8/19/10: Today’s Tips: Thursday

MUSIC: Shannon McNally & Hot Sauce @ Valentine’s Music Hall, Albany. She’s done the major label thing. She’s done the indie thing. But McNally is at her best when she does her own thing – soulful, slightly twangy rootsy music. Maybe you caught her playing a sold-out show at The Egg last December with Derek Trucks. This time around she’s bringing along her whole band in support of her new album, “Coldwater.” Raising the ante, RESTYS open the show, promising to preview some new tunes. 8pm.

FESTIVAL/MUSIC: The Bella Terra Festival @ Gardner’s Farm, Stephentown. With headliners like Soulive and Lee “Scratch” Perry, this year’s four-day Bella Terra fest has leapt to a whole new level. The fest continues through Sunday. More details here.

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COMEDY: The Brew Ha-Ha Comedy Showcase @ the Dee Sarno Theater at Saratoga Arts, Saratoga Springs. Host Greg Aidala welcomes comedian Bernadette Pauley. Local up-and-comers Mary Briwa, Adrianna Flax, Henda Hsu and Benita Zahn (yes, Benita Zahn) warm up the crowd. 8 & 10om. $15. (Related story: Benita Zahn’s Five Firsts)

MUSIC: The Philadelphia Orchestra @ the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs. The orchestra season at SPAC is rapdily coming to a close, and tonight things really get “Wicked,” as stars former stars of the smash hit Broadway musical sing the music of the Great White Way. Erin Mackey and Julia Murney will join the orchestra and New York Pops conductor Steven Reineke. 8pm. $31-$72.50 in amphitheater; $18 for lawn tix; children 12 and under free.

ARTS WALK: Third Thursday Glens Falls Art Walk @ various locations, Glens Falls. This month centers around Chalk Fest 2010, where artists will create original works of art drawn live on the sidewalks at Lapham Place, 5-8 pm. Also slated is an outdoor screening of “The Wizard of Oz” at the corner of Bay and Glen at 8pm. All Third Thursday events are free and open to the public.

ARTS WALK: Pittsfield Third Thursday @ Downtown Pittsfield. Greylock Federal Criterium Bike Race

FESTIVAL/MUSIC: The Upper Hudson Bluegrass Festival @ Ski Bowl Park, North Creek. The four-day fest kicks off today with music by Cedar Ridge, the Warren County Ramblers and American Roots. Go here for more info. Through Sunday.

Mo Rancourt @ Jazz on Jay at Jay Street, Schenectady at 12noon
Happy Balky & the Good Livin’ @ Wiswall Park, Ballston Spa at 6pm
The Back 40 Band @ the Guilderland Performing Arts Center at Tawasentha Park, Guilderland at 7:30pm
Imagining Lennon @ Schaghticoke Town Hall Gazebo, Melrose at 6:30pm
Maria Zemantauski’s Viva Flamenco @ the Chestertown Municipal Center, Chestertown at 7pm
The Big Takeover @ the Piggy Bank, Beacon at 6pm
The Hot Rod Band @ Dutchman’s Landing Park, Catskill at 7pm

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