Archive for the ‘LIVE’ Category

LIVE: The Levin Brothers @ the Van Dyck, 3/20/15

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015
The Levin Brothers

The Levin Brothers

Review and photographs by Rudy Lu

The Levin Brothers are no strangers if you are an avid reader of album liner notes and tour brochures. Both of them have been very active first-call studio and touring band musicians since the ’70s.

Although probably best known as the bassist and Chapman Stickman for prog rock pioneers King Crimson and Peter Gabriel, Tony Levin has a vast discography that includes recording with everyone from John Lennon to Karen Carpenter, from David Bowie to Tom Waits, from Alice Cooper to the Bulgarian Women’s Choir.

Older brother Peter Levin’s resume is just as deep and diverse, stretching from Judy Collins to Bryan Ferry, from Salt ‘N Pepa to Miles Davis, from Annie Lennox to Gov’t Mule. He joined his brother on tour with Paul Simon in the ’80s and was originally a French horn player with the Gil Evans Orchestra before switching to keyboards.

In support of their long-overdue debut collaborative album, they are now touring as the Levin Brothers in jazz-based project inspired by the music that inspired them during their youth to pursue careers in music – the cool jazz of Oscar Pettiford and Julius Watkins. And that’s what recently brought them up to the Van Dyck in Schenectady from their Woodstock area homes.



LIVE: Dave & Phil Alvin With the Guilty Ones @ the Iron Horse Music Hall, 3/22/15

Monday, March 30th, 2015

Review by Bokonon

You might have thought it was a Penn and Teller thing, the way Dave spoke and Phil stood still. It was even more of a magic act when Phil did step up to the mic and sing out in that holy shit voice of his. Good lord, what a magnificent instrument.

Right after, though, he’d take a step back and go silent again. So it went for most of the show, with the younger sibling serving as some sort of almost nervous emcee.

Phil and Dave Alvin exploded on the world in 1981 with the Blasters’ self-titled disc, a crackling, bracing slab that felt like a rockabilly mickey of pills and booze. They’d had a local album and had built a strong Southern California following, but the Blasters felt like an alarm call, putting roots rock on a map that was just being drawn.

By 1985, they were asunder, with the Alvins literally at fisticuffs over everything from chord changes to management and typical brotherly bullshit.

Phil’s near death (truth be told, he did die and was revived) experience in Spain in 2012 drew Dave close again and now the pair is riding the road in support of the excellent Grammy-nominated tribute Common Ground: Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin Play and Sing the Songs of Big Bill Broonzy.

If you don’t know Bill Broonzy, you should, and Common Ground is a great place to start.

The Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton would have been an even better place, but if you weren’t there, you missed it. So long, baby, goodbye.

As noted, the vibe was a little weird, with Dave going at once more showbiz and more sentimental than he’s prone. It’s a mean, mean thing to say, but with all the love flying around the room, you were almost waiting (maybe hoping, you rotten little bastard) for the punch to back of the head. But it never came.

Heart punches did. And plenty…


LIVE: Ryder Cooley & Hazel @ the Tavern Bar at Peck’s Arcade, 2/27/15

Friday, March 27th, 2015

Photographs and video by Timothy Reidy

At last month’s Troy Night Out, Ryder Cooley (of the Dust Bowl Faeries) inaugurated the Tavern Bar at Peck’s Arcade in Troy with a performance of her new multimedia work, “Revival,” which combined live music, film, recorded sound, projections, shadows and movement. Further enlivening the evening’s festivities was Richard Lovrich with his offbeat, short short stories.


LIVE: Snowapple / Fish & Bird @ Caffe Lena, 3/13/15

Thursday, March 26th, 2015


Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Though the Snowapple concert was on Caffe Lena’s calendar for weeks prior to their Friday night show, no advanced tickets had been sold as late as Wednesday. Sarah Craig, the Caffe’s manager was worried. A while back she had discovered the amazing, three-part harmonies of the female Dutch trio and signed them on to appear at Lena’s. And she had excitedly whispered in the ears of several dozen Caffe regulars that this was the one not to miss. Yet here it was two days before the show, and no advanced tickets had been sold.

Craig spring into action and boldly reached out to the press, patrons and the public to generate interest. She knew that this was too good a show to cancel; it had to go on, and people had to know about it.

The trio played within the folk-acoustic idiom, but they also embraced their European musical traditions, as well as a heap of influences from American folk and contemporary pop music. Their layered and powerful three-part vocal harmonies coupled to their instrumental prowess put them squarely in the company of the Wailin’ Jennys, Red Molly and the Boxcar Lilies – same stylistic approach, but with a decisive twist in their repertoire choices. It’s a unique and fun experience to hear – for example, a Kanye West song done up in a singer-songwriter folk arrangement, albeit with three voices, keyboards, acoustic mandolin and guitar.


LIVE: Asleep at the Wheel @ The Egg, 3/8/15

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015
Asleep at the Wheel

Asleep at the Wheel

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Asleep at the Wheel’s new album is titled Still the King: Celebrating the Music of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys, but of course, long tall Texan Ray Benson and his band have been celebrating Bob Wills’ music since they first formed 45 years ago.

So, there really weren’t any surprises during their concert at The Egg’s Swyer Theatre earlier this month – just good ole, flat-out, rollicking western swing, as they glided through gems like “Big Balls in Cowtown,” “Route 66″ and, of course, “Miles and Miles of Texas.”

Benson is the only remaining original member, but he always surrounds himself with top-notch players, and the Wheel’s current incarnation is no exception, fueled by keyboardist Emily Gimble, fiddler Katie Shore and saxophonist/pedal steel guitarist Eddie Rivers, as well as the ace rhythm section of drummer Dave Sanger and bassist Dave Miller.


LIVE: Dustin Mele Memorial Concert @ Revolution Hall, 3/21/15

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015
Johnny Rabb

Johnny Rabb

Photographs by Gene Sennes

Brown’s Brewing Company’s Revolution Hall was jam packed with an all-star line-up of Local 518 musicians and plenty of their fans last Saturday (March 21) for the second annual Dustin Mele Memorial Concert. And, yes, even some heavyweight politicos stopped by to lend their support for the benefit concert for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Dustin’s father, ace guitarslinger Joe Mele, led the charge onstage with veteran rockers Emerald City, and the roster of musicians donating their time and talent to the cause read like a who’s-who of the Nippertown music scene – Super 400, Johnny Rabb, Luke McNamee, Matt Mirabile, Tony Perrino’s Killer B, Jocamo, Blue Machine, Roland Gendron & Jeff Dooley, the El Dorados and soooo many others…

The final tally of funds raised is still TBA, but there was certainly plenty of fun raised. GO HERE if you couldn’t make it to the concert but would still like to donate to the cause.


LIVE: Leo Kottke @ The Egg, 3/7/15

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

Leo Kottke

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

There are good guitarists, and there are great guitarists. Then there are guitar players who are somehow able to completely re-invent the instrument and what it can do.

Leo Kottke is one of those guitar players, as he proved once again in concert at The Egg in Albany earlier this month…


LIVE: Upstate Artists Guild Gala @ Normanside Country Club, 2/28/15

Friday, March 20th, 2015
Off The Record

Off the Record’s Joanna Palladino

Photographs by Timothy Reidy

Albany’s Upstate Artists Guild held their fourth annual Black & White Gala at the Normanside Country Club in Delmar last month, and the room was brimming over with a wall-to-wall exhibition of work by Local 518 artists, all for sale, auction or raffle to benefit the UAG.

But the visual artwork was only part of the evening’s focus. With Geo Doody serving as the master of ceremonies, the fundraiser also featured a full evening of entertainment onstage with music by the lounge-rock trio Off the Record (joined by guest saxophonist Tom D’Ambrose), Matt Durfee & the Rattling Baddlies, not an Airplane and young Jesse Cohen-Greenberg, as well as spoken word from Dan Wilcox and Steven Minchin, with DJs Duane Majer and Jay Clarke spinning between acts.


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