The Mars Theatre will set the stage March 27 at 8 p.m. for Al Stewart, of British folklore popularity, and special guest Dave Nachmanoff for a musical performance combining folk-rock songs with delicately woven tales of characters and events from history.
Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door.
Stewart made his bones in London’s fertile folk scene of the late ’60s, and he numbers among his contemporaries the likes of guitar wizards Bert Jansch and John Renbourn, singer-songwriters Roy (“Hats Off To”) Harper and Richard Thompson, and a former flatmate named Paul Simon, who went on to some celebrity upon returning to America.
Stewart and musical partner Nachmanoff take a trip through Stewart’s musical back pages, both in terms of the musical catalogue (they did have nearly 20 albums’ worth of songs to pick from), and in terms of performance style, in their 2009 album “Uncorked.”
Recorded live during a springtime East Coast swing, “Uncorked” is the first live acoustic disc Stewart’s done since 1992’s “Rhymes In Rooms,” and both he and Nachmanoff made a conscious decision not to replicate any of the tracks from that disc, even if it meant leaving off such standards as “On the Border” and two Top 40 hits — the multi-million-selling “Year of the Cat” and “Time Passages,” staples of FM radio.
“Because I’ve learned all of Al’s songs, we had an opportunity to revisit some of the tunes that hadn’t been featured in more recent years,” Nachmanoff said. “I think at this point, we can actually do three or four full shows and never play the same songs twice. And while Al usually comes in to a gig with a set list in mind, often times, we’ll just throw it out and go with the flow.”
As a consequence, the duo isn’t merely playing well, they’re having fun. And if the title tracks from albums like “Last Days of the Century” and “Bedsitter Images” don’t immediately conjure images of major-label milestones, that’s just fine with Stewart.
“It’s much more enjoyable for me to hear myself and for the audience to hear the words,” he said. “And the audience seems to agree. The way I look at it, if I can still get everybody on their hind legs at the end of a show cheering, then I’ve won.”