LIVE: French 75 @ Riverlink Park, 7/29/17

August 18th, 2017, 3:00 pm by Greg

Photographs by Stan Johnson

Their hometown is Hartford, not New Orleans, but French 75 conjured up an authentic Crescent City sound at Riverlink Park in Amsterdam recently. The band – Alex Kollias (clarinet), Seth Bailey (trumpet), John Birt (banjo), Mark Macksoud (drums) and Allison Lazur (tuba) conjured up irresistible brand of vintage traditional jazz.

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LIVE: Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival @ Walsh Farm, 7/15/17 (Day Three)

August 17th, 2017, 4:00 pm by Greg
The Gibson Brothers

The Gibson Brothers

Photographs by Joseph Deuel

Once things dried out a bit at the Walsh Farm in Oak Hill, last month’s Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival was a sheer delight. And why not?

What’s better than relaxing in the summer sun while listening to some of the greatest acoustic musicians in the world? Folks like dobro dynamo Jerry Douglas and his band. The mindboggling guitar duo of Julian Lage & Chris Eldridge. Monster mandolinist Frank Solivan and his band Dirty Kitchen. Michael Daves and his friends, including banjo master Tony Trischka. The north country’s own award-winning Gibson Brothers. Yes, we could go on, but you get the idea…

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AUGUST 17: On This Date in Local 518 Concert History

August 17th, 2017, 11:00 am by Greg


Compiled by Greg Haymes
Photograph of Alex Mexiner at Shepard Park, 8/17/16 by Andrzej Pilarczyk

It’s Throwback Thursday, so we’re back with another installment of our weekly flashback feature: On This Date in Local 518 Concert History. Check out our round-up of August 17 concerts through the years…

2016: The Alex Mexiner Band @ Shepard Park, Lake George
2015: Conehead Buddha, Victory Soul Orchestra @ Washington Park
2014: Luke Bryan, Cole Swindell, Lee Brice @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs
2013: Bella Terra Festival featuring Datsik, Robokop, Archnemesis, Turkuaz, Homeboy Sandman, Case & Point, Damn Right!, Schlang, the Malah, the Alchemystics, Bujak, Capital Zen, more @ Gardner’s Farm, Stephentown
2012: John Prine, Lucinda Williams @ the Palace Theatre, Albany
2011: Empire State Plaza Food Festival featuring Eddie Money, Ten Year Vamp, the Chris Busone Band, Chris Dukes, Slick Fitty @ the Empire State Plaza, Albany
2010: Kiss, the Academy Is…, The Envy @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs
2009: Joe Barna & Sketches of Influence @ Bread & Jam Cafe, Cohoes
2008: Saratoga Music Festival featuring Bob Dylan, the Levon Helm Band, Conor Oberst & the Mystic Valley Band, the Swell Season, Gillian Welch, Steve Earle, Raul Malo @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs
2007: Palatypus, Alta Mira @ Red Square, Albany
2006: Ray LaMontagne, Guster @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs
2005: Grand Funk Railroad, Edgar Winter @ Empire State Plaza, Albany
2004: Deep Purple, Thin Lizzy @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs
2003: The House Jacks, Harmonytrix @ Music Haven, Schenectady
2002: Hey Mercedes, Piebald, Koufax, the Last Year @ Valentine’s Music Hall, Albany
2000: Little Feat @ McGeary’s Pub, Albany

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LIVE: Clearwater’s Great Hudson River Revival @ Croton Point Park, 6/17/17 (Day One)

August 16th, 2017, 4:00 pm by Greg

Nick Lowe

Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Clearwater’s Great Hudson River Revival was about a liberal state of mind. The festival’s intent was to mix both music and the environmental concerns into a wonderful two-day event in the lovely Croton Point Park on the banks of the great Hudson River. In truth, it mirrors the late founder Pete Seeger’s concerns and life’s work both as a folk musician and also as a social, environmental and political activist. The festival has many tables and tents set throughout to dish out information about all these concerns and how to get activated for the good cause.

However, most of the festival-goers who come from NYC, Albany, Boston and all over the Eastern Seaboard for the two-day festival, have primarily come for the music. They pick and choose the national and international artists they want to hear and see perform. Many trek around the grounds between seven or eight stages and groove to everything from poetry to Native American stories to internationally beloved artists.

To boot, there are areas set up for children of all ages to partake in different activities. And there is lots of food from all over the globe to enjoy. You want Thai, it’s there. And so is Greek, Mexican and plain old American hamburgers and hot dogs. In other words you won’t go hungry, and they don’t charge an arm and a leg for you to eat well.

In any given Clearwater Festival it’s hard to gauge what were the highlights because so many different artists are performing all types of music. Some years back the organizers wisely opened the doors to world beat, indie-rock, Afro-pop, Latin salsa and various other musical styles that don’t always fit under the “folk” umbrella. And that really made it truly international. For those who crave diversity in their music it was a new lease on life for the festival in the musical sense. It no longer was just a singer-songwriter folk event; it became an electric, exotic-instrument and folk kind of event, filled with worldwide sensibilities.

Saturday’s highlights on the Rainbow Stage included Nick Lowe doing his post-punk singer-songwriter acoustic thing; Joan Osborne mixing her vocals with the blues and so much more; Orchestra Mendoza; contemporary songster Josh Ritter; Los Lobos’ hybrid Tex-Mex-blues-rock thing and the vocally driven jazz-meets-pop of Lake Street Dive.

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LIVE: Incendio @ the Empire State Plaza, 8/2/17

August 15th, 2017, 4:00 pm by Greg

Photographs by Stan Johnson

Playing the free lunchtime concert series Made in the Shade of The Egg on the Empire State Plaza earlier this month, instrumental world music band Incendio went beyond the wild flamenco sound of their CDs and even tossed in a few electric and computerized sounds, with an extended cover of the Grateful Dead’s “Eyes of the World” and Tito Puente’s “Oye Come Va.”

Then they headed up to Lake George’s Shepherd Park to do it all over again that same night…

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LIVE: Kenny Wayne Shepherd @ The Egg, 8/10/17

August 15th, 2017, 12:00 pm by Greg

Review by Don Wilcock

WARNING: The following presentation contains the highly prejudicial views of an old blues fan. Some of my comments may be disturbing. Viewer discretion is advised.

I went to see the five-time Grammy Award winner Kenny Wayne Shepherd play The Egg’s Hart Theatre last week on the second stop of his current American tour. I felt like a Red Sox fan entering the Yankees dugout, surrounded by a rabid near-sell-out crowd. I personally think the blues rocker plays by the numbers. Technically, he’s a strong guitarist, but he lacks the two elements that define great blues – truth and soul.

Apparently I’m the only one who feels that way.

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LIVE: Joe Lovano’s Trio Fascination @ Atlas Studios, 7/28/17

August 14th, 2017, 4:00 pm by Greg
Marilyn Crispell, Judi Silvano, Carmen Castaldi and Joe Lovano

Marilyn Crispell, Judi Silvano, Carmen Castaldi and Joe Lovano

Review and photographs by Rudy Lu

For those who like their music on the adventurous end of the spectrum, there is a new venue worth checking out in Newburgh – Atlas Studios. The facilities feature a listening room situated in an old textile factory that is dedicated to jazz, dance and classical chamber music. The space is in the process of being filled with other artistic and craft endeavors similar to the artist lofts in Kingston and Albany.

The sounds and freedom of a pianoless/guitarless jazz trio filled the full house of music lovers. Joe Lovano played his collection of saxophones and other related woodwind instruments/percussion with fellow Hudson Valley resident Marilyn Crispell on piano and Cleveland-based Carmen Castaldi on drums. The musicians have had a long history of playing with each other, but not all three together as a trio.

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DANCE: Ajkun Ballet Theatre @ the Empire State Plaza, 7/26/17

August 11th, 2017, 3:00 pm by Greg

Photographs by Tim Reidy

As it turns out, the free Made in the Shade of The Egg lunchtime concert series isn’t only about concerts. The outdoor series on the Empire State Plaza also includes some dance performances, including the recent appearance by the Ajkun Ballet Theatre.

The company served up a delightfully varied program that balanced classical and contemporary dance, including excerpts from classical favorites like “Sleeping Beauty,” “Paquita” and “La Fille Mal Gardee,” as well as such modern dance pieces as Chiara Ajkun’s “Anna Karenina” and Billy Blanken’s new work, “Fuujin Tsume.”

The Ajkun Ballet Theatre returns to The Egg’s Hart Theatre at 7:30pm on Saturday (August 12) for a full-length performance of “Carmen,” matching Chiara Ajkun’s passionate choreography with the stirring music of Bizet. Principal dancer Brittany Larrimer stars in the title role. Tickets are on sale now, priced at $29.

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