Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

BEST OF 2014: J Hunter’s Top 10 Concerts (And More)

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

Netsayi @ MASS MoCA’s Courtyard Café, 7/19/14

Story and photograph by J Hunter

I actually cut down on my concert diet this year; that means I only went to 36 shows as opposed to 45 or 50! Therefore, all the usual jokes aside, your experience may really vary from mine. Nevertheless, the artists I did see definitely deserve some recognition, and I’m sure the people who shared these experiences will agree with me – mainly because they were applauding as loud as I was at the time.

As usual, I have a couple of bowling trophies to hand out before we do the thing…

THE LOCAL HERO AWARD (Venue Division) goes to… MASS MoCA
I mean, come on! Between the Hunter Center, Club B-10, and the newly minted Courtyard Café (let alone the space they give to FreshGrass), I think our neighbor to the east covered pretty much every musical genre there is, and may have invented a few new ones along the way. MASS MoCA’s musical curators think just as far outside the box as the museum’s artistic curators, which almost guarantees a new experience with every show; that said, they mastered the lesson EMPAC needs to learn that “experimental” and “fun” are not mutually exclusive terms or states-of-mind. Here’s to the hosts of Solid Sound 2015! WHOO HOO!

This primo NYC-based altoist hadn’t been seen in Greater Nippertown for several years before she made two knockout appearances in 2014 with two of our best local outfits. First she got on Michael Benedict & Bopitude’s front line with Chris Pasin and Brian Patneaude and blew the doors off the Daily Grind in Troy; then she appeared alongside fellow sax mavens Claire Daly and Ada Rovatti in a fire-breathing appearance with the Empire Jazz Orchestra at the Colonial Theatre as the anchor concert for the Pittsfield City Jazz Festival. Come back soon, Sharel – and next time, we want to see your band, with your music!

Okay, as Chris Hardwick once said, “That means it’s time to get down with the clown! IT’S ‘FOR THE WIN!’”



SPAC Announces First Jazz Fest Performer for 2015

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

Acclaimed trumpeter, composer and bandleader Theo Croker will perform with his band at the 38th annual Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival at Saratoga Performing Arts Center on Saturday, June 27.

The grandson of jazz legend Doc Cheatham, the 29-year-old Croker is among the most highly regarded trumpeters of his generation. His musical training has taken him from Jacksonville, Florida to Oberlin, Ohio to Shanghai, China to New York City, along the way developing his unique musical style including elements of salsa, rock, R&B, blues and hip-hop.

Croker will perform at SPAC’s jazz fest in support of his latest album, The AfroPhysicist, released earlier this year.

The annual Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival will be held at SPAC in Saratoga Springs on Saturday & Sunday, June 27 & 28.

Capital Area Music Awards Are Cancelled

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

The 2014 Cammys are cancelled.

The Capital Area Music Awards – trying out the new nickname “the Cammys” – are no more.

After an inaugural celebration at Trick Shot Billiards & Sports Pub in Clifton Park in November of 2013 (back when they were nicknamed the Jammys), the second annual event was scheduled to take place at The Linda in Albany at 5pm on Sunday, January 25.

“We’re working hard to present a night of musical community,” the event’s organizer Dan Coler said on the Cammys’ website.

But on Wednesday night (December 17) – two days after the nominees had been scheduled to be announced – Greg Gamache, another of the Cammys’ organizers, posted the following on the event’s Facebook page:

Due to a lack of support from our music community, it is with a heavy heart that we announce this years 2014 Capital Area Music Awards, scheduled for January 25, 2015, has been cancelled. We truly appreciate the support of so many people in the development stage. It is our sincere hope that someday we may join together for a night of musical community and unite as one! If you have purchased advanced tickets, refunds are available where tickets were purchased.

DECEMBER 18: On This Date in Nippertown Concert History

Thursday, December 18th, 2014


Throwback Thursday? Yeah, so we’re back for another installment of our weekly feature: On This Date in Nippertown Music History. Check out our round-up of December 18th concerts through the years…

2013: Michael Graves @ Bogie’s
2011: Eileen Ivers @ the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall
2010: Pat Travers @ the Fuller Roadhouse Grille
2009: Ramblin Jug Stompers @ Caffe Lena
2008: The Oak Ridge Boys @ the Palace Theatre
2007: Four Year Strong @ Valentine’s Music Hall
2005: Golem @ Club Helsinki
2004: Happy & Artie Traum @ the Kleinert James Arts Center
2002: Drunk Stuntmen @ the Larkin
1999: Randy Brecker & Nick Brignola @ the Van Dyck
1998: Richie Havens @ the Van Dyck
1997: Free Beer & Chicken, Homespun Shakers @ Valentine’s Music Hall
1996: Beyond Within, 500 Hats @ Bogie’s
1995: Sister Machine Gun, Die Krupps, Virus 23 @ QE2
1994: Aerosmith, Jackyl @ the Knickerbocker Arena
1993: Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes @ Saratoga Winners
1992: Nobody’s Girls @ Rolls Touring Company
1991: Luther Vandross, Sinbad, the Sounds of Blackness @ the Knickerbocker Arena
1990: Billy Joel @ the Knickerbocker Arena
1987: George Winston @ the Palace Theatre
1984: Diversion Factor @ 288 Lark
1980: Jim Carroll @ J.B. Scott’s

LIVE: Rick Springfield @ The Egg, 11/21/14

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014


Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

“You know I feel so dirty when they start talking cute
I wanna tell her that I love her, but the point is probably moot”

– from “Jessie’s Girl” by Rick Springfield

No question about it, Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl” is a great pop song, an iconic audio artifact of the ’80s and the only No. 1 hit in rock history to feature the word “moot” in its lyrics.

As an ’80s hitmaker, rocker Rick Springfield specialized in arena-ready nuggets of well-crafted power-pop. But in his solo “Stripped Down” concert at The Egg’s Hart Theatre recently much of the power was drained from his pop gems.

He’s an exceptionally ingratiating performer, and that came through loud and clear during his 100-minute show, a kind of cross between MTV’s “Unplugged” and VH1′s “Storyteller.” But without the muscle of a band behind him, too many of the songs never really took off. Seated on a stool at centerstage surrounded by a phalanx of guitars, Springfield launched his show with the opening volley of “I Get Excited” and “An Affair of the Heart,” strumming his acoustic guitar with abandon. And right from the start, it was clear that this wasn’t really a solo show – without coaxing, the crowd sang along with him in full voice.


LIVE: Altamont Victorian Holiday Celebration, 12/14/14

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014
The Festival of trees. Folks get to vote on their favorite tree.

The Festival of Trees. Folks get to vote on their favorite tree.

Photographs by Michael Seinberg

‘Tis the season … that seems to bring out the Victorian in all of us – from Saratoga Spring to Troy. And to Altamont, which held its annual holiday celebration last weekend…


Three New Concerts Announced for The Linda

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

The Linda in Albany has announced three new concerts to help you get through the winter doldrums:

Saturday, January 10, 8pm
Three Local 518 bands – power-popsters Sandy McKnight & the Idea, rollicking alt-country combo the Lazy Suns and rockers SubSlab – team up for a mid-January benefit concert for The Linda.

With the Sea the Sea
Friday, January 23, 8pm
The dynamic duo features vocalist-guitarist Peter Cole and multi-instrumentalist Byron Isaacs (of the Levon Helm Band, the Midnight Ramble Band, the Dirt Farmer Band and Ollabelle) in support of their self-titled debut album, released earlier this year.

Friday, February 6, 8pm
Since the release of his 1978 debut, Alive On Arrival, Steve Forbert has become one of the most respected singer-songwriters on the scene.

The Figgs’ Pete Donnelly: New and Old Music

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014
The Figgs

The Figgs (Pete Donnelly, center) @ Valentine’s Music Hall, 12/20/13

Photograph by Jason Spiro

The Figgs are rolling into town again this weekend for their annual holiday homecoming concerts at the Low Beat in Albany (Friday) and Putnam Den in Saratoga Springs (Saturday).

And if you’re looking to buy some last-minute Christmas gifts, Figgs’ bassist Pete Donnelly has got some suggestions for you…


Holly & EvanCartoonist John CaldwellCaffe LenaAdvertise on Nippertown!Artist Charles HaymesThe LindaHudson SoundsAlbany PoetsKeep Albany BoringBerkshire On StageLeave Regular Radio BehindArtist GG Roberts