LIVE: Conehead Buddha @ Washington Park, 8/17/15

August 31st, 2015, 4:00 pm by Greg
Conehead Buddha

Conehead Buddha

Photographs by Timothy Reidy

Remember those good ole days when there were free concerts every Monday night on the Lake House Stage in Albany’s Washington Park?

Well, they might be coming back next summer…

After nearly a decade without the popular summer concert events in Washington Park – which were originally produced by Mona Golub and Second Wind Productions and then later by Maura Swift – Park Playhouse is working to build a new Monday Music Series.

And earlier this month they tested the waters with a single, stand-alone concert presented by Park Playhouse and the Palace Theatre, in association with the City of Albany’s Department of Special Events. The free concert on Monday, August 17, featured Coxsackie-based jam-band faves Conehead Buddha with Albany soul-funk band the Victory Soul Orchestra opening the show.

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LIVE: Joe Bonamassa @ SPAC, 8/10/15

August 31st, 2015, 3:00 pm by Greg


Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

OK, raise your hand if you remember the days when Smokin’ Joe Bonamassa was a chubby prepubescent kid firing up his big, bad blues guitar licks at Local 518 clubs like Pauly’s Hotel and Bogie’s long before he was old enough to legally drink there?

Well, things have certainly changed for the Utica guitarslinger, who made his Saratoga Performing Arts Center debut earlier this month.

Bonamassa and his band – fueled by master drummer Anton Fig (who played with Felicia Collins at Schenectady’s Music Haven the previous night) and keyboardist Reese Wyans (a key member of the late Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Double trouble) – burned through their Three Kings show, a tribute to blues guitar giants Albert King, Freddie King and the one and only B.B. King.

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HEARD: Playlist, 8/24-30/15

August 31st, 2015, 2:00 pm by Greg

Bill Nelson: Chance Encounters in the Garden of Lights
Blur: Modern Life Is Rubbish
Mali Music: Mali Music
Brian Carpenter & the Confessions: The Far End of the World
The Veils: Nux Vomica
Tommy Womack: Now What!
The Byrds: The Byrds
Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach: Painted from Memory
Nick Cave & Warren Ellis: “The Proposition”: The Original Soundtrack
Elbow: The Seldom Seen Kid
Marshall Crenshaw: Life’s Too Short
Marshall Crenshaw: Good Evening
Marshall Crenshaw: Mary Jean & 9 Others
Various artists: “Treme”: Music From the HBO Original Series, Season 1
Solange: Sol-Angel and the Hadley Street Dreams
Beyonce: Beyonce
Bill Frisell: The Sweetest Punch
Painted Palms: Horizons
Widowspeak: All Yours
Andra Day: Cheers to the Fall
John Southworth: Mars Pennsylvania
The Susan Cowsill Band: Live at the Colony Cafe, Oct. 2010 (bootleg)
Matmos: The Civil War
The Spanish Channel: Brooklyn, Off Atlantic
Diane Coffee: Everybody’s a Good Dog
The Raspberries: Collectors Series

THEATER Review: “Evita” @ the Theater Barn [Berkshire on Stage]

August 31st, 2015, 1:00 pm by Sara
Eva Peron

Eva Peron

Theatre review by Gail M. Burns and Larry Murray

Gail M. Burns: I’ve waited a long time for Evita to be performed in this area…

Larry Murray: It’s one of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s most interesting concept musicals because its jewel of a lead, Eva Perón (Joanna Russell) left such an impressive legacy that even an Englishman was inspired to make her life into a musical. People don’t think of the safety net she created in the middle of a brutal military dictatorship, but as Evita brings out, her story was propelled by her upbringing as a desposeído. She cared for the poor even as the government enriched itself to the point of bankruptcy.

Gail: Eva Perón (1919-1952) was an amazing woman, and like most amazing women her story is told and retold through various patriarchal lenses – political, religious, sexual and here artistic. Since she was only 33 when she died of cancer, there was not time for Evita to tell her own story.

And while this 1976 Andrew Lloyd Webber rock opera is iconic and well known, this is the first time I have been offered an opportunity to see it since I bought a $10 seat in the nose-bleed section of the original Broadway production in 1979. (Yes, you could see a Broadway musical for $10 back then.) It’s a show everyone knows, and nobody does. For the tiny Theater Barn in New Lebanon to tackle it takes chutzpah!

Larry: I was impressed by both leads, Joanna Russell has a tremendous voice which she kept under control, building songs like “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina” from pianissimo beginnings to exuberant displays of vocal prowess. Her acting style was forthright, and not overwrought, whereas someone trained as an actor rather than a singer might have been tempted to burn up the scenery a bit, don’t you think? In a gorgeous glittering white dress, arms raised high on the balcony, she was every bit the Evita we have come to know from legend.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

FREE: September in the City Art Fair

August 31st, 2015, 12:00 pm by Greg

Yes, believe it or not, today is the last day of August. But fear not, there’s still a bunch of great free music coming our way in September…

The September in the City Art Fair returns to Albany’s Tricentennial Park for a series of five Wednesday afternoons next month.

Sponsored by the City of Albany, Albany Center Gallery and WEXT 97.7FM, the mid-week lunchtime event series will feature an outdoor exhibition of artwork by a variety of Local 518 artists and crafters, as well as live musical performances from 11:30am-2pm each week, beginning on Wednesday (September 2). Admission is free.

Here’s the schedule of musical performers for the 2015 September in the City Art Fair series:

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ArtBeat: 2015 Artists of the Mohawk Hudson Region [Get Visual]

August 31st, 2015, 11:00 am by Sara
Daniel Brody: Game On/Game Over, still from digital video

Daniel Brody: Game On/Game Over, still from digital video

Review by David Brickman

Every year, the annual Exhibition by Artists of the Mohawk-Hudson Region offers a good opportunity to take the pulse of the Local 518 art scene in one time and place, and this year’s edition at the University at Albany Art Museum is a prime example of how that works.

Though the vagaries of who submits work each year and especially the taste of the juror will have a distinct impact on what’s seen, there’s usually a broad enough coverage to be reasonably representative of what artists in the orbit of Albany are doing. And because these artists are also in the orbit of New York City, one can also get a sense of what’s current there and, by extension, in the art world as a whole. This year’s juror, Rachel Uffner, owns a New York City gallery, so the sensibility of the show is most likely that much more imbued with the bigger art world point of view.

If so, then the current art world, whether regional or global, is still very much about painting, especially painterly abstraction, with a strong side interest in the figurative and the decoratively patterned, and flirting a bit with representation on the Pop side of things. There are 44 artists included (out of a daunting 367 who entered the competition), which is a good number – neither too many to get a grip on in one viewing, nor too few to hold the space – and about three-quarters are represented by multiple works, which is always desirable in large group shows.

Click to read the rest at Get Visual.

NOTE: Saturday (September 5) is the final day to view the exhibition…

Capital Region Blues Network’s Blues Showdown for Solos & Duos

August 31st, 2015, 10:00 am by Greg


The Capital Region Blues Network hosted its annual Blues Band Showdown earlier this month at WAMC-FM’s The Linda in Albany with the Castleton-based Amy Ryan Band emerging as the winner.

Now CRBN is hosting a similar competition for solo and duo blues musicians. The big blues battle will be held on Friday, October 2 at the Parting Glass in Saratoga Springs. The winner(s) will receive a $250 cash prize and the honor of representing CDBN and the Local 518 blues scene in the annual International Blues Challenge in Memphis in January.

If you’re interested in competing, it’s time to get on the ball – Friday (September 4) is the deadline for entries. GO HERE for more info…

8/31/15: Today’s Top Tips: Monday

August 31st, 2015, 7:22 am by Greg

MUSIC: J.D. McPherson @ The Hangar, Troy. The rollickin’, revved-up, rock ‘n’ roll revivalist returns to the Collar City In support of his new album Let the Good Times Roll. 8pm. UPDATE: This concert is now officially sold out.

MUSIC: Olivia Quillio @ Dana Park, Albany. With Meara Mctague. The Dana Park Concert Series wraps up with one final show in the pocket park at the corner of Lark Street and Madison Avenue. 5:30pm. FREE. GO HERE for more info…

MUSIC: Erin Harkes @ Gaffney’s, Saratoga Springs. 8pm.

READING: Poets Speak Loud @ McGeary’s Pub, Albany. Hosted by Mary Panza, the last-Monday-of-the-month open mic session welcomes Steven Minchin as August’s featured reader. 7pm sign-up; 8pm readings.

MUSIC: Marcus Ruggiero @ Bailey’s Cafe, Saratoga Springs. 6pm.

CABARET: David Lutken @ Mr Finn’s Cabaret at Barrington Stage Company, Pittsfield. Along with Ken Breard, Jane Gillman, Helen J. Russell, Antoine Silverman and Andy Teirstein, David Lutken rocks the cabaret with some of the best 20th century folk music – from Woody Guthrie to David Byrne. 8pm. $35.

Cartoonist John CaldwellThe Cock'N'Bull RestaurantHolly & EvanJim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysCaffe LenaAdvertise on Nippertown!Leave Regular Radio BehindAlbany PoetsBerkshire On StageDark Wood Design