BEST OF 2015: Wanda Callagy’s Music & Arts Year in Review

January 8th, 2016, 3:00 pm by Greg
Pete Vumbacco, Scotty Mac and James Kirk at Paulys Hotel

Pete Vumbacco, Scotty Mac and James Kirk @ Pauly’s Hotel

Story and photographs by Wanda Callagy

From hearing the gifts of Scotty Mac at the Monday night blues jams at Pauly’s Hotel, to Club Helsinki’s Pro Jams, to the streets of Memphis and a small village called Roxbury, music, dance and visual arts enhanced my life this past year. It may have been a fundraiser in a loved one’s memory or a celebration of talented movement. The following is what I was able to take in with my listening ears, dancing feet and camera lens.

I was able to enjoy the music of Dave Fields, Mike Herman and Jim Kopp with their band Logan’s Express. I attended a couple of fundraisers for a couple of families that had hit hard times. I was reminded of the loss of writer and musician Claude Haton of Cairo and Albany’s Tom Healey.

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I was fascinated with angelic movements from programs offered by the Roxbury Arts Group and proud of my friend Steve Nover’s artistic talents on exhibit at the Albany Public Library. Gary McKeever and Sonny Rock were gracious to allow me to climb a bit to get behind the drum kit with my camera to take a few different views, assuring management I would use caution and wearing my most sensible of climbing boots.

Local music and jams provided Monday night blues with Buck Malen and friends, and the Capital Region Blues Network’s Sunday night jams opened up many doors. Greg Nash along with many other musicians worked with the youth, and many young musicians are flourishing because of their efforts.

And then, there is Memphis. This year I am unable to attend the International Blues Competition in January but plan to visit the Blues Foundation and the awards show in May. I want to visit Clarksdale and cotton fields and wish Slam Allen luck.

Enjoy these highlights. May the coming year bring you musical moments, much laughter and peace.

Tas Cru in Memphis

Tas Cru in Memphis

Wyld Blu and friends in Cairo benefit for the late Claude Haton

Willie Smith on Sax and Wyld Blu and friends in Cairo benefit for the late Claude Haton

Wyld Blu and friends in Cairo benefit for the late Claude Haton

Wyld Blu and friends in Cairo benefit for the late Claude Haton

Steve Nover

Steve Nover with his photography exhibit @ Albany Public Library

Steve Morris and JV Cutter jamming with Andy Stahl

Steve Morris and JV Cutter jamming with Andy Stahl

Sonny rock from behind and above

Sonny Rock from behind and above

Leslie Barkman with Bridget Kally in Memphis

Leslie Barkman with Bridget Kally in Memphis

Mike Herman solo in Oneonta

Mike Herman solo in Oneonta

Gus Mancini with Peter Head and his Sonic Soul Singers

Gus Mancini with Peter Head and his Sonic Soul Singers

Fade to Blues in Memphis

Fade to Blues in Memphis

Dylan Doyle at Club Helsinki

Dylan Doyle @ Club Helsinki

Billy the Kid from Pittsburgh with artists and Gary McKeever at Club Helsinki

Billy the Kid from Pittsburgh with artists and Gary McKeever @ Club Helsinki

READ MORE OF NIPPERTOWN’S BEST OF 2015 LISTS
Stanley Johnson’s Favorite Things
J Hunter’s Top 25 Jazz Recordings, Part I
Tim Livingston’s Coolest Rock Event/Album That You Probably Never Heard About
Albert Brooks’ Top 5 Vocal Albums
J Hunter’s Top 25 Jazz Recordings, Part II
Rudy Lu’s Top 10 Favorite Concerts
Tim Livingston’s Coolest Rock Event That You Probably Never Heard About, No. 2
J Hunter’s 10 Best Concerts… And More
Gene Sennes’ Fave Recordings
Ed Conway’s Top 10 Concerts
Tim Mack’s Top 10 Concerts
Fred Rudofsky’s Fave Concerts, Albums & More
Don Wilcock’s Top 10 Blues Albums
Steven Stock’s Top 10 Box Sets
Richard Brody’s Top 17 Concerts… And More
Steven Stock’s Top 10 Studio Albums/Live Albums
Tim Reidy’s Top 10 Concerts (Albany, Non-Albany)
Steve Nover’s Top 60 Concerts
Greg Haymes’ Top Concerts, Albums & More

2 thoughts on “BEST OF 2015: Wanda Callagy’s Music & Arts Year in Review”

  1. Rudy says:

    Scotty Mac is the Man. He’s our blues genius, no doubt, and he sure plays with a fiery soul on anything he plays. Hearing him hit it on a Freddie King or T-Bone Walker tune, or one of his fine numbers from the Rockin’ Bonnevilles catalog, is life-affirming. It would be really cool to hear him team up on a project with Alison Jacobs sometime soon.

  2. Thanks for your input, Rudy. I agree. Scotty was surely a highlight. So much music, so little time! Wonderful to have had the opportunity to see and hear all I did. I certainly could have listed more!
    Thanks again to editors for running this!

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