Archive for the ‘LIVE’ Category

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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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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LIVE: The John Pizzarelli Quartet @ the Massry Center, 9/27/14

Friday, October 17th, 2014

John Pizzarelli Quartet

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Jazz-pop singer-guitarist John Pizzarelli knows how to charm an audience, and he did just that last month when he brought his quartet to the College of Saint Rose’s Massry Center for the Arts for a concert, as well as a student workshop.

Back by his brother Martin Pizzarelli on stand-up bass along with drummer Kevin Kanner and pianist Konrad Paszkudzki, the fab seven-string guitarist romped through a big batch of American Songbook classics from “How High the Moon” to “Skylark,” from “Satin Doll” to “Route 66.”

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LIVE: Richard Thompson @ The Egg, 10/12/14

Thursday, October 16th, 2014
Richard Thompson

Richard Thompson

Review by Erin Harkes
Photographs by Rudy Lu

I would never listen to Richard Thompson on Pandora or Spotify. I would probably end up being insulted by whomever they pick to be similar music. Because in my opinion, nothing compares to Richard Thompson.

As a professional musician, I never take a night off of work. No ‘vacation leave’ or ‘sick time’ when you’re self employed. But when Richard Thompson comes to town, I am there.

For his solo concert at The Egg last Saturday evening, he started softly with “Stony Ground” and “The Ghost of You Walks” before blasting us with “Valerie” in a manner that would make you think the concert was over – it was an encore caliber rendition. “Saving the Good Stuff For You” is one of his newer songs yet is reminiscent of a traditional Irish tune. It was my first time hearing it, and yet I was singing it to myself later that night.

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LIVE: Vintage Trouble @ the Hollow Bar + Kitchen, 9/28/14

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

Review by Fred Rudofsky

Some would say the only thing more audacious than playing a club in Albany on a Sunday night is attending such a show the night before an open house, but hey, every night’s a school night when you’re a teacher. I needed a break from grading essays and quizzes, writing umpteen college recommendations and watching the Oakland Raiders wear out my allegiance
over leftovers. I’d read of Vintage Trouble yet not heard them, but promoter Greg Bell, a former teacher himself, had told me awhile back to witness their greatness for myself. I had to go.

A good-sized crowd of like-minded rocking soul and blues aficionados and folks eager to hear (and drink) something potent were in attendance at downtown Albany’s Hollow Bar + Kitchen. A good number had traveled more than two hours for the show. A couple from Connecticut even told me they had become “Troublemakers” the first time they had seen the band.

Some shows you just will never forget. This was one of them.

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LIVE: George Garzone Quartet @ A Place for Jazz, 9/26/14

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

George-Garzone-Quartet2

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Boston-based tenor saxophonist George Garzone led his quartet into the Unitarian Universalist Society of Schenectady’s Whisperdome in Schenectady recently for the second concert of A Place for Jazz’s fall concert series.

The veteran Garzone is a member of the Fringe, as well as the Grammy-winning Joe Lovano Nonet, so there’s no question that he’s knows his way around tune. And in Schenectady, he wisely surrounded himself with a top-notch band of like-minded musicians – pianist Robert Marullo, bassist John Lockwood and drummer Bob Gulloti.

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LIVE: Hugh Masekela & Vusi Mahlasela @ The Egg, 10/7/14

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014
Hugh Masekela blowing the flugelhorn while Vusi Mahla  strums the guitar

Hugh Masekela blowing the flugelhorn while Vusi Mahlasela strums the guitar

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Veteran jazz trumpeter-vocalist Hugh Masekela teamed up with guitarist-vocalist Vusi “The Voice” Mahlasela at The Egg recently for a celebratory concert to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the end of apartheid in South Africa.

Of course, Masekela played his classic 1968 jazz/R&B hit, “Grazin’ in the Grass,” but if that was your only point of reference you were in for a sublime treat. Mahlaseha utilized his magnificent, versatile voice on solo numbers, as well as in tandem with Masekela and a top-notch band fueled by bassist Bakithi Kumalo, who played on Paul Simon’s landmark album, Graceland.

Many of the songs weren’t sung in English, but no translation was required, as the music rang out loud and clear about freedom, determination and forgiveness.

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LIVE: Chad & Jeremy @ The Egg, 10/12/14

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

Review by Greg Haymes

“One of us lives in London, and one of us lives in Idaho,” announced the dapper Jeremy Clyde – decked out in a smart, tailored black suit and a white dress shirt – before the ’60s folk-pop duo Chad & Jeremy played their opening song at The Egg’s half-filled Swyer Theatre last Sunday evening.

“Jeremy’s the consummate professional,” added Chad Stuart, comfy in his well-worn denim jeans and over-shirt atop a black t-shirt. “I, on the other hand… not so much.”

And so began the odd couple pairing for the night. Once on the easy-listening end of the ’60s British Invasion, Chad & Jeremy have each taken considerably different musical paths since those glory days. But now 50 years later, they still come together for those lucrative reunion tours.

It’s just that they didn’t quite actually play all that well together at The Egg, the second date of their four-date east coast autumn tour.

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