Video and photographs by Tim Raab
The veteran Canadian songsmith Garnet Rogers paid tribute to the late great Pete Seeger with a story and a sing-along classic during his concert at Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs on Friday, February 28.
NAME: Pete Heitzman
BAND AFFILIATION: Karen Savoca
INSTRUMENT: Guitar and various strings
1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … My mom and older sister had lots of Broadway and folk LPs, but my first purchase was Beatles ’65. I would jam my head right into the speaker for “I Feel Fine,” and that guitar tone still gives me chills.
2. THE FIRST CONCERT THAT I EVER SAW WAS … I remember Johnny Puleo & the Harmonica Gang in 1959 at age seven, and they were phenomenal and hilarious, but my first rock event was a package show at LeMoyne College, Nov. 1967: Buffalo Springfield, Strawberry Alarm Clock, the Soul Survivors and the Beach Boys. Springfield had been my fave band at the time, so that was heaven.
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk
The Boston-based acoustic duo Tall Heights made their Caffe Lena debut recently. And not only did did they wow the crowd with their considerable musical talents, but after the show, Tim Harrington (vocals, guitar) and Paul Wright (vocals, cello) slipped across the street to sample Esperanto’s signature delicacy – the doughboy.
“Think crab rangoon calzone sans crab plus chicken. Pretty weird to eat without one hundred and five beers, but I liked it,” they wrote on their Facebook page…
“Where the black dog scratched at the old blue door
And the greasy grooves in the kitchen floor
Something moves just outside the frame
It’s a long climb
But you’re halfway home…”
Halfway Home is a marvelous new album from veteran North Country singer-songwriter Michael Jerling. It’s the follow-up to his 2009 live album Music Here Tonight, which was recorded in concert at Caffe Lena. It’s also his first album of all new material since 2007′s Crooked Path, but it was worth the wait, jam-packed with 14 songs.
Recorded at his Fool’s Hill Studio in Saratoga Springs, Jerling is joined by his regular musical sidekicks – Tony Markellis on bass, Teresina Huxtable on reed organ and accordion and Danny Whelchel on drums and percussion, as well as special guest contributions by Danny Gotham on mandolin and nylon string guitar, Victor Sanders on electric guitar, Kevin Maul on slide guitar and Mike Vlahakis on keyboards. In addition, Don & Victoria Armstrong, Bob Warren & Joy MacKenzie and Dale Haskell chime in with their distinctive voices.
Not only a multi-talented musician – he plays guitar, mandolin and harmonica on the disc – Jerling is also a masterful craftsman, a songsmith with a confident strength and a keen eye for the details that bring his eloquent songs to life. He’s a magnificently understated vocalist with echoes of such masters as Guy Clark, John Gorka and Lyle Lovett. And just when you figure you’ve got him figured out, he effortlessly shifts gears to crank out a bluesy anthem (“Bigger Hammer”), a wry Tin Pan Alley stroll (“Personal Appearance”) or a lilting samba (“No Solid Ground”).
Michael Jerling celebrates the release of “Halfway Home” with a performance at Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs at 8pm on Saturday (January 4). He’ll be accompanied by Teresina Huxtable and Tony Markellis. Veteran Canadian singer-songwriter Lorne Clarke opens the show. Tickets are $16 in advance; $18 at the door.
Review and video by Joel Patterson
Photograph by Joe Deuel
If the name Steve Shook evokes some kind of half-buried memory, but you just can’t quite place it, relax – you’ve got a lot on your mind! But see if this rings any bells… In the ’70s, he was part of Travis Shook & the Club Wow, who regularly opened for comedian George Carlin.
Photographs by Denise Borden
Although the weather forecast of “icy roads” unfortunately scared some folks into canceling their Friday night reservations, those who braved the weather report and were in attendance at Caffe Lena were rewarded with a fabulous Christmas show by the Chandler Travis Three-O and their very special guest Steve Shook, Travis’ former partner in the long-running musical duo Travis Shook & the Club Wow. Shook was also showcasing his new comeback disc, Dignify.
Local 518 singer-songwriter Jim Gaudet weighed in on that tragic day, too, with his powerful song, “Six Seconds in Dallas.” But Gaudet isn’t jumping on the anniversary bandwagon. The song first appeared on his cassette-only release In Real Life and made its CD debut on Gaudet’s solo disc It’s a Colorful Life back in 1994.
Listen here:Jim Gaudet - Six Second in Dallas
And coincidentally – or not – Jim Gaudet & the Railroad Boys will grace the hallowed stage of Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs at 8pm on Friday. The concert will also mark the official debut of the Railroad Boys’ newest member, banjoman Scott Hopkins (of Fairview Avenue, Beartracks and the Wheelbarrow Boys). Tickets are $16 in advance; $18 at the door.
NAME: Greg Klyma
INSTRUMENT: guitar, mandolin, voice, tenor banjo, piano
1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … Back in Black by AC/DC. I remember dropping the needle on it for the first time. There were many churches in our neighborhood. When “Hell’s Bells” came on, I thought the church bell was sounding.
2. THE FIRST CONCERT THAT I EVER SAW WAS … Willie Nelson and Family at Buffalo War Memorial Auditorium
3. THE FIRST MUSICAL INSTRUMENT I EVER OWNED OR PLAYED WAS … My grandfather had a Penco acoustic that he never played. Sometimes my Uncle Billy would play it, and grandpa would accompany him on harmonica. When I started playing guitar, that instrument was given to me. I wrote my first songs on it. A month before he died – not knowing it was to be a month before he died – I asked my grandfather to autograph the guitar. I still own it and play it from time to time. Every now and then, I find another song in there.