Photographs by Gene Sennes
Photographs by Stanley Johnson
Additional photographs by Richard Brody
Granted, the name “New Music Festival” sounds more than a bit generic, but it’s certainly a better moniker for the end-of-summer bash than the previous “Local Legends Live.” Especially considering that this year only two of the five bands on the bill – twang-timin’ guitarslinger Graham Tichy and the garage-rockin’ Mysteios – hail from the Local 518.
It’s just a short ride on the Mass Pike…
The 24th annual Boston Music Awards will held this weekend at the Liberty Hotel in Boston, so it should come as no surprise that once again a couple of former Nippertown musicians have garnered nominations in some of the most prestigious categories.
And the Roy Sludge Trio – featuring former Capital Region bassist Jim Haggerty – has picked up a nomination in the Album of the Year category for their recent release, “Too Drunk to Truck.”
Sludge and Haggerty will also be performing at the awards ceremony on Sunday evening. And sitting in for the night for the trio’s regular guitarist Duke Levine will be none other than Troy’s own red-hot guitarslinger (and Haggerty’s former Rocky Velvet bandmate) Graham Tichy.
Good luck, guys!
Today marks the 51th anniversary of the plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa, that claimed the lives of Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens.
Yes, it’s the Day the Music Died, as Don McLean sings:
Nippertown music fans can celebrate the lives and music of Holly, Valens and the Big Bopper at The Linda in Albany at 8pm on Saturday, February 20.
In the mid-’80s, some of the best area musicians put on a The Day the Music Died show at Pauly’s Hotel in Albany. In 1999 on the 40th anniversary of the crash, another performance played to a packed Ale House in Troy. Now again in 2010, Johnny Rabb, John Tichy, Graham Tichy, Jim Haggerty and Pete Vumbaco will present a reprise of the show at The Linda – right across the street from the now-defunct Pauly’s Hotel.
New band in Nippertown, the Sophisticates made their debut at Tess’ Lark Tavern in Albany back in August, and nobody really knew what to expect.
Now the band is returning to the Lark Tavern on Friday (November 20), and there’s one thing that you be sure of – the music will be anything but sophisticated.
The Sophisticates guitarslinger Graham Tichy (of rollicking rockabilly favorites Rocky Velvet) describes the band as “a garage-rock Rocky Velvet spin-off,” adding, “It’s a killer show – authentic ’60s garage and rock and roll – we even use a Shure Vocalmaster with the column speakers!”
And it’s not just all about the old-school gear, either. The Sophisticates have a songbag that matches, and the band has unearthed such vintage nuggets as “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” (by the Sonics), “I’m Leaving it All Up to You” (Don and Dewey) and “Any Way You Want It” (the Dave Clark Five).
In addition to Tichy on guitar, the Sophisticates also feature Rocky Velvet vocalist Ian Carlton, drummer Pete Vumbaco, and as Tichy explains, “a variety of bass players – on this particular gig Jay Gorleski, the old Rocky Velvet bass player is playing.”
All of which obviously begs the question, So what’s up with Rocky Velvet?, who seem to have been missing-in-action from the Nippertown music scene in recent months.
“Rocky Velvet is on a hiatus of sorts. If the stars align properly, we’ll play, but everyone has a lot going on,” Tichy says. “Jimmy (Haggerty, bassist) is playing with Barrence Whitfield. Ian is on the road with Los Straitjackets this winter. And Jeff (Michael, drummer) is a busy chef. I’ve got a wife, two kids, 40 guitar students, and full-time job – so as you can imagine, I’m pretty swamped.
“But musically, I’m doing this Sophisticates thing with Ian; I’ve got an authentic jump/Chicago blues band called the Shakin’ Bakers with Ted Hennesey that I’m trying to get off the ground; I’ve got gigs with Rabb (Johnny Rabb & the Jailhouse Rockers) here and there; and I’m now also in Doc Scanlon’s Rhythm Boys, which is a ton of fun and gets me out of the ‘3 chord paradigm.’ ”