12/10/17: Today’s Top Tips: Sunday

December 10th, 2017, 7:00 am by Greg

MUSIC: The Victor Wooten Trio @ The Egg, Albany. The bassist extraordinaire, founding member of Bela Fleck & the Flecktones and five-time Grammy Award winner is worth the price of admission all by himself. But he’s upping the ante with drummer Dennis Chambers and saxophonist Bob Franceschini for a spirited evening of jazz, funk and improvisational music. 7:30pm. $36.

MUSIC: Sexmob @ The Falcon, Marlboro. Slide trumpeter Steven Bernstein and his band – saxophonist Briggan Krauss, bassist Tony Scherr and drummer Kenny Wollesen – celebrate 20 years and the release of their new album, Cultural Capital. 8pm. Donations encouraged.

MUSIC: The Empty Pockets @ Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs. The vibrant and tightly-tuned pop band from Chicago – hailed by Rolling Stone as “polished yet rootsy” – takes you on a rockin’ sleigh ride through the holiday classics you know and love, along with charming originals to put you in the holiday spirit. 7pm. $18.

MUSIC: The Blind Boys of Alabama @ Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington. The legendary gospel greats raise their voices in a Christmas show, as well as songs from their vast catalog and selections from their new album, Almost Home. Joined by the Preservation Hall Legacy Horns. 7pm. $30, $52 & $67. GO HERE to read an interview…

FUNDRAISER: Cohoes Proud @ the Black Cat Ale House, Cohoes. A benefit event for those affected by the recent downtown fire. 11am-8pm with live music by Hit-N-Run and FM beginning at 5pm.

MUSIC: The McKrells @ Hubbard Hall, Cambridge. Kevin McKrell and company celebrate the season with their one-of-a-kind Christmas show. 4pm. $25; students $15.

MUSIC: Albany Symphony Orchestra @ Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy. “1786: Mozart’s Miraculous Year” features “Marriage of Figaro, Overture and Selections,” “Piano Concerto No. 23” and “Piano Concerto No. 24.” 3pm.

MUSIC: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Holiday Concert @ EMPAC at RPI, Troy. The Rensselaer Orchestra and the Rensselaer Concert Choir present a semi-staged version of Edvard Grieg’s “Peer Gynt” with the aid of puppets and live video projection. 3pm. FREE.

MUSIC: Philip B. Price @ the Parlor Room, Northampton. The lead singer for winterpills celebrates the release of 12 solo albums. 7pm. $13.

THEATER: “She Loves Me” @ Capital Repertory Theatre, Albany. The romantic musical is a Broadway classic with six Tony nominations garnered by its recent NYC revival. Directed by Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill, the show features a book by Joe Masteroff, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick and music by Jerry Bock. 2pm. Through Sunday, December 24. GO HERE to read review…

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12/9/17: Today’s Top Tips: Saturday

December 9th, 2017, 8:49 am by Greg

MUSIC: Joe Henry @ Levon Helm Studios, Woodstock. In support of his new album, Thrum, the super singer-songwriter-producer brings along his whole band – Jay Bellerose, Dave Piltch, Patrick Warren and Levon Henry. With Rose Cousins. 8pm. $35 & $20.

MUSIC: The Blind Boys of Alabama @ Cohoes Music Hall, Cohoes. The legendary gospel greats raise their voices in a Christmas show, as well as songs from their vast catalog and selections from their new album, Almost Home. 8pm. $37.50, $42.50 & $51.50. GO HERE to read an interview…

FESTIVAL/MUSIC: SKI-QX Winter Music Festival @ Stratton Mountain Resort, Stratton Mountain. Lovelytheband, the Rebel Light, Northern Faces, Wild Adriatic, JD McPherson, Brian Fallon and Juiceboxxx rock the mountain just as the first snow of the season rolls in. 3pm. $30. GO HERE for more info and the complete schedule of bands…

MUSIC: David Bromberg @ The Egg’s Swyer Theatre, Albany. A solo show. With a solo performance by dobro virtuoso Jerry Douglas, too. 8pm. $36.

THEATER: “A Star Has Burnt My Eye” @ Skidmore College’s JKB Theater, Saratoga Springs. Last chance! A multimedia theatrical meditation on the life and music of Elizabeth “Connie” Converse, who some have taken to calling “the first singer songwriter.” A prototype of the DIY artist, Converse wrote and self-recorded an extraordinary collection of songs in the early 1950s before deliberately vanishing years later in despair of ever finding her audience. The show features a group of New York musicians, led by playwright-composer Howard Fishman, who perform her songs, read from her letters, and make the case for Converse’s particular genius, and her belated status as a great lost American artist. 8pm. $18; seniors $12.

MUSIC: Albany Symphony Orchestra @ Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy. “1786: Mozart’s Miraculous Year” features “Marriage of Figaro, Overture and Selections,” “Piano Concerto No. 23” and “Piano Concerto No. 24.” 7:30pm. Also at 3pm Sunday.

MUSIC: Ellis Paul @ Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs. Having performed more than 5,000 shows over the course of the past 25 years, the singer-songwriter and 15-time Boston Music Award winner will perform a family show at 2pm, as well as his regular evening show at 8pm.

COMEDY: Trevor Noah @ the Palace Theatre, Albany. The host of “The Daily Show” brings his stand-up skills to the Palace stage. 7pm. $39.50, $49.50, $69.50 & $85. UPDATE: This show is now officially sold out…

EVENT/FUNDRAISER: Cohoes Winterfest @ Spindles on Remsen, Cohoes. The fourth annual fest features music by Rick Surano & 1-4-5 and Spancil Hill. 1pm. FREE.

MUSIC: Bill Kirchen @ the Hangar on the Hudson, Troy. The Titan of the Telecaster and his band bring his annual Honky Tonk Holiday show back to the Collar City. 8pm. $20. GO HERE for a sample…

MUSIC: Chris Pasin & Friends @ Hudson Hall, Hudson. The jazz trumpeter celebrates the release of his new album Baby It’s Cold Outside (Planet Arts) in concert with Patricia Dalton Fennell (vocals), Armen Donelian (piano), Ira Coleman (bass) and Jeff Siegel (drums). 7pm.

THEATER: “A Christmas Carol” @ Ryan’s Wake, Troy. The Collar City Players bring a staged reading of Charles Dickens’ classic Christmas story to the pubs
of Greater Nippertown. 12noon. $10.

MUSIC: Garland Jeffreys @ The Linda, Albany. The veteran NYC rocker is joined by guitarist JJ Jordan and keyboardist Charly Roth to play songs from throughout his long career as well his latest album, 14 Steps to Harlem. 8pm. $18.

BURLESQUE: Roxxi Tart’s 1920’s Burlesque Revue @ Hudson Harbor Steak and Seafood, Albany. A night of fun-filled hi-jinx-infused burlesque from the golden age of jazz. 8pm. $20.

MUSIC: OWEL @ the Low Beat, Albany. With Parallel, Perfect Score and Imaginary Friends. 6:30pm. $12.

MUSIC: Enter the Haggis @ Putnam Den, Saratoga Springs. Canadian Celtic rockers. With Black Mountain Symphony. 9pm. $15.

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Sounds o’ the Season: Bill Kirchen’s “Daddy’s Drinkin’ Up Our Christmas”

December 8th, 2017, 2:00 pm by Greg

The tradition continues. Yes, he’s comin’ back to Greater Nippertown for yet another Honky Tonk Holiday…

Titan of the Telecaster Bill Kirchen and his band return to Troy for their annual holiday bash at the Hangar on the Hudson at 8pm on Saturday (December 9). Don’t be surprised if a few special guests drop by, either. Tickets are $20.

MORE SOUNDS O’ THE SEASON:
Reverend Horton Heat’s “Run Rudolph Run”
Jim Brickman’s “Christmas Where You Are”

12/8/17: Today’s Top Tips: Friday

December 8th, 2017, 7:04 am by Greg

FILM/MUSIC: A Thousand Thoughts: A Live Documentary @ MASS MoCA’s Hunter Center, North Adams. Documentarian Sam Green pairs up with the legendary Kronos Quartet for this work-in-progress film-and-live-music meeting of the minds. Green’s film tells the adventurous string quartet’s 40-plus year story, and they provide a live score in the flesh. 8pm. $40 & $54.

MUSIC: Horton’s Holiday Hayride @ Colony, Woodstock. Reverend Horton Heat heats up the holidays with a rollickin’, all-star, roots-rockin’ line-up – including Junior Brown, The Blasters and Big Sandy – guaranteed to have you rockin’ around the Christmas tree all night long. 7pm. $50. GO HERE for more…

MUSIC: Crew Love @ the Times Union Center, Albany. Hip-hop extravaganza featuring DMX, Drag-On, Jim Jones, Juelz Santana, Lloyd Banks, Young Buck, Tony Yayo, Freeway, Beanie Sigel, Peedi Crakk, Young Gunz. 8pm. $35, $45, $75, $100 & $150.

MUSIC: Bendt @ the Hangar on the Hudson, Troy. Celebrating the release of the band’s new self-titled, limited-edition 12″ vinyl EP. With Good Fiction and Girl Blue. 8pm. $12.

THEATER: “A Star Has Burnt My Eye” @ Skidmore College’s JKB Theater, Saratoga Springs. A multimedia theatrical meditation on the life and music of Elizabeth “Connie” Converse, who some have taken to calling “the first singer songwriter.” A prototype of the DIY artist, Converse wrote and self-recorded an extraordinary collection of songs in the early 1950s before deliberately vanishing years later in despair of ever finding her audience. The show features a group of New York musicians, led by playwright-composer Howard Fishman, who perform her songs, read from her letters, and make the case for Converse’s particular genius, and her belated status as a great lost American artist. 8pm. $18; seniors $12. Through Saturday.

MUSIC: Reelin’ in the Years @ the Van Dyck, Schenectady. Led by Scott Peitio, Hudson Valley all-stars pay tribute to the music of Steely Dan. 7 & 9pm. $24.

MUSIC: Mohammad Reza Mortazavi @ EMPAC at RPI, Troy. 7:30pm. UPDATE: The concert by the virtuoso Iranian hand drummer has been cancelled – for the second time – due to visa-processing delays stemming from current federal immigration policy.

MUSIC: Darlingside @ The Egg’s Swyer Theatre, Albany. Darlingside’s unique vocal harmonies and blend of folk, bluegrass and chamber music earned the band the Artist of the Year award from the Folk Alliance. With Front Country. 8pm. $34.

MUSIC: The Holiday Folk Show @ Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs. Snow or no snow, it’s time to kick this holiday season into high gear, and Lena’s annual celebration – featuring John Kirk, Trish Miller, David Kiphuth, Addie & Olin and Sara Milonovich – should do the trick. 8pm. $22. UPDATE: This show is now officially sold out…

MUSIC: Savoy Brown @ the Upper Room, Albany. Veteran British blues-rock guitarslinger Kim Simmonds and his band celebrate the release of their latest album, Witchy Feelin’, and the 50th anniversary of their classic Shake Down. Doors open at 7pm. $20 & $35.

MUSIC: The Orchestra of St. Luke’s @ Bethesda Episcopal Church, Saratoga Springs. Presented by SPAC, the orchestra performs Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos. 7pm. $20.

MUSIC: Action Bronson @ Upstate Concert Hall, Clifton Park. Rap’s premier hip-hop foodie brings his Blue Chips 7000 Tour to town. With Mayhem Lauren. 8pm. $30.

FESTIVAL/MUSIC: SKI-QX Winter Music Festival @ Stratton Mountain Resort, Stratton Mountain. Featuring Made Violent, Banners and Juiceboxxx. 8pm. $20. GO HERE for more info and the complete fest schedule…

MUSIC: These Are the Breaks: A Celebration of Hip-Hop @ Skidmore College’s Tang Museum, Saratoga Springs. Skidmore’s rappers, DJs and dance groups – including 213 Crew, Quo, Skidmore DJ Club, Detailmadeit, TOMO, DJ gold guts – are joined by members of Siena College’s Hip-Hop Club. 8pm. FREE.

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“A Christmas Carol” Opens at Home Made Theater [Berkshire on Stage]

December 7th, 2017, 2:00 pm by Greg

Home Made Theater begins their holiday season with Charles Dickens’ classic tale, A Christmas Carol. The show runs weekends from Friday (December 8) through Sunday, December 17 at SPAC’s Spa Little Theater in Saratoga Springs.

This holiday favorite is the story of the penny-pinching Ebenezer Scrooge and the loving family of his hapless employee Bob Cratchit. One cold Christmas Eve three ghosts take Scrooge on a journey to show him the error of his ways by visiting his past, present and future. Scrooge comes to
know the meaning of kindness, charity and goodwill.

The director of A Chistmas Carol is Dianne O’Neill Filer, who most recently directed Calendar Girls at HMT. The cast includes HMT veterans Marilyn Detmer as the Narrator, Charles Fitz-Gerald as Marley, Mark Todaro as Bob Cratchit, Rick Wissler as Mr. Fezziwig, Susan Dantz as Mrs. Fezziwig and Byron Turner as Fred. Newcomers to HMT include Warren Schultz as Scrooge, Samantha Levy as Mrs. Crachit and Emma Jordan as Tiny Tim.

Click here to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage

A FEW MINUTES WITH… Kim Simmonds of Savoy Brown

December 7th, 2017, 1:00 pm by Greg

By Don Wilcock

To say Savoy Brown – appearing at Albany’s Upper Room on Friday night – is a hybrid would be an understatement both in terms of where they call home and in their style. Formed by Welsh guitarist Kim Simmonds in London in 1965, the group snuck onto the scene at the tail end of the British invasion and, like John Mayall, remained true to their American blues roots while their predecessors like the Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, Led Zeppelin and The Animals crossed over to a new breed of pop and became rock superstars who would define the direction of hard rock for decades to come. For the last 40 years, they’ve been based out New York’s southern tier.

There really were few venues for a blues band to play in London after the initial flood of bands went pop. “We were a London band, and London was all dance music,” says Simmonds. “You’d go to the Marquee Club, and it wasn’t even R&B anymore. It had gone into another thing altogether, very pop. We were a blues band. We played slow blues all night. Hardly going to get you a booking at a dance club. So, I would modify (our sound).”

Savoy Brown was and remains an anomaly in several other aspects of their 52-year career. When Simmonds started out, he played a Flying V guitar like Albert King and Lonnie Mack, two artists the Brits knew nothing about. “It was all in the vibrato with guitar players. It was like Otis Rush, B.B. King and people like that. Eric Clapton, all those guys. We can noodle forever, but then all they’ve gotta do is hit that one note.”

As late-coming blues “purists” to the British Invasion scene, the band became more popular in the United States than in Great Britain in the late ’60s and early ’70s leading Kim Simmonds to relocate here in New York State 40 years ago. He has put together several versions of the band with regional musicians and lived in Oswego for 25 years.

And while many of the British bands changed personnel over the years, there are more than 60 musicians who can call themselves alumni of Savoy Brown. And you thought John Mayall mentored a lot of musicians!

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Sounds o’ the Season: Rev. Horton Heat’s “Run Rudolph Run”

December 7th, 2017, 11:00 am by Greg

Rev. Horton Heat heats up the holidays with Horton’s Holiday Hayride at Colony in Woodstock at 7pm on Friday (December 8).

The Rev has gathered together a rollickin’ roots-rockin’ line-up guaranteed to have you rockin’ around the Christmas tree all night long, including Junior Brown, The Blasters and Big Sandy. Tickets are $50.

MORE SOUNDS O’ THE SEASON:
Jim Brickman’s “Christmas Where You Are”

12/7/17: Today’s Top Tips: Thursday

December 7th, 2017, 7:00 am by Greg

MUSIC: Keller Williams @ The Egg’s Swyer Theatre, Albany. The singer, songwriter and guitarist performs his unique mix of folk, bluegrass, reggae and rock accompanied by Danton Boller on double bass for a “loopless” yet super funky evening of acoustic music. 7:30pm. $29.50.

THEATER: “A Star Has Burnt My Eye” @ Skidmore College’s JKB Theater, Saratoga Springs. A multimedia theatrical meditation on the life and music of Elizabeth “Connie” Converse, who some have taken to calling “the first singer songwriter.” A prototype of the DIY artist, Converse wrote and self-recorded an extraordinary collection of songs in the early 1950s before deliberately vanishing years later in despair of ever finding her audience. The show features a group of New York musicians, led by playwright-composer Howard Fishman, who perform her songs, read from her letters, and make the case for Converse’s particular genius, and her belated status as a great lost American artist. 8pm. $18; seniors $12. Through Saturday.

EVENT: TEDxAlbany @ Overit, Albany. Featured speakers include Tim Sarrantonio (Rewiring how we make good happen), David King (Finding my father, finding myself), Meg Wilkinson (Fit women and ovarian cancer), Jene Luciani (Stop the hate: Learning to love our bodies and the bras they’re in), Nico Meyering (Dis-ABLE-d), James Ketterer (What I learned about democracy at home by observing elections) and more. 9am. $75. Also available on live stream…

COMEDY: Jim Breuer @ the Funny Bone, Guilderland. “Saturday Night Live” alum, heavy metal fan and stand-up comedian. 7pm. UPDATE: This show is now officially sold out…

MUSIC: Honey Slider @ McGeary’s Pub, Albany. 7:30pm.

MUSIC: The McKrells @ the Strand Theater, Hudson Falls. The McKrells’ Christmas Show. 7pm.

MUSIC: Off With Their Heads @ the Low Beat, Albany. With Mobina Galore and Boxer Brown. 8pm. $10.

MUSIC: Rodeo Barons @ One Caroline Street Bistro, Saratoga Springs. 8pm.

MUSIC: The Williams Jazz Repertory Ensemble @ Williams College’s Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall, Williamstown. “Miles Ahead” is an all-Miles Davis program, spanning six decades of innovative jazz classics and lesser known pieces with fresh arrangements and instrumentation. 7pm. FREE.

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