LIVE: Dr. John and the Blind Boys of Alabama @ the Palace Theatre, 11/1/12

November 5th, 2012, 4:00 pm by Greg

Review by Don Wilcock

Five seconds in, I knew we were in for a Chivas Regal night. Never mind that Dr. John had sounded like he was at death’s door during our interview on Halloween, the day before his Palace Theatre show…

Never mind that he drew only 1,000 to a theater that holds three times that number…

Never mind that Jimmy Carter is the last remaining of the original Blind Boys of Alabama and 73 years into his performing career…

Never mind that the Blind Boys are down from five to four…

Never mind that none of the artists on Dr. John’s much lauded new album Locked Down are in his touring band, the Lower 911

Never mind that The Blind Boys were playing for a strictly black southern audience in the ’40s and Dr. John was blending hippie chic and New Orleans kitsch in the ’70s…

Until about 20 years ago the idea of having these two acts play together would have been considered as outlandish as inviting the Sex Pistols to a cotillion.

Never mind that in the gospel, blues and funk traditions this collaboration borrows from, it sometimes takes even the best acts several minutes to build up a head of steam like a freight train leaving Grand Central Station pulling 100 cars…

No, no, this reminded me of an Al Kooper show I saw at The Egg years ago when Al had a crack band of Berklee College of Music professors backing him, and they led with “Green Onions,” exploding off the stage like a cannon.

Read the rest of this entry »


New Concert at the Palace Theatre

August 14th, 2012, 10:00 am by Greg

Two legends of southern music are teaming up for one night of great music at the Palace Theatre in Albany at 8pm on Thursday, November 1, when New Orleans piano pounder and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Dr. John and his band join forces with the 5-time Grammy Award-winning gospel group the Blind Boys of Alabama.

Promising an impassioned performance that explores the connections between jazz, blues and gospel, the evening has been dubbed “Spirituals to Funk,” based the legendary Carnegie Hall “From Spirituals to Swing” concerts produced by John Hammond back in the 1930s.

Priced at $37.50 & $47.50, tix will go on sale to Palace Theatre members at 10am on Thursday (August 16). Tix will be available to the general public beginning at 12noon on Friday, August 24.

Don’t Be Here Now: No John/Joel tonight

July 27th, 2009, 12:08 pm by Greg

With Billy Joel sidelined by extreme fatigue and flu-like symptoms, tonight’s Face 2 Face concert with Billy Joel and Elton John at the Times Union Center has been postponed.

And that’s undoubtedly very good news for SPAC, which should see a significant jump in lawn ticket sales for tonight’s Coldplay concert.

No new date for the John/Joel concert has been announced yet, but I just loved the way that a television newscaster over the weekend advised ticketholders, “Don’t throw those tickets away.” Gee, no foolin’. I just paid $177 for a ticket, but I shouldn’t throw it away?

Anyway, I don’t see why Sir Elton didn’t just snag one of the guys from Nippertown’s real dueling-keyboards concert of the week – Dr. John and Al Kooper at The Egg last Saturday – and do the concert tonight anyway. They could have billed it as The Two Johns: Elton-meets-Dr.

Holly & EvanThe Cock'N'Bull RestaurantCaffe LenaCartoonist John CaldwellJim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysAdvertise on Nippertown!Artist Charles HaymesCapital District Habitat For Humanity