5/29/15: Today’s Top Tips: Friday

May 29th, 2015, 8:00 am by Greg

MUSIC: Christine Ohlman & Rebel Montez @ Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs. The queen of blue-eyed rock n’ soul grew up loving the sweetness of a Memphis horn line and the raunch of an electric guitar riff. She teased her blonde hair into a beehive in honor of Ronnie Spector, landed a gig as the singer with the “Saturday Night Live” Band and never looked back. She’ll be joined by her bandmates – guitarist Cliff Goodwin, bassist Michael Colbath and drummer Larry Donahue. 8pm. $27.

MUSIC/THEATER: Tommy Sands’ “Ballad of a Songman” @ the Eighth Step at Proctors, Schenectady. Northern Ireland’s acclaimed singer, songwriter, award-winning radio host and social activist brings his new show – directed by Martin Lynch – to the Electric City the night before it premieres at the Donaghy Theatre in NYC, weaving together a tapestry of song, music, poetry, prose, pictures and philosophy, with plenty of Irish humor laced throughout. 7:30pm. $28 & $35.

MUSIC: Daddy Long Legs @ the Half Moon, Hudson. Led by harp-blowing, blues-bellowing front man Brian Hurd, the NYC blues-punk trio and Norton Records recording artists roar into Hudson. With the Schoemer Formation. 9pm doors. $5.

ARTS WALK: Troy Night Out @ various locations, Troy. Lots of visual art exhibits, music, food, fun, people-watching and the debut of TroyBot – in person. 5-9pm. FREE.

MUSIC: The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion @ the Bearsville Theater, Woodstock. Another near-lethal blast of NYC-based blues-punk. With Shark Muffin. 9pm. $20.

THEATER: “Pippin” @ Proctors, Schenectady. With a sparkling score by Tony nominee Stephen Schwartz (“Godspell,” “Wicked”), the classic musical tells the story of a young prince on a death-defying journey to find meaning in his existence. Will he choose a happy but simple life? Or will he risk everything for a singular flash of glory? This captivating new production is directed by Tony Award winner Diane Paulus and stars Adrienne Barbeau, Sam Lips, John Rubinstein, Sasha Allen and others. 8pm. $20-$80. Through Sunday. GO HERE to read review…

MUSIC: The Holly & Evan Band @ the On Tap Patio at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites, Latham. It’s another blues blast! 5:30pm.

MUSIC: The Lustre Kings @ Brunswick BBQ & Brew, Troy. Rockabilly and swing from Mark Gamsjager and the boys. 8pm.

FESTIVAL/MUSIC: LakeGeorge.com Elvis Festival @ the Lake George Forum and various other locations, Lake George. It’s the 10th annual fest for the King at Vacantionland, USA… GO HERE for more info and complete schedule…

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LIVE: Tom Rush @ the Eighth Step at Proctors, 5/15/15

May 28th, 2015, 4:00 pm by Greg
Tom Rush

Tom Rush

Review by Don Wilcock
Photographs by Mary Kozlowski

Tom Rush calls himself simply “a generalist,” a self-deprecating understatement that proved way insufficient in defining his sumptuous nearly three-hour, two-set concert at the Eighth Step at Proctors recently. His tour-de-force performance featured his own signature song “No Regrets” from early in his career as Boston’s best voice of the ’60s folk boom and his career-defining The Circle Game, which introduced Joni Mitchell’s songwriting to the world.

Criss-crossing genres, he re-invigorated Dobie Gray’s pop ode to the palliative properties of music on “Drift Away,” and encored with an energetic acoustic version of “Who Do You Love” that somehow managed to inject as much potency into that Bo Diddley rockin’ blues classic as Diddley himself did in the ’50s with his plugged-in rectangular guitar. Rush joked about songwriter Lee Clayton telling him he’d written the outlaw country number “Ladies Love Outlaws” especially for Tom and then postulated that Lee probably said the same thing to Waylon Jennings, who had a hit with it.

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LIVE: Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience @ the Palace Theatre, 5/19/15

May 28th, 2015, 3:00 pm by Greg
Jason Bonham

Jason Bonham

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

WHO: Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience
WHERE: The Palace Theatre, Albany
WHEN: Tuesday, May 19

Jason Bonham: drums
Tony Catania: guitar
James Dylan: vocals
Alex Howland: keyboards/guitar
Dorian Heartsong: bass

Tribute bands are all the rage these days, and Led Zep tribute bands are at the top of the heap. Already this year we’ve seen Get the Led Out (the Palace Theatre, 2/6/15) and Hammer of the Gods (The Egg, 3/7/15) roll into Nippertown concert venues, and there are more on the way, of course, including Zepperella at Mountain Jam (6/5/15), Led Zeppelin 2 at SPAC (8/1/15) and Zoso at Troy’s Rockin’ On the River concert series (8/12/15).

So what makes Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience stand out from the pack?

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LIVE: Albany Tulip Festival @ Washington Park, 5/9/15 (Day One)

May 28th, 2015, 2:00 pm by Greg
The Kooks

The Kooks

Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk, Timothy Reidy

Albany’s Tulip Festival is typically the harbinger of spring, the first big volley into the vast array of outdoor music fests that populate the Nippertown concert calendar. But with temperatures in the mid-80s and the sun blazing down in Washington Park all afternoon for Day One of the fest, it felt more like a hot, mid-summer celebration.

And the Kooks delivered the goods with a bristling headlining set on the Parade Grounds’ main stage, drawing from a surprisingly wide variety of contemporary pop styles. Led by singer-guitarist Luke Pritchard, the British quartet (plus one guitarist-backing vocalist semi-hiding behind a stack of amplifiers), cracked open their 75-minute show with “Around Town,” the opening track of their latest album, “Listen.” They quickly won over the crowd – which was seemingly at least twice as large as it was for the two earlier bands – diving right into the call-and-response of “Bad Habit,” with the audience heartily shouting back at the band.

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Schenectady Light Opera Celebrates Five Years in Its New Home with Gala Celebration [Berkshire on Stage]

May 28th, 2015, 1:00 pm by Sara
Volunteers work on the set of the play “The Drowsy Chaperone” at SLOC. (photo courtesy of Lori Van Buren / Times Union)

Volunteers work on the set of the play “The Drowsy Chaperone” at SLOC. (photo courtesy of Lori Van Buren / Times Union)

In April 2010, the Schenectady Light Opera Company finalized the purchase of the St. John the Baptist church on the road to creating its new home in the heart of downtown Schenectady. In the five years since, the company has transformed the facility into a premier performing arts venue, presenting a wide variety of productions to popular and critical acclaim, and welcomed over 27,000 patrons through its doors.

To celebrate this milestone, this weekend SLOC is presenting a cabaret/revue featuring songs from each of the shows that have been produced in the new Franklin Street Theater. Titled “The First Five Years,” an all-star lineup of Capital Region talent has been assembled to reprise the numbers that they performed on the SLOC stage. The list of shows is impressive and includes Les Miserables, Carousel, RENT, Ragtime, Aida, Fiddler on the Roof, Hairspray, Next to Normal, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Sound of Music, Sweet Charity, Guys and Dolls and a dozen others.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Tanglewood Announces New Concerts

May 28th, 2015, 12:00 pm by Greg

Tanglewood in Lenox has announced two new popular artist concerts slated to take place during the Labor Day weekend.

Multi-talented musician, singer, songwriter, actor and “American Idol” judge Harry Connick, Jr. will step into the spotlight at the Koussevitzky Music Shed at 7pm on Friday, September 4, performing music from his vast songbag, including selections from his most recent albums Smokey Mary and Every Man Should Know. To date, Connick has released 29 albums, sold more than 28 million albums and garnered three Grammy Awards and two Emmy Awards. He last performed at Tanglewood in summer 2013. Tickets for Connick’s concert range from $29 to $109.

Broadway and television star Kristin Chenoweth — widely known for defining the role of Glinda in the hit musical “Wicked” — will join the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra and conductor Thomas Wilkins for an evening of music from the Broadway stage, Saturday, September 5 at 8:30 p.m. in the Koussevitzky Music Shed. The concert will feature an evening of music from the Broadway stage, followed by fireworks over the Stockbridge Bowl, bringing Tanglewood’s summer season to a close. Tickets for Chenoweth’s concert range from $25-$121.

Tickets for both of these concerts will go on sale to the general public on Monday (June 1).

In addition, British comedian Eddie Izzard takes the stage of the Koussevitzky Music Shed at 7pm on Thursday, August 27. Priced from $54-$109, tickets are currently available for this pavilion-only performance.

ArtBeat: What To See

May 28th, 2015, 11:00 am by Sara


Works by Dawn Clements @ John Davis Gallery

Works by Dawn Clements @ John Davis Gallery

Dawn Clements @ John Davis Gallery, Hudson. A solo exhibition of recent still life paintings in watercolor, gouache and ink by Dawn Clements Also on display: sculpture by Isidro Blasco and Saskia Sutherland, paintings and drawings by Christine Hughes and works on paper by Kristen Rego. Opening reception: Saturday, May 30, 6-8pm. (Through June 21)

Julia Santos Solomon: Selfie  with her drawing at the Met Museum @ Martinez Gallery

Julia Santos Solomon: selfie with her drawing at the Met Museum @ Martinez Gallery

Selfies, or the New Portraiture @ Martinez Gallery, Troy. A group show that examines subjective identities through the ever-present selfie. Participants are invited to bring their own selfies for display at the gallery. Opening reception: Friday, May 29, 5-8pm. (Through June 29)

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MAY 28: On This Date in Nippertown Concert History

May 28th, 2015, 10:00 am by Greg
Snoop Dogg @ Northern Lights, Clifton Park

Photograph of Snoop Dogg @ Northern Lights by Andrzej Pilarczyk, 5/28/11

It’s Throwback Thursday. So we’re back for another installment of our weekly feature: On This Date in Nippertown Concert History. Check out our round-up of May 28 concerts through the years…

2014: Takao Run Folk Song & Arts Group @ The Egg, Albany
2013: Old Crow Medicine Show, Shakey Graves @ MASS MoCA, North Adams
2011: Snoop Dogg @ Northern Lights, Clifton Park
2010: Keith Kane @ the Bread & Jam Cafe, Cohoes
2009: Grant Hart @ Valentine’s Music Hall, Albany
2008: Straitjacket Nation @ Valentine’s Music Hall, Albany
2006: Vernon Reid, Liquid Soul @ MASS MoCA, North Adams
2005: Dave Attell @ The Egg, Albany
2004: The Living End, Small Axe, Stand Up Citizen @ Northern Lights, Clifton Park
2003: Cave Cat Sammy @ the Ale House, Troy
2000: Erin McKeown, Paddy Kilrain @ Mother Earth’s Cafe, Albany
1999: The Staziaks, Crabapple @ Pauly’s Hotel, Albany
1997: Combustible Edison @ QE2, Albany
1996: Fishbone @ Pearl Street, Northampton
1995: Mindy Jostyn, Margo Hennebach @ Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs
1994: Physical Graffiti, Hung Jury @ Saratoga Winners, Cohoes
1993: The Figgs, Gravel Pit @ the Metro, Saratoga Springs
1992: Hand Held Moon @ Pauly’s Hotel, Albany
1991: Marshall Crenshaw @ Bearsville Theater, Woodstock
1989: The Neighborhoods, Gigolo Aunts @ QE2, Albany
1988: Camp Union featuring Let’s Active, Eek-a-Mouse, Treat Her Right @ Union College, Schenectady
1987: Megadeth, Overkill @ the Colonie Coliseum, Latham
1986: Agnostic Front, Fit for Abuse, Youth of Today, Rest in Pieces @ VFW Hall, Albany
1984: Bambi Manor, Bang Zoom @ Bogie’s, Albany

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