Real Good for Free: The Lost Radio Rounders @ The Linda, 8/27/09

August 24th, 2009, 8:58 am by Greg

Acoustic duo the Gospel Train are changing their name to the Lost Radio Rounders.

Sort of.

The duo – featuring longtime Nippertown music scenemakers Michael Eck and Tom Lindsay – used to play together way back when in a cool band with the cool name Chefs of the Future (with a tip of the hat to Jackie Gleason and “The Honeymooners”). They also released a cassette-only album under the not-quite-as-clever name of Mike & Tom. Or was it Tom & Mike?

Anyway, after a long hiatus, Lindsay emerged from his musical retirement a few years ago, once again teaming up with Eck, whose ongoing musical career also currently encompasses solo gigs and the jug-dobro-mandolin chair in Ramblin Jug Stompers.

As the Gospel Train, they focused their repertoire on a century’s worth of American spiritual and religious songs that spanned the Civil War to the Civil Rights era.

But then they started branching out. They put together a program of Civil War-era songs that they titled “Lincoln and Liberty.” Then they assembled an evening of classic Carter Family songs, “Wildwood Flower: Songs of the Original Carter Family.”

And now they’ve developed another theme program: “American Favorite Ballads: The Songs of Pete Seeger,” which they’ll be launching with a free CRUMBS Nite Out performance at The Linda in Albany on Thursday (August 27).

So the duo of Lindsay and Eck decided to change the name of the duo to the Lost Radio Rounders in order to envelope all of the various programs that they offer. They will, however, retain “The Gospel Train” as one of the programs, rather than the name of the twosome.

Got it?

Real Good for Free: Lake George Jazz Weekend (9/19-20)
Real Good for Free: Central Avenue Farmers Market (Saturdays)
Real Good for Free: LarkFEST!!!!!!!! (Sept. 19)
Real Good for Free: Castleton Library (Thursdays)
Real Good for Free: Riverfront Park, Athens (Fridays)
Real Good for Free: Albany Jazz Festival @ Riverfront Park (Sept. 12)
Real Good for Free: The Fabulous Folk Fest @ Bolton Landing (Sept. 6)
Real Good for Free: Spencer Day in Hudson(Friday, August 21)
Real Good for Free: Big Soul Ensemble @ Tess’ Lark Tavern (Tuesdays)
Real Good for Free: Lake Luzerne (Thursdays)
Real Good for Free: Dutchman’s Landing, Catskill (Thursdays)
Real Good For Free: The Crossings in Colonie (Thursdays)
Real Good For Free: Rensselaer Riverfront Park (Wednesdays)
Real Good for Free: Kids’ shows in Troy (Wednesdays at noon)
Real Good For Free: Brunswick Community Center (Tuesdays)
Real Good for Free: Thurman (Mondays)
Real Good for Free: Rock-It in Schenectady (Fridays)
Real Good for Free: Bethlehem Public Library (Wednesdays)
Real Good for Free: Stony Creek Town Park (Tuesdays)
Real Good For Free: RiverLink Park, Amsterdam (Saturdays)
Real Good For Free: Halfmoon (Wednesdays)
Real Good for Free: Greenport Park, Hudson (Fridays)
Real Good for Free: The Sounds of Salem (Saturday mornings)
Real Good for Free: Latin Fest @ Washington Park (Sat. Aug. 29)
Real Good for Free: Albany Public Library (Third Fridays)
Real Good for Free: At The Plaza, Albany (Wednesdays)
Real Good for Free: Skidmore’s Tang Museum (Fridays)
Real Good For Free: Freedom Park, Scotia (Various days)
Real Good For Free: Jazz on Jay (Thursdays at noon)
Real Good For Free: Cook Park, Colonie (Tuesdays)
Real Good For Free: Lake George (Wednesdays)



June 25th, 2009, 3:53 pm by Greg

In the case of the new album from sublime roots singer-songwriter Jim Gaudet, “So Far So Good” just doesn’t cut it as a title. Really. He should re-name this sucker, “The Good Just Keeps Gettin’ Better.”

One of Nippertown’s very finest songwriters, Gaudet has a knack for crafting a mighty memorable melody – the kind that’ll get you singing along even on first listen. His delivery is wry and witty, often saying just as much with his pregnant pauses as he does with his lyrics. And lyrically, he’s poetic, literate and more than just clever.

After a string of excellent albums that culminated with “Give Up the Ghost” on the Prime CD label in 1998, Gaudet dropped out of the music scene for nearly a decade, but he came roaring back with with the sparkling “Re-Calling It Quits,” one of the best discs of 2007.

And fortunately we didn’t have to wait long for the follow-up, and this one is undoubtedly headed for the 2009 Nippertown Top 10.

While Gaudet fans will embrace the new CD with plenty of enthusiasm, “So Far So Good” is actually something of a departure from Gaudet’s earlier albums.

For one, this is a true band effort, and as befitting the first credited to Jim Gaudet and the Railroad Boys, the Boys – bassist Bob Ristau, mandolinist-lead guitarist Sten Isachsen and fiddler Tim Wechgelaer – get plenty of opportunity to shine in the spotlight.

Secondly, the album leans away from Gaudet’s usual folk-oriented approach and heads straight into high lonesome bluegrass territory. And these guys nail it. The vocal harmonies simply soar on original gems like “Get Up John” (not the bluegrass classic), “Jealous Heart” and the traditional “Hand Me Down My Walking Cane.”

But this isn’t just strictly a bluegrass album – not by any means. You’ll also find some whiskey-soaked roadhouse honky-tonkers (“Drive” and the love-gone-wrong nugget “Mind Over Matter”), a couple of chuggin’ train songs (the opening “Born to Be Lonesome” and the closing “Railroad Kill Bill”), some country twang (“Callin’ My Name”), a bit of finger-picking folk (“This Time”) and even some heavenly gospel (Gillian Welch’s “By the Mark,” the only cover song on the album).

In short, Gaudet has never sounded better or more confident. His voice is strong, and he takes more chances with it. Compare the title track with the version that Gaudet recorded for his 1994 album, “It’s a Colorful Life,” for example.

Much of the album was recorded live in Bender Studios in Delmar – the musicians playing all together at the same time, rather than layering on the one-at-a-time overdubs. And it shows. The proof is in the rich, warm, organic sound, which brings out the best in these stellar songs.

Jim Gaudet and the Railroad Boys celebrate the release of “So Far So Good” with a party and performance at the Ancient Order of Hibernians Hall (375 Ontario St., Albany) at 8pm on Saturday, June 27. Admission is free. Jim and his band will also be serving up another free performance at 1pm Sunday, June 28 in Shepard Park on Canada St., Lake George as part of the 22nd annual Lake George Summerfest weekend.

At either place, expect a seriously good time, some great music and a few of Gaudet’s deadly jokes, too.

JOHN SCOFIELD’s “Piety Street”

May 11th, 2009, 12:40 pm by Greg

piety(Emarcy, 2009):
Guitar great Scofield has built his long and illustrious career playing jazz with such legends as Miles Davis, Chet Baker and Charlie Mingus. In more recent years, he’s thrown his hat into the jam-band scene, firing up his fret-work with such ensembles as Phil Lesh & Friends, MM&W and Deep Banana Blackout. This time around, though, Scofield offers something completely different. Blurring the boundaries between Saturday night blues and Sunday morning gospel, Scofield goes to New Orleans, and puts his own unique touch on a collection of sacred songs (“His Eye Is On the Sparrow,” “Motherless Child,” “I’ll Fly Away”). Wisely, he’s surrounded himself with a stellar crew of Crescent City stalwarts, including keyboardist-vocalist Jon Cleary, bass master George Porter, Jr. and gifted vocalist John Boutte, and the results ring deep and true.

John Scofield: Piety Street

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