Flashback to 1985: “The Meeting of the Musical Minds”

January 26th, 2011, 4:00 pm by Greg

Metroland Local Music Issue 1985

OK, so now we all know the State of the Union, according to President Obama.

But what about the State of the Nippertown Music Scene? Circa 1985, that is.

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Bridget Ball, What Is Your Favorite Holiday Song?

December 6th, 2010, 12:00 pm by Greg

Bridget Ball

“My favorite holiday song? Which day? For which holiday mood?

Goofy? ‘Jingle Bell Rock.’

Kids? ‘Jingle Bells.’

Goofy kids? ‘Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.’

Sweet and sentimental? ‘Silent Night.’

Overall? ‘Silent Night.’ I love the fact that it was written during WWI (The War to End All Wars) and that its performance was a uniting force during a season where the message is Peace on Earth. Written for guitar. It’s a natural for folk musicians.

That’s my answer for today, anyway. Ask me again Monday after this year’s Mountain Snow!”

Bridget Ball joins Christopher Shaw and the Mountain Snow Orchestra (John Kirk, Kevin McKrell, Brian Melick and Tony Markellis) for their annual “Mountain Snow and Mistletoe” concerts at The Egg in Albany at 8pm on Saturday and at 2pm on Sunday. Tix are $24.

Related stories: Mountain Snow and Mistletoe concert review, 2009; Bridget Ball’s Five Firsts; Christopher Shaw’s Five Firsts

LIVE: Mountain Snow & Mistletoe @ The Egg, 12/12/09mas

December 14th, 2009, 11:41 am by Greg

John Kirk, Kevin McKrell, Chris Shaw, Bridget Ball

John Kirk, Kevin McKrell, Chris Shaw, Bridget Ball

In the middle of Saturday night’s show, Chris Shaw explained, “People don’t like their traditions messed with.” And, dangling participle be damned, he’s right.

So a lot of this year’s Mountain Snow & Mistletoe show relied on the tried and true – from Bridget Ball‘s rousing rendition of the ever-hopeful opening and closing number “Light a Light” to Shaw’s masterfully understated tale of the Christmas that almost wasn’t and the generosity that saved it, “Ten Dollar Christmas” – a song that still makes me weep with joy every year when I hear it.

If Ball and Shaw act as the good, homespun parents and ringleaders of this musical family, the members of the Mountain Snow Orchestra are well aware of their roles in this “pageant,” and they over the years they’ve brought more and more to their parts. Kevin McKrell plays the black-sheep bad boy always ready with a quip. Percussionist extraordinaire Brian Melick plays the endearing clown. And John Kirk, well, plays just about every musical instrument with strings on it.

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Five Firsts: Bridget Ball Shaw

December 9th, 2009, 3:22 pm by Greg

BridgetBallNAME: Bridget Ball Shaw

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … Um – I think it was “Jesus Christ Superstar.” I remember laying on the floor in the living room, listening to it over and over and over …

2. THE FIRST CONCERT THAT I EVER SAW WAS … Jethro Tull, the “Thick as a Brick” tour. Went with another 14 year old. Good golly, were we ever surprised when that Ian Anderson fellow came out in … what was that? A jock strap? Hoo boy.

3. THE FIRST MUSICAL INSTRUMENT I EVER OWNED OR PLAYED WAS … A piano. My mom and dad recently gave me that piano. A precious gift and beautiful part of my life and my home.


5. THE FIRST BAND I WAS EVER IN WAS … A pick-up band while studying at UAlbany. The BEST band I was ever in was the Mountain Snow Orchestra!

Bridget Ball Shaw teams up with husband Chris Shaw and the Mountain Snow Orchestra for performances of their annual holiday concert, “Mountain Snow and Mistletoe,” at The Egg in Albany on Saturday and Sunday, December 12-13.

PS: You can also see Chris Shaw’s Five Firsts right here.

Comin’ soon…

September 2nd, 2009, 11:43 am by Greg

Chris Shaw and Bridget Ball

Chris Shaw and Bridget Ball

It’s a veritable concert cornucopia at The Egg in Albany this year. Yet another big batch of shows has just been announced for the 2009-2010 season. Highlights include Dar Williams with the Nields (Saturday, October 24), comedian, late night talk show host and former Metroland receptionist Jimmy Fallon (Saturday, November 21), the Derek Trucks Band (Sunday, December 13), Dan Zanes & Friends (Saturday, January 23), Karla Bonoff and Janis Ian (Sunday, April 18) and Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks with John Hammond (Friday, April 23). And after a long run at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Chris Shaw and Bridget Ball‘s annual holiday concert “Mountain Snow and Mistletoe” has left Troy, headed across the river and landed at The Egg for shows on Saturday and Sunday, December 12-13. Tix for all of these newly announced shows at The Egg will go on sale to the general public on Friday, September 4.

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