Archive for the ‘LIVE’ Category

LIVE: Washington County Line @ Mabee Farm, 5/22/16

Thursday, May 26th, 2016

Washington County Line

Washington County Line

Review and photographs by Tom Lindsay

Sunday, May 22
Washington County Line with M.R. Poulopoulos
Howlin’ at the Moon Concert Series
Mabee Farm Historic Site
Rotterdam Junction, N.Y.

The first Howlin’ at the Moon concert of 2016 to be held in the big barn at Mabee Farm was an unqualified success. Mabee staffers were bringing extra chairs down from the loft right up until show time, so bluegrass veterans Washington County Line and singer-songwriter M.R. Poulopoulos had a large and appreciative crowd to share the evening with.

Years ago, as a musician complaining about the brevity of an opening set, I was given some sage advice: you can kill in 20 minutes, and bomb in 40. M.R. Poulopoulos made the most of his five-song opening slot delivering two familiar self-penned numbers (“Sweepin’” and “Dandelion Wine”) and two new gems that may land on a future release (“We’ll See” and “Poinsettia”). With several pockets full of his own tunes always at the ready, Poulopoulos has never been the king of cover songs, but he closed with a wonderful take on Kris Kristoferson’s “Living Legend.” The pairing of Poulopoulos with Washington County Line was an inspired choice, and one that was quite well received.



LIVE: Underground Jazz Jam @ the Falcon Underground, 5/10/16

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016
Aaron Goldberg, Ira Coleman and Adam Nussbaum

Aaron Goldberg, Ira Coleman and Adam Nussbaum

Review and photographs by Rudy Lu

Jam sessions…

Often these are behind-closed-door sessions that are played strictly for fun – or the musicians’ own amusement – in the late, late evening/early morning times in after-hours lofts and bars.

But that’s not necessarily so in the Hudson Valley.

Tony Falco, the owner of The Falcon in Marlboro has recently renovated the basement of his building, and it’s now open as a separate performance space. Eventually, it will also become a beer garden featuring New York State craft brews and spirits known as the Falcon Underground.

On this occasion, the jam session started early – even before the sun went down. Children were welcome and well represented in the audience. Falco introduced the musicians who were the core of the session – Adam Nussbaum on drums, Ira Coleman on bass and Aaron Goldberg on piano, all first-call musicians on the NYC jazz scene.

Before the set started, Nussbaum asked, “Have we played together all at once before?” Nobody seemed to remember, but it didn’t seem to matter. Standards – such as “Body and Soul,” “I Mean You,” “All Blues” – were performed as though the trio had been playing together for years. Heck, they interacted as if they could read each others thoughts.


LIVE: Alejandro Escovedo Trio @ Cohoes Music Hall, 5/11/16

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016
Brian Standefer, Alejandro Escovedo and Sean Giddings

Brian Standefer, Alejandro Escovedo and Sean Giddings

Review by Steven Stock
Photographs by Michael Hochanadel

Alejandro Escovedo often introduces his songs at length, but he was more loquacious than usual in the intimate confines of the Cohoes Music Hall on a recent Wednesday. Backed by longtime cohort Brian Standefer on cello and newcomer Sean Giddings on piano, guitarist Escovedo only made it through ten tracks in his 90-minute set. Fortunately he’s a superb raconteur, and Escovedo’s musings served to heighten the emotional impact of his already ­powerful songwriting.

Escovedo has a new album, Burn Something Beautiful (produced by R.E.M.’s Peter Buck and former Young Fresh Fellow/Minus 5 stalwart Scott McCaughey), set for release September 30, but he elected to keep the new material under wraps, instead revisiting some of the highlights of his solo catalog. Before opening with “Five Hearts Breaking” from 1992’s Gravity, Escovedo recalled an ill­-fated tour with Rank & File, his subsequent move to Austin (“a tiny, tiny speck of red in a huge ocean of blue”), and the impressive litany of songwriters he encountered there.

With its opening line of “Austin’s changed, it’s true,” “Bottom of the World” (from 2012’s Big Station) provided a perfect segue and also a reminder of how deeply personal Escovedo’s writing can be, his adeptness at mining his personal life for his art. The performance resonated more deeply after Escovedo mentioned marrying a woman from Houston (“the bottom of the world”), being priced out of Austin and moving to Dallas.


LIVE: The English Beat @ The Egg, 5/7/16

Monday, May 23rd, 2016


Review by Steven Stock
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

With banks of tiered seating rising steeply from stage level, The Egg’s Swyer Theatre offers great sightlines. As a dancehall, though, it’s far from ideal. This didn’t seem to trouble a near-capacity audience on the first Saturday in May. As the English Beat’s 90-minute set gained momentum, skanking revelers abandoned their seats and filled the small space between the stage and the first row.

The contagion spread faster than Zika, propelled to critical mass by the irresistible riddim of “I Confess.” By the time the seven-piece band launched into “Save It for Later,” just about everyone was up and gyrating – not always gracefully, but with unmistakable enthusiasm. I noticed something else remarkable as well – every single person in the damn building (even the sternest usher) was smiling.

What music has this power? On three albums from 1980-1982, the English Beat grafted guitarist Dave Wakeling’s West Midlands pop sensibility onto a buoyant foundation of Jamaican ska and reggae. Their cover of Smokey Robinson & the Miracles’ “Tears of a Clown,” one of the seminal early releases on 2-Tone Records, established a template that the Beat refined on the subsequent I Just Can’t Stop It, Wha’ppen and Special Beat Service LPs.

As then, the dawn of the Reagan/Thatcher era, so at the Egg: drummer Nucci Cantrell and bassist Larry Young were mixed loud and clear to the fore, saxophonist Matt Morrish soloed on most every tune, and the dueling keyboards of Kevin Lum and Michael Railton drove the melodies and took the remaining solos. The formidably dreadlocked King Schascha did an admirable job filling Ranking Roger’s toaster slot, singing, rapping, exhorting the crowd and doing everything necessary to ensure that the show’s energy level never waned.


LIVE: Ramblin Jug Stompers @ McGeary’s Pub, 5/16/16

Friday, May 20th, 2016
Ramblin Jug Stompers

Ramblin Jug Stompers

Photographs by Dan Hogan

It was showtime for Ramblin Jug Stompers, but Mister Eck was nowhere to be found. Cousin Clyde headed north to see if Mister Eck was possibly stuck going ’round and ’round Latham Circle. Bowtie scoured the woods around Parkway Music, where Mister Eck has a small cot set up in the back room. And Wild Bill searched the dark, winding alleys of Troy to see if Mister Eck had perhaps left a trail of ukulele picks that might lead rescuers to his whereabouts…

Alas, it was all to no avail.

So the Stompers corralled Mister Eck’s Lost Radio Rounders bandmate Tom Lindsay to fill in at their third-Monday-of-the-month residency at McGeary’s Pub earlier this week. Fortuitously, Lindsay brought along his piano, and he and Cousin Clyde banged away at the keys throughout the night, adding a special bounce to the RJS’s already jaunty sound. He also brought along a batch of new, old songs that spiced up RJS’s electic, vintage Americana songbag.

The audient thoroughly enjoyed himself and sent along these photos…


LIVE: Paul Asbell, Andy Cohen & Dakota Dave Hull @ Caffe Lena, 4/17/16

Thursday, May 19th, 2016
Paul Asbell

Paul Asbell

Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

The Sunday evening show was billed as “Blues Brothers,” but if you were expecting Jake and Elwood to storm into Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs, well, you were plumb out of luck.

Instead, fans were treated to a round-robin performance by three brothers of the acoustic blues – Paul Asbell, Andy Cohen and Dakota Dave Hull.


LIVE: Dan Tyminski & Ronnie Bowman @ The Egg, 5/6/16

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016


Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

It was just two guys sitting on stools, playing guitars and mandolin on stage at The Egg’s Swyer Theatre.

But when those guys are Dan Tyminski and Ronnie Bowman – former bandmates in the Lonesome River Band – you know that you’re in for an evening of solid acoustic music. Of course, they leaned toward the bluegrass end of the spectrum – after all, Tyminski is a member of Alison Krauss & Union Station – but there was a lot more to their hour-and-a-half show than just mountain pickin’ and singin’.


LIVE: The Loom @ the Low Beat, 4/24/16

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016
The Loom

The Loom

Photographs by Timothy Reidy

The Loom
Bear Grass
Neighborhood of Make Believe

at the Low Beat, Albany
Sunday, April 24


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