It’s the Weekend!

March 31st, 2017, 4:00 pm by Greg

It's the weekend!

Goodbye, March. Hello, weekend!

But before we head out for some first-weekend-of-April fun we’d like to send out a thank-you to everyone who dropped by this week to add encouragement, support, proof-reading and, yes, criticism, too. And thanks for helping to spread the word about

Of course, we couldn’t possibly cover the wide, wonderful scope of art and entertainment offerings around Nippertown without a dedicated bunch of wonderful writers, photographers, artists, tipsters and other assorted enablers who continually enrich us all with their contributions. So a big salute goes out to this week’s community contributors:

Don Wilcock
J Hunter
Andrzej Pilarczyk
Paul Jossman
Steven Stock
Tim Reidy
Rudy Lu
Kirsten Ferguson
Bryan Lasky
Gail M. Burns

Please consider adding your name to this list. Just send us something – a review, preview, interview, photo, list, video, rant, crayon drawing or whatever’s on your mind. Remember, Nippertown is your hometown, and we can’t possibly do this without your help.

Thanks to the fine folks who provided us with cool give-away merch – tickets, CDs, downloads and other swag – for the faithful Nippertown readers:

Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy
The Madison Theater, Albany
The Cohoes Music Hall, Cohoes
WEXT-FM, North Greenbush

And thanks to all of the folks from the area venues and organizations who were gracious enough to provide us with review tickets and/or photo passes for their events:

Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs
The Palace Theatre, Albany
Cohoes Music Hall, Cohoes
Hubbard Hall, Cambridge
Putnam Den, Saratoga Springs

Thanks for keeping Nippertown alive… and lively,

Sara Ayers
Greg Haymes


LIVE: “Find Your Way Home” @ the Palace Theatre, 3/26/17

March 31st, 2017, 3:00 pm by Greg

Jimmy Kelly and Jeff Strange

Review by Paul Jossman

A video of Act One of the Irish-themed musical drama “Find Your Way Home” was screened at Albany’s Palace Theatre last Sunday (March 26), and the overwhelming reaction from the audience was please hurry and finish Act Two.

Act One was filmed during a workshop performance at the Civic Theatre in Dublin last November and included a cast of about 20 plus four musicians. The play is the result of a seven-year effort by Greater Nippertown musicians and writers Jimmy Kelly and Jeff Strange.

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HOT READS: Nippertown’s Top 10 Stories of the Week

March 31st, 2017, 1:30 pm by Greg
Counting Crows

Counting Crows will return to SPAC again this summer

Photograph by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Yes, we’ve heard all the complaints that some of you simply don’t have the time to read all of the news as fast as we write it.

And we understand… So for all of you casual, once-or-twice-a-week readers, here’s a summary of the Top 10 most-viewed stories from Nippertown during the past seven days, in case you’re still playing catch-up:

1. SPAC Announces New Concert (by Staff, Andrzej Pilarczyk)

2. The Egg Announces New Concert (by Staff)

3. Palace Theatre Announces New Concert (by Staff)

4. FREE FEST: Bands Announced for Lake George’s Jazz at the Lake Festival (by J Hunter)

5. COMIN’ SOON: New Concert Announcements (by Greg Haymes)

6. Greg Bell Celebrates 25 Years of Promoting Concerts (by Greg Haymes)

7. Comedy Show Moves to the Palace (by Staff)

8. LIVE: Bob Warren: Songs & Singers II @ Hubbard Hall, 2/11/17 (by Andrzej Pilarczyk)

9. Friday Flashback Flier: Tiger’s Pub (by Staff)

10. A Few Minutes With… Dan Bern (by Don Wilcock)


March 31st, 2017, 12:00 pm by Greg
Chris Brubeck

Chris Brubeck

By J Hunter
Photographs by Rudy Lu, Andrzej Pilarczyk

It was 1995, I was sitting in the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall at the end of intermission, and the Dave Brubeck Quartet was coming back onstage for the second set. The legendary morning radio host sitting next to me smelled like a mash-up of cheap whiskey and stale cheese, and the as-yet-to-be-refurbished seat I’d eased back into was already doing the dozens on my lower back. At that point, Brubeck took the mic and introduced a special guest – his son Chris Brubeck, who would play bass trombone for the rest of the concert.

That wasn’t the first time I’d seen Chris play: His teenage rock band New Heavenly Blue opened for a reunion of the “Take Five”-era DBQ in 1972. That was the first concert I ever went to, and my mom took me to the show.

It was almost 20 years after the Troy Music Hall show when the Brubeck Brothers Quartet left a serious mark on the rain-soaked Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival. Back then, Riverfront rain-out shows were held at the Palace, and while the concession situation wasn’t what it could have been, Chris (along with his brother/drummer Dan, keyboardist Chuck Lamb, and guitarist Mike DeMicco) made the situation undeniably hospitable.

I’ve seen Chris Brubeck play several times since then (both with the Brothers Quartet and the folk-blues-country trio Triple Play), and my respect for him as a player and a leader has grown and grown. He is a true Renaissance man from both an instrumental and a compositional standpoint: He switches from bass to trombone to piano without missing a beat, and shows the same easy, affable vibe whether the night calls for jazz, classical or Americana. It’s a treat to hear him, and it’s a treat to talk with him, and Chris was good enough to take a few minutes from preparations for the Brubeck Brothers Quartet’s concert at 7:30pm tonight (Friday, March 31) at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall concert and help us catch up on a few things:

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Cohoes Music Hall Announces New Concert

March 31st, 2017, 10:30 am by Greg


Photograph by Bryan Lasky

With a musical career that’s spanned more than a half century, John Mayall has certainly earned the title of The Godfather of British Blues.

Throughout the years, John Mayall’s bands have been a breeding ground for future rock stars including Eric Clapton (who left to form Cream), Peter Green, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood (who became Fleetwood Mac), Andy Fraser (who formed Free) and Mick Taylor (who joined the Rolling Stones) – to name just a few.

Mayall brings his current band to the Cohoes Music Hall at 8pm on Tuesday, June 6. Priced at $42, $48 & $55, tickets go on sale to the general public at 10am today (Friday, March 31).

Bands Announced for Albany Tulip Festival

Bands Announced for Albany Tulip Festival

March 31st, 2017, 8:34 am by Greg

The annual Albany Tulip Festival returns to Washington Park once again from 11am-6pm on Saturday & Sunday, May 13 & 14. As always, admission is FREE.

Expect more than 140,000 bloomin’ tulip bulbs, the coronation of the Tulip Queen, a Mother’s Day celebration, a good chance of some rain and, of course, lots of free outdoor music.

Here’s the complete schedule of bands for the 2017 Albany Tulip Festival:

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3/31/17: Today’s Top Tips: Friday

March 31st, 2017, 7:00 am by Greg

MUSIC: Chuck Prophet & the Mission Express @ Club Helsinki, Hudson. One of contemporary rock’s greatest songwriters and a longtime favorite of Helsinki audiences brings his band back to Hudson in support of his fab new album, Bobby Fuller Died for Your Sins. With the Bottle Rockets. 9pm. $20.

MUSIC: Brubeck Brothers Quartet @ Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy. Brothers Chris & Dan Brubeck and their bandmates play original jazz tunes as well as the music of their iconic father, Dave Brubeck. 7:30pm. $27. GO HERE to win FREE tickets…

MUSIC/FUNDRAISER: “Rock for Ray” @ the Low Beat, Albany. Ray Allen, the longtime doorman at Valentine’s Music Hall and the Low Beat, is in need of some financial assistance to cover medical bills, and a bunch of bands – Jouska, Prison, Silver Dagger, Neutron Rats and the debut of New Life – are donating their talents to help out. 7pm. $5 minimum donation.

MUSIC: Dan Bern @ Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs. The critically acclaimed, award-winning singer-songwriter – recently relocated to Saratoga Springs – plays a solo show at the recently renovated, iconic coffeehouse. 8pm. $20. GO HERE to read an interview…

MUSIC: SFJAZZ Collective @ The Egg, Albany. The ever-shifting jazz collective features saxmen Miguel Zenon and David Sanchez, trumpeter Sean Jones, trombonist Robin Eubanks, vibraphonist Warren Wolf, pianist Edward Simon, bassist Matt Penman and drummer Obed Calvaire playing the music of Miles Davis and original compositions inspired by the iconic trumpeter. 7:30pm. $34.

MUSIC: The Levin Brothers Band @ the Van Dyck, Schenectady. Pete & Tony Levin join forces with reedman Erik Lawrence and drummer Jeff Seigel. 7 & 9pm. $22. GO HERE to read a recent review…

MUSIC: Elsa Nilsson @ the Madison Theater, Albany. The Swedish jazz flautist and her band make their Greater Nippertown concert debut. With Robert Lindquist. 7pm. $15. GO HERE to win FREE tickets…

FESTIVAL/COMEDY: High Mud Comedy Festival @ MASS MoCA, North Adams. Day One of the fest features headliner Aparna Nancherla with Erin Markey, Dave Hill, Maggie Crane, Ryan Shea, Thomas Attila Lewis, Mike Lebovitz, Thomas Attila Lewis. 7pm. $12; $10 student; $24 preferred. GO HERE for more info and the complete schedule…

MUSIC: John Mayer @ the Times Union Center, Albany. The pop/blues singer-songwriter-guitarist and founding member of Dead & Co. kicks off his The Search for Everything Tour in downtown Albany. 7:30pm. $35.75, $55.75, $75.75, $89.75.

MUSIC: The Zombies @ the Calvin Theatre, Northampton. The four original surviving members of the British Invasion band perform their classic album The Odessey & Oracle, plus a selection of hits and favorites from throughout their career. 8pm. $35, $49.50 & $65. UPDATE: Due to illness, this concert has been postponed to Wednesday, May 10…

MUSIC: Simone Dinnerstein @ Skidmore College’s Zankel Music Center, Saratoga Springs. The acclaimed pianist offers a solo recital of Schubert and Glass. 8pm. $8; $5 seniors; free for students & children.

MUSIC/FUNDRAISER: Robert A. & Mark Laustrup Scholarship and Brain Tumor Foundation Fundraiser @ Brown’s Brewing’s Revolution Hall, Troy. Music by the Kyle Bourgault Band. 7pm. $10.

ARTS WALK: Troy Night Out @ various locations, Troy. the theme of this month’s arts walk is “Hustle into Health & Wellness.” 5-9pm. FREE.

MUSIC: Bad Mothers @ the Hollow Bar + Kitchen, Albany. EP release party for Why Bother? With Sly Fox & the Hustlers and Lucy (formerly Better by Morning). 9pm. $12.

DANCE: Pilobolus Dance Theater @ The Egg, Albany. More than a dance company, Pilobolus Dance Theatre offers a spectacular, colorful display of movement, collaboratively creating, and continually exploring new ways of using the human body as a graphic and expressive medium. The internationally acclaimed collective presents a retrospective of its ground-breaking repertoire. 8pm. $34.

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LIVE: Rain on a Conga Drum: The Songs of Townes Van Zandt @ Caffe Lena, 3/4/17

March 30th, 2017, 4:00 pm by Greg

Review by Steven Stock

This tribute concert to legendary troubadour Townes Van Zandt was held three days prior to what would have been his 73rd birthday. Sadly, Van Zandt didn’t even make it to age 53, dying of cardiac arrhythmia on January 1, 1997, 44 years to the day after his idol Hank Williams. It doesn’t appear that Townes’ ghost made it to the concert either: the joint didn’t come close to running out of booze, and none of the lovely ladies in attendance ditched their respectable dates to take home a lanky, dark-haired, dashing stranger.

His songs live on, as do a litany of tall tales, plausible stories and unprintable jokes. A contradictory character, Van Zandt could be clinically depressed or irresistibly charming, withdrawing to indulge multiple addictions or stepping out as the life of the party. A near-capacity crowd at the refurbished Caffe Lena was given glimpses of all these facets and more, courtesy of the evening’s host Michael Eck, John & Orion Kribs, Cloud Lifter, The Sea The Sea and Van Zandt biographer John Kruth.

Eck performed a song with each line-up before turning the stage over to them, a device that proved effective in lending some continuity and coherence to the proceedings. Eck and the father-and-son Kribs duo opened with a lovely version of “Tecumseh Valley,” then Kruth on harmonica joined the trio for an ebullient (blue)grassed-up version of “White Freight Liner Blues.” The crowd sang along during the chorus of “Pancho and Lefty” transforming this outlaw country staple into something of a hymnal. The Kribs’ set concluded with “Waitin’ Around to Die” and “None But the Rain.”

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Jim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysCartoonist John CaldwellThe Cock'N'Bull RestaurantCaffe LenaHolly & EvanAdvertise on Nippertown!The LindaBerkshire On StageLeave Regular Radio BehindDennis Herbert Art