LIVE: Buke & Gase @ the Spotty Dog Books & Ale, 3/11/12

March 20th, 2012, 1:00 pm by Greg

Review by Colonel David

It was still daylight when I wandered into Hudson’s Spotty Dog, as the bands were dragging their amplifiers in, squeezing past the patrons, to an area basically in the middle of the long corridor that is the bookstore and bar. Earlier in the day it may be a bookstore, but at this time – not yet dark – it was a neighborhood bar under a timeless tin ceiling, with hip skinny bartenders in beat up Converse pulling the beer taps and talking with familiar faces that were ringing around the worn wooden bar.

The evening was a benefit towards a joint venture of the venue and radio station WGXC (community radio in Greene & Columbia counties) to gather money to purchase equipment to provide simulcasts from the Spotty Dog. Folding chairs were brought in to supplement the existing tables and chairs. There is no stage or even lights, and when the house lights are dimmed, the band went dark, too. The PA system is tiny and minimal, but it gets the job done. As in, there wasn’t much, but there was nothing missing.

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RIP: Hubert Sumlin, 1931-2011

December 8th, 2011, 12:00 pm by Greg
Herbert Sumlin, Asbury Park ,July, 2009  (photo by Matt Mac Haffie)

Hubert Sumlin, Asbury Park, July, 2009 (photo by Matt Mac Haffie)

Hubert Sumlin was the real thing.

It was 2003, and I was playing guitar in Savoy Brown, and we were playing the Buffalo Niagara Guitar Festival at the Dunn Tire Park baseball stadium. The headliners were the Yardbirds, and Woodstock guitar slinger Jimmy Weider was also on the bill, and he had Sid McGinnis and Hubert Sumlin join him in his set just before us.

This, of course, was a big deal. Sumlin was the guitarist with the legendary Howlin’ Wolf, and his musical foil on such songs as “Smokestack Lightin’,” “Wang Dang Doodle,” “Spoonful” and “Backdoor Man.”

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LIVE: “Rent” @ The Egg, 4/2/11

April 4th, 2011, 3:00 pm by Greg
Rent @ The Egg, 4/2/11

No day but today.

It was last July when I got an email inquiring if I’d be interested in playing the guitar in a play in New York City. Called “Without You,” it starred Anthony Rapp, who was in the original cast of the huge hit play “RENT” on Broadway.

I was doing a lot of work in New York City when “RENT” opened in 1996 and remember the big buzz surrounding it, and the posters, which were plastered all over town. The ground-breaking play, based on Giacomo Puccini’s opera “La boheme,” tells the story of starving artists and musicians in Manhattan’s lower east side trying to get ahead while drugs and AIDs ravaged their community. It went on to win Tonys, a Pulitzer, became the eighth most successful show in Broadway history, and eventually was made into a major film by Chris Columbus, none of which creator Jonathan Larson ever saw, as he died tragically of an aortic aneurysm the night before the first scheduled preview.

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