LIVE: Hudson SummerFest @ Henry Hudson Riverfront Park, 8/19/17

August 23rd, 2017, 4:00 pm by Greg

NRBQ pianist Terry Adams led the charge at the inaugural Hudson SummerFest

Review and photographs by Prof. Teddy Clements, Ret.

The dressing room was a cruise boat, the backdrop was the Hudson, complete with a squat stone lighthouse, and mountains rounded like blue knuckles softy bouncing cotton-candy clouds up so they didn’t fall into the river. Jugglers juggled; circus kids clad like Amish farmers formed pyramids, unicycled, tossed swords, tumbled and sang folktunes. Carnival food aromas spiced the warm bright air welcoming the music. Onstage, six bands brought the homespun and the happy, from amateur to professional grade and, in the revered quartet NRBQ, the cozy exhilaration of rock the way it’s supposed to be.

The ‘Q came to the inaugural Hudson SummerFest off a break after a California swing that went very well, indeed: “It hit people’s hearts just the way it’s supposed to,” said founder/pianist Terry Adams, walking down the gangway to the stage. In 16 days out west, their only days off were to drive or fly. “We haven’t done that since the ’80s,” Adams noted, recalling that a superb show at Troy’s Hangar, upstream some boat-miles on the Hudson, had spark-plugged that string of strong shows.

Saturday’s was another, with no road-rust in sight.

A living and lively shuffle through some boomer-vintage-and-since playlist of a slightly, happily skewed mind, NRBQ – Adams with Scott Ligon, guitar; Casey McDonough, bass; John Perrin, drums – did what they do. To borrow a (nostalgically poignant) song title, they were an imaginary radio tuned to resonate with collective memory, at frequencies only the hip can hear.

A cat named Dungaroos Kipawah posted his setlist on the NRBQ Appreciation Society Facebook page. He got some songs I didn’t, and vice versa; so I borrowed his, with my pedantic/professorial tweaks and notes in parentheses:

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A FEW MINUTES WITH… Adam Duritz of Counting Crows

August 23rd, 2017, 1:30 pm by Greg
Counting Crows

Counting Crows

By Don Wilcock
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

“We were kind of independent from the beginning,” says Adam Duritz, lead singer and the creative force behind Counting Crows, who co-headline with Matchbox Twenty on Friday night (August 25) at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs. “The truth is we signed with Geffen because, even though there were like millions of dollars on the table because there was a bidding war for us, Geffen offered $15,000 between all of us. So, like $3000 each for our record advance.”

The year was 1993, and record labels still were king. Most bands in Counting Crows’ position would have taken the millions and bowed to their new label’s bidding, which was all about making money with a sound that was similar to other chart-topping bands. Instead, Counting Crows wanted total control over their sound. “Geffen gave us higher royalties, and they were willing to give us complete creative control before the first album, which was really a good way to start your career. I mean, we didn’t even have a single at first.”

“Mr. Jones” from the band’s first album, August and Everything After, was the first hit, and it became their signature song. “The label wanted ‘A Murder of One’ ’cause it had that ‘Mr. Jones’ drumbeat, but I didn’t want to edit it, and it was too long for radio. I wanted ‘Mr. Jones,’ but not because it was a hit. We all thought ‘Rain King’ was a hit. I just thought ‘Mr. Jones’ was a good introductory song. So, we went out on the road with no single.”

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COMIN’ SOON: New Concert Announcements

August 23rd, 2017, 12:03 pm by Greg

By Greg Haymes

Saratoga Springs’ hallowed Caffe Lena shifts into back-to-school mode with a fab line-up of September concerts, including the dynamic duo of Shun Ng & Magic Dick at 8pm on Friday, September 8 ($24 in advance); Colorado folk-rock trio Edison at 7pm on Sunday, September 10 ($18 in advance); David Wax Museum at 7pm on Sunday, September 17 ($22 in advance); the return of former Saratogians Don Armstrong & Tom Mitchell at 8pm on Friday, September 22 ($18 in advance); the mega-talented one-man folk fest Blind Boy Paxton at 7pm Sunday, August 24 ($22 in advance); Robbie Fulks at 7pm Thursday, September 28 ($22 in advance); and Bobby Long with Brian Dunne at 8pm Saturday, September 30 ($16 in advance).

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: He’s the seven-foot-tall sad clown with the golden voice. Puddles Pity Party makes a stop at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall. Tickets go on sale at 10am on Thursday (August 24).

Jenni Lyn – mandolinist with the acclaimed bluegrass band Della Mae – makes a stop at the Cock ‘n Bull in Galway at 7:30pm on Thursday, August 31.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: The Tab Benoit Trio brings the bayou-soaked Louisiana blues to the Cohoes Music Hall. Tickets go on sale at 10am on Friday (August 25).

Peter Rowan – whose decades-spanning musical career stretches from Bill Monroe & the Bluegrass Boys to Earth Opera, Sea Train, Old & In the Way to his solid solo efforts – returns to Troy on Wednesday, October 25, stepping onto the stage at the Hangar on the Hudson at 8pm. Tickets are $25.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: The Egg announced two new concerts for the fall season at the Swyer Theatre – the Sam Bush Band and a solo show by Keller Williams. Tickets go on sale to the general public at 11am on Friday (August 25).

Blues guitarslinger Mike Zito brings his Make Blues Not War Tour to the Upper Room in Albany at 8pm on Saturday, October 28. Tickets are on sale now, priced at $20 & $35.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: The free Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival announced its schedule of bands, including Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, Somi, Michael Benedict & Bopitude, the Piggly Wigglies and the Jecco Trio.

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New Concerts Announced for The Egg

August 23rd, 2017, 11:00 am by Greg

The Egg has announced a pair of new shows as part of the fall season of the American Roots & Branches concert series.

Tickets to the newly announced concerts are currently available exclusively to members of The Egg and will go on sale to the general public at 11am on Friday (August 25).

Here’s the complete info regarding the two new concerts:

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FREE FEST: LarkFest Announces Line-Up of Bands

August 23rd, 2017, 9:00 am by Greg

Takin’ it to the street…

Albany’s Lark Street will once again be shut down to automotive traffic and become a sea of humanity on Saturday, September 23 as one of New York State’s largest free, one-day festivals is expected to attract more than 50,000 people. Running from 10am-6pm, LarkFest stretches from Washington Avenue to Madison Avenue with two music stages – at Madison and at Spring Street. Music klicks off at 11am.

Singer-songwriter-guitarist Dylan Baldi leads Cleveland indie rockers Cloud Nothings as the headlining band in support of their latest album, Life Without Sound. The Brooklyn-based Jackal Onasis will also be featured, highlighting selections from their new debut EP, Big Deal Party.

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LIVE: Joe Bonamassa @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center, 8/15/17

August 22nd, 2017, 3:30 pm by Greg

Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

As a blues fan, imagine this – on the same night that Joe Bonamassa was playing the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Buddy Guy was playing in Albany at The Egg’s Hart Theatre. Go figure the logic in that.

Buddy Guy was playing a sold-out show to nearly a thousand people, but Bonamassa was playing to thousands more in an amphitheater-only show. Both are amazing blues music
interpreters and innovators, but why did the blues gods put them on stages in the same region the same day in this part of our small planet? Give us blues fans a break…

I’m certain that if Bonamassa came into town a day earlier, or Guy didn’t leave the area until a day later, something could have been arranged for the two the guest on each other’s shows. After all, Bonamassa is indebted to Guy, and Guy is the kind of guy that appreciates artists that respect and love his ancestral music. It would have been a win-win situation.

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LIVE: Long Journey @ the Beer Diviner, 8/11/17

August 22nd, 2017, 2:30 pm by Greg

Review by Joel Patterson

“This is just like a speakeasy!” Karl Mullen exclaimed. He’s one half of the powerful acoustic duo Long Journey, and we are here in what’s turning into a rainy night, but it hardly matters, spirits are high, and he’s absolutely right – the milling crowd, the humming of friendly chatter – the evening air itself seems juiced up at this roadside taproom, just a few turns up a winding road off Route 22 in Petersburgh. The Beer Diviner

I don’t think either of us are old enough to have authentically sampled 1920’s speakeasy culture – but there’s definitely an enveloping sense of easygoing casualness afoot, maybe even mischief. Or the improvisational nature of it all – we’re wandering around in a series of interlocking porches. The “bar” porch has thick slabs of hardwood propped up on benches for a bar, like you see – finished to a sheen but fresh from the lumber mill.

The other half of the remarkable duo, Amrita Lash, sweeps in and asks me if she could borrow a barstool, for out on the real porch, where under a pinkish/reddish light later they will soar through a set of bewitching, entrancing songs – a sampling of old-time spare Appalachian numbers and originals that have the same sharply focused, sweet, hopeful, hopeless sadness.

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Cohoes Music Hall Announces New Concert

August 22nd, 2017, 12:00 pm by Greg

Straight outta Louisiana, Cajun guitarslinger Tab Benoit and his trio serve up a deep dish of bayou-soaked blues at the Cohoes Music Hall at 8pm on Saturday, November 11.

Priced at $28.50, $30.50, $32.50 & $35.50, tickets go on sale to the general public at 10am on Friday (August 25).

New Concert Announced for Wood Park
FEST: Mazzstock Music Festival in Marlboro

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