By Greg Haymes
You could call it Best Bets or Top Tips or whatever. We call it The Dozen, whereby we offer a monthly round-up of 12 (or so) of the shows around Nippertown that have got us jazzed the most. One entry per venue. Of course, your results may vary, so feel free to weigh in on what you think we missed.
Here’s The Dozen for August:
AUGUST 1: Conor Oberst @ Brewery Ommegang, Cooperstown: Conor Oberst with Dawes backing him up? What’s not to like? And add in the Baseball Project as the opening act, kicking off the 75th anniversary weekend celebration of the National Baseball Hall of Fame… 7pm.
AUGUST 2: Falcon Ridge Folk Festival @ Dodds Farm, Hillsdale: It’s a fab three-day fest, but we picked the middle day for the line-up: the Boxcar Lilies, Roosevelt Dime, Darlingside, John Gorka, the Grand Slambovians, the Local 518′s own Annie & the Hedonists and especially the Horse Flies. 10:30am. $50. GO HERE for more info…
AUGUST 7: Sheila E @ Jennings Landing, Albany. It’s the last blast of Alive at Five for the summer, and the powerhouse percussionist should keep the party-goers dancin’ in the streets. Conehead Buddha opens. 5pm. FREE.
AUGUST 8: The Jerry Douglas Band @ The Egg, Albany. The 13-time Grammy Award-winner and Dobro master has mindboggling skills and mighty big ears, too. The last time saw him – at last year’s FreshGrass fest at MASS MoCA – Douglas and his fab band dug into the songbags of everyone from Lead Belly to Weather Report. 8pm. $28.
AUGUST 9: Dust Bowl Faeries @ Athens Cultural Center, Athens. Ryder Cooley, her taxidermied partner Hazel and the rest of the band offer a captivating intimate performance at the closing reception for the art exhibit, “Road Kill.” With wordsmith Johnnie Moore. 7:30pm. FREE.
AUGUST 10: Ghost Train Orchestra @ Music Haven in Central Park, Schenectady. Wrapping up the Music Haven’s 25th anniversary season, Brian Carpenter’s band echoes the hothouse stomp of Harlem in the Roaring’ ’20s. They’ve been called “a joyous vaudevillian ride,” and “a delightful trip through a retro aural funhouse.” With jazz vocalist Colleen Pratt & Friends. 7pm. FREE.
AUGUST 15: Dom Flemmons @ Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs. In support of his new allbum, Prospect Hill, the former Carolina Chocolate Drop drops by the fabled Spa City coffeehouse for a solo show, playing banjo, guitar, harmonica, fife, bones, bass drum, snare drum and quills, in addition to singing. 8pm. $22.
AUGUST 15 & 16: Rest Fest @ CAC Woodside, Troy. It’s only two weeks away, but there’s still no schedule of which bands are playing which day, but this has always been a thoroughly enjoyable event, so we’re gonna cut ‘em some slack. With the Orange, Titanics, the Parlor, Rebel Darling, Eastbound Jesus, Bear Grass, Maybird, Justen Stens & the Get Real Gang, Wild Adriatic, Careers and lot smore… $15 on Friday; $20 on Saturday.
AUGUST 22: Titus Andronicus @ the Low Beat, Albany. Speaking of Rest Fest, former Rest Fest headliners Titus Andronicus return to Nippertown for their Low Beat debut. With Pelican Movement and Liquor Store. 8pm. $12 in advance; $14 at the door.
AUGUST 27: The Pine Leaf Boys @ Shepard Park, Lake George. The Lake George Arts Projects’ weekly Wednesday night concert series wraps up with some rousing, righteous, Louisiana bayou-soaked Cajun sounds. 7:30pm. FREE.
AUGUST 28: The Del McCoury Band @ Club Helsinki, Hudson. Del, Yeah! The 75-year-old bluegrass legend, his sons and the rest of the award-winning band fire up bluegrass classics, and dip into the songbags of everyone from the Lovin’ Spoonful to Tom Petty to Richard Thompson. 8pm. $35 & $55.
AUGUST 29: Roomful of Teeth @ MASS MoCA, North Adams. Upon receiving a 2014 Grammy Award, the adventurous vocal ensemble’s director Brad Wells said, “We wouldn’t have this album without our work at MASS MoCA.” Well, they’re back again showcasing with Hindustani and Persian singing styles, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw’s “Ritornello” (with film) and compositions by fab folk fave Sam Amidon. 8pm. $15, $20 & $25.
AUGUST 31: Steely Dan @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs. Walter Becker and Donald Fagen round up the boys and girls in the band for a tour they’ve dubbed “Jamallot Ever After.” Their last Nippertown show – at Tanglewood in 2011 – was a knock out.