Posts Tagged ‘Andrzej Pilarczyk’

LIVE: Paul Weller @ Upstate Concert Hall, 6/14/15

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

PaulWeller1

Review by Steven Stock with Greg Haymes
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

There was much to admire about Paul Weller’s passionate performance at the Upstate Concert Hall in Clifton Park Sunday night, starting with the 57-year old rocker’s refusal to trade in nostalgia. The first fifteen years of his career with the Jam and the Style Council weren’t even acknowledged in a set largely derived from Weller’s superb new record Saturns Pattern. The show had a nice flow, with churning rockers like opener “White Sky” and the propulsive “From the Floorboards Up” interspersed with lovely ballads like “You Do Something to Me” and the virtual vaudeville of “Brand New Toy.”

Guitarist Steve Cradock used his Gibson to play stinging, pungent solos throughout the 100-minute set. Songs such as “7&3 is the Striker’s Name” and “Peacock Suit” displayed Weller’s facility for writing insidiously catchy little guitar riffs — earworms, if you will. Weller contributed additional guitar or keyboards to each song, enabling the six-piece band to generate an impressive (if not quite Spectorian) wall of sound.

While the Jam’s catalog wasn’t tapped, Weller did revisit select highlights from his subsequent solo career, reaching as far back as 1992’s eponymous Paul Weller and touching on Stanley Road, Heavy Soul, As Is Now, Wake up the Nation and Sonik Kicks. Weller’s not been one to repeat himself, but these records share a certain allegiance to classic rock values – as you might expect from someone who’s named three of his seven kids Bowie, Dylan and John Paul (we’re still waiting for George Ringo).

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LIVE: Ginger Baker’s Jazz Confusion @ The Egg, 6/16/15

Thursday, June 18th, 2015
Ginger Baker

Ginger Baker

Review by Brett Williams
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Once, in days of yore, Peter Edward “Ginger” Baker was the tall, gaunt, fire–maned maniac who provided the rhythmic backbone to Jack Bruce and Eric Clapton in Cream. His style, brewed of equal parts feverish aggression and jazz–oriented precision, earned him a reputation as a drummer that has only ever been exceeded, arguably, by his reputation for drug use on a Keith Richards kind of scale, and for his legendarily nuclear blow-ups with band-mate Jack Bruce.

That was Ginger Baker then.

Ginger Baker now is a haggard, bespectacled septuagenarian. His distinctive red hair is a (mostly) tame shock of white. He has a degenerative spinal condition. He has COPD from a decade’s long, unrepentant smoking habit. He admits to being exhausted and in pain after every performance. My companion for the show, a drummer and ER nurse, spent most of the second set alternately admiring Ginger’s flam technique, and reviewing CPR in his head, just in case Mr. Baker was stricken mid-song (and it seemed a close-run thing whenever he stood up).

Yet two things about Ginger Baker remain undiminished. First – although it was never really on display Tuesday night – he remains, by nearly all accounts, a grumpy, grumpy man (he did tell us to shut up once, for applauding too much). Second – and this is the important one – he can still drum.

God, can he drum.

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LIVE: Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit @ The Egg, 5/22/15

Monday, June 15th, 2015
Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit

Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit

Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Memorial Day is more than just an extra day off from work or an afternoon to fire up the grill and welcome summer…

Kicking off the big Memorial Day weekend at The Egg’s Hart Theatre, singer-songwriter Jason Isbell honored those who have served in our armed forces with a terrific triptych of tunes early on in his two-hour show. With his solid but unobtrusive four-piece backing band, the 400 Unit, slamming into arena-rock assault mode, Isbell launched into the delicate balance of honor and hostility in “Decoration Day” from his days with the Drive By Truckers, digging in and turning up the heat with a fiery slide guitar solo. “Tour of Duty” showcased the country twang aspect of the band, while “Dress Blues” was a personal and anguished remembrance of a young soldier and father-to-be, who didn’t live to see his 22nd birthday. “There’s red, white and blue in the rafters/And there’s silent old men from the Corps/What did they say when they shipped you away/To fight somebody’s Hollywood war?”

Perhaps Isbell plays those songs every night when he’s out on tour, but they echoed and ached with a deeper resonance on this night.

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LIVE: The Daniel Kelly Trio / the Seeing With Photography Collective @ the Sanctuary for Independent Media, 5/9/15

Friday, June 5th, 2015

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Photographs by Rudy Lu, Andrzej Pilarczyk

The dynamic Daniel Kelly Trio – featuring pianist-bandleader Daniel Kelly, drummer Rob Garcia and bassist Matt Pavolka – took the stage at the Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy last month for a unique concert that fused together elements of both music and art.

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LIVE: “Raise the Rafters” @ Skidmore College’s Zankel Music Center, 5/16/15

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015
Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion

Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

We should be celebrating Caffe Lena every day, but, of course, we tend to take it for granted because it’s always there. OK, well not exactly “always” – but for 55 years. And for the past 20 of those years, it’s been the guiding hand of manager Sarah Craig that’s has been at the helm, steering the Caffe into the 21st century with a delicate balance of adventure and tradition.

So for “Raise the Rafters” – the dual anniversary concert celebration for Craig and the Caffe – Skidmore College’s Zankel Music Center in Saratoga Springs hosted a half-dozen Caffe favorites from the past two decades. There was the jugband vaudeville of the Wiyos, the father-and-son Beaucoup Blue duo, the wry bluegrass of Jim Gaudet & the Railroad Boys, the fab fiddling Sara Milonovich & Greg Anderson, rollicking one-man band the Suitcase Junket and the husband-and-wife team of Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion – each playing a short, 20-minute sampler set.

Yes, it was a delightful sonic smorgasbord that somehow stretched from blues to ballads, from a reggae-tinged polka to a Cajun two-step, and tunes plucked from the songbags of folks from Woody Guthrie to Led Zeppelin.

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LIVE: Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience @ the Palace Theatre, 5/19/15

Thursday, May 28th, 2015
Jason Bonham

Jason Bonham

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

WHO: Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience
WHERE: The Palace Theatre, Albany
WHEN: Tuesday, May 19

Jason Bonham: drums
Tony Catania: guitar
James Dylan: vocals
Alex Howland: keyboards/guitar
Dorian Heartsong: bass

Tribute bands are all the rage these days, and Led Zep tribute bands are at the top of the heap. Already this year we’ve seen Get the Led Out (the Palace Theatre, 2/6/15) and Hammer of the Gods (The Egg, 3/7/15) roll into Nippertown concert venues, and there are more on the way, of course, including Zepperella at Mountain Jam (6/5/15), Led Zeppelin 2 at SPAC (8/1/15) and Zoso at Troy’s Rockin’ On the River concert series (8/12/15).

So what makes Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience stand out from the pack?

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LIVE: Albany Tulip Festival @ Washington Park, 5/9/15 (Day One)

Thursday, May 28th, 2015
The Kooks

The Kooks

Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk, Timothy Reidy

Albany’s Tulip Festival is typically the harbinger of spring, the first big volley into the vast array of outdoor music fests that populate the Nippertown concert calendar. But with temperatures in the mid-80s and the sun blazing down in Washington Park all afternoon for Day One of the fest, it felt more like a hot, mid-summer celebration.

And the Kooks delivered the goods with a bristling headlining set on the Parade Grounds’ main stage, drawing from a surprisingly wide variety of contemporary pop styles. Led by singer-guitarist Luke Pritchard, the British quartet (plus one guitarist-backing vocalist semi-hiding behind a stack of amplifiers), cracked open their 75-minute show with “Around Town,” the opening track of their latest album, “Listen.” They quickly won over the crowd – which was seemingly at least twice as large as it was for the two earlier bands – diving right into the call-and-response of “Bad Habit,” with the audience heartily shouting back at the band.

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LIVE: Jean Rohe & the End of the World Show @ Caffe Lena, 5/10/15

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

Rohe2

Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Jean Rohe (guitar, vocals); James Shipp (vibes, percussion); Liam Robinson (accordion, keyboards); Matt Aaronoff (bass); Jordan Peterson (drums)

Sarah Craig has been hitting them out of the park lately, both musically and with attendance records at Caffe Lena. The Mothers Day concert by Jean Rohe & the End of the World Show was more of a musical triumph then one of breaking attendance records, but this is an artist that Craig, the Caffe’s executive director, intends to bring back to the Caffe time and again in the future to build up a regional following for them.

That’s a smart move because the band – made up of Berklee School of Music and Purchase School of Music grads – is one of the finest ever to play the Caffe. Their ability to traverse the most subtle note to the hardest, is uncanny. The five-piece outfit shot out one song after another from Rohe’s newest, self-titled album with the most exquisite interwoven rhythms from India, the Middle East, Europe and, of course, the American roots-music pantheon, with Rohe’s lovely voice sailing in and around every note.

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