th-century comedy The Alchemist at 8 p.m. tonight and Friday at the Warner Bentley Theater. Tickets are $3, and can be purchased from hop.dartmouth.edu.

∎ Northern Stage’s production of Good People, the David Lindsay-Abaire play about a Boston woman who pursues her well-off high school boyfriend, continues through March 23. For information and show times go to northernstage.org.

∎ The Hopkins Center at Dartmouth will host a showing of War Horse as part of National Theatre Live in HD tonight at 7 p.m. Adult tickets are $23, and can be purchased from hop.dartmouth.edu.

∎ The Off Broad Street Players will host a dinner theater murder mystery, called The Curse of the Hopeless Diamond, on Saturday. The show will take place at the Naughty Vine in Claremont, starting at 6 p.m. Tickets are $25 each. For more information or to purchase tickets email offbroadstreetplayers@gmail.com.

∎ Pentangle will host a showing of National Theatre Live’s performance of Coriolanus, the Shakespeare play, at 7:30 p.m. tonight in the Woodstock Town Hall Theatre. General admission tickets are $20, and can be purchased from pentanglearts.org.

Film

Billings Farm & Museum will host a screening of Touching the Void, a documentary following climbers who don’t use ropes or base camps, on Saturday afternoon. The film, part of the museum’s 4th Annual Woodstock Vermont Film Series, begins at 3 p.m. Tickets are $9.

Dance

The Dartmouth Dance Ensemble will perform at the Hopkins Center’s Moore Theater tonight at 7 p.m. Brooklyn-based choreographer John Heginbotham will lead the ensemble in pieces including Take Five, after the song made famous by the Dave Brubeck Quartet.

∎ The Newport Opera House will host a Cabin Fever Spring Dance featuring music by Gerry Grimo and The East Bay Jazz Ensemble. The music and dancing begins at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, and tickets are $16 each.

Bar and Club Circuit

Brooks Williams, a guitarist and singer-songwriter, will play at New London’s Flying Goose Brew Pub and Grille at 8 p.m. tonight.

∎ The f amily band The Moores will play at Sunapee’s One Mile West on Saturday, starting at 9 p.m. Singer-songwriter Brooks Hubbard will once again play at the restaurant from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday.

∎ Justin Carloni will play the Sunapee Community Coffee House alongside The Prospect Mountaineers, a 10-piece Americana group made up of students and teachers from Alton, N.H.’s Prospect Mountain High School, at 7 p.m. on Friday.

∎ The Jordan Tirrell-Wysocki Trio will perform Celtic music at Lebanon’s Salt hill Pub at 9 p.m. on Friday. At the same time the next night, Vermont-based dance-rock group Still More Cats will take the stage.

∎ Frydaddy front man Carlos O’Casio will play at the Salt hill Pub in Hanover at 9 p.m. on Friday.

∎ Acoustic rocker Dave Bundza will visit Salt hill Newport at 9 p.m. on Friday. Acoustic and modern rock duo Don & Jenn PLUS will play at the same time on Saturday.

∎ The Peter Concilio Jazz Trio will come back to Hartland’s Skunk Hollow Tavern for a 9 p.m. show on Friday.

∎ Brooks Hubbard will perform at New Socials in Claremont on Friday, starting at 7 p.m.

∎ David Greenfield will play guitar and sing at Hanover’s Canoe Club tonight, followed by Gillian Joy on piano on Friday. Tim Utt & Barbara Blaisdell of Sensible Shoes will play on Saturday, and Randall Mullen will perform on the piano on Sunday. Jonathan Kaplan and Bob Lucier will play piano on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. The music starts at 7 p.m.

∎ Clay Canfield brings his musical talents to the River Stones Tavern in Quechee on Fridays and Saturdays, starting at 8 p.m. He also performs at Bentleys Restaurant in Woodstock on Sundays, beginning at 5:30 p.m.

∎ Jim Hollis will play at Jesse’s in Hanover, starting at 5 p.m. on Friday.

Open Mics

Ramunto’s Brick & Brew Pizza in Bridgewater hosts an open mic starting at 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays. Participants get a free large cheese pizza.

∎ Salt hill Pub in Hanover runs an open mic hosted by Chad Gibbs on Mondays at 7 p.m.

∎ At Salt hill in Lebanon, Brian Warren and Seth Barbiero will host an open mic tonight starting at 8.

∎ Brian Warren also hosts an open mic at Bentleys Restaurant in Woodstock. It’s on Mondays, starting at 8:30 p.m.

∎ Bradford’s Colatina Exit hosts an open mic on Tuesdays starting at 8 p.m.

∎ The Seven Barrel Brewery in West Lebanon runs an open mic on Wednesdays, beginning at 8 p.m.

∎ Gregory Brown hosts an open mic at Hartland’s Skunk Hollow Tavern, beginning at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays.

Jon Wolper can be reached at jwolper@vnews.com or 603-727-3242.