Northampton Press

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8 DAYS A WEEK

Wednesday, September 12, 2012 by CONTRIBUTED PHOTO in Focus

Your look ahead at Valley Arts

"Phantom" for real: Ramin Karimloo, above, who played the Phantom in "The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall," performs 7:30 p.m. Sept. 12, Musikfest Cafe, ArtsQuest Center, SteelStacks, Bethlehem. Karimloo's debut album, "Human Heart," released in June, has songs Ramin has performed on stage, including "Music of the Night" from "The Phantom Of The Opera"; "'Til I Hear You Sing" from its sequel, "Love Never Dies"; new songs from Ryan Tedder and Greg Wells (Adele, Leona Lewis), a new song from Tony-Award winning songwriters Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater ("Spring Awakening"), new takes on songs from Muse and Bryan Adams, and original material from Karimloo. Karimloo has been critically-acclaimed as one of, if not the, greatest Phantoms of all time. His Royal Albert Hall performance was telecast on PBS, including PBS39, this past March, for the musical's 25th anniversary. Tickets: artsquest.org, 610-332-3378.

See Interview: Page B2

PHOTO BY PAUL NATKIN

Blues Fest is a Blast: Blues legend James Cotton, above, Grammy Award-winner Marcia Ball, Chicago blues legends Lil' Ed & the Blues Imperials, Smokin' Joe Kubek and Bnois King, powerhouse vocalist Alexis P. Suter and her band, and zydeco star C.J. Chenier & the Red Hot Louisiana Band headline the second-annual Blast Furnace Blues Festival, Sept. 14 - 16, ArtsQuest Center, SteelStacks, Bethlehem. The three-day festival showcases contemporary and traditional blues, gospel, soul and zydeco, with more than 25 national and local artists performing on three stages. Other performers include Sugar Ray and the Bluetones, the Campbell Brothers, Lurrie Bell, Lazy Lester and Kenny "Blues Boss" Wayne. From the Lehigh Valley region, there's Sarah Ayers, Bev Conklin, Friar's Point, James Supra, Mike Dugan, Todd Wolfe and Craig Thatcher. Three-day festival passes and single-day tickets are available in advance or at the door. Tickets: artsquest.org, 610-332-3378.

See Story: Page B2

PHOTO BY DAVID MCCLISTER

Voice behind the songs: Two-time-Grammy winner Kathy Mattea, above, performs 7:30 p.m. Sept. 18, Musikfest Cafe, ArtsQuest Center, SteelStacks, Bethlehem. The country-bluegrass-Celtic-influenced performer has recorded 17 albums since 1983, charting more than 30 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks, including the No. 1 hits, "Goin' Gone," "Eighteen Wheels and A Dozen Roses," "Come From the Heart" and "Burnin' Old Memories," as well as 12 Top 10 singles. Mattea's Grammy-nominated "Coal" (2008) highlights the music of the Appalachian coal mine region. "Mattea remains one of Nashville's most spiritual singers, and the songs she sings about love lost and humility are as fine as any she has recorded," stated USA Today. Tickets: artsquest.org, 610-332-3378.

See Interview: Page B5

More 8 Days A Week: Page B3