Younger musicians putting a new spin on old folk music

Black Prairie

Jason Quigley

Black Prairie

Spirit Family Reunion’s performance at Cafe 939 on Friday kicks off a strong week of shows featuring younger musicians putting a new spin on old folk music. A few highlights:

BLACK PRAIRIE Three Black Prairie members — Jenny Conlee, Chris Funk, and Nate Query — also play with the Decemberists. But as Black Prairie, their aim is more diffused, delving into the connections between old-time music and Eastern European folk traditions. As heard on “A Tear in the Eye Is a Wound in the Heart,” the Portland, Ore., band’s new sophomore album, it’s a wonderfully off-kilter hybrid that’s broad enough to accommodate banjos, dobro, gong, autoharp, and accordion. Nov. 11, 9 p.m. Tickets: $10. Great Scott. 617-566-9014,


FRANK FAIRFIELD Prewar folk and country styles are the specialties of this virtuosic, California-bred singer who plays fiddle, banjo, and guitar. Last year’s “Out on the Open West” gave the impression Fairfield recorded the album alone on his front porch. He’s the opening act for Horse Feathers, a similarly restless Americana ensemble. Nov. 12, 9 p.m. Tickets: $13. Brighton Music Hall. 800-745-3000,

A TRIBUTE TO WOODY GUTHRIE This year marks the centennial of Guthrie’s birth, with celebrations across the globe. Club Passim, the venerable folk venue whose stage has featured more than its share of musicians singing Guthrie’s tunes, has a salute of its own. As part of Alastair Moock’s ongoing “Pastures of Plenty” series, he’ll be joined by Rani Arbo, Mark Erelli, Jennifer Kimball, and Elijah Wald for an evening of stories and songs. Nov. 15, 8 p.m. Tickets: $22. Club Passim. 617-492-7679,


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