Posts Tagged ‘Andrzej Pilarczyk’

LIVE: Chuck Pyle @ Caffe Lena, 3/27/15

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

chuckpyle1

Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

From Colorado, Chuck Pyle is a down to earth, warm and sincere singer, songwriter and storyteller. At his recent concert at Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs, the self-proclaimed “Zen Cowboy” weaved simple guitar melodies with complex and sometimes acute observations about everything from bumper-sticker philosophy to the ever-changing socio-political landscape of the country.

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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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LIVE: Michele Rosewoman’s New Yor-Uba @ The Egg, 3/21/15

Monday, April 13th, 2015

Michele Rosewoman

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Following her magnificent 2013 performance at Lake George’s Jazz at the Lake festival in celebration of the release of 2-CD set 30 Years: A Musical Celebration of Cuba in America, pianist-composer Michele Rosewoman brought her New Yor-Uba band back to Nippertown for another brilliant concert at The Egg in Albany last month.

With her 11-piece New Yor-Uba band – including Schenectady native and former UAlbany student Gregg August on bass – Rosewoman blended modern jazz, sophisticated funk, dynamic electric fusion with distinctive elements of Cuban folkloric music to create a unique and electrifying musical experience for all.

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LIVE: Snowapple / Fish & Bird @ Caffe Lena, 3/13/15

Thursday, March 26th, 2015
Snowapple

Snowapple

Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Though the Snowapple concert was on Caffe Lena’s calendar for weeks prior to their Friday night show, no advanced tickets had been sold as late as Wednesday. Sarah Craig, the Caffe’s manager was worried. A while back she had discovered the amazing, three-part harmonies of the female Dutch trio and signed them on to appear at Lena’s. And she had excitedly whispered in the ears of several dozen Caffe regulars that this was the one not to miss. Yet here it was two days before the show, and no advanced tickets had been sold.

Craig spring into action and boldly reached out to the press, patrons and the public to generate interest. She knew that this was too good a show to cancel; it had to go on, and people had to know about it.

The trio played within the folk-acoustic idiom, but they also embraced their European musical traditions, as well as a heap of influences from American folk and contemporary pop music. Their layered and powerful three-part vocal harmonies coupled to their instrumental prowess put them squarely in the company of the Wailin’ Jennys, Red Molly and the Boxcar Lilies – same stylistic approach, but with a decisive twist in their repertoire choices. It’s a unique and fun experience to hear – for example, a Kanye West song done up in a singer-songwriter folk arrangement, albeit with three voices, keyboards, acoustic mandolin and guitar.

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LIVE: Asleep at the Wheel @ The Egg, 3/8/15

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015
Asleep at the Wheel

Asleep at the Wheel

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Asleep at the Wheel’s new album is titled Still the King: Celebrating the Music of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys, but of course, long tall Texan Ray Benson and his band have been celebrating Bob Wills’ music since they first formed 45 years ago.

So, there really weren’t any surprises during their concert at The Egg’s Swyer Theatre earlier this month – just good ole, flat-out, rollicking western swing, as they glided through gems like “Big Balls in Cowtown,” “Route 66″ and, of course, “Miles and Miles of Texas.”

Benson is the only remaining original member, but he always surrounds himself with top-notch players, and the Wheel’s current incarnation is no exception, fueled by keyboardist Emily Gimble, fiddler Katie Shore and saxophonist/pedal steel guitarist Eddie Rivers, as well as the ace rhythm section of drummer Dave Sanger and bassist Dave Miller.

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LIVE: Leo Kottke @ The Egg, 3/7/15

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

Leo Kottke

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

There are good guitarists, and there are great guitarists. Then there are guitar players who are somehow able to completely re-invent the instrument and what it can do.

Leo Kottke is one of those guitar players, as he proved once again in concert at The Egg in Albany earlier this month…

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LIVE: Caladh Nua @ Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, 3/11/15

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

Review by Brett Williams
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk
Videos and photographs by Timothy Raab

As she finished an a cappella passage during the first set of Caladh Nua’s Wednesday night show at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, lead singer Lisa Butler looked slowly, wonderingly up from her microphone, apparently delighted by the legendary acoustic quality of the Capital Region’s most under-appreciated venue. Though she probably couldn’t see it, staring back at Ms. Butler was an audience equally delighted with the performance put on by one of Ireland’s best young traditional music ensembles.

Midway through a tour of the Midwest and Northeast, quintet Caladh Nua became the latest installment of the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall’s annual pre-St. Patrick’s traditional Irish music concert which has, in recent years, featured the likes of the Chieftains and Danú. And while Caladh Nua – which translates roughly to “New Haven” – may lack the stateside name-recognition of those other acts, that takes nothing away from their playing, which was as technically good as it was stirring – by turns lilting and melancholy, contemplative and rousing. Everything, in short, traditional Irish music should be.

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LIVE: Robbie Dupree & the Woodstock Allstars @ the Van Dyck, 2/20/15

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

Robbie Dupree

Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

On a cold winter’s night singer-songwriter Robbie Dupree rolled into town to take the stage at the Van Dyck with his Woodstock Allstars. Dupree is best remembered for his two Top 10 singles, “Steal Away” and “Hot Rod Hearts,” which earned him a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist in 1980. He had lesser hits in following years with “Brooklyn Girls” and, for those older World Wrestling Federation fans, “Girls in Cars.”

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