Posts Tagged ‘Al Goldberg’

LIVE: Wussy @ the Low Beat, 7/24/14

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014
Wussy (photo by Ross Marvin)

Wussy (photo by Ross Marvin)

Review by Ross Marvin
Photographs by Ross Marvin, Al Goldberg and Kirsten Ferguson

As great as it was, the music was almost beside the point at the Wussy show on Thursday night at the Low Beat. Four members of the critically-beloved Cincinnati band were given tickets for marijuana possession before they could even get out of Ohio, and Johnny Law absconded with their entire stash. Not a great way to start a tour, though it sounds like it could make a pretty good Wussy song. Something about how driving a shitty tour van draws the attention of the cops, but Willie Nelson’s deluxe ride cruses right past the sirens, even though that bust would be a sure thing.

It was 11:30pm by the time Wussy got to Albany, and the crowd at the Low Beat ran out to their van to grab amps, guitar pedals and merch boxes to help expedite the set-up. One fan even lent her handwriting talents to the band, helping to copy the setlist. By 11:49pm, the band hit the stage, forgot about such petty things as a sound-check, took a shot of tequila in honor of National Tequila Day, and dug-in to one of the most incendiary performances that will grace Captial Region stages this year.

(more…)

Advertisement

Bobby Dick: The Sundowners … and Beyond

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012
A promotional photograph of The Sundowners from their television appearance on "It Takes A Thief" in 1968: (front, from left) bassist Bobby Dick, vocalist Eddie Brick and guitarist Dom DeMieri; (back) drummer Kim Capli and guitarist Ed Placidi

A promotional photograph of The Sundowners from their television appearance on “It Takes A Thief” in 1968: (front, from left) bassist Bobby Dick, vocalist Eddie Brick and guitarist Dom DeMieri; (back) drummer Kim Capli and guitarist Ed Placidi

Interview and story by Al Goldberg

With the recent passing of Davy Jones and Dick Clark, it brought to mind a performer with a rich history on the Nippertown music scene. Bobby Dick, whose band the Sundowners toured with the Monkees back in the day, had kept up a close friendship with Jones over the years.

His band’s history goes back to the very early ’60s in their native Brooklyn. An act called the Del-Phi’s, were in attendance when Bobby won a talent contest at the local CYO. They were impressed enough to ask him to join their instrumental group, which was looking for a vocalist. He graciously accepted, and after learning to play bass – took on that duty as well. Members left and new ones came along, as they continued to evolve. The sax and keyboards were done away with, resulting in a tighter five-piece outfit. Almost everyone now assumed the vocal chores to some extent, in order to achieve the proper harmonies on certain songs.

Eventually, another lead vocalist, Eddie Brick, would come onboard. This made them somewhat unique, as most of the inner-city bands at that time were instrumental. Since the name “Del-Phi’s” was considered too urban in nature for their style, Bobby came up with a new name – the Sundowners, taken from a Robert Mitchum film. Playing covers by artists such as Elvis, Chuck Berry and the Everly Brothers, they performed at high school dances in the beginning, then moved on to the Catskill resorts and also the popular New York City clubs of the time, including Trudy Heller’s, Cafe Wha and the Wagon Wheel.

One night, they were thrown out of the Peppermint Lounge for being too young. Indeed, some of the guys were barely in their teens. Dick believes that a member of a competing band reported them to the state liquor authority for being under age. It was decided that a move northward would be better, where perhaps they wouldn’t come under as much scrutiny. In 1963, the group relocated to Lake George.

(more…)

LIVE: Beat Fest @ River Street Beat Shop, 7/7/12

Monday, July 30th, 2012

Review and video by Joel Patterson
Photographs by Al Goldberg and Timothy Reidy

Okay, so you’re determined to write an algorithm that will capture the magic that is the Chandler Travis Philharmonic. The pj’s and bathrobes, that’s easy to program, and the goofy hats. Every one a charming misfit – but devastatingly fluid on their chosen instrument. So far this is little more than online gaming – witty characters doing a splashy, pseudo-campy routine. A Motown/Dixieland/salsa/Mersey beat/big band octet, or a nonagon.

What you’ll have to do is something that algorithms rarely do – include your audience as part of the show. Make every song a vital puzzle piece that helps the world make sense. Carry your listeners along like you’re leading a caravan into a land of hopes and dreams and half-submerged memories and delirious, delightful wonders. You’d better get coding!

Off The Record (photo by Al Goldberg)

Off The Record (photo by Al Goldberg)

Big Creek (photo by Timothy Reidy)

Big Creek (photo by Timothy Reidy)

The Chandler Travis Philharmonic (photo by Al Goldberg)

The Chandler Travis Philharmonic (photo by Al Goldberg)

LIVE: Rhythm On the Ridge @ Maple Ski Ridge, 6/9/12

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012
Dan Johnson & His Expert Sidemen

Dan Johnson & His Expert Sidemen

Photograph by Al Goldberg

For the third consecutive year, the Rhythm On the Ridge fest at Maple Ski Ridge in Rotterdam was moved indoors due to the threat of rain. In truth, the weather turned out to be pretty beautiful, but earlier in the morning when the indoor/outdoor decision had to be made, it certainly didn’t look like it was gonna work out that way.

No matter. Plenty of fun was had by all who attended.

And there was a great bunch of roots music in the two indoor locations, including Flood Road, Three Quarter North, Dan Johnson & His Expert Sidemen (seen above), CB Smith & the Lucky Devils, Lost Radio Rounders (with special guest Steven Clyde on bass), Ramblin Jug Stompers and lots more.

Next year, the weather’s gonna be perfect…

NOTE: Dan Johnson & His Expert Sidemen reconvene at Valentine’s Music Hall in Albany tonight, as they host another of their semi-regular Americana Tuesday concerts. Special guests tonight include the Dirty Bourbon River Show (who describe their sound as “New Orleans Gypsy folk circus rock music”) and Jack & the Bear. The festivities begin at 8pm, and admission is $5.

Five Firsts: Wreckless Eric

Monday, April 23rd, 2012
Amy Rigby and Wreckless Eric (photo by Al Goldberg)

Amy Rigby and Wreckless Eric @ Valentine’s Music Hall, 11/9/10 (photo by Al Goldberg)

NAME: Wreckless Eric
BAND AFFILIATION: Wreckless Eric & Amy Rigby
INSTRUMENT: electric guitar, bass guitar, vocals

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … “Are You Experienced” by the Jimi Hendrix Experience

(more…)

LIVE: Grainbelt @ Caffe Lena, 3/10/12 (Review #2)

Monday, March 19th, 2012
Grainbelt: Roger Noyes, Jimmy Kaufman, Howard Glassman, Chris Blackwell and Jason Hughes

Grainbelt: Roger Noyes, Jimmy Kaufman, Howard Glassman, Chris Blackwell and Jason Hughes

Review by Fred Rudofsky
Photographs by Al Goldberg

What do Bob Dylan, Skip James, Emmylou Harris, Nick Brignola and Grainbelt have in common? As of March 10, 2012, they all have played to appreciative audiences with good taste in music at Caffe Lena.

Grainbelt’s debut was a long time coming, but it was sure worth the wait. Playing two sets before a sold-out crowd to promote their excellent new CD (or “SP”), “A Distant Sound” (Kranepool Records), the quintet led by singer-raconteur Howard Glassman, Delmar’s own “song and dance man,” was in top form.

Drawing inspiration from Buck Owens and Gram Parsons to Merle Haggard and Jason & the Scorchers, Grainbelt plays music for those who never think twice about rolling up their sleeves in good times or bad. Restlessness pervaded the first few songs – “Darlene” featured a plaintive vocal from Glassman about a romance spanning coast to coast; “Dunedin”, a guitar-driven track from the new release, depicted the longing to pull up one’s stakes.

(more…)

LIVE: Hamell On Trial @ Steamer No. 10 Theatre, 2/25/12

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012
 Hamell On Trial @ Steamer 10, 2/25/12

Review by Fred Rudofsky
Photographs by Al Goldberg

Part retrospective, part preview of an upcoming album and concept show, Hamell on Trial’s performance at the Steamer No. 10 Theatre in Albany was one for the ages. A small but fervent crowd of music fans came in from the cold and got to see one of the best, most prolific songwriters in America up close and personal.

After an introduction by Michael Eck, Hamell dressed in black strode out onto the stage, plugged in his vintage Gibson acoustic and gave a prologue for the night about how his years in Syracuse as a working musician and bartender in an infamous venue had brought him face to face with “the disenfranchised.” Many of the songs during the evening delved into how the other half lives, with Hamell virtually channeling Jacob Riis, Woody Guthrie, Joe Strummer and James Ellroy in a torrent of vivid, heartrending and sometimes unsettling (and often quite funny) lyrics. In between the songs were jokes and stories ranging from corny to wry to obscene – in other words, it was like entering a spectacular microcosm where irreverence topples all pretense and conventional wisdom. Even Hamell himself stepped off microphone to ask the rapt audience late in the second set, “Is any of this linear?”

(more…)

LIVE: Willie Nile @ The Linda, 2/18/12

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012
Willie Nile

Willie Nile

Review by Fred Rudofsky
Photographs by Al Goldberg

In an alternate universe, “American Idol” and its ilk do not exist; no one turns a blind eye to poverty or hunger; and a guitar is the only weapon of choice. All those visions and more came to life during a mesmerizing two-hour set by the incomparable Willie Nile at The Linda, recorded for future broadcast on WAMC-FM.

The Linda has been a perennial stop for Nile, whose performances have been jaw-dropping. With acoustic guitar in hand and bassist Johnny Pisano singing harmonies, Nile set the tone that this was going to be night for a full house to remember with “Singin’ Bell,” the rousing lead track to his acclaimed 2010 release, “The Innocent Ones.” That album’s title track, which Nile called “a prayer for compassion” in his introduction, seemed to channel the spirits of George Harrison and Joe Strummer. In a heartfelt, impromptu moment, he dedicated “Rich and Broken” to the late Whitney Houston, acknowledging her vocal talent as well as her fatal predilection for the trappings of fame.

Last autumn, Nile and Pisano toured the United Kingdom – be sure to check out the superb 2011 “Live: Hard Times in the U.K.” on River House Records) and had the chance to visit the childhood home of John Lennon. The story of that day was a riveting example of string theory, and the duo went into a spirited “My Little Girl,” a song they played in that Liverpool house’s porch, first in a cappella mode, then with instruments in hand, Pisano playing an extraordinarily melodic solo (just one of many virtuoso moments) reminiscent of Paul McCartney’s work on “Please Please Me.” Keeping in the Fab Four spirit, Nile went right into the shimmering “Her Love Falls Like Rain.”

(more…)

Cartoonist John CaldwellCaffe LenaHolly & EvanAdvertise on Nippertown!Leave Regular Radio BehindHudson SoundsBerkshire On StageKeep Albany BoringThe LindaArtist Charles HaymesAlbany PoetsArtist GG Roberts