Legendary singer/songwriter Jonathan Richman returns to the area this week, armed, assuredly, with his expansive songbook of simple, wickedly endearing tunes and a boatload of undeniable charm
. Richman's early work with his group the Modern Lovers -- which featured future members of The Cars and Talking Heads -- was a huge influence on the Punk and New Wave scenes of both America and England, though he's never quite received the credit that has been showered on The Ramones or Velvet Underground. Word is that Richman had an epiphany that led to his going the acoustic route -- he didn't want to hurt children's ears with loud Rock music -- but he has maintained a respectable diversity throughout his career, tempting fans with everything from Latin to Doo Wop over the years. Richman's narrator role in the film There's Something About Mary
has helped introduce him to a whole new audience who would be well served checking out his latest release, Action Packed: The Best of Jonathan Richman
, spanning his seven album output on Rounder Records. Richman is being joined by longtime drummer Tommy Larkin, who accompanied the signer in Mary
At the Southgate House on Wednesday.-- M.B.