LIVE: Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox @ Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, 1/20/18

February 12th, 2018, 4:00 pm by Greg

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

WHO: Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox
WHERE: Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy
WHEN: Saturday, January 20

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LIVE: Scotty Mac & the Rockin’ Bonnevilles @ Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, 1/27/18

February 8th, 2018, 4:00 pm by Greg

Review by Fred Rudofsky

The passage of time is a funny thing, and sometimes anniversaries can seem like cruel punchlines. That was not the case when Scotty Mac & the Rockin’ Bonnevilles, one of the best bands that Greater Nippertown has ever fostered, reunited for a large, appreciative audience on a Saturday night at the Dinosaur Bar-B-Que in Troy to play two sets of thrilling, gritty blues and rock ‘n’ roll drawn from their own catalog and their diverse influences.

Celebrating the founding of the band by Scotty Mac (guitar/vocals) and Ted Hennessy (harp/lead vocals) 21 years ago, and joined by John Ellis (bass/vocals) and Chad Ploss (drums/vocals), the band was not interested in a trip down nostalgia avenue – no sir. Instead, they came to play from the get-go, as if no time had passed despite some extended hiatuses over the years.

Opening with with Jimmy Smith’s classic instrumental, “Back at the Chicken Shack,” Hennessy blew some mean harp, driving it into the red over a swinging beat before segueing into the original “You Don’t Know that You Don’t Know,” a witty shuffle that seems more timely than ever given the current state of the union. “Check for a Pulse” got terse, Ventures-style guitar from Scotty Mac – it rocked, people.

Before a deep rhumba blues treatment of “Can’t Win for Losin'” from the band’s 1999 release Travelin’, Scotty Mac paid tribute to the invaluable contributions of original drummer, Dave Clayton, but then couldn’t resist this barb: “The last time I saw Dave was 10 years ago in New Haven, and he was still complaining!” “Cadillac Jack,” played by special request, was six minutes of swing blues at its best.

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FEBRUARY 8: On This Date in Local 518 Concert History

February 8th, 2018, 12:00 pm by Greg
The Parlor

The Parlor on the closing night at Valentine’s Music Hall, 2/8/14

Compiled by Greg Haymes
Photograph by Timothy Reidy

It’s Throwback Thursday, so we’re back with another installment of our weekly flashback feature: On This Date in Local 518 Concert History. Check out our round-up of February 8 concerts through the years…

2017: International Guitar Night featuring Lulo Reinhardt, Luca Stricagnoli, Chrystian Dozza, Debashish Bhattacharya @ Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy
2016: Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band @ Times Union Center, Albany
2015: Periphery, Nothing More, Wovenwar, Thank You Scientist @ Upstate Concert Hall, Clifton Park
2014: Sgt. Dunbar & the Hobo Banned, The Parlor @ Valentine’s Music Hall (Valentine’s closing night)
2013: Robert Delong, Kloud 9, Auxidental @ Putnam Den, Saratoga Springs
2012: Brooks Williams @ the Iron Horse Music Hall, Northampton
2011: Dan Johnson & Expert Sidemen, Woody Pines @ Valentine’s Music Hall, Albany
2010: Frank Vignola Quintet @ The Egg, Albany
2009: The Gibson Brothers, Jim Gaudet & the Railroad Boys @ Lillian’s Restaurant, Saratoga Springs
2008: The Doc Marshalls, Jesse Lege @ The Linda, Albany
2007: David Fathead Newman @ The Linda, Albany
2006: Buckwheat Zydeco @ Club Helsinki, Great Barrington
2004: Dropkick Murphys, the Unseen, Kings of Nuthin’ @ Saratoga Winners, Cohoes
2003: Aimee Mann, Duncan Sheik @ The Egg, Albany
2002: The Holmes Brothers, Rory Block @ RPI’s West Hall, Troy

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LIVE: Tinsley Ellis @ The Linda, 1/26/18

February 7th, 2018, 4:00 pm by Greg
Tinsley Ellis

Tinsley Ellis

Review and photographs by Rudy Lu

Guitarslinger Tinsley Ellis burned up and tore down the full house of loyal fans at WAMC-FM’s The Linda last weekend at his third visit in three years. He played everything from slow burning blues to danceable boogie/shuffles. He entertained the crowd with music drawn from his entire catalog of 30 years of recordings. From the easily danceable Jr. Wells/Buddy Guy vehicle “Cut You Loose “ to the intense done-me-wrong blues “Gamblin’ Man” from his brand new album, Winning Hand, Ellis coaxed almost every sound imaginable just using his flying fingers and stomp box. His playing displayed the whole gamut of sounds including weeping, extended sustain notes using one hand and just playing on the neck.

The rhythm section – Kevin McCann on bass and Erik Kazcynski on drums – was always in the pocket. Kevin McCann added to the visuals with stage antics of his own, interacting with both Ellis and Kazcynski. The band was clearly playing off the energy of the large enthusiastic crowd, and their intensity never let up.

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LIVE: Bobby Harden & Soul Purpose @ The Falcon, 1/19/18

February 5th, 2018, 4:00 pm by Greg
Bobby Harden

Bobby Harden

Review and photographs by Ed Conway

Bobby Harden is not a household name, but he should be. He tours the world with his other band the Original Blues Brothers Band, fronting, along with Rob Paparozzi and Tommy “Pipes” McConnell, the band that includes original members Blue Lou Marini and Colonel Steve Cropper (and when we saw them, Tom “Bones” Malone). This night at The Falcon in Marlboro, he was with his own band, Soul Purpose, and he brought the house down with a voice dripping with SOUL.

Fittingly, although there was no warm-up act, owner Tony Falco decided to get the audience in the mood with clips of some famous musical scenes from “The Blues Brothers” movie. It was a fun, nostalgic romp, with Aretha, John Lee Hooker and Ray Charles, along with the usual suspects “dressed like Hasidic diamond merchants.”

Harden hit the stage with an extremely tight, seven-piece band. As with most R&B bands, a crisp horn section is a must, and if you closed your eyes, you would swear it was on player. Nippertown natives Cliff Lyons (sax) and John Hines (trumpet) were near perfection on their accent fills as well as their solos. Holding down the rhythm and keeping the funk were Richie Gonzales on drums and Gene Torres on bass. Adding the growl on the B3 was Rob Thompson, who also doubled on the concert grand piano. Lead guitar duties fell to the fabulous Herbie Maitlandt. Each of the back-up singers also got a turn in the spot light with Joyce Stovall doing Etta James’ “At Last” and Carole Sylvan with Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours.” And, wow, did they shine.

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LIVE: J20 Benefit Show @ Albany Free School, 1/20/18

February 2nd, 2018, 3:00 pm by Greg
The Hate Club

The Hate Club

Photographs by Timothy Reidy

A wide variety of Local 518 musical acts gathered together at the Albany Free School on a recent Saturday in an effort to raise funds for the defense of activists who were arrested protesting the presidential inauguration a year ago.

Taking place both upstairs and downstairs at the school, the benefit show featured more than a dozen diverse performers, highlighted by Hate Club, Prison and Modern Psychics, as well as Tall Ass Matt, Allyson Smith, Drive Me Home Please, Hospital Corner, El Kennedy, Triya Love, Nxnes, Utah and Illiptical & Solour-T.

More than $1,300 was raised at the event.

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LIVE: Ed Cherry @ Senate Garage, 1/20/18

February 1st, 2018, 4:00 pm by Greg
John Menegon and Ed Cherry

John Menegon and Ed Cherry

Review by J Hunter
Photographs by Rudy Lu

Jazzstock – the indie concert promotion organization run by vocalist Teri Roiger and bassist John Menegon – has been staging shows in Senate Garage for more than a year now. However, if you didn’t know what musical magic was happening inside the nearly 100-year old stone structure in the heart of Kingston’s Stockade District, you’d pass it off as another relic that someone probably turned into a bistro or a coffee shop or a clearing house for slightly-used MAGA hats. The truth is pretty darn breathtaking, if you ask me.

It’s not that the inside of the refurbished former parking garage is lavish: If anything, the modern chandeliers are the only things pricier than the finished floor that shines dimly under the fixtures’ exposed cylindrical bulbs. Seating is on black wooden folding chairs, food & beverages are served from a medium-sized table in one of the back corners (more on that situation later), and the “stage” is a king-sized Oriental rug in the center of an area that gets extra lighting from the kind of spotlights used to illuminate your back yard.

The overall feeling is of a pop-up gig, created by people who thought, “Hey, kids! Let’s put on a SHOW!” The thing is, though, it’s alternative spaces like this brick-walled banquet facility that have given Greater
Nippertown some of its best live jazz, and Ed Cherry’s appearance at Jazzstock’s “Winter Sky” concert can be added to that hallowed roster.

Cherry’s best known for backing the late great John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie, but the acclaimed hollow-body guitarist has been in business for himself for quite some time: In 2016, Cherry put out a truly fun organ-trio date on Positone called Soul Tree that included takes on everyone from Dave Brubeck to Kool & the Gang. There was no organ in sight when Cherry, Menegon, drummer Steve Williams and multi-instrumentalist Jay Collins mounted the stage, but the sweet groove that snaked through the 90-minute performance had the same mischievous vibe a Hammond B3 always brings to anything it’s involved with.

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FEBRUARY 1: On This Date in Local 518 Concert History

February 1st, 2018, 12:00 pm by Greg

Kathy Mattea

Compiled by Greg Haymes
Photograph of Kathy Mattea @ Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, 2/1/14 by Andrzej Pilarczyk

2017: Roiger-Levin-Menegon Trio @ Annarella Ristorante, Saugerties
2016: Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys @ the Falcon, Marlboro
2015: Running the River @ Mabee Farm, Rotterdam Junction
2014: Kathy Mattea @ Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy
2013: Marc Maron @ The Egg, Albany
2012: Megadeth, Motorhead, Volbeat, Lacuna Coil @ Glens Falls Civic Center, Glens Falls
2011: Hinder, Saving Abel, My Darkest Days, Kopek @ Northern Lights, Clifton Park
2010: Anti-Flag, Star Fuckin’ Hipsters, Aiden, Cancer Bats, the Black Tie Operation @ Northern Lights, Clifton Park
2009: Tom Rush @ the Eighth Step at Proctors, Schenectady
2008: Manchester Orchestra @ Jack Rabbit Slim’s, Albany
2007: Amandla, Vomlette @ Red Square, Albany
2006: The Samples @ Red Square, Albany
2003: Lily Tomlin @ Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy
2002: Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Riddlin’ Kids, Wakefield @ Northern Lights, Clifton Park
2000: The Glenn Miller Orchestra @ UAlbany’s Page Hall, Albany
1999: Janelle Donovan @ Professor Java’s Coffee Sanctuary, Albany
1998: Skinless, Straight Jacket, Last Call, Sour, Torn @ Bogie’s, Albany
1997: Michael Brecker, Pat Metheny, Joey Calderazzo & Jack DeJohnette @ Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy

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Caffe LenaThe Cock'N'Bull RestaurantHolly & EvanCartoonist John CaldwellJim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysAdvertise on Nippertown!Artist Charles HaymesAlbany Poets