Archive for the ‘LIVE’ Category

LIVE: Crystal Bowersox @ Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, 11/6/14

Friday, November 21st, 2014

Crystal Bowersox @ Troy Savings Bank Music Hall

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

As the runner-up on season 9 of “American Idol,” Toledo singer-songwriter Crystal Bowersox grabbed the national spotlight, and she’s been rolling along ever since.

With two albums to her credit since then, Bowersox made her headlining theater debut at Troy Savings Bank Music Hall in Troy two weeks ago, accompanied by bassist-vocalist Rachel Coates.

Singer-songwriter Caroline Glaser opened the concert.

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LIVE: Consider the Source / Mister F @ the Parish Public House, 10/31/14

Friday, November 21st, 2014
Consider The Source

Consider the Source

Photographs by Timothy Reidy

There’s always a big batch of entertainment options on Halloween, but the Parish Public House in Albany presented wild double bill that was quite worthy of your attendance.

It was a night of tricks and treats, and Consider the Source – purveyors of their patented “Sci-Fi Middle Eastern Fusion” sound – served up a bonus treat as they celebrated the release of their new EP, World War Trio, Part I, featuring the six-part suite, “Put Another Rock in That Bag.” Yeah, that’s a Halloween trick, to be sure…

Not only that, but they churned it all out while dressed as those mischievous little Droogies from “A Clockwork Orange.”

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LIVE: The Quiet Music Festival @ Skidmore College’s Tang Museum, 10/23/14

Thursday, November 20th, 2014
Rosary Beard

Rosary Beard

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Portland, Oregon has been hosting the annual Quiet Music Festival since 2011, but last month the fest had its East Coast premiere at Skidmore College’s Tang Museum in Saratoga Springs with an evening-long performance by a roster of talent that stretched from Gang Gang Dance vocalist Lizzi Bougatsos to Greenwich’s monologuist David Greenberger and A Strong Dog to Sun Foot (led by Quiet Music Fest founder Chris Johanson).

Other performers throughout the evening included poet Trinie Dalton, Brian Mumford’s avant-folk project Dragging an Ox Through Water, the acoustic guitar instrumental duo Rosary Beard (featuring Matthew Loicacono and Hunter Sagehorn) and others.

It was a very varied evening of performances, and they weren’t all about the low-key and low-volume.

One attendee described the night as “a snooze fest.” But organizer Chris Johanson didn’t take offensive at the remark. In fact, as he explained, the Quiet Music Fest is “the only festival where sleeping is encouraged.”

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Live: Marty Wendell @ Caffe Lena, 10/26/14

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Marty Wendell

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

2014 marks 50 years of music for Nippertown singer-songwriter Marty Wendell, and he’s made his mark in a wide variety of musical genres from folk to rockabilly, from country to gospel. And among the many memorable moments along the way, he’s toured with Johnny Cash and recorded at Memphis’ famed Sun Studios.

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LIVE: The Catbirds @ the Ale House, 10/25/14

Thursday, November 20th, 2014
Chandler Travis

Chandler Travis

Photographs by Timothy Reidy

Singer-songwriter-ringmaster Chandler Travis makes his home on Cape Cod, but Nippertown has become his home-away-from-home. Heck, he plays more Local 518 gigs than most local bands do.

On his latest stop, he brought his fab Catbirds to the Ale House in Troy, and as usual they ripped the place up with their unique, oh-so-sweet brand of rock ‘n’ roll. And once again the getting-a-little-less-reclusive Pete LaBonne was sharing the bill, both as the opening act in and joining the Catbirds in some delicious, five-piece musical mayhem.

The Catbirds have flown the Nippertown coop for now, but never fear, it’s never long before Travis returns in one of his many musical merauding incarnations or another. OH WAIT… the Chandler Travis Three-O will be returning to the Lion’s Den at the Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge for a free show at 9pm on Saturday (November 22). See, I told you it wouldn’t be long…

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LIVE: Stephen Clair & the Millionaires @ Steamer No. 10 Theatre, 11/15/14

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014
Stephen Claire and the Millionaires

Stephen Clair and the Millionaires

Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Carl Smith

“Skinny jeans, vasectomies, memory loss. I mean, who are we?” were the first words that Stephen Clair sang last Saturday night.

Back in the ’90s, Clair (aka Steve Ferguson) was a major mover ‘n’ shaker on the Albany music scene, playing in a variety of bands (Glaze, Cactus Loveseat, Wag, Sabotage & the Wrecking Crew, to name a few), publishing books of poetry, editing and publishing the audio-cassette magazine Talk Work, running the Central Avenue music venue Godfrey’s and more.

After rumbling around the country, he finally settled just downriver, where he’s ignited a vibrant music scene in Beacon – not only as a musician, but also as a concert producer (as Local 845) and music school founder/teacher (Beacon Music Factory).

Last weekend, when Clair returned to Albany for his first concert in recent memory, he was almost unrecognizable as he stepped out onstage at the Steamer No. 10 Theatre. But, yes, that was him wielding his guitar under underneath a wild-maned, electric blue woman’s wig.

No, he hasn’t gone glam…

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LIVE: Ray LaMontagne @ the Palace Theatre, 11/9/14

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

Review by Greg Haymes

Ray LaMontagne’s sweet honey/whiskey voice is still intact, and at the Palace Theatre when he cut it loose during the acoustic “Trouble” and the nostalgic encore “Drive-In Movies” or brought it down to a hoarse, hushed whisper with “Sarah” or the Van Morrison-like show-closing soul ballad “You Are the Best Thing,” it was simply glorious.

But like his new album Supernova (produced by the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach), his Palace concert focused primarily on gauzy pop psychedelia slathered with reverb, which didn’t necessarily make the best use of that marvelous voice. Backed by a hi-tech version of the old constantly swirling Fillmore East light shows, LaMontagne and his versatile four-piece band launched into the show with the back-to-back psychedelic slabs of the dreamy “Lavender” and slightly funkified “She’s the One,” before slipping into “For the Summer” and “Pick Up a Gun,” both revealing the influence of Buffalo Springfield-era Neil Young and Stephen Stills.

Led by dapper, handlebar-mustachioed bassist/musical director Zachariah Hickman (on loan from Josh Ritter’s usual touring ensemble), the band featured the brother-and-sister team of Barbara and Ethan Gruska (who also led the opening act, the Belle Brigade) and guitarist-keyboardist Dave Depper. They kept things churning along nicely, often sliding from one song to another, likely at the behest of the notoriously taciturn LaMontage, who offered only a few terse thank-yous, a heckler put-down (“To the guy who keeps yelling, ‘Play acoustic’ – go fuck yourself”) and band member introductions. At the end of the night, however, he did graciously thank the crowd for making “my first show in Albany so sweet.” Perhaps the psychedelics have eaten away the part of his memory bank that included his April, 2009 concert at The Egg.

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LIVE: Lip Talk @ the Low Beat, 10/24/14

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014
Lip Talk

Lip Talk

Photographs by Timothy Reidy

Ah, evolution…

Former Saratoga Springs singer Sarah Pedinotti has traversed across a wide musical spectrum to get to where she is these days. She started off as a jazz singer, but eventually the Sarah Pedinotti Band began drifting further and further toward a raw but sophisticated brand of Americana. When they switched band names to Railbird, Pedinotti was focusing on a bridge that blended the blues with a more experimental brand of rock.

After relocating to Brooklyn, Pedinotti, guitarist Chris Kyle and the rest of the band absorbed edgier, more urban influences, and finally, in October, 2013, another name change was in order, as Railbird became Lip Talk with the release of their EP, Lucky. At the time, the band declared, “It feels great to have finally arrived at a name for this musical beast of ours. It’s a happy, moody, experimental pop beast, and it’s definitely steering the ship, not us…”

Last month – a year after they adopted their current band moniker – the music steered them back to Nippertown, and after opening sets by Hudson 12-string guitarist Alexander Turnquist and Brent Gorton’s Better Pills, Lip Talk made their first official Albany appearance at the Low Beat, showcasing their new, more angular, sharp-edged sound. As you might expect, there were a few folks in the crowd who mourned the loss of some of the band’s older material and their earlier, warmer sound. But as Alvy Singer declared in “Annie Hall,” “A relationship, I think, is like a shark. You know? It has to constantly move forward or it dies.” And the same can be said for a good band…

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