By Greg Haymes
You could call it Best Bets or Top Tips or whatever. We call it The Dozen, whereby we offer a monthly round-up of 12 (or so) of the shows around Nippertown that have got us jazzed the most. One entry per venue. Of course, your results may vary, so please feel free to weigh in on what you think we missed.
Here’s The Dozen for the month of April:
FRIDAY (APRIL 3): Robert Randolph & the Family Band @ Putnam Den, Saratoga Springs. The pedal steel master gets back to his roots on his latest album, Lickety Split, firing up everything from soulful sacred steel jams to blistering blues-rock. With the Dave Spadaro Group, in support of their new self-titled album. 9pm. $25; $30 if under age 21.
SATURDAY (APRIL 4): Tal National @ the Half Moon, Hudson. By the time the African band Tal National reached international acclaim with 2013’s Kaani (their first release outside of Niger), they had spent more than a decade criss-crossing their native country, usually on dirt pathways through the Sahara, playing epic five-hour sets, seven days a week and selling their CDs on street corners. Now they’re headed to Hudson in support of their new album, Zoy Zoy. With DJ Effie Asili. 8pm. $10.
SATURDAY (APRIL 4): Nellie McKay @ the Van Dyck, Schenectady. The sweet and quirky alt-pop singer-songwriter continues to confound with her brand new album, My Weekly Reader, a collection of ’60s covers that includes such off-the-wall selections as Moby Grape’s “Murder in My Heart for the Judge” and Frank Zappa’s “Hungry Freaks Daddy.” 6:30 & 8:30pm. $22 in advance; $26 at the door. ALSO at Club Helsinki in Hudson at 8pm on Sunday, April 5 ($25 in advance; $30 at the door).
SATURDAY (APRIL 4): Preservation Hall Jazz Band @ Bearsville Theater, Woodstock. There’s no better way to kick off April as Jazz Appreciation Month than with the New Orleans torchbearers of the traditional sound. With Jay Collins & the Kings County Band. 9pm. $35, $55, $65 & $79.