KING WILKIE’s “Presents the Wilkie Family Singers”

September 30th, 2009, 3:38 pm by Greg

KingWilkie(Casa Nueva, 2009):

I don’t think this is bluegrass anymore, Toto.

King Wilkie started off as a young, six-piece traditional bluegrass band in Charlottesville, Virginia back in 2003, and they garnered the coveted International Bluegrass Music Association award as Best Emerging Artist in 2004. They were playing all of the big bluegrass festivals and even the Grand Ole Opry.

But with their sophomore album, “Low Country Suite,” the music began to mutate, and now with their third album, the bluegrass has nearly been completely jettisoned. Heck, “Videotape” sounds like the Beach Boys, and “Dr. Art” features a wicked, jazzy clarinet solo.

That’s not a bad thing, mind you.

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MICHAEL JERLING’s “Music Here Tonight: Live at Caffe Lena”

September 25th, 2009, 9:27 am by Greg

MichaelJerling(Fool’s Hill Music, 2009):

Saratoga Springs singer-songwriter Michael Jerling has been making records for nearly 30 years, which means that those early albums were honest-to-goodness vinyl records.

It also means that he’s been making music for long enough that it’s time for him to take a look back and survey his repertoire. So, yes, you could call this album a career retrospective, except that Jerling certainly isn’t ready to sit back and rest on his laurels.

Rather than taking the easy way out and slapping together old tracks for a greatest-hits or best-of compilation, Jerling decided to revisit some of his favorite tunes and record them anew in one of his favorite settings – that cozy little second-floor coffeehouse on Phila Street, Caffe Lena.

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CHANDLER TRAVIS PHILHARMONIC’s “Tarnation & Alastair Sim” and CHANDLER TRAVIS’ “After She Left”

September 23rd, 2009, 4:28 pm by Greg

kittyLike some cosmic collision between NRBQ, Marcel Duchamp, Pee Wee Herman, Captain Beefheart, the Ringling Brothers and Spike Jones, the Chandler Travis Philharmonic is utterly charming and totally unpredictable.

Since making their recorded debut as the Philharmonic a dozen years ago, the band has released 20 – yeah, count ’em, 20 – albums, sporting such intriguing titles as “Let’s Have a Pancake,” “Y’ Gotta Have the Mental,” Let’s Music,” “The Dog Ate My Album,” “The Sound of Food,” “Monkeys of Nothing” and “Le Spectacle de la Lizarde!!!”

Their latest album is “Tarnation & Alastair Sim” (Sonic Trout, 2007), although things are a bit confusing as the CD cover simply says “Kitty” and the CD itself is printed with the word “Al.”

Anyway, here’s a list of eight things that you’ll find on “Tarnation & Alastair Sim,” the latest album from the deliciously demented Chandler Travis Philharmonic:

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Win Assembly of Dust’s new CD “Some Assembly Required”

September 16th, 2009, 10:07 am by Greg

Some-Assembly-RequiredOK, this couldn’t possibly be any easier…

Just send an email to:

That’s it.

Be sure to include your name, your email address, and your mailing address. Please, only one entry per person.

Entries must be received by 1pm EST on Friday, September 18. One winner will be chosen at random from all of the entries to win Assembly of Dust’s new star-studded CD, “Some Assembly Required,” from our friends at Rock Ridge Music. The winner will be announced on Friday, September 18.

Read our interview with Assembly of Dust frontman Reid Genauer. And head over to Revolution Hall on Friday, September 18 to catch Assembly of Dust in concert.


September 15th, 2009, 12:19 pm by Greg

MaiaSharp(Crooked Crown, 2009): In my book, Sharp is one of the most under-rated singer-songwriters on the scene today, and that opinion is only underscored by this new album featuring a dozen songs that she wrote or co-wrote.

Although still better known as a songwriter whose tunes have been recorded by everyone from Cher to Kim Richey to Shivaree, Sharp released her debut recording a dozen years ago.

The problem, perhaps, is that she works within the pop tradition, rather than embracing folk or alt-country territory. She’s smart and sexy, and if I was forced to make a direct comparison, Sharp probably most reminds me of Karla Bonoff’s debut album.

While her music flows within the pop tradition, she definitely thinks (and writes) outside the box. This album, for example, opens with the simple declaration, “I will never be a part of your polite society.”

Producer Don Was brings the requisite radio sheen to the mix, along with veteran studio pros like drummer Jim Keltner and guitarist Mark Goldenberg. Bonnie Raitt drops by for a feature spot on “Death by Perfection,” too.

Maia Sharp: Echo

SUPER 400’s “Sweet Fist”

September 10th, 2009, 4:32 pm by Greg

SweetFirst(Response Records/Rock Ridge Music, 2009):

Remember the glory days of the power trio? When Cream rose to the top, and we all rejoiced as we went Mountain climbing?

Sure you do.

And so does Super 400. But they’re not wallowing in some misty-eyed nostalgia for The Great Rock Days of the Past. Heck, this tireless threesome plays power-trio rock like they invented it.

Troy trio Super 400 have been blasting the message for some time now, and that message comes through loud and clear on “Sweet Fist,” by far the best album yet from these most dedicated, never-say-die rockers.

Recorded at the legendary Ardent Studios in Memphis, the album kicks off with the pummeling “Needle Down” and doesn’t look back. Kenny Hohman is just a monster guitarslinger – dig his filigree-riffing intro to “FFMN” – but it’s his wailing soul-soaked vocals that bring this album home.

Anchored by drummer Joe Daley and bass mistress Lori Friday, “Sweet Fist” isn’t heavy metal. It’s just plain old heavy.

Not that this is monochromatic, monolithic sludge-stompin rock from start to finish. Friday wrestles the microphone from Hohman for the sensual, hook-filled “Flashlight,” and Hohman unplugs for some acoustic ballad finger-picking on “Devil Song.” There’s even a straight-up rockin’ re-invention of Carole King’s “I Feel the Earth Move.”

These dozen tunes put the “super” in Super 400, and there’s just no denying the depth, the dynamics and the unbridled desire that these three musicians bring to the table this time around.

“Sweet Fist” won’t be officially released until Tuesday, September 15. But trust us, you don’t want to have to wait til then. So enter to win an autographed copy of the new album from your pals at Just go here for details.

And don’t forget: Super 400 celebrates the release of their new CD, “Sweet Fist,” with a sneak preview hometown party at Revolution Hall in Troy on Friday, September 11.

Super 400: Sweet Fist

Be Here Now: Firefighter Font @ Valentine’s, 9/12/09

September 9th, 2009, 3:05 pm by Greg

FirefighterFontCharlie Everywhere changed their name to Phantogram, burst out of the scene and stirred up some considerable response with their self-titled EP earlier this year.

So who’s the next Sub-Bombin band about to follow in their footsteps?

Could it be Firefighter Font?

Find out on Saturday, September 12, when the Saratoga Springs trio of guitarist Greg Tebbano, drummer Adiro Patten and bassist Damon Cook unleash their debut album, “Crash Tender,” with a wailin’ party at Valentine’s in Albany. Joining in the festivities will be Beware! The Other Head of Science and Saint Ukraine.

CONTEST: Win Super 400’s “Sweet Fist”!

September 8th, 2009, 11:46 am by Greg

Terrific Troy power trio Super 400 are about to unleash their new, red-hot CD “Sweet Fist” on Tuesday, September 15, but you can win a free copy of the CD autographed by Kenny, Joe and Lori. And thanks to those fine folks at Rock Ridge Music, as a bonus the winner will also receive a rare, for-radio-only promo single of the song “Flashlight,” also autographed by the band members.

There’s nothing to buy. No hoops to jump through. No begging or groveling required.

Simply answer this one question:
Who sings the lead vocals on “Flashlight”?
A. Kenny Hohman
B. Joe Daley
C. Lori Friday

Email your answer to

Be sure to include your name, email address and snail mail address with your answer. Please only one entry per person.

Deadline for submissions is 12noon EST Friday, September 11. One winner will be chosen at random. The winner will be announced at 5pm Friday right here at

By the way, did we mention that we’ve made free mp3 downloads of “Flashlight” available, too. Just go here.

And don’t forget – Super 400 kicks off “Sweet Fist”-mania with a CD release party at Revolution Hall in Troy on Friday, September 11. Matthew Loiacono and Tern Rounders will be joining in the festivities.

Holly & EvanThe Cock'N'Bull RestaurantCaffe LenaJim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysCartoonist John CaldwellAdvertise on Nippertown!Capital District Habitat For HumanityBerkshire On Stage