Concert preview: There’s something about Jonathan Richman

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From the March 20, 2014 edition

The image of singer/songwriter Jonathan Richman that first springs to mind is largely dependent on one’s age. Older music fans might recall his early-70s days with Boston rockers The Modern Lovers, the band responsible for one of the greatest driving tunes ever penned in “Roadrunner.” The younger generation, in contrast, might know Richman from his role as the musical narrator in the 1998 Farrelly Brothers film “There’s Something About Mary.”

Of course, neither guise is exemplary of the New England native’s solo material, a deep body of work that stretches from 1983’s Jonathan Sings! through his 2010 album O Moon, Queen of Night on Earth, and is unified by Richman’s Spartan approach (a bulk of the songs are dressed in little more than acoustic strumming and minimalist drums) and his ability to face down many of life’s biggest challenges with sense of humor safely intact.

The musician is backed here by longtime drummer Tommy Larkins, who audiences also might recognize from the ’98 Ben Stiller/Cameron Diaz film.

Rory Earnshaw photo