Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Remembering Ralph Stanley

Monday, June 27th, 2016


By Paul Jossman
Photograph by Martin Benjamin

If you listen to the music of Ralph Stanley, from his first recordings with his brother Carter in the 1950s to those made after the film “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” introduced him to a larger audience, it is unchanged – essential, no frills, old time country and sacred music.

The story of the song was foremost, and the instrumental breaks were in the service of the melody and not the aggrandizement of the player. He was faithful to this ideal his whole life, and with the Biblical authority acquired over the course of his long career, he was a true legend.

Of course, there will never be anyone like him again as he came out of a time and place that doesn’t exist anymore. As he enjoyed renewed success in his late career, he certainly enjoyed remembering tghose early years of touring, playing high school auditoriums and 5am radio shows and selling albums out of the trunk of the car.

And that haunting voice, he sounded like an old man when he was in his twenties… and it just got better.

Among fans of traditional music he was known simply as Ralph. There was only one.

RIP: Ralph Stanley, 1927-2016


POSTPONED: Fears of Strangers Reunion

Monday, June 27th, 2016

The Fear of Strangers reunion concert that was originally slated for the Hollow Bar + Kitchen on Thursday (June 30) has been postponed due to injury. New date to be announced…

Here’s are the details from FoS bassist Steve Cohen:

“Val [Haynes] fractured her foot; it’s a stress fracture, but the doctor told her that she has to stay off it for 6 weeks or it’ll result in complications. Therefore we have to postpone our show. We’re going to try to find a date in the fall that works for all of us. Obviously this really sucks but there’s no other choice. Val’s not the kind of performer who’s going to sing sitting down, after all. That just wouldn’t work on several levels. We’ve all been putting a lot of work into this and we’re all tremendously disappointed, but health comes first and doctors’ orders rule.”

RIP: Ralph Stanley, 1927-2016

Friday, June 24th, 2016

Ralph Stanley, Whose Mountain Music Gave Rise to Bluegrass, Dies at 89 (The New York Times)
Ralph Stanley, bluegrass legend, dead at 89 (The Tennesseean)
Ralph Stanley: His 10 Greatest Performances (Rolling Stone)

The Demise of the Saratoga Music Hall? [Silverpen Productions]

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

By Jenna Caputo

Incensed. That is the word I would use to describe what I felt when I found out that the City of Saratoga wants to replace the historical Music Hall with offices…

Those of us involved with the arts world know just how important the arts are. There is now a lot of scientific proof about how they affect so many things in our world and our bodies in a positive way. Nothing else really compares! And yet, we are seeing arts programs quickly disappearing from schools. Movie houses are closing down left and right. School music programs slashed from the curriculum. Dance studios forced to close their doors. The list, unfortunately, goes on & on.

Living in such a historical town as Saratoga (hey, it even says on the signs, “Health, History, Horses”), a place known for its involvement in the arts as well as horses, a place that has significant historical significance, I naively never thought I’d see the day when they would erase such a significant part of its history.

Click here to read the rest at Silverpen Productions

CHANGE OF VENUE: Kiss Army On the Move

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

Kiss Army – the Kiss tribute band that was originally slated to play at the Palace Theatre at 8pm on Saturday night (June 25) – will apparently be marching down North Pearl Street to play at the Hollow Bar + Kitchen due to “unforeseen circumstances.”

All tickets issued for the Palace Theatre will be honored at The Hollow, although The Hollow show will be general admission, standing room only.

Oh, and if you’d rather see the real thing – or part of the real thing – former Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley is headed into the Upstate Concert Hall in Clifton Park at 8pm on Saturday, October 8. FYI: Frehley’s band includes Greater Nippertonian bassmaster Chris Wyse. Tickets for the Frehley show go on sale at 10am on Friday (June 24), priced at $25 in advance; $28 at the door.


Friday, June 3rd, 2016


Photograph by Timothy Reidy

Albany’s annual Art On Lark festival was slated to celebrate its 20th anniversary on Sunday (June 5), but the Lark Street fest has been postponed due to an inclement weather forecast for Sunday that calls for thunderstorms and high winds.

A new July date for Art On Lark will be announced soon. Stay tuned…

UPDATE: The 2016 Art On Lark has been re-scheduled for 11am-6pm on Saturday, July 16…

CANCELLED: Beacon Jazz Festival @ Seeger Riverfront Park

Tuesday, May 31st, 2016

Serious bummer…

Last week, the following note was posted on the Facebook page of the Beacon Jazz Festival, a one-day fest which was slated to take place at Seeger Riverfront Park in Beacon on Saturday, June 25 with the Sun Ra Arkestra headlining:

Dear Friends of the Beacon Jazz Festival:

It is with a heavier heart than you can possibly know that we must inform you that, because our main sponsor has pulled out at the last minute, we are forced to CANCEL what would have been this year’s second annual Beacon Jazz Festival on June 25th.

Yes, you read that right — this year’s Beacon Jazz Festival will NOT take place this summer after all.

Although modest by any standards, our budget simply couldn’t take the impact this main sponsor’s pulling out made and we have been unable to secure separate funding in time to proceed with this year’s festival.

On behalf of Six String Productions and everyone behind the scenes who work to make the festival happen, please accept our massive apologies for not being able to hold a second annual Beacon Jazz Festival this year. Watch this space as we strive to make another wonderful jazz event at Seeger Riverfront Park possible soon.

Sorry, one and all. Peace.

Skidmore College Commencement Honors Musicians

Friday, May 20th, 2016


Photograph by Andrzej Pilarczyk, Bernice Johnson Reagon at Skidmore, November, 2015

At Skidmore College’s 105th Commencement Ceremony on Saturday (May 21) at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center honorary degrees will be presented to two distinguished guests – and they’re both musicians. Classical pianist Emanuel Ax and Bernice Johnson Reagon, singer and founder of the a cappella gospel-and-more women’s vocal group Sweet Honey in the Rock.

Congrats to both, as well as the approximately 600 members of the Class of 2016.

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