2/24/17: Today’s Top Tips: Friday

February 24th, 2017, 7:00 am by Greg

MUSIC: The Lonely Heartstring Band @ Cock ‘n Bull, Galway. The Boston-based bluegrass faves have become the home-away-from-home house band at CnB… and with good reason. 8:30pm. $20.

MUSIC: Bridge Jazz Festival @ Troy Savings Bank Music Hall , Troy. Down in New Orleans, this is simply the biggest weekend of the year, and one of the Crescent City’s finest bands – the Dirty Dozen Brass Band – are landing in Troy to kick off the two-night Bridge Jazz Fest and Mardi Gras weekend. With pianist Eldar Djangirov. 7:30pm. $28, $36 & $42.

MUSIC: Jim Gaudet & the Railroad Boys @ Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs. The hometown bluegrass heroes bring their batch of wry, top-notch tunes. With Boston singer-songwriter Susan Cattaneo. 8pm. $22.

MUSIC: Buffy Sainte-Marie @ the Bearsville Theater, Woodstock. From classic protest anthems to Oscar-winning love ballads to incendiary powwow rock, the veteran singer-songwriter has been doing it all for more than 50 years. With the Huntress and Holder of Hands. 8pm. $20, $30 & $35.

MUSIC: reaLation @ the Van Dyck, Schenectady. For 20 years, they’ve been combining eclectic musical influences and thought-provoking lyrics to lead the listener down the path to enlightenment. 8pm. $10.

MUSIC: KT Tunstall @ The Egg, Albany. She scored big with her 2004, multi-platinum debut, Eye to the Telescope, and now she’s back for a solo concert in support of her latest album Kin. British–Zimbabwean singer-songwriter Kelvin Jones will open the concert. 8pm. $29.50.

MUSIC/FUNDRAISER: Amy Rigby @ HiLo, Catskill. The always charming singer-songwriter and her band – wreckless bassist Eric Goulden and drummer Doug Wygal – play a benefit for the Catskill Public Library. Doors at 7pm. Donations encouraged.

MUSIC: The LateShift @ Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Troy. 9pm. FREE.

MUSIC: Soul Brass Band @ BSP Lounge, Kingston. Frontman Derrick Freeman leads the Big Easy brass band in a party to kick off Mardi Gras weekend. 9pm. $15.

MUSIC: Robb Bank$ @ the Low Beat, Albany. With Dash, Wifisfuneral, Warhol & Slump God, Ronny J and Ill Chris. 6pm. $20; $50 VIP.

ART/MUSIC: “Informal Language” @ Collar Works, Troy. A reception for the art exhibit curated by Jenny Kemp with works by emerging artists Nadine Beauharnois, Danny Ginsburg, Kelsey Renko and Christine Snyder. With an 8:30pm performance by the Machine That Wouldn’t Die. 5-9pm. FREE.

MUSIC: Veena Chandra @ Skidmore College’s Zankel Music Center, Saratoga Springs. Sitar concert, accompanied on tabla by guest artist Vidwan Devesh Chandra. 8pm. FREE.

ARTS WALK: Troy Night Out @ various locations, Troy. This month’s theme is “Fashion Your Passion.” 5-9pm. FREE.

MUSIC: Lordi @ Upstate Concert Hall, Clifton Park. The Finnisj horror-metal band invades UCH in support of their latest album Monstereophonic. With Steve Noir and More Human. 8pm. $25.

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LIVE: San Fermin/NOW Ensemble @ Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, 1/26/17

February 23rd, 2017, 4:00 pm by Greg

Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

At the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, the NOW Ensemble played a short set of several classical-tinged compositions, and then without a break in their performance, they were joined on stage by the San Fermin band. It was looking to be a straight-through concert with no intermission, far different from San Firmin’s performance at Skidmore College’s Zankel Theater a couple of years back.

This time out San Fermin was less aggressive and in your face than they were in Saratoga. In the hallowed Troy Savings Bank Music Hall they were superb collaborators and ensemble players with a whole other band in tow, presenting a more layered, nuanced musical palette.

Once on stage San Fermin lead the collaboration with the NOW Ensemble, showcasing a sublime and dynamic spirit in their performance and holding the audience captive in anticipation. The music traversed a wide variety of different styles and genres across the musical spectrum – a little of this and that and a whole new bag to boot. What would be best described as “art music” permeated the Music Hall.

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FIVE FIRSTS: Tory Hanna of the Whiskey Treaty Roadshow

February 23rd, 2017, 3:00 pm by Greg

NAME: Tory Hanna
BAND AFFILIATION: The Whiskey Treaty Roadshow
INSTRUMENT: acoustic guitar and lead vocals

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … The first album I ever bought was Green Day’s Dookie. I still remember the cassette tape and the little monkey questioning whether or not you should throw poop into the crowd.

2. THE FIRST CONCERT THAT I EVER SAW WAS … The first concert I’ll never forget, it was the Mighty Mighty Bosstones on the Warped Tour in Northampton, Massachusetts. Skateboarding in so much punk rock!

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FEB. 23: On This Date in Local 518 Concert History

February 23rd, 2017, 1:30 pm by Greg
Ken Stringfellow

Ken Stringfellow @ Valentine’s Music Hall, 2/23/13

Compiled by Greg Haymes
Photograph by Alan Goldberg

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 23 concerts through the years…

2016: Jon Cleary & the Absolute Monster Gentlemen @ the Iron Horse Music Hall, Northampton
2015: Kongos, Sir Sly, Colony House @ Upstate Concert Hall, Clifton Park
2014: Band of Horses @ The Egg, Albany
2013: Ken Stringfellow @ Valentine’s Music Hall, Albany
2012: Jill Sobule @ Club Helsinki, Hudson
2011: Rain @ the Palace Theatre, Albany
2010: Blissed Out, Fossils from the Sun, Rambutan, 1983 @ Saratoga Arts Center, Saratoga Springs
2008: Dumpstaphunk @ Revolution Hall, Troy
2007: Oregon @ The Egg, Albany
2006: Seether, Shinedown @ Nothern Lights, Clifton Park
2005: Nicole Peyrafitte @ Firlefanz Gallery, Albany
2004: Dresden Dolls, Broadcast Live @ Valentine’s Music Hall, Albany
2003: Yonder Mountain String Band @ The Egg, Albany
2002: The Tiger Lillies @ MASS MoCA, North Adams
2000: Smashing Pumpkins @ Colonie Center, Albany
1999: Bil Krauss @ Positively Fourth Street, Troy
1998: Bliss @ Mother Earth’s Cafe, Albany
1997: Del McCoury Band, Banjo Dan & the Midnight Plowboys @ the Parting Glass, Saratoga Springs
1996: Francis Dunnery @ the Metro, Saratoga Springs
1995: The Staziaks, Glaze @ Pauly’s Hotel, Albany
1994: 1313 Mockingbird Lane, Tadpole @ Bogie’s, Albany
1993: Eric Burdon, Smokestack Lightning @ Charity’s, Clifton Park
1992: Ani DiFranco @ Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs
1991: Shawn Colvin, Mary Lou Lord @ Skidmore College’s Filene Hall, Saratoga Springs
1990: EPMD, Troop, Kwame @ Palace Theatre, Albany
1989: Even the Odd, Binky Philips @ QE2, Albany
1988: Loudon Wainwright III, Bert Sommer @ QE2, Albany
1986: Queen Ida @ the Town Crier, Pawling

A FEW MINUTES WITH… Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top

February 23rd, 2017, 12:00 pm by Greg
ZZ Top

ZZ Top

By Don Wilcock
Photograph by Andrzej Pilarczyk

“The bottom line is ZZ sounds like ZZ, which is that of interpretation rather than slave to form. It’s what keeps it funky.” So says guitarist-bandleader Billy Gibbons.

It’s a slippery slope adapting hardcore electric blues to the rock world without coming across as modern-day minstrels. To add your own mojo to the mix without desecrating your mentors is harder still. To do it with the same line-up for 48 years is unprecedented. And to sell 30 million units of 15 studio albums along the way is a blues band’s wet dream.

ZZ Top has done all that and more…

On Sunday night, ZZ Top brings their Tonnage Tour to Proctors in Schenectady. Tonnage refers to the old Tennessee Ernie Ford hit “Sixteen Tons.” Years ago someone posted a YouTube video of a band purported to be ZZ Top with Jeff Beck performing the song. ZZ Top, amused by the video, started performing the song on tour and recorded a London concert version with – you guessed it – Jeff Beck sitting in. It’s included on their CD, ZZ Top – Live! Greatest Hits from Around the World.

The current tour follows up the release of Billy Gibbons’ debut solo LP Perfectamundo, a Latin-flavored work that shows another side of Gibbons, who took lessons from Tito Puente at age 13.

Q: Of all the major blues-influenced rock acts of the last 60 years, ZZ Top is the best at pushing the envelope further back and further forward at the same time. What do you get out of a Sonny Boy Williamson, John Lee Hooker and Tennessee Ernie Ford song that inspires your sound without ever sounding retro?

A: We rarely think of the blues as something immutable. It’s ever evolving so there’s scant reason to be too doctrinaire about such an art form. It’s difficult to imagine if Muddy Waters had never plugged in. That would have been a way different detour and perhaps that’s why we do what we do… create experimental situations.

The blues really remains a living organism on so many levels, which leads us to just do what we do and let it flourish. The bottom line is ZZ sounds like ZZ, which is that of interpretation rather than slave to form. It’s what keeps it funky.

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DANCE: Gerard & Kelly’s “Modern Living” @ EMPAC [Berkshire on Stage]

February 23rd, 2017, 11:00 am by Sara

At 7pm tonight (Thursday, February 23), choreographers Gerard & Kelly host a free open-studio presentation on their work-in-progress, Modern Living, exploring queer intimacy and domestic space, at EMPAC at RPI in Troy.

In 2016, Gerard & Kelly choreographed nine dancers in performances at the landmark Schindler House in West Hollywood, the site of an early experiment in communal living, and Philip Johnson’s Glass House in New Canaan, CT, where the architect and his partner David Whitney lived for over 40 years. The performances investigated the livability of queer space — its pleasures, tensions, and impossibilities — and were filmed for the next iteration of the project.

In residence at EMPAC, the duo are now working to translate the project into a gallery installation integrating architectural forms and video projection. This open-studio event will invite you behind the scenes with the artists, who will introduce Modern Living and discuss their work, which shifts between dance and visual art contexts, the gallery, the stage, domestic and public space.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

ArtBeat: What To See

February 23rd, 2017, 9:30 am by Sara

Opening

Chloe Zerwick: A Sublime Situation @ Hudson Opera House

Chloe Zerwick: A Sublime Situation @ Hudson Opera House

Chloe Zerwick: Inside the Box @ Hudson Opera House, Hudson. An exhibition of assemblages by Chloe Zerwick. Artist’s reception: Saturday, February 25, 5-7pm. (Through March 26)

Nasty Women HV @ Instar Lodge

Nasty Women HV @ Instar Lodge

Nasty Women HV @ Instar Lodge, Germantown. An exhibition in response to the presidental inauguration, in conjunction with Nasty Women NYC. All proceeds will be donated to the Hudson Valley Planned Parenthood. Opening Friday, February 24, 7:30-9pm. (Through Saturday, February 25)

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2/23/17: Today’s Top Tips: Thursday

February 23rd, 2017, 7:00 am by Greg

MUSIC: Glen David Andrews @ the Parish Public House, Albany. The veteran Crescent City trombonist-vocalist kicks off the big Mardi Gras weekend in high gear. Laissez les bons temps rouler! 8pm. $20.

MUSIC: Young the Giant @ the Palace Theater, Albany. The LA indie rockers take the stage in support of their latest album, Home of the Strange. With Lewis Del Mar. 8pm. $24.50, $27.50, $29.50 & $34.50.

MUSIC: John Doe @ Club Helsinki, Hudson. The co-founder of seminal California punk-rock band X fires up a solo concert featuring the psychedelic soul sound of his latest album, The Westerner. 8pm. $20.

MUSIC: The McKrells @ Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs. Singer-songwriter Kevin McKrell is joined by John Kribs on guitar, Orion Kribs on mandolin, Arlin Greene on bass and Doug Moody on fiddle. 7pm. $20.

COMEDY: Bill Engvall @ Proctors, Schenectady. Grammy nominated, multi-platinum selling recording artist, blue collar stand-up comedian and former “Dancing with the Stars” contestant steps into the Electric City spotlight. 8pm. $35-$65.

MUSIC: Joe Barna & Sketches of Influence @ Senate Garage, Kingston. The drummer-composer is accompanied by saxman Kenny McCabe, guitarist Mark Kleinhaut, pianist Dave Solazzo and bassist John Menegon. 7:30pm. $15.

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Jim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysHolly & EvanThe Cock'N'Bull RestaurantCartoonist John CaldwellCaffe LenaAdvertise on Nippertown!Hudson SoundsLeave Regular Radio BehindBerkshire On StageAlbany PoetsArtist Charles HaymesThe LindaAustralian Cattle Dog Rescue Association