LIVE: Gov’t Mule @ the Palace Theatre, 11/14/14

November 26th, 2014, 4:00 pm by Greg
Warren Haynes

Warren Haynes

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Two decades is a long time for a band to be on the back burner as a “side project.”

But with the recent retirement of the Allman Brothers Band, Gov’t Mule has finally risen to the top of guitarslinger Warren Haynes’ musical to-do list. And judging by the band’s sprawling two-and-half-hour-plus show at Albany’s Palace Theatre earlier this month the Mule is still kickin’ with the best of ‘em.

The band – drummer Matt Abts, bassist Jorgen Carlsson and keyboardist-guitarist Danny Louis – laid down a rock-solid foundation, but it was Haynes who made the songs soar, whether it was a reggae-tinged cover of Al Green’s “I’m a Ram” or the soul-scorching encore of “Bring On the Music.”

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COMIN’ SOON: New Concert Announcements

November 26th, 2014, 3:00 pm by Greg

See ‘em now, or regret it later… The Terminals Band – an all-star quartet led by drummer-composer Bobby Previte and performing music from his recently released Terminals album – make their debut (and perhaps only performance) at Club Helsinki in Hudson at 9pm on Saturday, December 20. In addition to Previte, the band features Wilco guitarist Nels Cline, jam-band keyboard icon John Medeski and jazz sax master Greg Osby, all of who perform on the album. “I had the idea to put the soloists together as a band, and so this is the first time we have all played together,” says Previte. “This could be a one-time only event … it probably will be.” Also, Helsinki has announced that old-school soul man Lee Fields & the Expressions will be stirrin’ it up at 9pm on Wednesday, December 31. Tickets for the big New Year’s Eve show are $45 & $55.

POSTPONED: Tonight’s (Wednesday, November 26) concert by Dave Davies at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield has been postponed. Also, Chris Webby’s concert at the Upstate Concert Hall in Clifton Park, originally scheduled for tonight, has also been postponed.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: The Ulster Performing Arts Center in Kingston welcomes guitar great and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Jeff Beck. Tickets go on sale at 11am on Tuesday, December 9.

This one really snuck up on us – David Johansen returns to the Falcon in Marlboro on Saturday (November 29). The New York Dolls frontman will be performing as a duo accompanied by guitarist-drummer Brian Koonin. Singer-songwriter Adrien Reju opens the show at 7pm. Donations are encouraged.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: The Calvin Theatre in Northampton announced a batch of new concerts, including the New Pornographers, Pink Floyd tribute band the Machine, Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention tribute band Zappa Plays Zappa and comedian Charlie Murphy (who is also Eddie Murphy’s brother). Tickets are on sale now.

The twangmaster of the Telecaster returns to the Ale House in Troy. Bill Kirchen & Too Much Fun bring their annual Honky-Tonk Holiday tour to town at 7pm on Wednesday, December 19, uncorking such cracklin’ carols as “Daddy’s Drinkin’ Up Our Christmas,” “Silent Surfin’ Night” and “Truckin’ Trees for Christmas.” Local 518 rockabilly heroes the Lustre Kings will share the stage.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: MASS MoCA in North Adams will play host to the fab Kat Edmonson for an intimate concert at Club B-10 in support of her new album, The Big Picture. Tickets are on sale now.

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LIVE: Lyle Lovett & His Acoustic Group @ The Egg, 11/5/14

November 26th, 2014, 2:00 pm by Greg

Review by Richard Brody

Lyle Lovett & His Acoustic Group returned to The Egg’s Hart Theatre earlier this month for what seems to be an annual visit. With no new music to promote, Lyle dug into his nearly 30-year songbook and treated us to more than two hours of great songs and stories backed by his all-star band – with fiddler extraordinaire Stuart Duncan in tow. Not one to get fenced in by a single genre, you can hear country, bluegrass, folk, blues, gospel, Texas swing, and with master cellist and long-time band member John Hagen, hints of classical music in the performances of Lovett’s songs.

Lovett and band, all nattily attired in dark suits, showed their wares beginning with the second song, and first full band song, of the evening “Here I Am.” The unaccompanied verses spoken in a halting deadpan tone with the full band coming in on the chorus tells the tale of that guy who sits down beside someone at the diner and won’t leave the person alone. On the one hand anyone would want to get away from this intruder, but on the other you just might want to stick around to hear what comes out of his mouth next. It’s pure Lyle: dark humor bordering on spooky, unexpected lyrical lines, and an off-beat performance that makes perfect sense.

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A FEW MINUTES WITH… Peter Wolf of the J. Geils Band

November 26th, 2014, 12:00 pm by Greg

Story and interview by Don Wilcock

The front man in a rock band always gets the attention, but in the case of the Rolling Stones, the Everly Brothers, Aerosmith and the J. Geils Band, it’s the collaboration of two songwriting band members that makes it jell. Maintaining such collaborations over several decades has been problematic for each. That the J. Geils Band is playing together at all in 2014 is a miracle. That they haven’t produced a new song together in more than 30 years is not surprising. And that the namesake founding member Jay Geils isn’t even in the band that opens for Bob Seger on Tuesday night (December 2) at the Times Union Center just adds to the confusion.

Peter Wolf, however, takes it all in stride. “The Dave Clark Five or Paul Revere & the Raiders, I don’t know. There are so many bands that have that. The Allman Brothers were named after two brothers, Duane and Gregg. Then there was only one Allman. There weren’t two. But they didn’t change their name. They just kept going.”

It has caused Wolf some problems over the years, however. “I think the name J. Geils is very confusing to people,” he told me in 2011, “ because still today I walk down the street, and people come up to me, ‘J., how ya doin,’ man?’ And so that causes great confusion. When Bill Graham first saw the band, he came running into the dressing room, put his arms around me and said, ‘J., you were great,’ after we had played the Fillmore. And I said, ‘I’m not J.’ ‘Well, who the hell are ya?’ I said, ‘I’m Peter Wolf.’ He said, ‘Well, why is it called the J. Geils Band?’ And that’s a story in itself we need not go into now.”

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Hump Day Unusual Moment

November 26th, 2014, 11:00 am by Greg

Four guys…
Two cellos…
One piano…
And some mighty impressive camera work…

The Piano Guys – who bring their holiday tour to the Palace Theatre in Albany on Monday, December 8 – mash up the Dave Matthews Band’s “Ants Marching” with Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy.”

Wanna see more? WMHT-TV airs “The Piano Guys: Live at Red Butte Garden” at 7:30pm on Thursday (November 27).

So Who Were the Mystery Country Stars at Proctors Last Night?

November 26th, 2014, 10:00 am by Greg

Secret Star Jam

Proctors in Schenectady played host to its fourth WGNA-FM Secret Star Acoustic Jam last night (Tuesday, November 25), and it featured three country music stars. WGNA’s website explained it like this: “The stars are introduced one by one, each taking a moment to interact with the crowd, then performing one of their many hit songs. Once all three stars are on stage, they each take a turn performing their hits and interacting with you, the audience, in a very unique setting.”

The hitch? The folks at WGNA wouldn’t say just who it was who would be stepping into the spotlight, and ticket-buyers wouldn’t find out who they were, either, until they hit the stage.

As it turned out, the three country stars were Kristian Bush (of Sugarland), RaeLynn and Chase Rice – not a bad line-up for an $29 ticket price.

GO HERE for a complete round-up of the country stars who played the previous three Secret Star Acoustic Jams…

11/26/14: Today’s Tips: Wednesday

November 26th, 2014, 8:00 am by Greg

We’ll be updating today’s listings with any postponements or cancellations as they are announced throughout the day…

MUSIC: Dave Davies @ the Colonial Theatre, Pittsfield. The Kinks’ guitar hero and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer cranks up those Kinks classics as well as his too often overlooked solo work, including selections from his latest album, Rippin’ Up Time. 7:30pm. $30, $50 & $70. UPDATE: Due to snow emergency, this show has been postponed. New date TBA.

MUSIC: Hamell On Trial @ the Low Beat, Albany. Armed with his battered acoustic guitar, the ex-Nippertonian one-man rock band/jokester/storyteller fires up his righteous anger, sly humor and clever wordsmithmanship. This how to kick off yer big holiday weekend… 8pm.

MUSIC: The Late Shift @ the Hollow Bar + Kitchen, Albany. Guitarslinger Mike Davies (no relation to Dave Davies) and the boys rattle the shingles on North Pearl Street. With the Ashbury. 9pm. $10.

MUSIC: O.A.R. @ the Palace Theatre, Albany. The Rockville LP tour lands in Nippertown for a big Thanksgiving Eve show. With Andy Grammer. 8pm. $29.75, $34.75, $39.75 & $49.75.

MUSIC: The Bremners @ Carney’s Tavern, Ballston Spa. Rob Skane & Co. bring the Mersybeat and more… 7pm. FREE.

MUSIC: Chris Webby @ Upstate Concert Hall, Clifton Park. With Jitta On the Track, AMJ and Quale Jak. 8pm. $20. UPDATE: Due to weather concerns, this show has been postponed to Saturday, December 13.

MUSIC: Holly & Evan @ the Olde English Pub & Pantry, Albany. 8pm.

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LIVE: NYS Presenters Network Music Showcase @ The Egg, 10/28/14

November 25th, 2014, 4:00 pm by Greg
The Villalobos Brothers

The Villalobos Brothers

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk, Timothy Reidy

The New York State Presenters Network held its annual conference in Albany last month, and in conjunction with the various workshops and panel discussions, the conference also hosted a showcase concert at The Egg that was free and open to the public.

The concert highlighted a wide variety of New York State musical talent from children’s singer-songwriter Dan Zanes to Latin jazz pianist Arturo O’Farrill and his quartet, from Mexican music group the Villalobos Brothers to the cutting edge classical ensemble Sybarite5 and jazz saxman Michael Blake.

All in all, it was a delightfully diverse mix of jazz, folk and contemporary classical and Latin music…

More of Andrzej Pilarczyk’s photographs of this concert at Albany Jazz
More of Timothy Reidy’s photographs of this concert at Autobus Pour 3 Garcons

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