Posts Tagged ‘Andrzej Pilarczyk’

LIVE: Lyle Lovett & John Hiatt @ Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, 10/6/15

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015
Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt

Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt

Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Outside on State Street in Troy, there were two big bright shiny tour buses and a huge tractor trailer. On stage inside the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, there were two straight-back chairs, four acoustic guitars and two sublime singer-songwriters. Heck, you could have fit it all into a station wagon.

Old friends Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt have been doing this sit-down, back-and-forth guitar pull thing for years. Before that, they did it as a trio with Joe Ely. And before that, it was a quartet of tunesmiths with Ely and Guy Clark. So it’s clear that they’ve honed in on each other in almost every way, and they know their onstage roles.

And make no mistake, their between-tune patter is as essential to their show as their songs. Dry as the Sahara and rarely cracking even a smile, Lovett plays the straight man/inquisitor, asking questions to the rubber-faced Hiatt, who steers his response to the comic side of the street and cracks up at the drop of a hat. Heck, I’d pay good money to see these guys together onstage even if they didn’t play a single song all night. They’re like the Rowan & Martin of the pre-Americana set.

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LIVE: Lucius @ Skidmore College’s Tang Museum, 9/18/15

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015
Lucius

Lucius

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

There certainly wasn’t much off-campus promotion for the Saratoga Springs debut of the captivating alt-pop band Lucius, but if you missed it, well, all I can say is that you just gotta stay tuned to Nippertown.com.

Just two days after a knock-out show at the Bearsville Theater in Woodstock, the Brooklyn-based indie popsters slipped quietly onto the Skidmore College campus for a free concert to help kick-off the new school semester.

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LIVE: Albany Riverfront Jazz Fest @ Corning Preserve Boat Launch, 9/12/15

Monday, October 5th, 2015
Booker T. Jones

Booker T. Jones

Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Ed Conway, Stanley Johnson, Andrzej Pilarczyk

Last year the Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival hosted five acts – two local and three national. Last month at the 14th annual fest at the Corning Preserve Boat Launch Parking Lot, the numbers were flipped the other way around. And Those Jazz Purists amongst us complained that neither of the out-of-town acts really played jazz. But headliner Booker T. Jones – whose ’60s band Booker T. & the MGs actually invented the simmering southern soul sound of Stax Records – proved them wrong.

Backed by a solid quartet that included his son Ted Jones on second guitar, Jones and his Hammond B3 organ melded soul and jazz into a sizzling, savory stew, roaring into a 75-minute show with the MGs’ “Pigmy.” More than half of his set was culled from the instrumental hits of that classic band, including the soul-strutting “Hip Hug-Her” (updated with a serious mid-song rap by drummer Darian Gray), the sweeping spaghetti western theme “Hang ‘Em High” (with an all-aces solo by Jones the younger) and “Soul Limbo” (fueled by a cowbell-driven drum solo from Gray). Jones lost a bit of momentum mid-show when he switched to guitar for tributes to Jimi Hendrix, Muddy Waters and Otis Redding, but he recovered with the MGs’ biggest hit, the timeless “Green Onions.” And they saved the best for last – a towering rendition of “Time Is Tight.”

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LIVE: Peter Case @ The Linda, 9/12/15

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

PeterCase1

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Peter Case has played a number of Local 518 shows during the past couple of years, most recently at the Low Beat exactly one year prior to his return earlier this month.

This time around, though, he took to the stage across the street at WAMC-FM’s The Linda. And once again he shared the stage with Greater Nippertown’s roots singer-songwriter Michael Eck.

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LIVE: The Zac Brown Band @ SPAC, 9/6/15

Monday, September 28th, 2015

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Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Country music – or at least what passes for country music these days – dominated the 2015 summer at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center from opening show of the summer (Lady Antebellum on May 31) straight through to the end – the season-closing concert by the Zac Brown Band on Labor Day weekend.

Brown and the boys romped into SPAC in support of their new album Jekyll + Hyde, and just they had in 2012 and 2014, they attracted one of the largest crowds of the year, rockin’ and rollickin’ away the night.

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

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

TobyWalker1

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: Chicago / Earth, Wind & Fire @ SPAC, 8/29/15

Monday, September 21st, 2015

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Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

The veteran horn-fueled band Chicago were one of the earliest rockers to grace the stage of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs back in the band’s ’60s & ‘early ’70s heyday.

And more recently, the baby-boomer faves have been a mainstay on the SPAC stage, teaming up for a summer tour with one or another classic rock band – Reo Speedwagon, the Doobie Brothers and, in this case, Earth Wind & Fire – for a regular Spa City double-bill.

So Chicago – still featuring the horn-fueled power of trumpeter Lee Loughnane and trombonist James Pankow, as well as original keyboardist-vocalist Robert Lamm – knows the drill. And rather than flip coin to determine who’s opening for who, they simply open and close the show with a full onslaught, double-band cluster-fuck.

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LIVE: The Doobie Brothers / Gregg Allman Band @ SPAC, 9/4/15

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

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Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

“Doobie, doobie, doo…”

Led by Tom Johnston, the Doobie Brothers rolled into the Saratoga Performing Arts Center last Friday (September 4) for the final weekend of the SPAC season, sharing the bill with the Gregg Allman Band and opening act Ruthie Collins.

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