Gypsy Nomads/The Feral Throes
February 14. Valentine’s Day can be a tricky night out, sort of like New Year’s Eve with thorns, so you want to pick the right romantic mix for you and yo’ date. Nothing says “in the mood” quite like the sultry strings and rhythms of gypsy, French, and Celtic music wafting through the plush interior of the Muddy Cup coffeehouse. Multitalented Scott Helland, on guitar, and Samantha Stephenson, on vocals and percussion, conjure up a mix of ethereal melodies juxtaposed with free-spirited, raucous jamming. The Feral Throes, hailing from Cambridge, will catch new fans with the throaty lead singing of Aislinn O’Connor driving the band’s harmonic rants (hear how that sounds at www.myspace.com/theferalthroes). 7pm. (845) 255-5805. Call for cover info. New Paltz. www.thegypsynomads.com.
Deni Bonet/Curtis Eller
February 14. Lilith Fair artist Deni Bonet, for the uninitiated, is a singer-songwriter and classically trained violinist who quit the classical world early in her career because she hated having to wear black and sit still. Since then, Bonet has recorded or performed with R.E.M., Sarah McLachlan, Cyndi Lauper, and U2 producer Daniel Lanois. She was also an original cast musician on NPR’s “Mountain Stage.” Curtis Eller, described as “New York City’s angriest yodeling banjo player,” will be joining Bonet at the Rosendale Cafe. 8pm. $15. Rosendale. (845) 658-9048; www.rosendalecafe.com.
The Harlem Quartet
February 17. This prize-winning young string quartet—Ilmar Gavilan, violin; Melissa White, violin; Juan-Miguel Hernandez, viola; and Desmond Neysmith, cello—performs for the public at the McKenna Theater during a weeklong master class residency at SUNY New Paltz. The four players, all first-place laureates of the esteemed Sphinx Competition, have a unique and challenging mission “to advance diversity in classical music while engaging young and new audiences through the discovery and presentation of varied repertoire, highlighting works by minority composers.” To that end, they also have a new CD, Take the A Train (White Pine Music, 2008), which features tunes by Billy Strayhorn and Wynton Marsalis. 8pm. $10 general admission, $8 seniors/staff, $6 students. New Paltz. (845) 257-3880; www.newpaltz.edu.
Fat Tuesday Fetes
February 21, 22, 27, March 1. Ash Wednesday this year falls on February 25, but that won’t stop a little Mardi Gras revelry from rolling into Lent. Hunter Mountain Ski Center (www.huntermtn.com) offers a New Orleans-themed “apres-ski” event in its main lodge on February 21 with the band Night Train and DJ Pat Del. Also on February 21, Cleoma’s Ghost brings its traditional Cajun duets to Ellenville’s Aroma Thyme; the band also plays Hickory BBQ’s Mardi Gras Brunch on February 22 in Kingston (www.cleomasghost.com). Pawling’s Towne Crier Cafe (www.townecrier.com) heats things up with C. J. Chenier and the Red Hot New Orleans Band on February 22, and Buckwheat Zydeco appears on March 1. Ric Orlando and New World Home Cooking (www.ricorlando.com) always serve up awesome Cajun and Creole cuisine this week, helping us keep the “fat” in Fat Tuesday, but on February 27, you can work it all off when Voodelic hits the restaurant’s stage. Times and prices vary, view full info at each listed website.