Boston rockabilly stars Jittery Jack paid a visit to the Ale House for the last stop on their tour, which covered more than five weeks and both coasts. After so many weeks on the road, it must have been tough to be within reach of home, but they didn’t let that stop them from putting on a great show.
Sadly, there weren’t a lot of people at the show, maybe because it was so cold outside after a winter made an unscheduled return to Greater Nippertown (OK, made its first appearance?). As cold as it may have been outside, the music was hot, as front man Kevin Patey tore into one song after another.
Keeping things on fire was the ever-present Miss Amy Griffin providing hot licks on her new Matsos guitar, as well as, back-up harmonies. Kevin and Amy have been together for 20 years going back to their old band the Raging Teens, who will be playing a 20th anniversary reunion show this fall at the New England Shake-Up, and it definitely shows. Yeah, their timing is impeccable. For this tour, however, Jittery Jack was joined by Brooklynite Bobby Moller on drums with Britain’s own Danny Baker on upright bass. Being on tour together playing almost every night, one would expect an extremely tight sound and that’s exactly what the audience got.
Most of the week I was listening to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival live via WWOZ-FM, but these are the albums I heard the rest of the time:
Aesop Rock: The Imaginary Kid (Fifth Element, 2016) Norah Jones: Little Broken Hearts (Blue Note, 2012) The Jayhawks: Paging Mr. Proust (Thirty Tigers, 2016) Mike Auldridge: Dobro: Blues and Bluegrass (Takoma, 2002)
Original Cast Recording: “Bright Star” (Ghostlight, 2016) Snarky Puppy: Cultha Vultha (Decca, 2016) Bryan Thomas: Radio Plastic Jennifer (BryanThomas.com, 1999) Bill Lloyd: Lloyd-ering (SpyderPop, 2016) Florist: The Birds Outside Sang (Double Double Whammy, 2016) Brian Eno: The Ship (Warp, 2016)
A master lyricist and satirical storyteller, Hiatt weaves hidden plot twists into fictional tales on themes of redemption, relationships, growing older and surrendering on one’s own terms. His songs have been recorded by artists as diverse as Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt (“Thing Called Love”), Emmylou Harris, Iggy Pop, Rosanne Cash (#1 country hit “The Way We Make a Broken Heart”), the Jeff Healey Band (“Angel Eyes”), and even the cartoon bear band of Disney’s film, “The Country Bears.” He earned a Grammy nomination for Crossing Muddy Waters, while B.B. King and Eric Clapton shared a Grammy for their album Riding With the King, the title track from which was a Hiatt composition.
I’m not inspired most of the time. Life is fairly mundane. But I get up in the morning and get going and try to make something of myself, of the day. As far as music, I usually pick up the acoustic guitar – which I’ve done since I was 11 – and just start strumming some chords. Usually that’s when I write if I’m gonna write. And if I’m not gonna write then I just sit around and play for an hour or two.” – John Hiatt
Two new shows have been added to the performance calendar at Albany’s Palace Theatre.
Tribute band Kiss Army – featuring Marc Shadows, Steve Clark, Bryan Angel and Rob Evans – marches into the Palace to recreate the ’70s hitmaking era of Kiss at 8pm on Saturday, June 25. Priced at $22, tickets go on sale to the general public at 10am on Friday (May 6).
Meanwhile, the husband and wife team of comedian/actors Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally (of the hit TV shows “Parks & Recreation” and “Will & Grace,” respectively) bring their stage show Summer of 69: No Apostrophe to the Palace at 8pm on Thursday, August 25. With the show, the duo will be “yanking the britches right off of their marriage, exposing the salacious details of their fiery union for all the world to enjoy, featuring songs, funny talking, heavy ribaldry, light petting and an astonishing final act of completion.” Tickets are $39.50, $49.50 & $59.50.
Tickets for both shows are available to Palace members beginning on Wednesday (May 4). Tickets go on sale to the general public at 10am on Friday (May 6).
The concert takes place at 7pm on Wednesday, May 11, and tickets are currently on sale, priced at $37.50 & $45. All previously purchased tickets from the originally scheduled TU Center performance will be honored at the Palace. Floor ticket holders will have general admission access to the orchestra section of the Palace. All reserved seat ticket holders will have general admission access to the Palace balcony.
Following the fabulously successful Folkathon last weekend, Caffe Lena heads into the home stretch with just a month of concerts left on the calendar before major renovations begin on Monday, June 6. The renovations – including an elevator to make the Caffe handicap accessible – are expected to take several months to complete, and the folks at Caffe Lena are hoping to re-open in the revamped, reconfigured, enlarged space on October 1.
But what’s going to happen to the fabled coffeehouse during those lucrative Saratoga summer months?
Well, like so many in the Spa City, Caffe Lena is going to be moving into a summer home – the Grove at Neumann, an independent senior living community at 233 Lake Ave. in Saratoga that held its grand opening last November.
Expect to hear the same great Caffe Lena music at the Grove, and most of the same tasty menu – including those de-lish chocolate chip cookies – will be available as well. In addition, beer and wine will also be sold at the Caffe shows. And dinner-and-a-show combo specials will also be available.
Here’s the June schedule of concerts upcoming at Caffe Lena at the Grove at Neumann:
In support of the brand new album, Continuum, acclaimed Swiss jazz pianist Nik Bärtsch brings his acoustic quartet Mobile to EMPAC at RPIin Troy for one of only three American concerts of his utterly captivating “ritual groove music” at 8pm on Thursday (May 5).
Formed in 1997, Mobile consists of drummer Kaspar Rast, bass clarinetist Sha and tuned percussionist Nicolas Stocker. The group’s first album, Ritual Groove Music, defined what the ensemble was to become: a vehicle for exploring “integral musical concepts within a ritualistic framework.” Drawing on elements of funk, new classical music, traditional Japanese music and improvisational jazz, Bärtsch’s compositions use reduction and repetition to distill musical ideas and generate intense focus before the ensemble blows these ideas out to their maximal scope.
Tickets for the concert by Nik Bärtsch’s Mobile are currently on sale, priced at $18; $13 for students & seniors.
BUT WAIT… We’re giving away a pair of FREE TICKETS to the show to two lucky Nippertown readers. To enter the contest, just post a comment below. Please leave your email address, too. We won’t publish it, but we’ll use it to contact you if you win. The deadline to enter is 12:30pm on Wednesday (May 4), and the winner will be selected at random and notified on Wednesday afternoon. Enter today! And good luck! Congratulations to the winners, who have been notified by email.
Pop-punksters Blink-182 – minus founding member Tom DeLonge – are back in the saddle again. Their upcoming tour in support of their upcoming album California (slated for release on July 1) will include a stop at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center at 7pm on Sunday, September 4.
MUSIC: Palm @ the Half Moon, Hudson. Led by guitarist-vocalists Kasra Kurt and Eve Alpert, the band returns to Hudson in support of their recently released debut album,Trading Basics. 8pm.
TALK/MUSIC: Michael Torke @ Union College’s Taylor Music Center, Schenectady. The New York Times hailed him as “a master orchestrator whose shimmering timbral palette makes him the Ravel of his generation.” Torke will compose a new 25-minute, four-movement symphonic work that will have its world premiere at SPAC as performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra on August 5. His talk, “Structuring Emotion,” will trace his compositional process using examples of his own critically acclaimed original work. 5pm. FREE.
MUSIC: Jim Gaudet & the Railroad Boys @ McGeary’s Pub, Albany. Previewing selections from their upcoming album slated for release later this month, the wry bluegrass band returns to McGeary’s for their first-Monday-of-the-month residency. 7:15pm. FREE.