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

April 27th, 2015, 4:00 pm by Greg
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.

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LIVE: Hamell On Trial @ the Low Beat, 9/6/14

September 16th, 2014, 3:00 pm by Greg

Review by Fred Rudofsky

Armed with a trove of songs, paintings for sale, and bawdy jokes (including a couple told by his son, Detroit) unlike those of anyone else on the planet, Hamell On Trial put on a dynamic Saturday night show at the Low Beat.

An extended break-neck rhythm pattern established the tension of a shaken universe in “A Little Concerned, That’s All,” a key song from Tough Love. Next, Hamell joked that he would be featuring a 45-minute interpretive dance number, but chose instead to sing off-microphone the bizarre yet true trio of drug-related tales of “When You Are Young,” set to an indelibly bouncy Yiddish folk melody. “Seven Seas,” a staple of his live show for many years, offered newcomers to Hamell On Trial a chance to hear the story of the vintage acoustic guitar he bought one day from Buzzy on Lark Street. Some of Hamell’s most beloved songs -“Blood of the Wolf,” “Hail,” “Inquiring Minds” and “Bill Hicks” (the latter by request, thank you) were written on it and featured in the set.

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LIVE: Hamell On Trial @ Steamer No. 10 Theatre, 2/25/12

March 13th, 2012, 2:30 pm by Greg
 Hamell On Trial @ Steamer 10, 2/25/12

Review by Fred Rudofsky
Photographs by Al Goldberg

Part retrospective, part preview of an upcoming album and concept show, Hamell on Trial’s performance at the Steamer No. 10 Theatre in Albany was one for the ages. A small but fervent crowd of music fans came in from the cold and got to see one of the best, most prolific songwriters in America up close and personal.

After an introduction by Michael Eck, Hamell dressed in black strode out onto the stage, plugged in his vintage Gibson acoustic and gave a prologue for the night about how his years in Syracuse as a working musician and bartender in an infamous venue had brought him face to face with “the disenfranchised.” Many of the songs during the evening delved into how the other half lives, with Hamell virtually channeling Jacob Riis, Woody Guthrie, Joe Strummer and James Ellroy in a torrent of vivid, heartrending and sometimes unsettling (and often quite funny) lyrics. In between the songs were jokes and stories ranging from corny to wry to obscene – in other words, it was like entering a spectacular microcosm where irreverence topples all pretense and conventional wisdom. Even Hamell himself stepped off microphone to ask the rapt audience late in the second set, “Is any of this linear?”

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Five Firsts: Ed Hamell of Hamell On Trial

February 23rd, 2012, 2:00 pm by Greg
Hamell On Trial

Hamell On Trial (photo by Al Goldberg)

NAME: Ed Hamell

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … “Introducing the Beatles” – the Vee Jay one, not the Capitol on (Meet the …). Actually, my mother might have bought that one for me. The first album I might have bought was “The Blues Project with Tommy Flanders at the Cafe Au Go Go.” At the local grocery store, if I remember.

2. THE FIRST CONCERT THAT I EVER SAW WAS …The Lovin’ Spoonful at the Syracuse War Memorial, followed by the Who (I met Keith Fucking Moon) and Jimi Hendrix.

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Eclectic Performances Announced for Steamer No. 10 Theatre

February 2nd, 2012, 10:00 am by Greg
Hamell On Trial

Hamell on Trial (photo by Al Goldberg)

Over the course of the past two decades, the Steamer No. 10 Theatre has become one of Albany’s prime destinations for children’s entertainment. But every once in a while the intimate little theater plays host to some fine grown-up entertainment, too.

In celebration of the theater’s 20th anniversary, guest producer Michael Eck is presenting a new Electic Performance Series at the theater, a slate of six exciting evening concerts aimed at adult audiences and featuring some of the area’s finest musicians both past and present. Among the upcoming performers are Hamell on Trial, Sean Rowe, the Star Spangled Washboard Band, Val Haynes & Todd Nelson, Rosanne Raneri, Bryan Thomas, Rosary Beard, Winterpills and Frank Jaklitsch.

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LIVE: Hamell On Trial @ Valentine’s Music Hall, 1/10/12

January 17th, 2012, 3:00 pm by Greg
Hamell On Trial

Review by Fred Rudofsky
Photograph by Al Goldberg

It’s a cliche, but Hamell On Trial always delivers, surprising and testifying and edifying audiences great and small.

The audience was small at Valentine’s but great in spirit and obviously open to having their third eye squeegeed clean, as Bill Hicks would put it. For 80 minutes, it was an Occupy Albany event the way a genuine protest should be done, from the heart at 100+ decibels.

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Hamell On Trial’s Daytrotter Session

July 18th, 2011, 2:00 pm by Greg
Hammell On Trial

Hammell On Trial

Last week, we tipped you off to Sean Rowe’s Daytrotter Session.

Now, hot on the heels of that little beauty comes a new Daytrotter Session with former Nippertonian, Mr. Ed Hamell.

The five-song free download includes the debut of two tunes – “Happiest Man In The World” and “When I Cry.”

You’re welcome.

Flashback: The Works, 1984

October 22nd, 2010, 4:01 pm by Greg

Syracuse rock ‘n’ rollers the Works kick out the jams on a pair of their original tunes – “Ideal Situation” and “Thinkin’ About You” – filmed for the Central New York cable television music show, “Musicuse,” back in 1984.

And yes, that’s Ed Hamell before he went solo, shaved his head and became the one and only Hamell On Trial

Holly & EvanCaffe LenaThe Cock'N'Bull RestaurantJim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysCartoonist John CaldwellAdvertise on Nippertown!Australian Cattle Dog Rescue Association Artist Charles Haymes