When one of Maine’s most vibrant singers performs with a string quartet, it’s what would come to mind if a musical match was actually made in heaven.
Singer-songwriter Sara Hallie Richardson has long set herself apart with intricate arrangements and soaring vocals. “Sonorous” from her 2015 album “Phoenix” is but one example.
Amarantos Quartet, formed in 2014, is Lauren Hastings Genova (violin), Hannah Jackson (cello), Meagan McIntyre (violin) and most recently, Anna Maria Amoroso Noyes (viola). Noyes was invited to join the quartet when former violist Bryan Brash moved to California. The quartet’s name is the Greek form of amaranth, an ancient flower that persists through the best and roughest conditions and has magical properties to mend broken hearts. “All of us come together as a quartet with our own histories in the world of classical music which has been both nurturing and trying for all of us. It’s our friendship and love for music and for one another that unites us as a quartet,” said Hastings Genova.
Speaking of California, Richardson spent a few years there before coming back to Maine last year. Hastings Genova had long hoped to collaborate with Richardson, and this dream was realized last fall when the quartet and Richardson played a few house shows and one at The Jewel Box in Portland.
In the true spirit of collaboration, all five women worked on arranging the songs and promoting the shows in what they described as “dream come true project.” You can expect to hear Richardson’s originals with her on vocals and electric guitar, and the quartet’s strings arranged primarily by Jackson along with a few by local arranger and composer Sam Kyzivat. Richardson said that they’ve also been learning classical pieces for string and voice. Amarantos Quartet will open the show at One Longfellow Square with a set of instrumental pieces.
If you can’t make it to the Portland show, Richardson and the Amarantos Quartet will also be at Camden Opera House on Saturday. They’re sharing the bill with organ, drums and guitar trio Micromassé. Richardson appears on their 2014 single “Don’t Give Up.” It’s a cover of a duet between Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush, and Richardson handles all the vocals in glorious fashion. She sang it live with Micromassé at the recent Dave Noyes tribute show at the State Theatre, and it brought the house down. Head to camdenoperahouse.com for details.
And in breaking news, Micromassé JUST released “Arrow Song” featuring Sara Hallie Richardson. Check out the super cool video!
8 p.m. Friday. One Longfellow Square, 181 State St., Portland, $12 in advance, $15 day of show. onelongfellowsquare.com
Quickly, there’s a Tuesday night show at Port City Music Hall that demands a shout-out. Murder By Death is an indie-Americana band with eight albums under its belt, most recently “The Other Shore.” Opening the show is Sarah Shook & The Disarmers whose outlaw country sound won me over five seconds into “Good As Gold,” the opening track from last year’s “Years” album.
8 p.m. Tuesday, April 30. Port City Music Hall, 504 Congress St., Portland, $18 in advance, $22 day of show, $35 preferred seating, 18-plus. portcitymusichall.com