Posts Tagged ‘Albany’

LIVE: Gregory Alan Isakov @ The Egg, 4/10/15

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

Gregory Alan Isakov

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Colorado-based singer-songwriter Gregory Alan Isakov brought his band into The Egg in Albany recently for his Nippertown concert debut. With songs that told the story of miles, landscapes and the search for a sense of place, Isakov focused primarily on selections from his most recent album, The Weatherman. Americana favorite Jolie Holland opened the concert.

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LIVE: Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds @ the Hollow Bar + Kitchen, 3/28/15

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

Review by Fred Rudofsky
Photographs by Timothy Reidy

It goes without saying that when seven-piece Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds play your town, the energy levels surge so high that even the snow outside starts to melt. On this particular Saturday night, the Hollow Bar + Kitchen was sizzling and filled to capacity. It was nothing but a house party from start to finish – “Albany should always be this much fun!” as one woman in the audience exclaimed to me feverishly after the two-hour set.

The band, a self-described “hard soul collective” led by the immensely talented and beautiful singer Arleigh “Sister Sparrow” Kincheloe, was greeted with a roar from the crowd even before the first notes of long-time favorite “Freight Train.” The second-line rhythms of New Orleans and standout riffs of Phil Rodriguez (trumpet) and Brian Graham (saxophone) galvanized “Millie Mae” and had the patrons cutting a rug.

Several songs from the band’s upcoming album The Weather Below got a strong reception. “Don’t Be Jealous,” a strutting blues led by guitarist Sasha Brown and the deep groove of Dan Boyden (drums) and Josh Myers (bass), had Sister Sparrow testifying and flying around the stage, exhorting the crowd to dance its cares away. A soulful “We Need a Love,” “Sugar” (highlighted by a spontaneous, mid-song Bo Diddley-esque clap-along) and the current single, “Mama Knows,” a deep soul number that featured some poignant Hammond B-3 styled harp playing by Arleigh’s big brother Jackson Kincheloe, kept the crowd rapt. “Borderline” began with a multi-vocal introduction and hit some Sly Stone-worthy hooks; it would make a great second single release sometime this spring. “Prison Cells,” which was featured later in the set, percolated with Caribbean rhythms and inspired Sister Sparrow herself to pick up some sticks and join Boyden behind the kit while Rodriguez dropped some knowledge on the trumpet.

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CD Release Party: Dan Johnson’s “Suck It Up, Cupcake”

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

Singer-songwriter Dan Johnson – former Nippertonian, host of the late, much lamented Tuesday night Americana Music Club sessions at Valentine’s Music Hall and current Vermont troubadour – returns to town on Wednesday (April 22) for an early show at the Low Beat in Albany. The 6pm happy hour gig serves as the Local 518 CD release party for Johnson’s tasty new album, Suck It Up, Cupcake.

So what’s with the album title?

As Johnson explains in the liner notes:

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Win FREE Tickets to Pete Francis @ the Low Beat on Friday

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

Pete Francis – of Dispatch and formerly of Hermit Thrush and Woodriver Bandits – roars into the Low Beat in Albany on Friday night. The Funky Dawgz Brass Band is slated to open the show at 8pm. Tickets are available in advance for $13.

BUT WAIT… there’s more. We’re giving away a pair of FREE TICKETS for the concert to some lucky Nippertown reader! 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. Deadline to enter is 12noon on Friday (April 24). The winner will be selected at random and notified on Friday afternoon. Good luck! Congratulations to the winner, who has been notified by email.

MORE OF THIS WEEK’S TICKET GIVEAWAYS:
Win FREE Tickets to Landlady @ the Low Beat on Thursday

LIVE: Sufjan Stevens @ the Palace Theatre, 4/15/15

Monday, April 20th, 2015

Review by Greg Haymes

When a singer-songwriter performs an entire album’s worth of musical meditations on death and loss, well, you expect the concert to be something of a downer. And alt-pop iconoclast Sufjan Stevens’ recent performance at Albany’s Palace Theatre certainly was no rock & roll dance party, as he played all of the songs from his brand new album, Carrie and Lowell, penned following the death of his estranged mother.

“What is that that song you sing for the dead?” he sang during “Death with Dignity,” the opening song of the show, following the wordless, largely instrumental intro, “Redford (For Yia-Yia & Pappou).” But there was no one single answer. In fact, songs for the dead filled the first half of the concert, as Stevens and his backing quartet of multi-instrumentalists examined grief and mourning in all its many facets. The intensely personal songs plumbed the depths of emotional turmoil from guilt to despair to anger, and yet ultimately the concert was a glorious, deeply spiritual affirmation of life and faith.

He dealt frankly and nakedly with death, and yet discovered an underlying hope. It was, in one word, majestic.

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The Complete Schedule for Albany’s MOVE Music Festival This Weekend

Monday, April 20th, 2015

MOVE Music Festival 2015Yeah, we’ve been telling you about the annual MOVE Music Festival all along. But now, the complete schedule of who’s playing where and when has finally been revealed.

The fest takes place at a dozen different venues throughout Albany from Friday-Sunday (April 24-26) featuring more than 100 bands, solo musicians and DJs showcasing their musical talents.

In addition to all the music, the fest also features talks and interactive roundtable discussions from 2-6pm on Saturday (April 25) at the Albany Hilton featuring music industry movers and shakers Tony Skimkin, Steve Theo, David Bourgeois, Karla McDonald, Joe Blaney, Alicia Gelernt, Ariana Purro, Timothy Pattison, Mike Blatt, Adam Epstein and Peter Iselin.

Three-day, all-festival tickets are currently available for $20.

Here’s the complete schedule for the fest to help give you a head start on planning for the big weekend:

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LIVE: Ampevene @ the Hollow Bar + Kitchen, 3/27/15

Friday, April 17th, 2015
Ampevene

Ampevene

Photographs by Timothy Reidy

Led by guitarist Gabe Stallman, Nippertown prog-rockers Ampevene have been making quite a name for themselves, and they showed why with their recent show at Albany’s Hollow Bar + Kitchen in Albany, which also featured Doctor Magnum and Nickopotomus.

Your next opportunity to check out Ampevene live is tonight, when they open for Aqueous at Putnam Den in Saratoga Springs. Showtime is 9:30pm, and admission is $10 at the door; $15 is under age 21.

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LIVE: Joan Armatrading @ The Egg, 4/12/15

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

Joan2

Review by Steven Stock
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Early in her knockout performance at The Egg Sunday night Joan Armatrading mentioned that this was the 125th date on what’s billed as her “last major worldwide tour.” She joked about being weary and promised to try something new: a very short set. Then Armatrading proceeded to take a rapt audience through what was essentially a guided tour (complete with slideshow) of her marvelous 43-year career, betraying absolutely no hint of road fatigue.

For this tour Armatrading performed solo but with a couple of technical enhancements. A mid-sized video screen hung center-stage, and while she sang “City Girl” from her 1972 debut, stock footage of highways and skyscrapers were projected, later overlaid with new-agey washes of colors and patterns. To my mind the videos were neither compelling nor distracting, but if you ask a contemporary audience to put away their damn cellphones it’s probably wise to provide a substitute pacifier of some sort. The other enhancement was musical: on a few songs, Armatrading deployed pre-recorded backing tapes of synth chords. While the tapes helped highlight Armatrading’s harmonic sophistication, like the videos they weren’t really needed.

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