Recorded in various New York locales, Todd Giudice’s latest is aptly titled—the little-known secret is that this 12-track CD is solid as stone. An amalgamation of guitar-based folk, Americana, and country, his sophomore effort unveils tunes so taut you could bounce a quarter off ’em. Giudice exorcises relationship demons with introspective lyrics and sweet, emotive vocals, but there’s nothing wimpy about it. These powerfully catchy melodies will weave themselves into your DNA without warning.“Pull Me Outta Shape,” a bluesy anthem of relationship drama, screams to be a single and sucks you in with a melancholy riff that can’t be ignored. “Yesterday Is Simply Not Enough” is a lighter, but equally forlorn account of failing love, with poetic lines such as “We push with arms that once were intertwined.” Giudice is captivating live. He’ll play with Amy Laber at the Muddy Cup in Kingston on April 6 and by himself at the Full Moon Resort in Olivera on April 7; the latter event is dedicated to Darren Bohan, who perished in the 9/11 attacks. www.toddgiudice.com. —Sharon Nichols
With its open-air format, where attendees picnic in the parks and watch the stars emerge during performances, and its $5 youth tickets, the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice is the perfect place to share with children a love of music and theater, in a variety of styles.