LIVE: The Chandler Travis Three-O @ Caffe Lena, 12/6/13

December 9th, 2013, 3:00 pm by Greg
The Chandler Travis Three-O

The Chandler Travis Three-O and Steve Shook

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.

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LIVE: Christine Ohlman & Rebel Montez @ Shepard Park, 8/28/13 (Extended Version)

September 16th, 2013, 1:00 pm by Greg

Review by Denise Borden
Video by Joel Patterson

On Christine Ohlman’s latest album, The Deep End, she teamed up with Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Dion DiMucci to record a version of “Cry Baby Cry,” a song originally recorded by Van & Titus back in 1968.

When Ohlman and her band Rebel Montez made their Caffe Lena debut in Saratoga Springs in April, George Brantley (aka Van of Van & Titus) drove up from Knoxville, Tennessee to meet Christine and hear her perform his song for the first time. It was a great night at the sold-out Caffe. During that evening, Brantley was also introduced to artist Joseph Simone – a former friend of Lena Spencer and former resident of Saratoga Springs – who currently lives in Virginia Beach. Joseph was so taken by Brantley and his story that he offered to do an original oil painting of him, and he did so from a photograph taken of Brantley standing in front of Caffe Lena…

Fast forward to Wednesday, August 28, the evening of Christine Ohlman & Rebel Montez’s Lake George Arts Project concert in Lake George’s Shepard Park… Ohlman graciously offered to have Simone present the newly finished portrait of George Brantley to during her show. Caffe Lena’s Sarah Craig and Stanley McGaughey were on hand to introduce Brantley and Simone for the presentation.

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LIVE: Christine Ohlman & Rebel Montez @ Caffe Lena, 4/19/13

April 23rd, 2013, 4:00 pm by Greg
Christine Ohlman (photo by Joe Deuel)

Christine Ohlman & Rebel Montez (photo by Joe Deuel)

Review by Fred Rudofsky
Photographs by Denise Borden and Joe Deuel

A handwritten sign posted on the interior door of Caffe Lena proclaimed “Sold Out!,” and the two sets of music that ensued within the landmark venue on a warm Friday night justified why it would be standing room only. The performance was so hot that I had two pens run out of ink – thankfully, I had brought along a Sharpie as a backup.

After a rousing introduction by Caffe director Sarah Craig, Christine Ohlman & Rebel Montez opened with a poignant “That’s How Strong My Love Is,” a soul classic written in 1964 by Roosevelt Jamison, who passed away last month. A song associated with O.V. Wright, Otis Redding, and more recently, Buddy Miller. Ohlman’s performance this night could join that list of definitive renditions. She nailed the longing, pleading and devotion innate to each and every verse.

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LIVE: Chandler Travis Philharmonette @ Peint O Gwrw, 9/22/12

October 1st, 2012, 4:00 pm by Greg

Review by Joel Patterson and Denise Borden
Video by Joel Patterson

In the spirit of cover versions that meet or exceed the original, better put another notch in your lipstick case for the Chandler Travis Philharmonette’s “Cry Baby Cry.” The CTP’ette has championed this obscure late-’60s tune from the all-but-unknown duo of Van & Titus ever since longtime friend/musician Christine Ohlman, the “Saturday Night Live” beehive queen singer, played it for him after she uncovered it while rummaging through boxes of records at a yard sale. Christine, like Chandler, adored the song from first listen. So much so that she went on to record it in a powerful performance with her guest singer Dion on her most recent album “The Deep End.”

And as Travis explains, Van & Titus “only did two singles, ever, in their whole lives. When you think about it – this is only one of four songs these guys put out – it just breaks your heart.” Heartbreak never felt so good. They performed at the Peint O Gwrw under the adoring gaze of owners Tom and Lynne Hope. Sound reinforcement by Rob Caldwell. Often hosting music on Friday nights and some Saturdays, Peint o Gwrw is a Welsh pub on Main Street in Chatham, proudly sporting an eclectic pub menu and an extensive beer list, to drown your sorrows…

Holly & EvanCartoonist John CaldwellCaffe LenaJim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysThe Cock'N'Bull RestaurantAdvertise on Nippertown!Mohawk Hudson Humane SocietyArtist Charles Haymes