LIVE: Toby Walker @ Riverlink Park, 8/22/15

September 23rd, 2015, 3:00 pm by Greg


Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

What a beautiful day with a terrific sunset…

The occasional train rumbled by Riverlink Park in Amsterdam, and each time bluesman Toby Walker tried to switch gears to play a train song, which he finally did at the end of the second set. It was a long train, and his song flew all around the country where trains go delivering their cargo. When the song lyrics hit New Orleans, he played a few bars of “When the Saints Come Marching In.”

Walker traversed the blues cannon by playing songs from lesser known blues artists, musicians who he met and spent time with, enriching the concert experience for blues fans, especially those steeped in the tradition.

And not unlike a jazz concert, whenever Walker soloed on one of his acoustic guitars, the audience spontaneously applauded his seamless efforts, including a difficult passage where he continued the bass line with his thumb while picking the lead with his other fingers.

Toby Walker is a true practitioner of the acoustic blues tradition…

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LIVE: Roosevelt Dime @ Riverlink Park, 8/8/15

August 28th, 2015, 3:00 pm by Greg


Photographs by Stanley Johnson

Following captivating summer performances around the Local 518 at Caffe Lena and the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, the Brooklyn-based Americana-r&B quartet Roosevelt Dime arrived in Amsterdam’s Riverlink Park earlier this month for a free outdoor show that featured hard-driving banjo, fat-back blues guitar and honky-tonk harmonies over a bedrock of funky New Orleans rhythms.

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LIVE: Christine Ohlman & Rebel Montez @ Riverlink Park, 7/4/15

July 17th, 2015, 3:00 pm by Greg


Photographs by Stanley Johnson

Following her Caffe Lena gig at the end of May, Christine Ohlman and her band Rebel Montez returned to Greater Nippertown earlier this month for a dual celebration – the Fourth of July and the kick-off of the Riverlink Summer Concert Series in Amsterdam’s Riverlink Park.

The blond, bee-hived queen of blue-eyed rock ‘n’ soul is instantly recognizable from her longtime stint as a vocalist with the “Saturday Night Live” Band, and she’s become a regular visitor to the Local 518 in recent years, firing up her sizzling, soulful sound with bandmates guitarist Cliff Goodwin, bassist Michael Colbath and drummer Larry Donahue.

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LIVE: The Amsterdam Halloween Parade, 10/25/14

October 31st, 2014, 2:00 pm by Greg

The Amsterdam Halloween Parade

Review and photographs by Stanley Johnson

I took a walk with the living dead along Guy Park Avenue in Amsterdam on Saturday (October 25). Not only were there zombies everywhere, but all kinds of ghosts, vampires, werewolves and fairy princesses, too. It was the City of Amsterdam’s annual Halloween Parade, and the weather was too nice to be spooky.

I walked with Abigail (dressed as an eskimo maid) and her elementary school group from Barkley Microsociety in Division 2 of the parade. Others groups in the division included McNulty Academy, Techler Arts in Education, St. Mary’s Institute, Marie Curie Institute, Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts and the Amsterdam High School Cheerleaders.

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LIVE: MaryLeigh Roohan @ Riverlink Park, 7/26/14

August 8th, 2014, 2:00 pm by Greg

The MaryLeigh Roohan Band

Photographs by Stanley Johnson

In support of her perfectly splendid album, Skin & Bone, Saratoga Springs singer-songwriter MaryLeigh Roohan and her band wowed the crowd at Amsterdam’s Riverlink Park recently.

Roohan is back on the road again now, currently rambling through North Carolina, Tennessee, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota, but she’ll be back in time for a hometown concert at Caffe Lena at 8pm on Saturday, August 30.

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LIVE: The Chronicles @ Riverlink Park, 8/24/13

August 28th, 2013, 4:00 pm by Greg
Jeff Nania and Bryan Brundige

Jeff Nania and Bryan Brundige

Review by Stanley Johnson

The Chronicles brought an excellent mix of jazz, blues, funk, rock and more to the Riverlink Park on a beautiful Saturday evening along the banks of the Mohawk River.

The seven-member group performed a number of tracks from their debut album, The Chronicles, as well as selections from their upcoming October release, Spanning the Gap, produced by Soulive’s Alan Evans.

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LIVE: Riverlink Jamboree @ Riverlink Park, 8/3/13

August 15th, 2013, 4:00 pm by Greg
Nate Gross of Tumbleweed Highway

Nate Gross of Tumbleweed Highway

Review and photographs by Stanley Johnson

The fifth annual Riverlink Jamboree brought the Nellies, the Bear Bones Project and Tumbleweed Highway to the stage at Riverlink Park on the banks of the Mohawk River on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in Amsterdam.

First up on the day were the Bear Bones Project, featuring Carey Ahner on vocals and acoustic guitar, Bill Decker on bass, Sandy Decker on vocals and accordion, Eric Johnson on drums and Pete O’Hearn on vocals and electric guitar.

The band boogied through a set of covers including “You Can’t Do That” (Beatles), “Half-Step Mississippi Uptown Toodle-oo” and “Cumberland Blues” (Grateful Dead), “Wild Night” and “Tupelo Honey” (Van Morrison) “Stir It Up” (Bob Marley), “Willin’” (Little Feat) and “Revival” (Allman Brothers Band), with lots of hot guitar licks by Ahner.

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LIVE: Betty & the Baby Boomers @ Riverlink Park, 7/27/13

August 1st, 2013, 4:00 pm by Greg
Betty and The Baby Boomers

Betty and the Baby Boomers

Review and photographs by Stanley Johnson

The banks of the Mohawk River in Amsterdam were an appropriate place to listen to songs about the Hudson River during Betty & the Baby Boomers recent concert at Riverlink Park in Amsterdam.

The band – consisting of Betty Boomer and Jean Valla McAvoy on vocals, Steve Stanne on guitar and vocals, Paul Rubeo on guitar, percussion and vocals and Robert Bard on bass – played songs from the four albums that they’ve released over the course of more than two decades together.

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