The credits on Suzanne Vega’s latest collection of new songs, 2014’s Tales from the Realm of the Queen of Pentacles, all but scream mid-Hudson Valley. Woodstock’s legendary composer and arranger Karl Berger, an important figure in both avant-garde and pop history, contributes some typically imaginative orchestrations. From Levon’s barn, the Americana multi-instrumentalist Larry Campbell brings his mandolin and banjo over. For her rhythm section, Vega recruits Kingston’s all-world duo of bassist Tony Levin and drummer Zachary Alford. Bowie has employed the exact same battery recently; and, speaking of Bowie, Gail Ann Dorsey cameos on Tales from the Realm of the Queen of Pentacles as well.
Vega’s songs have never sounded more luminous, subtle and psychological/mythic in their lyrical undertow. If all you know of Vega is the pop-hit character study “Luka” and the oft-sampled, oft-referenced solo a capella urban slice-of-life “Tom’s Diner” (both from 1987’s Solitude Standing), then you have missed a career of iconoclastic distinction. But you still have time. Radio Woodstock presents Suzanne Vega at the Bearsville Theater on Saturday, April 18 at 9 p.m. Elijah Wolf opens. Ticket prices range from $45 to $70. For more information, visit www.bearsvilletheater.com. The Bearsville Theater is located at 291 Tinker Street in Woodstock.