Posts Tagged ‘Ed Conway’

RIP: Dick Quinn, Super Music Fan, 1947-2015

Monday, November 30th, 2015

Review and concert photographs by Ed Conway

My apologies to Billy Eli, a fine Austin-based singer-songwriter, as this was supposed to be a quick review of his show a couple of weeks ago. Instead, I am writing about a friend who was a true friend to many musicians, both locally and around the country, but I think Billy would understand, as he was one of those friends. Billy’s show was the last time I saw Dick Quinn and may have been the last show Dick saw (it’s hard to tell as he always had a habit of showing up despite not feeling well). Dick had been sick for many years, but would go out to as many as seven shows a week. He checked himself out of the hospital to attend a show on more than one occasion – it’s hard to tell as he didn’t always talk much about his health.

Dick Quinn

Dick Quinn

His dedication to the music scene was greatly appreciated by all who knew and loved Dick and was reciprocated by venues and bands alike. Dick had a permanently reserved table at the Ale House in Troy, as well as a parking spot outside the door so that he had a place to plug in his ever present oxygen machine and limit the distance he had to walk. There wasn’t always a sign, but patrons knew this and respected it. At any given show, Dick would talk about many things related to music and common friends, but not in a gossiping manner.

More often than not, he would wave someone over and with a devilish grin tell them a joke or two, often times not repeatable in mixed company. These jokes became his trademark, but it wasn’t necessarily the joke, but the delivery that made them funny. He had a comic’s timing. As an indication of the respect he had from local musicians, they all got together not once, but twice to play a gig just for him – not a benefit or paid concert, a show just for him. So many bands had signed up, there wasn’t time to put them all on the bill. Bands such as the Chandler Travis Three-O traveled from Cape Cod, just to take part. The last one took place just a few weeks ago (sadly, I was out of town and couldn’t go both times).

Another of his favorites, a band from down the Hudson Valley called the Five Points Band asked Dick to be in their music video of “Old Man River.” Check it out as he can be seen walking up the stairs in the opening scene.

(more…)

Advertisement

LIVE: Gordon Lightfoot @ Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, 11/12/15

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015

Gordon-Lightfoot_-2

Review and photographs by Ed Conway

Less than a week before his 77th birthday, troubadour Gordon Lightfoot stepped up to the mic in front of a sold-out Troy Savings Bank Music Hall audience (my second trip in two days to this wonderful concert hall). His soft baritone voice was matched perfectly by the musicians of his backing band.

Despite his age and health issues, Lightfoot’s voice is remarkably preserved; owing to his easy style which never seems to push it beyond its limits. You could close your eyes and be transported back to see the man who wrote and performed these songs as the younger man he was then. While his appearance on stage is thin and wispy, his two-set, 25-song show demonstrated a strength not readily apparent.

(more…)

LIVE: Albany Riverfront Jazz Fest @ Corning Preserve Boat Launch, 9/12/15

Monday, October 5th, 2015
Booker T. Jones

Booker T. Jones

Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Ed Conway, Stanley Johnson, Andrzej Pilarczyk

Last year the Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival hosted five acts – two local and three national. Last month at the 14th annual fest at the Corning Preserve Boat Launch Parking Lot, the numbers were flipped the other way around. And Those Jazz Purists amongst us complained that neither of the out-of-town acts really played jazz. But headliner Booker T. Jones – whose ’60s band Booker T. & the MGs actually invented the simmering southern soul sound of Stax Records – proved them wrong.

Backed by a solid quartet that included his son Ted Jones on second guitar, Jones and his Hammond B3 organ melded soul and jazz into a sizzling, savory stew, roaring into a 75-minute show with the MGs’ “Pigmy.” More than half of his set was culled from the instrumental hits of that classic band, including the soul-strutting “Hip Hug-Her” (updated with a serious mid-song rap by drummer Darian Gray), the sweeping spaghetti western theme “Hang ‘Em High” (with an all-aces solo by Jones the younger) and “Soul Limbo” (fueled by a cowbell-driven drum solo from Gray). Jones lost a bit of momentum mid-show when he switched to guitar for tributes to Jimi Hendrix, Muddy Waters and Otis Redding, but he recovered with the MGs’ biggest hit, the timeless “Green Onions.” And they saved the best for last – a towering rendition of “Time Is Tight.”

(more…)

LIVE: J.D. McPherson @ The Hangar, 8/31/15

Monday, September 28th, 2015
J.D. McPherson

J.D. McPherson

Review by Fred Rudofsky
Photographs by Ed Conway

The city of Troy has witnessed some memorable rock and roll shows in the past three years – the Fleshtones, Los Straitjackets, the Lawn Sausages, the Catbirds and the Split Squad certainly come to mind. J.D. McPherson, however, may have raised the bar for indelible rockin’ to one-for-the-ages.

The last time he played Troy, McPherson and his remarkable band packed the Ale House. It was a sure sign that a bigger venue had to be in order.

On a steamy Monday night, a long of ticket-holders made their way into The Hangar – for the uninitiated, it’s a slice of roadhouse heaven just across the street from The Ale House with superb sound no matter where you sit or stand. Rising above a patch of desiccated sunflowers, a giant sign outside proclaimed the show was sold out.

I barely had enough room to clutch a cold beverage, take notes and forget that the beautiful blonde I’d asked out to the show said she couldn’t make it – whatever. (Somehow, mid-show, I would make it up to the stage front; within minutes, a beautiful brunette squirmed through the crowd, danced with me for several songs, and then was gone. Who was she?). It was that kind of night.

The Mickey James Trio opened the show and had the crowd howling approval immediately. Mickey James, the teenage son of McPherson’s powerhouse drummer, Jason Smay, sported a black T.K. Smith t-shirt, confident vocals and astounding chops on guitar. Seriously, this kid’s rhythm and lead style brought to mind such greats as Dave Gonzalez and Eddie Angel. With his dad smiling behind the kit and Graham Tichy playing some mighty fine Danelectro bass, James covered a lot of ground in his 45-minute set: Chan Romero, Howlin’ Wolf, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Link Wray and Freddie King to name a few). Singer-songwriter Nicole Atkins, who had emailed me a few days before, was right: don’t miss this kid.

(more…)

LIVE: Blue Oyster Cult & Blotto @ Alive at Five, 8/6/15

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015
Eric Bloom, Richie Castellano and Buck Dharma (photo by Stanley Johnson)

Eric Bloom, Richie Castellano and Buck Dharma (photo by Stanley Johnson)

Photographs by Rudy Lu, Stanley Johnson, Ed Conway, Tim Reidy, Richard Brody

The Blot & Blue Tour, back together again for one night only!

Blotto and Blue Oyster Cult originally teamed up for a tour that took place back in February and March of 1983. They reunited for one of the largest Alive at Five concerts in Albany’s Corning Preserve in August of 1996.

Earlier this month, the two bands shared the stage again, this time at Jennings Landing, wrapping up the 2015 Alive at Five concert season in front of the largest crowd of the summer.

From “Godzilla” to “Goodbye, Mr. Bond,” from “Don’t Fear the Reaper” to “I Wanna Be a Lifeguard,” the evening jam packed with rockin’ riffs, some hearty laughs and too much fun.

(more…)

LIVE: Redd Volkaert and Robbie Fulks @ Ale House, 7/19/15

Thursday, August 13th, 2015
Redd Volkaert and Robbie Fulks

Redd Volkaert and Robbie Fulks

Review and photographs by Ed Conway

It was a dark and stormy Sunday night at the Ale House in Troy when Redd Volkaert and Robbie Fulks sat down in front of a nearly full house. The two traded songs, licks and stories throughout the evening. Each seemed set on making the other one laugh, along with the audience. In fact, some of the funniest moments were not spoken but when they would let their guitars speak for them.

(more…)

LIVE: Jim Weider’s Project Percolator @ the Falcon, 5/30/15

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015
Jim Weider

Jim Weider

Photographs by Ed Conway

WHO: Jim Weider’s Project Percolator
WITH: The Holly & Evan Band
WHERE: The Falcon, Marlboro
WHEN: Saturday, May 30, 2015

(more…)

LIVE: Hamell On Trial @ the Low Beat, 4/9/15

Monday, April 27th, 2015
Hamell On Trial

Hamell On Trial

Review by Fred Rudofsky
Photographs by Ed Conway

Hamell on Trial, the one-man dynamo, brought his arsenal of brilliant songs, disarmingly funny jokes and stream of consciousness asides, to the Low Beat for a memorable set opening for Bloodshot Bill. It was a peaceful Thursday night riot few will ever forget.

Plugging his ’37 acoustic into an amplifier stack taller than he was, Hamell introduced himself by applying a one-two squeegee wipe to the audience’s occluded third eye with “A Little Concerned, That’s All” (a wild metaphysical ride, for certain) and the grotesque but all-too-true drug stories of “When You are Young,” set to an indelible Yiddish melody and sung off the microphone to draw the audience in. “I’m velcro for some weird really shit,” quipped Hamell, before he offered up, “Seven Seas,” a vivid ode to how he found his beloved guitar in a pawn shop.

(more…)

Caffe LenaThe Cock'N'Bull RestaurantCartoonist John CaldwellJim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysHolly & EvanAdvertise on Nippertown!Leave Regular Radio BehindArtist Charles HaymesHudson SoundsThe LindaAlbany PoetsBerkshire On StageThe Law Office of Paul Rapp