LIVE: Sugar Blue @ the Falcon, 6/17/16

June 30th, 2016, 4:00 pm by Greg
Sugar Blue

Sugar Blue

Review and photographs by Rudy Lu

The harmonica is known in blues circles as a harp – a humble little instrument that fits in your pocket, but is capable of a powerful sound that will cut through other instruments in when amplified providing the musician has the right amount of control using mouth, tongue and throat. A single diatonic harmonica can’t play in all keys, so virtuosos of the instrument such as Blues Traveler’s John Popper often perform with a bandolier of harps, giving them the ability to play in any key and express any emotion.

A master of the instrument recently appeared on the stage of The Falcon in Marlboro, Sugar Blue. Students of the rock ‘n’ roll of the ’70s may recognize his name as a guest musician on the Rolling Stones’ 1978 album Some Girls, playing harp on the title track and hit single “Miss You.”

Sugar and his crack band played a powerhouse set brimming over with all manner of electric blues, charging through covers of such blues standards as Muddy Waters’ “Hoochie Coochie Man,” Howling Wolf’s “Who’s Been Talking” and Junior Wells’ “Messin’ with the Kid” with gusto. His harmonica was crying, warbling, wailing and speaking the language of the blues with a touch of jazz.

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LIVE: Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo @ The Egg, 6/27/16

June 30th, 2016, 3:30 pm by Greg

Review by Greg Haymes

It’s hard to believe that Pat Benatar made her Albany debut 37 years ago at the long-defunct J.B. Scott’s, where she and her band earned a whopping $125 as the opening act.

On Monday night she returned to town for a completely different show at The Egg’s Hart Theatre. The top ticket price was $99.50… before service charges. Gone was the spandex, although Benatar was decked out in a fashionable black leather jacket. And gone, too, was the band.

Billed as “A Very Intimate Evening with Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo,” it was an 85-minute, stripped-down duo performance with Benatar perched on a stool and singing, while her guitarist-producer-husband strummed his acoustic guitar, played a bit of piano and chimed in with some backing vocals. It was something akin to the “VH1 Storytellers” format, and between tunes they chatted a bit about the songs’ origins or inspirations.

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LIVE: The Joy Formidable @ Alive at Five, 6/16/16

June 30th, 2016, 3:00 pm by Greg


Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Welsh rock trio the Joy Formidable – featuring bassist Rhydian Dafydd, drummer Matthew James Thomas and the captivating Rhiannon “Ritzy” Bryan on guitar and lead vocals – fired up the second installment of the Alive at Five concert series packing Tricentennial Park and Broadway in downtown Albany. Opening the show was the Local 518 threesome Good Fiction.

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FREE: Niskayuna Town Hall Concerts on Thursdays

June 30th, 2016, 2:00 pm by Greg

Yes, more free concerts!

The Niskayuna Town Hall Concert Series takes place at 7pm on Thursdays at the Niskayuna Town Hall Gazebo through the end of July.

Here’s the schedule of bands for the 2016 season:

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Theater Review: “Ugly Lies the Bone” @ Shakespeare & Co. [Berkshire on Stage]

June 30th, 2016, 1:00 pm by Sara
Christianna Nelson in Ugly Lies the Bone

Christianna Nelson in “Ugly Lies the Bone”

Theater review by Macey Levin

For years countless men and women have returned from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with horrendous physical injuries. In Lindsey Ferrentino’s play Ugly Lies the Bone, currently at Shakespeare & Co.’s Bernstein Theatre in Lenox, we meet Jess (Christianna Nelson), a young woman who has suffered severe physical damage as well as profound psychological pain.

Having returned to her childhood home in Florida she shares with her sister Kasie (Rory Hammond), she is undergoing a rehabilitation process that involves a virtual reality experiment in which she wears goggles and is urged by an unseen character (Ariel Bock) to create her personal version of Paradise. This, presumably, will move her away from her bleak daily existence into a world that will give her hope for the future.

As Jess creates her idyllic space, the voice continually urges her to “Move forward!” Her conflict is that she wants life to be what it had been, especially before her third deployment. Her mother (Ms. Bock) was well and vital, her lover Stevie (Hamish Allan-Headley) cheered her and her sister Kasie was happier. Now, mother is institutionalized with Alzheimer’s, Stevie is married and works as a gas station attendant and Kasie is in love with Kelvin (Dylan Chalfy), who is unemployed plumber.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

JUNE 30: On This Date in Local 518 Concert History

June 30th, 2016, 12:00 pm by Greg
Esperanza Spalding (photo by Stanley Johnson)

Esperanza Spalding @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center, 6/30/12

Compiled by Greg Haymes
Photograph by Stanley Johnson

It’s Throwback Thursday, so we’re back with another installment of our weekly flashback feature: On This Date in Local 518 Concert History. Check out our round-up of June 30 concerts through the years…

2015: David Crosby @ The Egg, Albany
2014: Fyvush Finkel @ Barrington Stage Company’s Mr. Finn’s Cabaret, Pittsfield
2013: Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Fest featuring Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Tony Bennett, Ingrid Jensen, Donny McCaslin, Kevin Eubanks, more @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs
2012: Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Fest featuring Mingus Big Band, Esperanza Spalding, Maceo Parker, Chris Botti, Christain McBride’s Inside Straight, Jeremy Pelt, Catherine Russell, more @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs
2011: Thompson Square, the Hillbilly Horns @ Alive at Five, Albany
2010: The Refrigerators, Blue Machine, the Hill Hollow Band @ Empire State Plaza, Albany
2009: John Medeski & Tisiji Munoz @ the Colony Cafe, Woodstock
2008: Vegitation @ Red Square, Albany
2007: SAWFest featuring Ramblin Jug Stompers, the Psychoneedles, Workingman’s Army, Next President, the Summer Sounds of Salem Superstars, Jason Irwin @ Salem Art Works, Salem
2006: Keb’ Mo’, Brendan James @ The Egg, Albany
2005: Mary Wilson, Tammy Fletcher & the Disciples @ Alive at Five, Albany
2004: Joe Nacco Duo, Mike Thomas @ Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs
2003: Norah Jones, Gillian Welch @ Proctors, Schenectady
2002: Freihofer Saratoga Jazz Fest featuring Natalie Cole, Wynton Marsalis Septet, FourPlay, Cassandra Wilson, Roy Haynes Quartet, Angelique Kidjo, Steve Turre Quintet, the Vijay Iyer Quartet, more @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs
2000: The Lustre Kings, Jeff Strange @ McGeary’s Pub, Albany
1999: Ted Nugent, Quiet Riot, Night Ranger, Slaughter @ Pepsi Arena, Albany

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ArtBeat: What To See

June 30th, 2016, 11:00 am by Sara


Hersteading @ Saratoga Arts

Hersteading @ Saratoga Arts

Hersteading: Cold Antler Farm @ Saratoga Arts, Saratoga Springs. Miriam Romas’ photographic documentary of Jenna Woginrich, a young woman who quit her corporate job to become a homesteader in upstate NY. Artist’s talk and reception: Saturday, July 18, 6-8pm. (Through July 31)

Mel Ziegler: Alabama, December 19, 2016 @ The Tang

Mel Ziegler: Alabama, December 19, 2016 @ The Tang

A More Perfect Union @ The Tang, Saratoga Springs. The first exhibition of Flag Exchange, a multi-year project by conceptual and social interventionist artist Mel Ziegler. With a stock of new American flags in his trunk, Ziegler traveled to all 50 states collecting worn American flags, exchanging the old for the new and, in the process, mimicking the actions of a political candidate, arriving, making a connection and then moving on. The space will also feature a large stage where a series of debates, lectures, performances and more will explore the upcoming election cycle and the role of democracy today. (Through January 1, 2017)

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FREE: Saratoga Summer Concert Series Kicks Off on Sunday

June 30th, 2016, 10:00 am by Greg
Rich Ortiz (photo by Stanley Johnson)

Rich Ortiz

Photograph by Stanley Johnson

Saratoga Springs is no longer just the August place to be…

The Spa City’s Saratoga Summer Concert Series is kicking off this weekend in Congress Park, with plenty of entertainment in store for the entire season. Bring blankets and chairs, find a spot on the lawn and enjoy some of Greater Nippertown’s faves performing on super summer evenings. The 90-minute concerts will take place at the War Memorial at 7pm on Sundays during July and on Tuesdays during the month of August. The Saratoga Heritage Area Visitor Center will serve as rain site for the concert series.

Here’s the complete schedule for the 2016 Saratoga Summer Concert series in Congress Park:

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Caffe LenaHolly & EvanJim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysThe Cock'N'Bull RestaurantCartoonist John CaldwellAdvertise on Nippertown!Berkshire On StageHudson SoundsArtist Charles HaymesCapital Repertory Theater