5/15/16: Today’s Top Tips: Friday

May 15th, 2015, 7:51 am by Greg

MUSIC: Tom Rush @ the Eighth Step at Proctors, Schenectady. Known for championing the songs of Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne, James Taylor and others long before they were stars, Rush has been making stellar, intimate music for a half century, and he’s still at the top of his game. 7:30pm. $35; $50 Gold Circle (front center section seats with 6:30pm artist reception). GO HERE for more info…

MUSIC: The Mike Stern Band @ the Madison Theater, Albany. The jazz fusion guitar great leads his band featuring dynamo drummer Dennis Chambers, saxman Bob Franceschini and bassist Janek Gwizdala in two shows. 7 & 9pm. $24.

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MUSIC: Slaid Cleaves @ Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs. The Maine-born, Austin-based singer-songwriter spins stories with a novelist’s eye and a poet’s heart, with carefully chiseled themes ranging from gospel, to Texas pride, to tongue in cheek numbers. His bittersweet melodies deliver equal measures of hope and resignation, shading dark with light & wringing the most out of a melody. 8pm.

THEATER: “Mamma Mia!” @ Proctors, Schenectady. Any way you add up the numbers, the colorful, frothy jukebox musical based on the irresistibly catchy pop canon of ABBA is a smash hit – 6,000 performances on London’s West End, and 5,000 performances (and counting) on Broadway, making it the tenth longest running show in the history of the Great White Way. Three performances only. 8pm. $20-$85. Also 1 & 7pm on Saturday.

MUSIC: The Van Dyck All Star Saxophone Summit @ the Van Dyck, Schenectady. The second annual Sax Summit features five of Nippertown’s finest hornmen – Keith Pray, Lee Russo, Brian Patneaude, Jeff Nania and Adam Siegel – blowing in front of pianist Dave Gleason, bassist Otto Gardner and drummer Jeff Siegel. 8pm. $15. GO HERE for more info…

MUSIC: Dogs of Desire @ EMPAC at RPI, Troy. The Albany Symphony’s ground-breaking, 18-member chamber ensemble and special guests Theo Bleckmann and Sleeping Giant perform all-new music from America’s most creative emerging composers. Followed by a post-concert meet-and-greet with ASO’s music director David Alan Miller with music by the Juilliard Jazz Trio. 7:30pm. $40.

MUSIC: Dar Williams @ The Egg’s Swyer Theatre, Albany. Dar Williams’ career began in the New England folk scene of the mid-’90s, and she has since become one of the premier singer-songwriters in America – with a unique flair to deliver her messages with a plain-spoken, heartfelt and insightful perspective. With Lucy Wainwright Roche. 8pm. $29.50.

MUSIC: Rhett Miller @ Club Helsinki, Hudson. The lead singer and songwriter of seminal alt-country band the Old 97’s has enjoyed an equally successful solo career, emphasizing his brilliance as a songwriting craftsman drawing on a wider, pop-rock palette, and delivering hooks around every corner. With Texas singer-songwriter Salim Nourallah. 9pm. $25.

MUSIC: North and South Dakotas @ the Old Station Inn, Greenwich. 9pm. FREE.

MUSIC: Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem @ WAMC-FM’S The Linda, Albany. The acclaimed New England string band returns to The Linda, this time in support of their newly released fifth album, Violets Are Blue. 8pm. $17.

THEATER: “The Night of the Iguana” @ Albany Civic Theatre, Albany. Carol King directs Tennessee Williams’ classic drama. 7:30pm. $15; $10 students. Through Sunday.

MUSIC: The Coveralls @ the Rustic Barn Pub, Troy. Classic country and Americana. 8pm.

MUSIC: Hot Cousin @ the Low Beat, Albany. It’s tribute night as Hot Cousin delves into the songbag of Rage Against the Machine. With the Built4BBQ All Stars paying homage to Faith No More. 9pm.

MUSIC: Ben Allison & Think Free @ Union College’s Emmerson Auditorium, Schenectady. Bassist Allison leads the Latin jazz trio with pianist Kevin Hays and percussionist Rogério Boccato. 8pm. UPDATE: This show has been cancelled due to lack of funding.

THEATER: “Home Fires Burning” @ Bridge Street Theatre, Catskill. Two short haunting plays – “Everlasting Moon” and “Paradise Whiskey” – written and performed by Roxanne Fay about the fierce fight to reclaim and hold on to that most elemental human need – a place of one’s own. 7:30pm. $15; $10 students & seniors. Through Sunday, May 24.

MUSIC: The Kingston Trio @ the Colonial Theatre, Pittsfield. Bill Zorn, George Grove and Rick Dougherty carry on the music and tradition of the icons of the American folk music revival of the ’60s, playing “Tom Dooley,” “Where Have All the Flowers Gone,” “500 Miles” and more. 7pm. $25, $45 & $55.

MUSIC: Parmalee @ Vapor, Saratoga Springs. The contemporary country band shakes it up in the Spa City. 9pm. $25.

MUSIC: Ustad Shafaat Kahn @ Old Songs, Voorheesville. Kahn is the first known artist to attain simultaneous excellence in performing the sitar, surbahar and tabla. With Paul Rosato & Alex Tewnion. 8pm. $20; $5 children age 12 & under.

MUSIC: The Blind Owl Band @ the Hollow Bar + Kitchen, Albany. With Swamp Candy. 9:30pm. $12.

MUSIC: Red Tail Ring @ Cock ‘n Bull, Galway. Michael Beauchamp and Laurel Premo blend revivalist fervor with the playful creativity of starting from scratch. Whether rendering a traditional tune or one of their originals, the duo infuses each song with musical imagination, haunting harmonies and instrumental artistry on fiddle, banjo, mandolin, jawharp and plain-old foot stomping. 8pm.

MUSIC: The Accents @ Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Troy. 9:30pm. FREE.

MUSIC: Williams College Wind Ensemble @ Williams College’s Chapin Hall, Williamstown. Conductor Matthew M. Marsit leads the ensemble through “Lightly Influenced,” featuring Don Freund, “Jug Blues and Fat Pickin’,” Charles Fernandez’s “Persepolis Bazaar,” Christopher Coleman’s “Snake Oil Peddler” and John Mackey’s, “Sasparilla.” Pianist Scott Smedinghoff joins in for the Stravinsky Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments. 8pm. FREE.

READING: D.W. Gibson @ Chatham Bookstore, Chatham. The author and director of writers at Art Omi will read from his recently published book “The Edge Becomes The Center: An Oral History of Gentrification in the 21st Century.” A conversation between the author and Tom Chulak will follow. 5pm. FREE.