Archive for the ‘LIVE’ Category

LIVE: The Clearwater Tribute to the Memory of Pete Seeger @ The Linda, 3/20/16

Friday, April 29th, 2016
The grand finale - This Land Is Your Land

The grand finale of “This Land Is Your Land”

Review and photographs by Rudy Lu

Musicians of many diverse musical genres came out to pay tribute to the late Pete Seeger at a benefit concert for the much-needed renovation of the Sloop Clearwater last month. The Linda in Albany hosted the Sunday afternoon fundraiser that featured the folksinging that Pete was known for, in addition to his music interpreted in a smorgasbord of musical styles, including blues, reggae and jazz. And there was some Indian music that had been adopted by Pete, too.

Each band played short two-or-three-song sets, and, of course, in typical Seeger fashion, there were many sing-alongs. Of particular note to this listener were:

Big Creek’s rendition of “Goodnight Irene”
“Lonesome Valley” by Acoustic Bare Bones
“Early Morning” by the family band Sonder Strings
The Bounce Back Band’s reggae-fied treatment of “Garbage”
Pianist Lecco Morris and saxman Jeff Nania’s jazzy interpretation of “Which Side Are You On?”
“Raghupati raghava raja Ram” by Noe Dinnerstein
and the rousing grand finale of “This Land is Your Land”

Over $8,000 was raised by the event for the renovations and upkeep of the Sloop Clearwater.



LIVE: Sirsy @ Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, 4/2/16

Friday, April 29th, 2016


Photographs by Timothy Reidy

Sirsy was back in town for a show at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que in Troy earlier this month, but they’re off to New Hampshire this weekend before heading off on a southern tour next week.

The pop-rock duo’s next Local 518 gig? A free show at Gaffney’s in Saratoga Springs on Thursday, May 19…


LIVE: The Brad Mehldau Trio @ The Egg’s Swyer Theatre, 4/16/16

Thursday, April 28th, 2016
Brad Mehldau

Brad Mehldau

Review by J Hunter
Photographs by Albert Brooks

There are some things I simply have no patience for any more – that “Settlers” ad campaign for DirecTV, for instance (funny the first time, excruciating now), and the head-shaking crusade to make Kobe Bryant seem beloved. On the jazz front, one thing I can’t stand is a piano player who pounds the keys relentlessly, whether the situation calls for it or not. It reminds me of that old James Brown lyric, “Talkin’ loud and sayin’ nuthin’!” As Brad Mehldau proved once again at The Egg, it’s the strong silent types that make the biggest impression.

True, the Brad Mehldau Trio is anything but silent. They’ve been making their voices heard for “decades,” as a bemused Mehldau pointed out to the close-to-capacity crowd. Much of that has involved filling the New Great American Songbook with dynamite interpretations of songs from rockers like Radiohead, Soundgarden, Oasis and The Verve. But unlike the Bad Plus – who have finally moved away from their Shock & Awe period, filled with jangling takes on Black Sabbath and Vangelis – the Mehldau Trio has always mixed the covers with thoughtful, intense originals that relied more on musicianship than bombast. That cerebral trend continues with their upcoming Nonesuch release Blues and Ballads, the spirit of which drove the group’s riveting 90-minute set.


LIVE: Roots Music Fest @ The Linda, 4/2/16

Thursday, April 28th, 2016
Ryan Montbleau

Ryan Montbleau

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

The seventh annual Roots Music Festival took over WAMC-FM’s The Linda in Albany earlier this month with Ryan Montbleau headlining the bash in support of his new solo acoustic live album, Stages: Volume III.

Other performers shared the stage throughout the evening, including James Edmund’s Heavenly Echoes, Ira Wolf, Dan Perrillo’s Useless Cans and the host band Red Haired Strangers. The fest was emceed by Michael Eck, and all proceeds from the benefit fest went directly to Local 518 children’s charities.


LIVE: “Down Every Road: Songs of Merle Haggard” @ the Hangar On the Hudson, 4/10/16

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

Photographs by Thomas Lindsay
Video and photography by Timothy Reidy

Michael Eck started organizing a concert tribute to the great Merle Haggard back in late February, but when the Hag died just four days before the concert at the Hangar On the Hudson in Troy, “Down Every Road: Songs of Merle Haggard” took on a whole different – and much sadder – tone, shifting from a tribute to a memorial.

From Ramblin Jug Stompers to Caroline MotherJudge to Big Frank & the Bargain Bingers, the four-hour affair featured a who’s-who of Greater Nippertown’s roots and alt-country music community. If all you knew about Merle Haggard was “Okie from Muskogee,” well, you were in for an eye-opening evening of wide-ranging music that showcased the breadth and depth of Haggard’s rich catalog of songs.

And in the true spirit of community, there was plenty of sittin’ in. Jim Gaudet & the Railroad Boys were surprised to find themselves backing up Eck to open the show. Then fiddler Tim Wechgalaer joined the Railroad Boys for their selections, and during Wechgalaer’s tunes, he was backed by the Coveralls. And so on and so forth.


LIVE: The Colette Michaan Quartet @ the Madison Theater, 4/9/16

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016
Colette Michaad

Colette Michaan

Review and photographs by Rudy Lu

April is Jazz Appreciation Month, and the ongoing second-Saturday-of-the-month jazz concert series at Albany’s Madison Theater kept the celebration going with a performance by NYC-based virtuoso flutist Colette Michaan and her quartet, featuring bassist Jorge Bringas, drummer Manuel Alejandro Carro and trombonist Ray David Alejandre.

Michaan is known for incorporating the various influences of world music in her jazz sound. While her Albany performance concentrated primarily on the roots and branches of Latin American music, there was also a single performance with a bamboo flute to represent the music of India.


LIVE: Empire Jazz Orchestra @ SCCC Taylor Auditorium, 4/12/16

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016
 Elizabeth Catlett: Singing Head

Elizabeth Catlett: Singing Head

Review by Jeff Nania

The Empire Jazz Orchestra always brings its A game to an expansive repertoire of music, and last week’s concert at the Schenectady County Community College’s Taylor Auditorium was no different. The group played an opening set of hard swinging big band tunes like Gil Evans’ take on Charlie Parker’s classic “Yardbird Suite” and resident arranger Jim Corigliano’s arrangements of Cole Porter’s “I Get a Kick Out of You,” and “Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead” from “The Wizard of Oz,”­­ both of which featured vocalist Colleen Pratt.

But it was the original music that guest composer and bassist Rufus Reid brought to the table which made the evening truly something special. The performance of the five-movement suite, “Quiet Pride: The Elizabeth Catlett Project,” was preceded by a short video presentation that gave context to the work at hand. Reid was inspired by the sculptures of visual artist Elizabeth Catlett after first being exposed to the pieces as photographs in a coffee table book which moved him. He spoke about how many artists of various mediums often fall into a pigeonhole – musicians only check out music; visual artists check out paintings and sculpture; and poets only check out poetry. And Reid suggested that all these various artistic disciplines deserve to actually be in dialogue with one another.

Each of the five movements of the suite was inspired by a particular sculpture, and a photograph of each one was projected on the screen that hung above the ensemble as they played.


LIVE: Bonnie Raitt @ the Palace Theatre, 3/12/16

Monday, April 25th, 2016

Review by Greg Haymes

Four and a half decades into her recording career, she’s still got the Raitt stuff.

Sporting a bright kelly green blouse and tight black jeans at the Palace Theatre on St. Patrick’s Parade Day, the red-headed blueswoman looked and sounded uncannily like she did back in the early ’70s, when Bonnie Raitt was just launching her career.

And she did indeed reach all the way back to her 1971 eponymous debut album for one of the evening’s highlights – an impromptu duet of Tommy Johnson’s “Big Road” with Chatham’s own acoustic blues queen Rory Block. Sitting centerstage for the encore, the two traded verses and hot licks on acoustic guitars, as bassist Hutch Hutchinson provided the lone musical anchor.

The sublime song was a reminder of Raitt’s acoustic blues roots, but those roots ran deep throughout her two-hour performance, from the opening romp through INX’s “Need You Tonight” (re-invented as a slinky slide guitar work-out) to the righteous rumble of bluesman J.B. Lenoir’s “Round & Round.”

The Palace concert was only the second show of her tour in support of her new album, Dig in Deep, but there were no early-tour jitters. At age 66, she commanded the stage both vocally and with the ease and grace of her exquisite slide guitar playing. She didn’t try too hard because she didnn’t have to, but she never slipped into auto-pilot, either. Her guitar playing isn’t easy; she just makes it look that way.


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