Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

LIVE: FreshGrass @ MASS MoCA, 9/19-21/14

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014
Emmylou Harris (photo by Kirsten Ferguson)

Emmylou Harris (photo by Kirsten Ferguson)

Photographs by Kirsten Ferguson, Bender Mellon

The fourth annual FreshGrass festival was a rousing success at MASS MoCA in North Adams last month. It’s truly amazing how quickly the festival has grown since its debut in 2011 when only a few hundred fans were in attendance.

Of course, much of its success has to do with the stellar line-up that graced the three main stages of the museum’s grounds. This year the three-day bluegrass and roots music festival featured a mind-bending amount of music, with more than 40 bands throughout the weekend, including Emmylou Harris, Railroad Earth, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn, Sam Bush, Hurray for the Riff Raff, the Infamous Stringdusters, Valerie June, the Duhks, Alison Brown, the David Grisman Sextet, Sam Amidon, Cricket Tell the Weather, the Novel Ideas, the Flying Garbanzos and many, many more.

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A Few More Minutes With… Roger Noyes of the Arch Stanton Quartet

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014
Roger Noyes

Roger Noyes

CD Review and interview by J Hunter
Photograph by Rudy Lu

THE ARCH STANTON QUARTET
Blues for Soli
(WEPA Records)

In hindsight, I may have done the Arch Stanton Quartet a disservice by referring to their stripped-out underground sound as “garage-band jazz.” All us grey-haired rockers can wax poetic about garage bands like the Music Explosion, the Count Five and – my favorite – the Standells serving up two minutes-and-change of nasty, uncultured excellence… but the Electric Prunes and the Count Five never had a chance to experience sophomore slump because they dropped out after the first semester! Well, the Arch Stanton Quartet is back with Blues For Soli, and there are two bits of good news: First, no sophomore slump here; and second, Greater Nippertown’s musical ambassadors are STILL as nasty as they want to be!

It was their short-but-intense tour of Egypt in 2013 that helped birth the disc’s first four tracks (also known as the “Lady Egypt Suite”), and there’s a definite intensity to the opening track “Kofta.” The introduction has this swirling, almost drunken quality to it that makes you wonder, “How bad will this trip be?” Then drummer Steven Partyka hits this sweet groove straight out of Freddie Hubbard’s “Red Clay,” and the ASQ is serving up the funk their way; that involves mixing whip-tight guitar from Roger Noyes with open, almost snarling trumpet from Terry Gordon (who is SO on his game throughout this date), while bassist Chris Macchia bows a counter that evokes Frankenstein skanking down the street while sipping from a bottle of schnapps.

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LIVE: Bear Grass @ Steamer No. 10 Theatre, 10/3/14

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014
Bear Grass

Bear Grass

Photographs by Timothy Reidy

The Steamer No. 10 Theatre in Albany hosted an all-Local 518 triple-bill earlier this month as part of its continuing Eclectic Performances concert series.

Led by Katie Hammon, Bear Grass held down the headlining slot. In addition to Hammon, the band featured Ian White,
 Stephen Stanley, 
Tommy Krebs 
and August Sagehorn (the latter two formerly of Alta Mira).

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CRBN’s Blues Band Showdown @ the Fuller Roadhouse Grille on Saturday

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

Blues Band ShowdownThe Capital Region Blues Network’s annual Blues Band Showdown will take place at the Fuller Roadhouse Grille in Albany at 7pm on Saturday (October 25).

The Blues Showdown pits four Local 518 blues bands against each other: Bent Rail Blues Band, Fade to Blues, JV & the Cutters and Sly Fox & the Hustlers. In addition, two acts will compete in the solo/duo category: Agape Blues Company and Leslie Barkman.

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LIVE: TriBeCaStan @ The Linda, 10/11/14

Monday, October 20th, 2014

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Review by J Hunter
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

If you want to set off one of my more epic rants, come at me with that old saw about “Smallbany” (“Oh, there’s NOTHING happening here…”), and then step back a few feet so you can watch me turn into the Tasmanian Devil without getting caught in the shock wave. It doesn’t take a lot of looking around to see the wealth of cultural goodness that’s coming to this area on a regular basis; I just wish more people had looked long enough to see TriBeCaStan was playing The Linda, because this eye-crossing music needs to be experienced.

“It’s great to be in Albania!” TriBeCaStan leader/multi-instrumentalist John Kruth enthused in a Borat-quality accent. Then he added drily, “We thought there might be more people in Albania…” The crowd may have been small, but their fervor for what this mammoth group dished out started big and grew exponentially. And I do mean mammoth, both in size and sound: A septet can put a pretty decent strain on The Linda’s limited stage space, and there were so many instruments and amplifiers stuffed onto that space, emcee Michael Eck had to play his opening solo-acoustic set on the floor in front of the stage. Mind you, most of those instruments were only played by two people – Kruth and his partner-in-madness Jeff Greene – but trust me, they all played a part in what I believe is a completely new genre: BIZARRO World Music!

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Upstate Concert Hall Announces Two Big New Concerts

Monday, October 20th, 2014

Although they’re not going to roll around on the calendar til March, the Upstate Concert Hall in Clifton Park has announced a pair of new concerts worth waiting for:

DROPKICK MURPHYS
With the Mahones and Blood or Whiskey
Monday, March 2, 8pm
Tickets: $30.50, on sale at 10am on Saturday (October 25)

ST. VINCENT
Saturday, March 7, 8pm
Tickets: $25 in advance; $28 at the door; on sale at 10am on Friday (October 24)

LIVE: Brett Dennen @ The Egg, 10/18/14

Monday, October 20th, 2014
Brett Dennon

Brett Dennon

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Pop singer-songwriter Brett Dennen went back to basics for his latest album, Smoke and Mirrors, so it was no surprise that the supporting tour, which made a stop at The Egg’s Swyer Theatre last weekend, was in the same vein – a solo acoustic concert. Accompanying himself on acoustic guitar, the red-head from northern California sported musical influences ranging from Paul Simon to Tom Petty to Neil Young, and the fans in the theater were enthusiastic, to say the least.

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Albany’s Madison Theatre Opens New Live Music Venue

Monday, October 20th, 2014

Move over, movies, and make way for some music…

Albany has a new venue for live music, and it’s at the Madison Theater. Of course, the Madison will continue screening films in its movie theaters, but in addition now there’s also a new 175-seat live entertainment venue featuring theater-style seating and state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems, making it a viable venue for concerts, comedy shows, lectures, classic and independent films, and other kinds of public and private events.

In addition, the venue’s second level features a recording studio that can be utilized for both on-stage and studio performances, as well as a VIP balcony that can accommodate up to 40 people.

The debut performance of the new performance space will take place at 8pm on Saturday (October 25) with a jazz concert by the Nancy & Spencer Reed Quartet also featuring tenor saxman Ed Ludwig and drummer Drew Sicilaiano. Doors open at 7:30pm, and admission is $18.

Of course, it’s not the first time that the Madison Theater has hosted concerts. Back in the early ’80s when it was still a single-screen theater, the Madison presented a number of concerts by the likes of British prog-rockers UK, the Byrds’ spin-off McGuinn, Clark & Hillman and, yes, even Talking Heads.

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