LIVE: Albany’s All-America City Jazz Festival, 9/12/09

September 18th, 2009, 12:41 pm by Greg

Lee Shaw and Rich Syracuse

Lee Shaw and Rich Syracuse

This year’s Albany’s All-America City Jazz Festival kicked off in high gear with Nippertown’s own queen of the keys Lee Shaw taking the bandstand. Her long-time bandmates – bassist Rich Syracuse and drummer Jeff Seigel – turned up the heat behind Shaw’s impassioned piano stylings as she masterfully led the trio through a handfull of jazz standards and memorable originals. Wearing a bright red coat and a scarf to fend off the chill in the air, Lee Shaw warmly smiled out to the audience as her fingers melodically caressed the keys.

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FIVE FIRSTS: Lori Friday of Super 400

September 9th, 2009, 2:33 pm by Greg

LoriFridayNAME: Lori Friday

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … “Hot Rocks,” the Rolling Stones. The neighborhood corner store kept their cassettes in one of those wood veneer cases with the locked plexiglass front. The owner was a suspicious sort and would get annoyed by the kids who came in to gaze at the music selection. I’ll never forget the summer I listened to that tape over and over, to Myrtle Beach and back.

2. THE FIRST CONCERT THAT I EVER SAW WAS … Hall and Oates, Glens Falls Civic Center, when I was nine years old. I couldn’t believe how loud it was.

3. THE FIRST MUSICAL INSTRUMENT I EVER OWNED OR PLAYED WAS … upright piano, after begging for either a piano or a horse. Thanks for indulging me, Mom and Dad!

4. THE FIRST SONG THAT I EVER PERFORMED IN PUBLIC WAS … “The Entertainer” by Scott Joplin, on public access TV when I was maybe 9 or 10.

5. THE FIRST BAND I WAS EVER IN WAS … My town was so small, there was no one to jam with. So I joined the high school jazz band.

Lori Friday and her Super 400 bandmates celebrate the release of their new CD, “Sweet Fist,” at Revolution Hall in Troy on Friday, September 11. And there’s still time to enter to win an autographed copy of the new album from your pals at Just go here for details.

Be Here Now: The Summer of ’69 Rock Reunion @ the Rolling Stone Pub, 8/8/09

August 5th, 2009, 6:29 pm by Greg

The summer of 1969 was a magical time. For some of us, it was all about landing a man on the moon. For others, it was the granddaddy of all musical events, the Woodstock Festival. And, of course, all some of us know about the summer of ’69 is what we learned from that Bryan Adams song. (Really? Is that possible?)

On Saturday, August 8, a dozen of the Capital Region’s rockin’-est bands of that golden era will be teaming up for an all-day class reunion at the Rolling Stone Pub in Burnt Hills.

The festivities are slated to run from 12noon to 12midnight (or whenever the Rolling Stone runs out of beer).

The Bits ‘n Pieces are one of the featured bands performing at the reunion with all five original members – bassist Denny Connelly, keyboardist John Heidenstrom, guitarist Ed Partyka, drummer Vince Riggi and saxman Georgie Wonders. Of course, these days Wonders is more likely to be found playing the classic big band music of Glenn Miller and Artie Shaw these days as the bandleader of the Georgie Wonders Orchestra.

Ruff Francis – bassist, vocalist and bandleader for the Illusions – is scheduled to perform at the reunion, as well.

Other featured bands include the Misfits, the Rogues, Chicken Fingers, the Nieutones, Malta Ridge, Snake, Rockin’ Ridge, Yesterday’s Tomorrow, the West Front Street British Invasion and Sidetrack.

All of this – 12 hours of music and a dozen bands – for just $3 admission.

We here at Nippertown would love to do some in-depth stories about some of these bands. Can you help? We’d sure appreciate it.

It’s all in the name game

July 31st, 2009, 12:20 pm by Greg

Name of the band: You Say Party! We Say Die!
Also known as: YSP!WSD!
Name of upcoming album: “XXXX”
And I really have no idea whether this information is very cool, hilariously bad or just plain sad, sad, sad.


The Stony Creek Band on “The Today Show”

July 27th, 2009, 1:22 pm by Greg

A big shout-out to the Stony Creek Band, who did a great job representing the Adirondack sound on NBC-TV’s “The Today Show” this morning when the “Today Takes a Vacation” segment was broadcast direct from the Sagamore in Lake George.

It only seems as though the Stony Creek Band has been around as long as the majestic mountains that surround Lake George. But actually, the combo has been around for more than 35 years, and co-founding guitarists John Strong and Hank Soto are still at the helm today.

As Christopher Shaw wrote back in 1998, “Much has been made of the Adirondack regional sound in the last few years, and I will betray my prejudice by stating that the music of the Stony Creek Band contains a more purely distilled essence of the Adirondacks – that special mixture of Quebec fiddle tunes, lumberjack ballads, and postwar country-swing – than can be heard on all the albums of the genre’s more recent exponents.”

The band was the perfect choice to represent, and judging by the dance moves that Meredith Vieira and Ann Curry were breakin’ out at the end of this highlight clip, the Stony Creek Band still has the right stuff – even after all these years.

Nice goin’, guys!

LIVE: The Alan Payette Band, 7/15

July 17th, 2009, 9:45 am by Greg


Veteran guitarist Alan Payette and his band (including tenor saxophonist Keith Pray) played Shepard Park in Lake George on Wednesday, July 15, as part of the Lake George Arts Project’s ongoing free summer concert series.

Featuring a predominantly new line-up, the band pumped out a mix of originals and covers, including funk and rock gems from the likes of the Average White Band, the Isley Bros and Jimi Hendrix.

Next up in Shepard Park is Americana/alt-pop singer-songwriter Eilen Jewell and her band on Wednesday, July 22.


Written and photographed by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Song of the Week: Main Travelled Roads

June 18th, 2009, 10:02 am by Sara

Today is the 59th birthday of Jackie Leven, one of my favorite singers.

If you’re not familiar with him, he was the founder of Doll By Doll, a London based rock band who released four albums in the early eighties that have only recently (finally!) been re-released on CD. In a Telegraph article, Neil McCormick called their album Gypsy Blood “British rock’s lost masterpiece.”

After Doll By Doll broke up, Leven suffered a horrific street attack that damaged his vocal chords and left him unable to talk or sing for several years, which led to a heroin addiction. But eventually he turned his life around through sheer force of will, and started releasing solo albums, quite prolifically.

Here’s a video of Doll By Doll lip synching their Celtic elegy “Main Travelled Roads” from German television. The end is cut off – the complete line is “Eternal is the warrior who finds beauty in´╗┐ his wounds.”


May 1st, 2009, 9:32 am by Sara


The Cock'N'Bull RestaurantCaffe LenaCartoonist John CaldwellJim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysHolly & EvanAdvertise on Nippertown!Ramblin Jug StompersArtist Charles Haymes