LIVE: Green River Festival @ Greenfield Community College, 7/15/12 (Day Two)

July 31st, 2012, 4:00 pm by Greg
C.J. Chenier

C.J. Chenier

Review by Fred Rudofsky
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

The weather was hot and humid, but the music was cool.

I caught the very last notes of Martin Simpson, the opener, who had played solo on the Main Stage and won major applause from the crowd.

Thirty-One Tigers recording artist Elizabeth Cook strode out onto the stage next with guitarist Tim Carroll and upright bassist Bones Hillman, dedicating “Columbus Stockade Blues” to its author, the late Doc Watson. Her voice was as enthralling as ever, and she had the crowd mesmerized. Cook’s one of the best singer-songwriters in any genre, and her range was incredible, going from the sass of “Sometimes It Takes Balls to Be a Woman” and the romance of “All the Time” to the paradoxes of attraction in “El Camino” and vivid characterization of tragedy and hope in “Heroin Addict Sister.” In between songs, Cook’s rapport with the crowd was candid and spontaneous, sharing stories of her life and impressions of the festival grounds, including her love of kettle corn. On a roaring train song, “T-G-B”, Carroll took the lead and played some rollicking licks on his Gretsch, smiling at his wife Elizabeth as she strummed her Gibson center stage.

Cook’s renditions of Merle Haggard’s “Today I Started Loving You Again,” Gram Parsons’ “Hot Burrito #1” and Lou Reed’s “Sunday Morning” were mesmerizing. Fittingly, on a perfect Sunday afternoon she also featured a trio of songs from her excellent new release “Gospel Plow” – Marty Stuart’s “Hear Jerusalem Calling,” the traditional “Every Knee Must Bow” and “If I Had My Way,” which featured three-part harmonies and an unexpected melodic nod to Little Willie John’s “Fever.”

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Review: Far From Heaven Heads to New York from Williamstown Theatre Festival [Berkshire on Stage]

July 31st, 2012, 3:00 pm by Sara
Kelli O’Hara and Steven Pasquale in a scene from Far From Heaven (photo: T. Charles Erickson)

Kelli O’Hara and Steven Pasquale in a scene from Far From Heaven (photo: T. Charles Erickson)

The sweep of the new musical Far From Heaven is daunting, since it is as much a sociological statement with music and acting as it is a fully formed evening’s entertainment. As such, it picks at the scars left over from the post WWII Eisenhower era, offering tempting insights into what life was really like in the time celebrated by the television series Mad Men. On the surface it was “Morning in America”, as the promise of America was being realized for many, but it was also a terrible time if you chose to think for yourself and not conform.

The musical reopens wounds for those gay men who actually came of age around 1957, and the women some may have married. Like me, they may find Far From Heaven a painful musical to watch, because it recaptures those times so accurately. Oddly enough, the musical’s depictions of 1950′s life are realistic and honest, capturing the artifice perfectly. It was a time when personal authenticity was at its lowest. People behaved as others expected them to, and did not live for themselves, but for some imagined ideal.

Far From Heaven could bring back the excruciating memories for some, while others might wish for a return to the days when homosexuality – the fulcrum upon which the whole story rests – was called “The love that dare not speak its name.”

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Larry Coryell, What Was the First Album You Ever Bought?

July 31st, 2012, 2:00 pm by Greg
Murali and Larry Coryell (photo courtesty of

Murali & Larry Coryell (photo courtesty of

“It was a Chet Atkins album. I can’t remember the title of it, but I remember that the first song on the album was `Swedish Rhapsody.’

I can’t remember whether I already owned a guitar at that point or whether I just had a ukulele, but I’ll tell you, I had never ever heard anybody play guitar like that before. That was some serious guitar playing.”

Jazz guitar great Larry Coryell teams up with blues guitarist Murali Coryell for a rare father-and-son performance at the Bearsville Theater in Woodstock at 9pm on Saturday (August 4). Tix are $30.

LIVE: Buckwheat Zydeco @ Alive at Five, 7/19/12

July 31st, 2012, 1:00 pm by Greg
Buckwheat Zydeco

Buckwheat Zydeco

Review by Fred Rudofsky
Photographs by Timothy Reidy

Mayor Jennings, could you please extend the Alive at Five curfew?

That’s what I thought after a brilliant set by 2010 Grammy Award-winner Buckwheat Zydeco came to an end all too soon.

Stanley Dural, Jr. (aka “Buckwheat”) and his band could have easily played another hour – they were on a roll, and the crowd at the Corning Preserve’s Riverfront Park was with them for the ride to the bayous of Louisiana. My bet is that an 11-song set would be just a warm-up back home.

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Parade of Non-Shoes: Chandler Travis

July 31st, 2012, 12:00 pm by Sara
The tootsies of Travis Chandler sport only nail polish, a bold move on the mean streets of Troy's Beat Fest!

The tootsies of Chandler Travis sport only nail polish, a bold move on the mean streets of Troy’s Beat Fest! (photo by Matt Mac Haffie)

Blue Collar Comedy at the Colonial Theatre with Bill Engvall – August 4 [Berkshire on Stage]

July 31st, 2012, 11:00 am by Sara
Bill Engvall is a WalMart kind of guy. Average. Normal. But looks are deceiving. He can make you laugh your ass off, too.

Bill Engvall is a WalMart kind of guy. Average. Normal. But looks are deceiving. He can make you laugh your ass off, too.

Bill Engvall is just a regular guy from Galveston, Texas, and was working a job like most of us. He got the itch and decided to move to “Bid D” (Dallas) where the jobs were more diverse. He ended up working as a disc jockey with plans of becoming of a teacher. While in a nightclub one evening, Bill decided to try his hand at stand-up comedy and quickly found that making people laugh was truly his forte. Soon after, amateur-night audiences at several local clubs and a brief stint in St. Louis convinced Ingvall to move to Los Angeles to pursue television opportunities. He found that he was able to connect with other regular people. Want proof? You can find his book and DVD at any WalMart in the country, but maybe not Target.

Engvall’s talent for sharing the humor in everyday situations has made him one of the top comedians today and among the busiest. He was a regular with The Blue Collar Comedy Tour and brings his special brand of sharp tongue and cutting wit to Pittsfield’s Colonial Theatre on Saturday, August 4 at 7:30pm and 9:30pm. It’s a double header sponsored by the Pittsfield Cooperative Bank.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Songwriting Workshops at Fuzz Records

July 31st, 2012, 10:00 am by Greg
Albany Music Coalition

The recently formed Albany Music Coalition is sponsoring “Deciphering Songs,” a series of three workshops that explore the art of songwriting from several different angles. The workshops will feature a number of Nippertown’s most prominent experienced songwriters as they form panel discussions to focus on lyrics, instrumentals and arrangements.

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7/31/12: Today’s Tips:Tuesday

July 31st, 2012, 9:00 am by Greg

Happy birthday, Cheese, wherever you are…

MUSIC: Americana Tuesday @ Valentine’s Music Hall, Albany. Host band Dan Johnson & His Expert Sidemen welcomes special guests Paleface and Kelley McRae. 8pm. $5.

BENEFIT/MUSIC: Wilco @ MASS MoCA, North Adams. 8pm. A handful of tix may still be available. Call 413.662.2111 to inquire.

BENEFIT/MUSIC: Celebration of Life: Pat Tiernan @ Stout, Albany. An open mic/jam session benefit for the family of local musician Pat Tiernan, who passed away unexpectedly last week. 8pm.

FESTIVAL/MUSIC: Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival @ SPAC, Saratoga Springs. It’s a headbanger’s heaven – Slayer, Motorhead, Slipknot, Anthrax and lots more. More than a dozen bands. Three stages. One big day. Gates open at 1pm; music starts at 1:30pm. Go here for complete schedule of band times…

MUSIC: Parachute @ the Upstate Concert Hall, Clifton Park. Co-headlining with the Cab. With Katelyn Tarver. 7:30pm. $15.

MUSIC: The Electric City Horns @ Cook Park, Colonie. 6:30pm. FREE.

MUSIC: The Ying String Quartet @ the Clark Art Institute, Williamstown. Performing Mozart’s String Quartet in E-flat Major, K.428; Musical Dim Sum (featuring Zhou Long’s “Song of the Ch’in,” Vivian Fung’s “Pizzicato for String Quartet,” and Lei Liang’s “Gobi Gloria”); and Debussy’s String Quartet in G Minor. 8pm. $25; students $20.

MUSIC: The Back 40 Band @ Brunswick Family Community Center, Brunswick. 6:30pm. FREE.

MUSIC: The Guy Mendilow Ensemble @ NBT Bank lawn, Canajoharie. The Music on Mainstreet concert series continues… 7pm. FREE.

MUSIC: All Them Chops @ Orsini Park, Altamont. 7pm. FREE.

MUSIC: Static @ VFW Hall, Great Barrington. The Sounds of Summer concert series continues… 6pm. FREE.

Cartoonist John CaldwellThe Cock'N'Bull RestaurantJim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysCaffe LenaHolly & EvanAdvertise on Nippertown!The LindaAlbany PoetsHudson SoundsRamblin Jug Stompers