LIVE: Wussy @ the Low Beat, 7/24/14

July 29th, 2014, 4:00 pm by Greg
Wussy (photo by Ross Marvin)

Wussy (photo by Ross Marvin)

Review by Ross Marvin
Photographs by Ross Marvin, Al Goldberg and Kirsten Ferguson

As great as it was, the music was almost beside the point at the Wussy show on Thursday night at the Low Beat. Four members of the critically-beloved Cincinnati band were given tickets for marijuana possession before they could even get out of Ohio, and Johnny Law absconded with their entire stash. Not a great way to start a tour, though it sounds like it could make a pretty good Wussy song. Something about how driving a shitty tour van draws the attention of the cops, but Willie Nelson’s deluxe ride cruses right past the sirens, even though that bust would be a sure thing.

It was 11:30pm by the time Wussy got to Albany, and the crowd at the Low Beat ran out to their van to grab amps, guitar pedals and merch boxes to help expedite the set-up. One fan even lent her handwriting talents to the band, helping to copy the setlist. By 11:49pm, the band hit the stage, forgot about such petty things as a sound-check, took a shot of tequila in honor of National Tequila Day, and dug-in to one of the most incendiary performances that will grace Captial Region stages this year.

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LIVE: the subdudes @ The Egg, 7/26/14

July 29th, 2014, 3:00 pm by Greg

Review by Bokonon

In 1989, ownership of the subdudes’ self-titled debut album was the equivalent of a passkey to a secret after-hours club where real New Orleans funk met serious New York songcraft. It was a record you could dance to, and think about.

An early local date for the band, at QE2, was so hot, so grooving and so deep that the late night snow, heavy duty parking tickets and tow jobs didn’t seem so bad.

In 1996, though, that line-up, hungry for a wider success that never came, exploded, with key songwriter and bassist Johnny Ray Allen leaving the band, which re-grouped in 2002 as the ‘dudes before once again filling out the original moniker with an expanded roster of players.

Now, Allen is back on board, and the true ‘dudes (a quartet once more) hit Albany again on Sunday, with a tour stop at The Egg. Guitarslinger Tommy Malone and the rest of the band could not resist an endless string of bad jokes pointed at the venue’s name; thankfully the music was better than the patter.

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The Egg Announces Four More New Concerts

July 29th, 2014, 2:00 pm by Greg
Richard Thompson

Richard Thompson

Photograph by Joe Putrock

So, we just got finished writing about one new concert at The Egg, when, lo and behold, the fine folks at The Egg add four more new concerts to its fall series. Tickets for the four new shows are currently available to members of The Egg and will go on sale to the general public on Friday (August 1).

Here’s the schedule of the newly added concerts for The Egg:

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THEATER: Small, Quirky & Fun: “Gutenberg! The Musical!” @ the Theater Barn [Berkshire on Stage]

July 29th, 2014, 1:00 pm by Sara
Dominick Varney and Shaun Rice play Doug and Bud.

Dominick Varney and Shaun Rice play Doug and Bud.

Theatre Review by Gail M. Burns and Larry Murray

Gail M. Burns: Gutenberg! The Musical! is the kind of small, quirky musical that the Theater Barn in New Lebanon does extremely well, and that their audience just loves. And with just two actors, one pianist and virtually no sets or costumes, it also suits their small space and modest budget requirements

Larry Murray: I am always amazed at how the Theater Barn finds these little musical gems to keep us amused. And coming back for more. Anthony King and Scott Brown, who wrote this two man show were also in it originally, when it ran just 45 minutes. Later it was expanded to two acts and had a significant 2007 New York production directed by Alex Timbers (Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson and The Last Goodbye) that starred our Williamstown favorite, Christopher Fitzgerald, and Jeremy Stamos.

Gail: The show is presented as a Backer’s Audition, a theatre ritual in which the creators of a musical do a concert version of their work before an audience of potential investors/producers. If the show involves proven talent, say, Stephen Sondheim or Jason Robert Brown, stars interested in appearing in the production participate in the audition, but that is at a higher level than these two guys – a caregiver at a nursing home and a senior barista at Starbucks – have achieved.

Larry: Dominick Varney and Shaun Rice play Doug and Bud, an aspiring words-and-music team peddling their musical very loosely based on the story of Johannes Gutenberg (1398-1468), inventor of the printing press. Their comic timing and energy levels are remarkable, and Varney’s lithe and rubbery body is pretty amazing to see in action. Rice keeps up, barely, his strong suit being his amazing range of voices. He uses them to portray many of the dozen-plus characters in this musical. Both use a variety of imprinted hats to indicate which role they are playing at the moment.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

The Egg Announces New Concert

July 29th, 2014, 12:26 pm by Greg

As a pianist, composer, singer, entertainer and humanitarian, child prodigy Ethan Bortnick has wowed audiences across the globe. Now it’s Albany’s turn…

His television concert special, “Ethan Bortnick Live in Concert: The Power of Music,” aired last month opn PBS-TV, and now the 13-year-old wunderkind will be making a tour stop at The Egg in Albany at 7pm on Saturday, October 11. Special guest Damian McGinty of “Glee” will also perform.

At just three years of age, Florida native Bortnick begged his parents for piano lessons and discovered an uncanny ability to hear a song once and play it back note for note – the musical equivalent of a photographic memory.

Tickets are priced at $29.50, $39.50 & $49.50.

Don Brewer, What Was the First Album You Ever Bought?

July 29th, 2014, 11:00 am by Greg
Don Brewer

Don Brewer

“It’s probably embarrassing to admit, but the first album I ever bought on my own was by the Dovells. Of course, it was the one with ‘Bristol Stomp’ on it. I can still the remember the album cover – it was red, I think, with the guys in white jackets, all clean-cut looking with slicked back hair. I think that was probably the first quote-unquote rock album that I ever bought on my own, and to be honest with you, I still think that ‘Bristol Stomp’ is a pretty cool song.

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New Release Rack: Stephen Trombley’s “Tea for Three”

July 29th, 2014, 10:11 am by Greg

Stephen Trombley: Tea For Three

Review by Thomas Dimopoulos

ALBUM: Tea For Three
ARTIST: Stephen Trombley

There’s a noticeable twang to upstater Stephen Trombley’s newest CD – and with good reason. Tea For Three is the Saratoga-raised songwriter’s first release since bolting from the Empire State for the music city skyline of Nashville, Tennessee. And while the six-song EP was written and recorded south of the Mason-Dixon line, Trombley’s studio comrades are men of the world – much like the author, filmmaker and musician himself.

The CD features drummer Charlie Morgan, who spent 13 years pounding the skins behind Elton John; just-north-of-Syracuse A-list bass player Mark Prentice; and multi-instrumentalist Jim Hoke, a native of Schenectady.

“It’s a great upstate invasion of Tune Town, plus a hands-across-the-water U.K. pal on drums,” says Trombley, whose creative co-writing foils include veteran hit-makers Fred Koller (who’s been covered by everyone from Jerry Lee Lewis to Dave Edmunds), Angela Kaset (Lorrie Morgan and Wynonna Judd have performed her songs) and one-time Patti Smith guitarist Oliver Ray.

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7/29/14: Today’s Tips: Tuesday

July 29th, 2014, 8:00 am by Greg

DANCE: Bolshoi Ballet @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs. The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming… Making their SPAC debut with a four-night stand of “Don Quixote.” 8pm.

MUSIC: Bang On a Can @ MASS MoCA, North Adams. MacArthur Prize-winning artist Ann Hamilton has created a series of wearable hand-made paper components in her artistic residency at Dieu Donné. With the help of BoC’s Mark Stewart and David Cossin, an ensemble of festival fellows will premiere a piece specially created to explore the sound vocabulary through body movements. 4:30pm.

MUSIC: Loren & Mark @ Town Park, Stony Creek. 7pm. FREE> GO HERE for more info and a complete schedule of concerts…

OPERA: “Madame Butterfly” @ Glimmerglass Opera, Cooperstown. Conducted by Joseph Colaneri; directed by Francesca Zambello. Delicate and vulnerable yet possessed of a steely resolve, Puccini’s unforgettable heroine risks ostracization to be with her love, a handsome American naval officer. When he proves untrue, she unflinchingly chooses the only honorable path available to her. 1:30pm. $26, $55, $78, $95 & $115; $10, $15, $20 & $25 youth 18 & under.

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