Elvis Costello & the Imposters performing at the Oakdale

Special to the Courant

Editor’s note: This concert has been canceled.

Elvis Costello brought a hefty portion of songcraft, melody and wit to the reactionary zone of the punk era. While others were ostensibly thumbing their noses at pop and rock tradition in the mid ‘70s, Elvis was writing timeless tunes (“Allison,” “Watching the Detectives,” “Chelsea,” “Radio, Radio” “Oliver’s Army” and so on), folding in plenty of attitude and musical adventurousness. And he kept making records that were both interesting and really good, tipping his hat to country, collaborating with everyone from the Dirty Dozen Brass Band to string quartets and the Roots.

Costello had to cancel some live dates earlier this year due to cancer surgery. But he’s back out and performing his famously energetic and wide-ranging shows, with his classic backing band the Imposters.

Costello’s records always have gems on them. Listen to “Blood & Chocolate,” his eleventh studio album. Anyone who can still make songs like that after making 10 records has obviously got something beyond inspiration and talent.

Costello just released “Look Now,” his 30th studio album, this year. There are a few songs co-written with songwriting legend Burt Bacharach, who worked with Costello on an album 20 years ago. Part of the reason Costello remains so good is that his songs don’t rely on the youthful trouble-making energy of rock-and-roll, instead he makes sophisticated classic pop — with plenty of sensitive, bitter regret — that points to the Brill Building, Motown and even Broadway.

Elvis Costello & the Imposters perform at Toyota Presents Oakdale Theater, 95 S. Turnpike Road, Wallingford, on Nov. 9 at 8 p.m. $35 to $125. 203-265-1501, livenation.com.

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