Archive for the ‘LIVE’ Category

LIVE: Boz Scaggs @ The Egg, 8/5/14

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014
Boz Scaggs

Boz Scaggs

Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

“Polite” is a word that you never want to read in a review of a rock concert. Or a blues concert. Or a soul concert.

But at The Egg’s Hart Theatre recently, veteran soul man Boz Scaggs was simply polite. He simmered, but he never reached the boiling point.

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LIVE: Jason Isbell @ MASS MoCA, 8/15/14

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Jason Isbell

Photographs by Bender Melon

At MASS MoCA’s Hunter Center in North Adams, Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit played through most of Southeastern, a few songs from the back catalog and some of his Drive-By Truckers songs.

The band was tight. The witnesses were pleased.

THE LINE-UP
Jason Isbell (guitar)
Sadler Vaden (guitar)
Jimbo Hart (bass)
Chad Gamble (drums)
Derry deBorja (keyboards)

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LIVE: Jackson Browne @ the Palace Theatre, 8/14/14

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Jackson Browne

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

One guy…
One baby grand piano…
One massive display of nearly two dozen guitars…
And two sprawling solo sets that spanned nearly two-and-a-half hours…

It’s one thing to keep your options open, as Jackson Browne did as he glided through a concert at the Palace Theatre in Albany last week – especially a solo show, where he was free to radically alter his set list on a whim – or the crowd’s demand… and the crowd was mighty demanding, yelling out requests at every opportunity.

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LIVE: The Ghost Train Orchestra @ the Music Haven, 8/10/14

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014
(photo by Stanley Johnson)

Ghost Train Orchestra’s Brian Carpenter (photo by Stanley Johnson)

Photographs by Stanley Johnson, Andrzej Pilarczyk, Richard Brody

The motto of the Music Haven Concert Series in Schenectady’s Central Park has always been “Join us in traveling the world one concert at a time.” And the 2014 series did indeed travel from Africa to Ireland to Cuba to Chicago to Louisiana. But in wrapping up their 25th anniversary season with the Ghost Train Orchestra, the series took a slightly different tact, traveling not around the globe, but rather back in time.

The brainchild of Brian Carpenter – composer, arranger, trumpeter, vocalist – the GTO draws from the deep well of jazz by such early 20th century bandleaders as Fletcher Henderson, Don Redman, Tiny Parham, Fess Williams, Charlie Johnson and others.

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LIVE: Liz Longley / Barnaby Bright @ Caffe Lena, 8/13/14

Monday, August 18th, 2014
Liz Longley

Liz Longley

Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Sarah Craig – who for nearly two decades has served as the general manager Saratoga Springs’ Caffe Lena, the most marvelous coffeehouse on the planet – must have had divine inspiration to book two of the most fantastic singer-songwriter acts in one fabulous evening last week.

The headliner, Liz Longley, was lovely to the ear and to the eye. Though young in years, she presented a seasoned and mature command of dynamics using her voice and guitar prowess. Whether playing a Van Morrison number(which dovetailed into Gershwin’s “Summertime”) or any of the songs from her heartfelt bag of originals, she beguiled the crowd, presenting an exemplary, hour-plus set of captivating music.

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LIVE: The Altamont Fair @ the Altamont Fairgrounds, 8/14/14

Monday, August 18th, 2014

Altamont Fair 2014 - photo by Michael Seinberg

Photographs by Michael Seinberg

Fun at the fair? Oh yeah, you bet…

And while the Altamont Fair has come and gone for a another year, but we’re still in the midst of county fair season, and there’s still plenty of fair fun to be had around Nippertown.

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LIVE: Bruno Mars @ the Times Union Center, 7/20/14

Monday, August 18th, 2014

Review by Greg Haymes

July was probably the biggest month of concerts in the history of the Times Union Center/Pepsi Arena/Knickerbockers Arena with knock-out, sold-out shows by Paul McCartney and Justin Timberlake, but relative newcomer Bruno Mars held his own with those veteran pop heavyweights, roaring into the downtown arena later in the month for his blockbuster Albany debut.

The 28-year-old Hawaiian-born singer-songwriter has been onstage since he was a tyke, and it shows. He’s got charisma, musical talent, versatility and an unquenchable desire to please the crowd, and he used them all to wow the audience during his 95-minute concert, from the thumping opener, “Moonshine,” to the final sexually charged encore of “Gorilla.” He’s a natural born entertainer.

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LIVE: Jeffery Broussard & the Creole Cowboys @ the Music Haven, 8/3/14

Friday, August 15th, 2014
Jeffrey Broussard & The Creole Cowboys

Jeffery Broussard (photo by Stanley Johnson)

Review by Fred Rudofsky
Photographs by Rudy Lu and Stanley Johnson

A recent Sunday evening crowd with an affinity for roots music got a double-dose of the good stuff at the Music Haven in Schenectady’s Central Park.

Ramblin Jug Stompers, local heroes of traditional jug-band music, got the feet tapping and hands clapping with their fine opener, “Mountain Dew.” Mister Eck’s lively mandolin propelled “Jug Band Music,” coaxing percussionist Will Bill to sing (and even whisper) like a mercurial carnival barker. Bowtie and Mister Eck played five-string and four-string banjos (“a patented duel banjo attack,” mused the latter) for a spirited “Pistol Packin’ Mama,” which was followed by guitarist Cousin Clyde’s mournful “A Man of Constant Sorrow.”

A delicate, swinging instrumental, “Frypan Jack Enters into Heaven” (from Hobo Nickel) was a fine showcase for Bowtie’s banjo and Cousin Clyde’s synchrony. Will Bill put aside his various percussion instruments for some soulful country harmonica during “Blues in the Bottle,” a showcase as well for Mister Eck’s robust vocals and resonator ukelele playing. No doubt hearing the freight train to their next destination, RJS closed their set with tight harmonies on crowd-pleaser “Old Plank Road,” a touchstone of the band’s live performances since its formation in 2006.

Jeffery Broussard & the Creole Cowboys brought the exuberant sounds and rhythms of zydeco from Louisiana for over an hour and a half. With a toothpick lodged in the right corner of his mouth, Broussard sang with a hearty voice in English and French and played his blue, white and red accordion masterfully. The crowd’s lack of familiarity with many of the songs – very few titles were announced – did not matter given the energy levels on the faster ones and the glorious ache of romance on the slow waltzes and two-steps. People young and old began dancing; by the end of the show, the area in front of the stage was crowded with happy dancers. Good will and good times never sounded so natural.

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