LIVE: The Tedeschi Trucks Band @ The Egg, 12/8/15

December 30th, 2015, 4:00 pm by Greg
The Tedeschi Trucks Band

The Tedeschi Trucks Band

Review by Steven Stock
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

The twelve-piece Tedeschi Trucks Band ventured through a lot of territory in their well-received two-hour performance at The Egg’s Hart Theatre, covering songs made popular by Betty Harris, Bobby “Blue” Bland, the Box Tops, George Harrison and John Prine before sending everyone home happy with a rollicking version of the Coasters’ (or perhaps you prefer Ray Charles’ rendition?) nugget “Let’s Go Get Stoned.”

That disparate range of influences only begins to suggest this ensemble’s versatility. “Don’t Miss Me,” a rare carryover from the Derek Trucks Band repertoire, began as a conventional blues then suddenly veered left into Trout Mask Replica terrain. With three horns (saxophone, trumpet and trombone) and three backing vocalists, the overall sound of the group resembled an updated version of the Stax/Volt sound crossed with Joe Cocker’s early-’70 Mad Dogs & Englishmen. Cocker more or less poached the Mad Dogs from Leon Russell, but that didn’t prevent Russell (along with compatriots Rita Coolidge and Dave Mason) from joining Tedeschi Trucks in paying tribute to Cocker’s band earlier this year at the Lockn’ Festival in Arrington, Virginia.

At The Egg, it was refreshing to witness two performers who built their sizable reputations as superb guitarists subordinate their egos to work effectively in a big-band context. On the lengthy coda to “I Want More,” Derek Trucks did get his licks in while engaging in lovely dialogue with Kofi Burbridge’s flute, a passage evocative of Traffic at its finest.

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LIVE: The Dave Rawlings Machine @ The Egg, 11/7/15

November 17th, 2015, 4:00 pm by Greg


Review by Bokonon
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Thirty years ago d. boon obliquely suggested cutting down on the guitar solos. I’m good with that. I could live a long happy life without hearing another guitar solo. But Dave Rawlings doesn’t count. He can play as many as he wants to, whenever, wherever he wants.

Rawlings played some solos at The Egg recently, yes, yes he did. And he could have played more. It would have been OK, even d. boon says so.

Rawlings brings such invention and opportunity to every pass on the six-string, cascading lines full of seconds and ninths, brilliant raindrops of sound. Much is made in the geek world of his ’36 Olympic, but the fact is it’s all about his hands. Epic. Swirling. Enchanting.

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LIVE: Holly Bowling @ the Massry Center, 10/28/15

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

Holly Bowling

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

One woman. One piano. Ten fingers. 88 keys…

Holly Bowling took the stage at the College of St. Rose’s Massry Center for the Arts recently and delivered a solo piano recital quite unlike anything that you’ve ever seen or heard before.

The repertoire for her nearly three-hour concert was culled primarily from the songbag of Vermont’s jam-band kingpins Phish, although she did slip the Grateful Dead’s “Cassidy” into the mix during the second portion of her concert.

While many of her interpretations were re-inventions of Phish faves, there were also a number of selections that she had painstakingly transcribed from renowned live performances, like the epic, show-closing rendition of “Tweezer” from Tahoe in July, 2013, which clocked in at a sprawling 37 minutes. See the video below…

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LIVE: Mother Falcon & Ben Sollee @ Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, 10/22/15

November 4th, 2015, 4:00 pm by Greg


Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk
Video by Tim Reidy

It started out with an unaccompanied accordion introduction by Tamir Kalifa. A handful of other instruments gradually crept in, and then Matt Krolick uncorked a high-flying trumpet fanfare that heralded the proper kick-off of the song “Naked and Alive.” Up front, mandolinist Claire Puckett and bandleader/12-string guitarist Nick Gregg strummed hard and sang the chorus that included the lyric “We do what we want ’cause we look like we should.”

Indeed, the mega-talented indie-orchestral band Mother Falcon can do whatever they want. And the lush dance-pop of “Naked and Alive” – think ’80s bands like ABC or maybe Spandau Ballet, but with real strings rather than synthesizers – summed up only one facet of what they can do.

Making their Local 518 debut at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall before a small but enthusiastic crowd, the sprawling, 14-piece Austin-based collective was a seamless fusion of rock and classical music that defied definition. Terms like “chamber pop” or “symphonic rock” just don’t do them justice. They’re really in a league all their own.

Mother Falcon has teamed up with Kentucky-born singer-songwriter-cellist Ben Sollee for the Fall Migration Tour, pulling selections from both of their catalogs, and their joint Troy concert confounded whatever expectation you may have brought into the hall. There was no opening act, as Sollee the the Falcon folks played together for most of the two-hour performance, although each had their own spotlight numbers.

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LIVE: Grace Potter @ the Palace Theatre, 10/29/15

November 3rd, 2015, 4:00 pm by Greg


Review by Don Wilcock
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Grace Potter, the prodigal daughter, returned home last Thursday (October 29) to play the Palace Theater in Albany. Originally from Waitsfield, Vermont, she left home more than a decade ago and signed with Hollywood Records releasing five albums in 10 years. Midnight, her most recent release, is her first solo CD without her band, the Nocturnals. In her Albany concert, she gave a shout out to Albany and Troy, acknowledging early gigs here. The elephant in the room, however, was the question of whether she’d be embraced by a fan base she’s left in the lurch, at least on her new solo album.

Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Sam Cooke, the Moody Blues, and Miley Cyrus have all made drastic right or left turns in their sound that alienated their core constituency. Dylan pissed off the traditional folkies when he plugged in, Sam Cooke when he went secular, the Moody Blues when they went from blues to orchestral, and Miley Cyrus when she grew out as opposed to
up and dissed her Disney image. Grace Potter, like Miley Cyrus, has a Disney connection. Her label, Hollywood Records, releases all Disney-related product, and she sang solo on the soundtrack to Disney’s 50th animated feature, “Tangled.”

Potter’s appeal until Midnight has been her ability to bring a Joan Jett-level of rock energy to a band as thick with heavy rock texture as a bowl of New England clam chowder. Drop dead beautiful with her long blonde hair, she played up her sensuality like Madonna without resorting to a bag of tricks, and the band supplied a solid underpinning to offer a hard rock authenticity equaling that of the now long-in-the-tooth band Heart.

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LIVE: New York State Presenters Network Showcase @ The Egg, 10/27/15

October 28th, 2015, 4:00 pm by Greg
Rani Arbo and Daisy Mayhem

Rani Arbo and Daisy Mayhem

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

The New York State Presenters Network is holding its annual conference in Albany this week, and in conjunction with the various workshops and panel discussions, the conference also hosts a showcase performances at The Egg. The concerts are free and open to the public.

The performance showcase on Tuesday evening (October 27) offered a sampling of a diverse array of music and dance. On the musical end of the spectrum, the performances included the folk-bluegrass sound of Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem; the adventurous, avant garde So Percussion; and the Latin sounds of Orlando Marin. Meanwhile, from the dance world New York Theatre Ballet and Dance Heginbotham both served up poetry in motion.

The Egg in Albany will be hosting another showcase performance at 7:30pm tonight (October 28) featuring dance by the Dance Theatre of Harlem, Sidra Bell Dance New York and Illstyle & Peace Productions, as well as music by the Jeremy Kittel Trio, the Howard Fishman Band and Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars. Admission is FREE.

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LIVE: American Music Festival for the Lake @ Wood Park, 9/26&27/15

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

Review and photographs by Cathy DeDe (courtesy of The Glens Falls Chronicle)
Additional photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

The American Music Festival for the Lake retains its position as the likely high-water mark for successful events at the Festival Commons at the Charles R. Wood Park in Lake George — but on a slightly weird foundation this year.

Last year’s event, also produced by locals Robert Millis of Saratoga and Dave Ehman of Lake George, was the site’s first real success story.

This year, they scored a true coup: One of few appearances here by Capital Region success story Sawyer Fredericks, the soulful young guitarist-songwriter-singer, he of the bowler hat and long blonde hair, winner of Season 8 of “The Voice,” TV’s music contest.

Sawyer drew a massive crowd of between 2,100 and 2,300 people, Mr. Millis tells The Chronicle, for his Saturday evening gig. Many came early enough to catch the lead-in acts as well — but most left almost immediately after young Sawyer was done on stage.

Well, except for the 300 who had paid to stand in line and get autographed CDs and pictures with the young phenom.

That had to be a little galling to the next act up, stellar reggae-rock group Crucial Fiya, who played to a significantly emptied lawn and a sea of empty VIP chairs previously held by members of “Team Sawyer.”

Go here to read the rest at The Glens Falls Chronicle

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LIVE: David Crosby @ The Egg, 6/30/15

July 10th, 2015, 3:00 pm by Greg


Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

No Stills…
No Nash…
No Young…
Crosby goes it alone.

After a half century of standing on stage shoulder-to-shoulder with some of the most talented musicians of the rock era – both in the Byrds and in Crosby, Stills & Nash (and sometimes Young) – it took a certain amount of courage to take the spotlight all alone with just an acoustic guitar, as David Crosby did at the sold-out The Egg’s Hart Theatre on a recent Tuesday night.

But over the years, Crosby has endured drug and alcohol abuse, Hepatitis C, Type 2 Diabetes, a liver transplant, numerous arrests and a nine-month stint in a Texas state prison. He’s nothing if not a survivor, and he managed just fine by himself at The Egg. And though it seems nearly impossible considering what he’s put his body through, his voice sounds nearly as good as it did 40 or 50 years ago – warm and vital, sometimes keening, always inviting. At 73, he’s still quite capable of hitting the high notes, although his vocals did waver a bit at times.

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