LIVE: Pete Donnelly & the Wise Easy @ Valentine’s Music Hall, 7/27/13

July 31st, 2013, 4:00 pm by Greg
Pete Donnelly & the Wise Easy

Pete Donnelly & the Wise Easy

Photographs by Kirsten Ferguson

One night just wasn’t enough…

So on the night after Sgt. Dunbar & the Hobo Banned teamed up with Ray Murray & the Bomb Squad, WEXT-FM’s sixth anniversary bash at Valentine’s Music Hall continued with yet another evening of rock ‘n’ roll revelry.

Headlining Night Two of the celebration was the Figgs’ Pete Donnelly, who served up a preview his sophomore solo album, Face the Bird, which is slated for official release on August 20. Sharing the stage for Exit 97.7 birthday party were Local 518 favorites Olivia Quillio and Bear Grass.

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Comin’ Soon: New Concert Announcements

July 31st, 2013, 3:00 pm by Greg

Basilica Hudson hasn’t had a lot of music on its schedule so far this summer, but that’s about to change when the Washington, DC-based duo the Evens rock the former glue factory in Hudson at 8pm on Wednesday, August 7. And if you’re not familiar with the Evens, you should be – the duo features guitarist-vocalist Ian MacKaye (of Fugazi and Minor Threat) and drummer-vocalist Amy Farina (formerly of the Warmers). And tickets are just $6 for the all-ages show. A little further on down the line at the Basillica, Angel Olsen takes over the stage on Sunday, September 29. Doors open at 7pm and Chicago-based trio Pillars & Tongues open the show in support of their new album, End-dances. Tickets are $15 in advance; $18 at the door.

Fitz & the Tantrums and Capital Cities are teaming up for the Bright Lights Tour, and they’ll be making a tour stop at the Upstate Concert Hall in Clifton Park at 7:30pm on Tuesday, October 29. Priced at $23.50 in advance; $25 at the door, tickets are scheduled to go on sale at 10am on Saturday (August 3). Also coming up at UCH are the double bill of Escape the Fate and Miss May I with Gemini Syndrome and Restless Streets at 7:30pm on Thursday, October 10 ($15 in advance; $17 at the door; on sale now); Wolfgang Gartner and Tommy Trash’s Hounds of Hell tour at 9pm on Friday, October 18 ($35; on sale at 10am on Friday); Langhorne Slim & the Law at 8pm on Thursday, October 31 ($10.27 in advance; $12 at the door; on sale at 10am Friday); and Gwar with White Chapel, Iron Reagan and A Band of Orcs at 7:30pm on Thursday, November 14 ($17 in advance; $20 at the door; on sale at 10am on Friday).

Four new concerts have been announced for the Calvin Theater in Northampton – a solo show by Richard Thompson with Teddy Thompson opening at 8pm on Sunday, September 29 ($25, $35 & $45); Bonnie “Prince” Billy (aka Will Oldham) at 8pm on Saturday, October 12 ($25 & $30); Grateful Dead tribute band the Dark Star Orchestra at 8pm Saturday, November 23 ($27.50); and Beatles tribute band the Fab Faux at 8pm on Friday, April 25 ($25, $35 & $45; VIP with meet & greet $80. Tickets for these four shows will go on sale on Friday.

The Calvin Theater has also added a new concert by Hugh Laurie (yes, the star of “House”) and the Copper Bottom Band, who will step into the spotlight at 8pm on Sunday, October 27, in support of his upcoming sophomore album, Didn’t It Rain, produced by Joe Henry. Priced at $35, $45 & $55, tickets are currently on sale.

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LIVE: Green River Festival @ Greenfield Community College, 7/20/13 (Day One)

July 31st, 2013, 2:05 pm by Greg

Review by Fred Rudofsky

What follows is a narrative as much as a review….

I arrive at the verdant grounds of Greenfield Community College after two hours on the road listening to CCR, Jimi Hendrix and B.B. King. Cordial cops direct the traffic and volunteers with smiles as big and warm as the noon day sun greet the ticket-holders at the gate and pass out event schedules. There is audible anticipation – after all, many of us music fanatics bought our tickets months ago.

The Green River Festival, an annual event, began over 25 years ago, and it is safe to say that if you have gone to it once, you will go again. This is my fifth time. Several thousand attend each day, and for good reasons. For the price of a typical concert ticket at SPAC, one can see over 30 bands in a weekend. The sound at all three stages is impeccable, and the bands play at a high level, whether they are new to the scene or established acts. It is a progressive event, too. Local food vendors and artisan and craft merchants are spread out all over the grounds, and environmental and community causes get the spotlight, too. In 2013, the festival organizers have made recycling a priority, so bins are conspicuous and easy to use. In short, this festival is a paragon of how to host live music without the mindless pollution that summer gatherings can bring.

Each evening, an array of multi-colored hot air balloons, weather permitting, take flight over the fields, which is quite a sight to behold from the stage, as I learned a couple of years ago while chatting with Emmylou Harris. That brings up another point: at Green River, the opportunities to meet the musicians abound, whether they have just played the Main Stage, or the intimate Yonder Stage and Local Hero Stage.

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“The Taffetas” at the Theater Barn: Jukebox Musical About Four Singing Sisters [Berkshire on Stage]

July 31st, 2013, 1:00 pm by Sara

Berkshire on Stage Theatre Review

Review by Gail M.Burns

The Taffetas, a jukebox musical about a quartet of singing sisters making the television debut in 1956, is often billed as the female version of Forever Plaid, although it predates that off-Broadway phenomenon by two years. But it lacks the heart and the fun of the Plaids, and fails to individuate the characters or give you much of a reason to care about them. Kay, Cheryl, Donna and Peggy are all pretty and sing sweetly. The songs, the majority of which are reduced to medley form, are nostalgic. There was nothing unpleasant about the evening, but nothing memorable either.

Bert Bernardi’s staging of the original 1988 script on Abe Phelps’ bright and uncluttered set is very nice. Nice girls singing nice songs for ninety minutes. Good musical direction by Victoria Casella, who plays the piano and doubles as the girls’ “Cousin Vicky” for a couple of gags. Roger Mason on bass and Ian Tucksmith on percussion round out the on stage trio of musicians. Allen Phelps mentioned the purchase of new hanging microphones, and I did notice an improvement in the sound balance. The girls are not body miked – thank God! – and the standing mikes they use are merely props.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Hump Day Unusual Moment

July 31st, 2013, 12:00 pm by Greg

Don Draper Says What has concocted a supercut rendition of Vanilla Ice’s classic 1990 hit, “Ice Ice Baby,” culled from the dialogue of 280 different movies…

Festival Fever: The Hudson Music Festival, 8/9-11/13

July 31st, 2013, 11:00 am by Greg
The Last Conspirators

The Last Conspirators

Photograph by Kirsten Ferguson

The third annual Hudson Music Festival takes over the restaurants, watering holes, art galleries, parks and the streets of Hudson for three days of free music from Friday, August 9 through Sunday, August 11.

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C. Jane Run Reunites for “Almost 20th Anniversary”

July 31st, 2013, 10:02 am by Greg
C. Jane Run

C. Jane Run

Alt-pop band C. Jane Run reunites this weekend to celebrate their “almost 20th anniversary.”

“It’s like we never stopped playing,” says vocalist Lisa Carey. “The chemistry is still there. And it’s been a lot of fun.”

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Real Good for FREE: Canal Square Summer Concert Series @ Cohoes

July 31st, 2013, 9:18 am by Greg
August 9: Captain Squeeze & the Zydeco Moshers

August 9: Captain Squeeze & the Zydeco Moshers

The Canal Square Summer Concert Series takes place at the newly re-named Ernie Williams Band Stand at Canal Square in Cohoes on Friday evenings at 6:30pm.

Concertgoers are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs.

Here’s the schedule of bands for the month of August, 2013:

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Jim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysCartoonist John CaldwellThe Cock'N'Bull RestaurantCaffe LenaHolly & EvanAdvertise on Nippertown!Berkshire On StageThe LindaArtist Charles HaymesCapital Repertory Theater