Archive for the ‘Be Here Now: Previews’ Category

“The unCivil War”: A Bluegrass Musical Comedy, Cabaret Style [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, June 24th, 2016
The cabaret show features J. Robert Spencer as Lincoln and Brian Charles Rooney as Mary Todd

The cabaret show features J. Robert Spencer as Lincoln and Brian Charles Rooney as Mary Todd

At the Wood Theater in Glens Falls, the Adirondack Theatre Festival’s 22nd summer season continues this weekend with its cabaret series featuring the return of The unCivil War in a special concert performance. This special event will feature an updated script and score, with changes made based on reactions of ATF audiences from last summer’s performance, complete with multiple new songs and scenes. The concert performances will be held at 7:30pm on Sunday and Monday (June 26 & 27).

150 years after the final gunshot, the Civil War’s six lone survivors grab their banjos, washboards and what’s left of their sanity to retell the story of the infamous conflict…as it really happened. Complete with singing, dancing, outrageous humor and biting historical satire, The unCivil War is a wild, bluegrass-fueled ride that re-examines one of the country’s darkest moments and sheds a hilarious new light on the leaders we’ve long considered heroes.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.


6/24/16: Today’s Top Tips: Friday

Friday, June 24th, 2016

MUSIC: Miranda Lambert @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs. The country music queen rolls into the bus into the Spa City as part of her Keeper of the Flame Tour. With Kip Moore and Brothers Osborne. 7:30pm. $44.75 & $64.75; $30 lawn.

FESTIVAL/MUSIC: Old Songs Festival @ Altamont Fairgrounds, Altamont. Greater Nippertown’s annual family-friendly, interactive three-day folk fest kicks off today with main stage performances by Moonshine Holler, Nanne & Ankie, Ustad Shafaat Khan, Anne Hills, Annie & the Hedonists, Matthew Byrne, Kim & Reggie Harris and Cassie & Maggie MacDonald. 3:30pm workshops; 6:30pm main stage concert. GO HERE for more info and a day-by-day schedule of the main stage concerts…

MUSIC: The Pat Travers Band @ Riverfront Park, Athens. GO HERE for more details and the complete concert series schedule…

COMEDY: Jon Lovitz @ the Funny Bone, Guilderland. The “Saturday Night Live” alum brings his stand-up show to town for a three-night run. 7:30pm. $30. Through Saturday.

MUSIC: Brian Patneaude Quartet @ the Savoy Taproom, Albany. An evening of jazz featuring George Muscatello (guitar), Rich Syracuse (bass), Jeff “Siege” Siegel (drums) and Brian Patneaude (saxophone). 8pm.

OPERA: “Le Nozze di Figaro” @ SPAC’s Spa Little Theater, Saratoga Springs. Mozart’s classic “Marriage of Figaro” kicks off Opera Saratoga’s 2016 season. 7:30pm.

MUSIC: Sean Rowe @ Dali-Mamma, Albany. 6pm. $50, includes food, wine, drinks.

MUSIC: The Black Feathers @ Cock ‘N Bull, Galway. 8:30pm. $10.

MUSIC: The Graham Tichy Band @ the Ruck, Troy. 7pm.

MUSIC: Rick Rourke & Lost Wages @ McGeary’s Pub, Albany. Rick Rourke leads Denny Dwyer, Leo Kachidurian and Lucas Ruedy on the patio for some blues, Americana and acoustic soul. 7:30pm. FREE.

ARTS WALK: Troy Night Out @ various locations, Troy. This month’s theme? Candyland! 5-9pm. FREE.


The Suitcase Junket: A 21st Century One Man Band [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016
The Suitcase Junket

The Suitcase Junket

Photograph by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Artist, tinkerer, tunesmith, Swamp Yankee — The Suitcase Junket is a one-man salvage specialist with an unorthodox approach to his craft: singing into the hollow of a Dumpster guitar and railing on a box of twisted forks and bones. He belts out mountain ballads ‘til the house sings back. On at 8pm on Saturday (June 25), FreshGrass presents the Suitcase Junket in his MASS MoCA debut.

Pulling his moniker from the luggage he sits on to perform, the Suitcase Junket’s (given name: Matt Lorenz) music spans from soft folk-rock to punk-infused blues, while his knack for soaring throat-singing contrasts with his aggressive strumming and baby-shoe kick drum. With raw, lo-fi instrumentation yielding impressively large results, his sound is an achievement — you’d never imagine the music coming from just one player. Lorenz’s songs form a colorful sonic palette that serves as an exemplar of innovation in the folk genre — exactly what FreshGrass looks for in its performers. No Depression says his songwriting is “crafted and honed, not strewn about” with “a tinge of Waits and a hint of Dylan, in both vocal styling and social consciousness.”

The Suitcase Junket already has three studio albums to his name — Sever and Lift (2009), Knock It Down (2011), and Make Time (2015) — in addition to his recently released EP Dying Star (March 2016), on the Northampton-based Signature Sounds label. Lorenz has shared the stage with Los Lobos, Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds, and Jackie Greene, and has toured extensively throughout the U.S. as the Suitcase Junket, winning hearts wherever he rolls into town.

Click here to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage

A FEW MINUTES WITH… Shemekia Copeland

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

By Don Wilcock

On Saturday afternoon the Queen of the Blues plays the king of the Greater Nippertown jazz festivals, the 39th annual Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

In 2012 Cookie Taylor – daughter of the original Queen of the Blues, Koko Taylor – presented Shemekia Copeland with her late mom’s title. Two weeks ago Shemekia was the Friday night headliner at the Chicago Blues Festival during the Alligator Records 45th Anniversary celebration. Last week, her latest album, Outskirts of Love, was nominated for Best Blues Album of 2015 by the readers of Living Blues Magazine.

At 37 years old, this firecracker of a blues shouter is steeped in a tradition that has dominated her life since the day she was born in Harlem, April 10, 1979.

She’s the daughter of Grammy Award-winning Johnny Clyde Copeland, a Texas triangle blues singer and guitarist who was in the audience in 1954, the night Johnny Ace killed himself backstage playing Russian roulette. Copeland would go on to tour with Albert Collins, Big Mama Thornton and Freddie King. He was one of the first artists to cover Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” in 1965, and in 1984 he did a 10-country tour of West Africa where he encountered people dancing in the trees. “It looked like the whole world was shaking and all you could hear was music,” he recalled. “It was the closest thing I saw to the blues because it was coming from the soul.” In the early ’80s he played many gigs in and around Greater Nippertown, telling me at the time, “I try to put 100% of me into everything I do. Not 99, 100! Whether it’s 20 people, 100 people, 1,000 people or just one.”

Shemekia has Johnny’s genes. She first joined her dad on stage at age six. “I was nervous all along,” she admits today. “I didn’t even want to sing in front of my family. It was like, oh, my God, you know? And that’s just insecurity. God, I love being an adult. I say it all the time. I’m so grateful for growing up because when you are comfortable with who you are, and you are comfortable with yourself and you are comfortable with what you are saying and what you are putting out in the universe, it just makes getting up on the stage that much more easy. You get to a certain age where you just – know what? I’m gonna say this anyhow, (laughs) and then you decide how you feel about it, but I’m gonna tell you how I feel. It’s a wonderful feeling.”


6/23/16: Today’s Top Tips: Thursday

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

MUSIC: Fitz & the Tantrums @ Upstate Concert Hall, Clifton Park. In support of their new self-titled album released earlier this month, Fitz & Co. are back at UCH to whip up a bona fide dance party. With Finish Ticket. 8:30pm. $28.

MUSIC: Tony! Toni! Tone! @ Tricentennial Park, Albany. The Alive at Five concert series continues with the ’80s & ’90s R&B group. With Tameka Amar (of Funk Evolution). 5pm. FREE. GO HERE for more info and the complete concert series schedule…

MUSIC: Off the Record @ McGeary’s Pub, Albany. Led by the bee-hived thrush Joanna Palladino, Greater Nippertown’s premier lounge-rock trio keeps the fun rolling along for the Alive at Five after-party. 7pm. FREE.

MUSIC: Rodrigo y Gabriela @ The Egg, Albany. The internationally acclaimed Mexican acoustic rock guitar duo bring their unique instrumental blend of metal, jazz and world music to the stage. With Ryan Sheridan. 8pm. $46.50-$56.50.

MUSIC: Michelle Shocked @ Putnam Den, Saratoga Springs. The Grammy nominee launches her four-show Spa City residency with a performance of her classic album Short Sharp Shocked in its entirety – backed by her band, 1000 Yard, featuring Josh Chambers and Lucas Ruedy. With Dryer. 9pm. $20. GO HERE for more info…

COMEDY: Jon Lovitz @ the Funny Bone, Guilderland. The “Saturday Night Live” alum brings his stand-up show to town for a three-night run. 7:30pm. $30. Through Saturday.

MUSIC: Lucky Jukebox Brigade @ the Hangar on the Hudson, Troy. With Able Thought and Ragliacci. 8pm. $10.

MUSIC: Annie & the Hedonists @ Jay Street, Schenectady. The lunchtime Jazz On Jay concert series continues with one of Greater Nippertown’s most eclectic bands. 12noon. FREE. GO HERE for more info and the complete concert series schedule…

MUSIC: Laney Jones & the Spirits @ Club Helsinki, Hudson. The Boston-based rock singer-songwriter and her band serve up experimental sounds mixed with bluegrass textures and rock ‘n’ roll rhythms, all tied together by Jones’s sensual, alluring vocals. With Chops & Sauerkraut featuring Teddy Weber of the Wiyos on steel guitar 8pm. $15.

MUSIC: Big Fez & the Surfmatics @ Wiswall Park, Ballston Spa. Cowabunga! It’s the kick-off concert of Ballston Spa’s annual summer concert series. 6pm. FREE. GO HERE for more info and the complete concert series schedule…


FREE: Music in the Park @ Catskill’s Dutchman’s Landing

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016

Dutchman Landing in Catskill will once again be hosting Music in the Park, a free summer concert series with shows at 7pm every Thursday through the beginning of September.

The series kicks off on Thursday (June 23) with the Coxsackie-Athens Community Band and the Saugerties Community Band.

In the case on inclement weather, the concert will be moved indoors at the historic Catskill Point.

Here’s the schedule for the 2016 concert series at Catskill’s Dutchman’s Landing:


Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Kicks Off 2016 @ Jacob’s Pillow [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016
Craig Black and Emily Proctor of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet (photo: Rosalie O’Connor)

Craig Black and Emily Proctor of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet (photo: Rosalie O’Connor)

Jacob’s Pillow in Becket launches its 84th annual season today (June 22) with the exciting contemporary dance company Aspen Santa Fe Ballet presenting a diverse program in the Ted Shawn Theatre through Sunday (June 26).

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet is dually-based in New Mexico and Colorado and led by Artistic Director Tom Mossbrucker and Executive Director Jean-Philippe Malaty. Exhibiting masterful technique and powerful performances, the company brings stirring works by a roster of esteemed choreographers including Alejandro Cerrudo’s Silent Ghost, Fernando Melo’s Re:play and Cayetano Soto’s Huma Rojo.

“I am thrilled to welcome Aspen Santa Fe Ballet back to the Pillow, where they are so beloved by our audiences,” says Jacob’s Pillow Director Pamela Tatge. “The breadth and diversity of the program promises something for everyone and a fabulous opening week for Festival 2016.”

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage

COMIN’ SOON: New Concert Announcements

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016

By Greg Haymes

Former Kiss guitar great Ace Frehley and his band (featuring former Nippertonian Chris Wyse on bass) rumble into the Upstate Concert Hall in Clifton Park at 8pm on Saturday, October 8. Tickets are $25 in advance; $28 at the door. And Pennywise takes the stage on Saturday, October 15, performing About Time in its entirety and more. Support acts include Strung Out, Unwritten Law and Runaway Kids. Tickets are $20 in advance; $23 at the door. Tickets for both shows go on sale at 10am on Friday (June 24). Newly announced shows already on sale at UCH include Twiztid with Mac Lethal, Zodiac and Mprint at 7pm on Tuesday, October 18 ($22 in advance; $25 at the door), as well as Clutch with Zakk Sabbath (Zakk Wylde performing an all-Black Sabbath set) and Kyng at 8pm on Saturday, October 29 ($29 in advance; $32 at the door).

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall announced two new concerts – the Texas troubadour double-bill of Lyle Lovett with Robert Earl Keen, as well as a night songs by the blues great Willie Dixon performed by Big Head Todd with Mud Morganfield, Billy Branch and Ronnie Baker Brooks. Tickets go on sale to the general public at 10am on Friday (June 24).

Apparently three upcoming shows at Putnam Den aren’t enough for Michelle Shocked, so she’s added a fourth show at Newberry Music Hall in Saratoga Springs at 9pm on Saturday, July 23. Tickets are on sale now, priced at $20.

CHANGES: At Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Chaka Khan has cancelled her headlining appearance scheduled for Saturday (June 25); the Isley Brothers have been tapped as her replacement. GO HERE for the complete updated performance schedule of dates and start times for each band…

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Quite a few new free summer concert series have been announced in the past week, and the Riverlink Park concert series in Amsterdam is one of the best of them with a line-up that includes the Revelers, the Lustre Kings with Billy Eli, Roomful of Blues, the Caleb Klauder Country Band, Mariachi Flor de Toloache, Robin & Linda Williams and more.

The Record Company spins into Albany’s Hollow Bar + Kitchen at 9pm on Thursday, October 20. Priced at $15 in advance; $17 at the door, tickets go on sale at 10am on Friday (June 24).

CHANGE OF VENUE: Kiss tribute band Kiss Army was originally slated to play the Palace Theatre on Saturday night (June 25), but due to “unforeseen circumstances” the show has been downsized to the Hollow Bar + Kitchen just down the street. Palace tickets will be valid at the Hollow.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: And another first-rate free summer concert series takes place at Riverfront Park in Athens, where such national acts as the Pat Travers Band, the Artimus Pyle Band, the Weight, Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes and more are all scheduled to play.


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