Well, not to get all Shakespeare on you, but “April hath put a spirit of youth in everything.” Except, of course, for my knees. I say bring on the mud, bring on the rain, bring on the sunshine and yes, ladies and gentleman, bring on my Red Sox!

April promises to be a crackerjack month. Record Store Day is in a few weeks, and Iron & Wine, John Prine, Cake, Melissa Ferrick and a Clash of the Titans between Lady Gaga and Madonna (April 6 at Port City) are coming up among 456,287,897 other fantabulous shows. Hit the road, March, and don’t you come back no more, no more, no more, no more. My good mood is further enhanced by three entirely different and stupendously nifty shows this week to tell you about.


If nothing else, I love this guy’s name. Don’t you wanna just yell out, “Hey, Peppino!” But seriously people, Peppino D’Agostino plays an acoustic guitar in a way that is 12 shades beyond amazing. I watched a clip on YouTube, and was frankly blown away. And that was while he was still only using one hand. Dude! Really? Really!

D’Agostino is from Torino, Italy, and he is a self-taught fingerstyle guitarist — not to mention composer, arranger, improviser and collaborator. He’s been living in the U.S. for 25 years, and has released several highly lauded albums. He started playing when he was 10 years old, and may he never stop.

Raise your glass of chianti, visit the Listening Room tab at peppinodagostino.com, and don’t miss this rare opportunity to see D’Agostino live.

Peppino D’Agostino. 8 p.m. Friday. Jonathan’s, 92 Bourne Lane, Ogunquit. $22.50 to $25. 646-4777; jonathansrestaurant.com

From Italy, we venture to the Balkans for a lively evening at Mayo Street Arts. It’s the Eastern Block Party with Balkan music from Zemya and Cinder Conk.

Zemya is an 11-person choir of Maine women who sing folk and traditional songs from the Balkans, United Kingdom, Africa, the Americas and beyond. Oh, and in case you were wondering, Zemya means “earth” in Bulgarian.

With Cinder Conk, you’ll get rocket-fueled accordion riffs and heart-pounding double bass that meets with classic bardic lyrics. They play music influenced by the Black Sea and the sounds of celebration and lament of those who have lived on its coasts for thousands of years.

Eastern Block Party. 8 p.m. Friday. Mayo Street Arts, 10 Mayo St., Portland. All ages. $12. brownpapertickets.com/event/162924


Audrey Ryan is a one-woman laboratory of experimental pop magic. And although she now lives in the Boston area, she’s from Maine. Be all ears at audreyryan.com and take in tracks from 2007’s “Dishes & Pills” record, among other Ryan pearls. Read more about her in Mike Olcott’s “Making Noise” column.

Joining Ryan are two NYC bands — Railbird (myspace.com/railbirdmusic) and The Rex Complex (myspace.com/therexcomplex).

All three acts are purveyors of consciousness-expanding music that comes in many a splendored hue.

Audrey Ryan with Railbird and The Rex Complex. 8 p.m. Saturday. The Oak and the Ax, 140 Main St., Biddeford. All ages. $7. theoakandtheax.blogspot.com

Aimsel Ponti is a Portland freelance writer. Contact her at: [email protected]