LIVE: Joe Bonamassa @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center, 8/15/17

August 22nd, 2017, 3:30 pm by Greg

Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

As a blues fan, imagine this – on the same night that Joe Bonamassa was playing the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Buddy Guy was playing in Albany at The Egg’s Hart Theatre. Go figure the logic in that.

Buddy Guy was playing a sold-out show to nearly a thousand people, but Bonamassa was playing to thousands more in an amphitheater-only show. Both are amazing blues music
interpreters and innovators, but why did the blues gods put them on stages in the same region the same day in this part of our small planet? Give us blues fans a break…

I’m certain that if Bonamassa came into town a day earlier, or Guy didn’t leave the area until a day later, something could have been arranged for the two the guest on each other’s shows. After all, Bonamassa is indebted to Guy, and Guy is the kind of guy that appreciates artists that respect and love his ancestral music. It would have been a win-win situation.

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LIVE: Long Journey @ the Beer Diviner, 8/11/17

August 22nd, 2017, 2:30 pm by Greg

Review by Joel Patterson

“This is just like a speakeasy!” Karl Mullen exclaimed. He’s one half of the powerful acoustic duo Long Journey, and we are here in what’s turning into a rainy night, but it hardly matters, spirits are high, and he’s absolutely right – the milling crowd, the humming of friendly chatter – the evening air itself seems juiced up at this roadside taproom, just a few turns up a winding road off Route 22 in Petersburgh. The Beer Diviner

I don’t think either of us are old enough to have authentically sampled 1920’s speakeasy culture – but there’s definitely an enveloping sense of easygoing casualness afoot, maybe even mischief. Or the improvisational nature of it all – we’re wandering around in a series of interlocking porches. The “bar” porch has thick slabs of hardwood propped up on benches for a bar, like you see – finished to a sheen but fresh from the lumber mill.

The other half of the remarkable duo, Amrita Lash, sweeps in and asks me if she could borrow a barstool, for out on the real porch, where under a pinkish/reddish light later they will soar through a set of bewitching, entrancing songs – a sampling of old-time spare Appalachian numbers and originals that have the same sharply focused, sweet, hopeful, hopeless sadness.

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THEATER REVIEW: “Company” @ Barrington Stage Co. [Berkshire on Stage]

August 22nd, 2017, 1:30 pm by Sara
Paul Schaefer as Peter, Kate Loprest as Susan, Aaron Tveit as Bobby & Nora Schell as Marta. Photo Daniel Rader.

Paul Schaefer as Peter, Kate Loprest as Susan, Aaron Tveit as Bobby and Nora Schell as Marta. Photo Daniel Rader.

Review by Macey Levin

There is a gem of a production of Stephen Sondheim’s Company at Barrington Stage Company’s Boyd-Quinson Mainstage in Pittsfield. Everything about it is virtual perfection from the set to the acting to the voices and especially the soaring, insightful score.

Sondheim wrote the lyrics for West Side Story and Gypsy in the ’50s; the music and lyrics for A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Anyone Can Whistle and Do I Hear a Waltz? in the ’60s. But the Age of Sondheim began in 1970 with Company.

The show, labelled a concept musical, was a ground-breaker. It eschewed the expected structure of exposition, conflict, crisis, climax and conclusion in favor of a series of related scenes each adding an element to the writer’s thematic ideas. In 2008 Thomas Hischak wrote in The Oxford Companion to the American Musical: Theatre, Film, and Television: “The concept musical truly arrived with Company, a musical that managed to be palatable to audiences even as it broke just about every rule of musical comedy.”

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

NOTE: Due to popular demand, the run of Company at Barrington Stage Co. has been extended through Sunday, September 10…

Cohoes Music Hall Announces New Concert

August 22nd, 2017, 12:00 pm by Greg

Straight outta Louisiana, Cajun guitarslinger Tab Benoit and his trio serve up a deep dish of bayou-soaked blues at the Cohoes Music Hall at 8pm on Saturday, November 11.

Priced at $28.50, $30.50, $32.50 & $35.50, tickets go on sale to the general public at 10am on Friday (August 25).

New Concert Announced for Wood Park
FEST: Mazzstock Music Festival in Marlboro

CD Reviews: Memos From the Underground II

August 22nd, 2017, 11:00 am by Greg

Album reviews by Tim Livingston

Some recent album releases that you may have missed, but are all well-worth a listen:

RUTS DC: Music Must Destroy (Restricted Release)

One of the early punk bands, the Ruts had so much promise. Their 1979 full length release The Crack was a powerful punch of punk and edgy reggae that combined with a bunch of equally great singles showed the band as true contenders for the punk-rock throne. Alas, it was not to be as their mercurial singer Malcolm Owen, succumbed to the pressures of stardom and some of the temptations that come with it. He tragically passed away in 1980.

The last single “West One (Shine on Me) was a great one, a fitting finale for the band. However, the other three original members, with an appropriate name change to Ruts DC, soldiered on with a few more dub-oriented releases over the years, but soon faded away.

When original guitarist Paul Fox was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2007, the Ruts reformed for a benefit concert for him with long-time fan Henry Rollins filling in as lead vocalist. Fox died later that same year.

Seemingly the end of the Ruts story, but, no, not to be. The two other original members bassist John “Segs” Jennings and drummer Dave Ruffy recruited a new guitarist and recently recorded a new album “Music Must Destroy.” The results are stunning – a rock album much in the tradition and spirit of the original band and a monster of a release.

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New Concert Announced for Wood Park

August 22nd, 2017, 10:00 am by Greg

Led by founding member and longtime lead singer Doug Gray, Southern rock pioneers the Marshall Tucker Band are bringing their 45th Anniversary Tour to Lake George on Sunday, September 24 for a concert at Wood Park.

Opening the show at 3pm are Skeeter Creek and Country Fresh.

Tickets are available now online. General admission tickets are $20 in advance; $30 at the gate. VIP tickets are $75 in advance; $85 at the gate.

Cohoes Music Hall Announces New Concert
FEST: Mazzstock Music Festival in Marlboro

FEST: Mazzstock Music Festival in Marlboro

August 22nd, 2017, 9:00 am by Greg

The Mazzstock Music Festival takes place at the Mazzstock Field at 35 Hampton Road in Marlboro this weekend with the music kicking off at 3pm on Friday (August 25). Gates open at 2pm on Friday; 10am on Saturday and Sunday.

The three-day festival boasts two stages, making for non-stop music.

Three-day pass is $80; single day passes are $40 for Friday; $50 for Saturday; and $35 for Sunday.

Here’s the complete schedule of bands for the 2017 Mazzstock Music Festival:

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8/22/17: Today’s Top Tips: Tuesday

August 22nd, 2017, 7:15 am by Greg

MUSIC: Los Straitjackets @ the Hangar on the Hudson, Troy. Having already played with Nick Lowe and Marshall Crenshaw this month, guitarslinger and Rensselaer native Eddie Angel and his masked band bring their trademark surf ‘n’ twang sound to town for a homecoming show. 8pm. $20.

MUSIC: Howlin’ on the Hudson @ Dutch Apple Cruises, Albany. It’s the final Howlin’ on the Hudson concert-cruise of the season – a three-hour tour on the river with Wild Adriatic. 7pm. $30. GO HERE for more info and the complete concert/cruise schedule…

MUSIC: Stick Men @ the Iron Horse Music Hall, Northampton. Bassist Tony Levin (King Crimson, Peter Gabriel), drummer Pat Mastelotto (King Crimson, Mr. Mister) and guitarist Markus Reuter (The Crimson ProjeKt). 7pm. $25.

MUSIC: Kim Simmonds & Savoy Brown @ NBT Bank Lawn, Canajoharie. With founder-guitarist Kim Simmonds at the helm, Savoy Brown was one of the pioneering British blues bands of the ’60s, helping to launch the U.K. blues movement that brought blues music back to the USA. 7pm. FREE. GO HERE for more info and the complete concert series schedule…

THEATER: “Oklahoma!” @ Glimmerglass Opera, Cooperstown. Last chance! Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical revolutionized the genre with its closely integrated book and score, in which a diverse assortment of individuals struggle to create lives for themselves in the newly settled Oklahoma Territory. Hit tunes include “People Will Say We’re in Love,” “I Cain’t Say No,” “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’” and “The Surrey with the Fringe on Top.” 1:30m.

THEATER: “At Home at the Zoo” @ the Unicorn Theatre, Stockbridge. Directed by Eric Hill, Edward Albee’s “At Home at the Zoo (Zoo Story)” joins Albee’s classic 1959 play, “The Zoo Story,” with its prequel, “Homelife” (2004) written 45 years later. 7pm. $52. Through Saturday, August 26.

MUSIC: Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center’s Spa Little Theater, Saratoga Springs. The program features Barrière’s “Sonata in G major for Two Cellos,” Leclair’s “Sonata for Two Violins in E major, Op. 12, No. 2,” Handel/Halvorsen’s “Passacaglia in G minor for Violin and Viola (or Cello),” Mendelssohn’s “Andante and Allegro brillant for Piano, Four Hands, Op. 92,” Brahms’ “Scherzo, WoO 2, from ‘F-A-E’ Sonata for Violin and Piano” and Schumann’s “Quintet in E-flat major for Piano, Two Violins, Viola, and Cello, Op. 44.” 8pm.

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