Posts Tagged ‘James Cotton’

LIVE: The James Cotton Band @ Music Haven at Proctors, 7/27/14

Thursday, July 31st, 2014
Ted Henessey and Matt Mirabile (photo by Andrzej Pilarczyk)

Tom Holland and James Cotton (photo by Andrzej Pilarczyk)

Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Stanley Johnson, Andrzej Pilarczyk, Rudy Lu, Richard Brody

For a quarter of a century now, the Music Haven has presented what is unquestionably the Capital Region’s most ambitious and culturally diverse free annual summer concert series. The concerts don’t always attract the big, Alive at Five-sized crowds, but the series always attracts great musicians from all over the globe, and it consistently lives up to the motto of its mission – “Come travel the world with us, one concert at a time.”

Due to the threat of inclement weather last Sunday, the Music Haven’s concert featuring legendary blues harmonica master James Cotton was moved to the rain site – Proctors – and when the show is moved to a beautiful site like Proctors nothing is lost in the venue shift. Not even the audience, apparently, as nearly 1,400 people packed the downstairs of Proctors’ Main Stage theater for what proved to be a very special celebration. Not only was it the biggest Capital Region blues event of the summer, but it was also the Music Haven’s 25th anniversary gala party, and the bash was well attended by a plethora of local political dignitaries, as well as staunch music supporters.

In a brief, pre-concert ceremony on the Main Stage, former Schenectady mayor Karen Johnson was honored for her support of the Music Haven throughout the years, and in a surprise proclamation, Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy honored Music Haven’s founder, visionary and producing artistic director Mona Golub with the Patroon Award, the city’s highest honor. “It’s been a labor of love for me, bringing such a diverse, cross-generational audience together,” said an audibly choked-up Golub, as she accepted the award.

The concert also served a heartfelt memorial to Albany bluesman Tom Healey, whose death the previous Monday shook the Local 518 blues community. Guitarslinger Matt Mirabile and his band, fronted by vocalist-harmonicat Ted Hennessy, tore through a seven-song opening set that ranged from such blues classics as Muddy Waters’ “I Just Want to Make Love to You” and Sonny Boy Williamson’s “So Sad to Be Lonesome” to a funky, cowbell-fueled rendition of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son,” and they dedicated their performance to Healey. The Music Haven folks also joined in the tribute, playing selections from the Tom Healey Band’s two albums – Pearl Street and Tough Dog – during the between-band intermission.

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LIVE: Johnny Winter and James Cotton @ The Egg, 6/25/10

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

James Cotton

James Cotton


Johnny Winter and James Cotton’s appearance at The Egg was a legitimate “check-off show” – that is, a concert that lets hard-core music fans check one name (or, in this case, two names) off the list of legends they’d like to see perform live. The show was also a do-over, as the original date was postponed due to health reasons… and frankly, it was hard to tell which performer caused the cancellation.

The 67-year old Winter was hunched and frail as he walked onstage, his face half-hidden by a black, wide-brimmed hat. Cotton came on and off stage under his own power, but the 75-year-old Hall of Famer did a post-set CD signing from a wheelchair. Both players sat for their respective sets, and Cotton needed ex-Ronnie Earl sideman Darrell Nulisch to handle all the vocals because Cotton’s voice is effectively gone. But while neither player was anywhere near his best, they each had the ability to make the capacity crowd holler their brains out.

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James Cotton, What Was the First Album You Ever Bought?

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

James Cotton“The first album I bought?

Hmmmm, I think it was Sonny Boy. Yeah, probably Sonny Boy Williamson.”

Harmonica master James Cotton teams up with guitarslinger Johnny Winter for a double-barrel blast of the blues at The Egg in Albany at 7:30pm on Friday. Tix are $29.50.

Comin’ soon…

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

Rory Block

Rory Block

Grateful Dead concert re-creationists the Dark Star Orchestra step into the spotlight at the Palace Theatre in Albany on Friday, November 6. (Which means that Nov. 6 is shaping up as a battle of the tribute bands – with Beatles homage combo 1964 The Tribute at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall going head-to-head with DSO.)

While Dark Star Orchestra have climbed up the ladder from clubs to concert halls, second generation reggae star Ziggy Marley is headed in the other direction – at least for a fall tour that includes a stop at Northern Lights in Clifton Park on Tuesday, September 15. Just earlier this summer Marley was co-headlining SPAC with 311.

Also at Northern Lights, a thoroughly smashing show with Five Finger Death Punch, 2 Cents, OTEP, Shadows Fall and Burning Human (meaning double duty for drummer Jason Bittner) on Tuesday, October 6. Tix go on sale at 10am Saturday, August 15.

New shows on the upcoming calendar at The Egg in Albany include the new acoustic music of Peter Rowan and Tony Rice (Sunday, October 4), the reunion of Nippertown Celtic trio Donnybrook Fair (Thursday, March 11) and blues greats Johnny Winter and James Cotton (Friday, April 16).

A place where music-meets-dogs!: Blues queen Rory Block is playing a benefit concert for the Columbia-Greene Humane Society at St. James Church in Chatham on Friday, September 18.

Saxman Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe explodes at Revolution Hall in Troy on Thursday, October 29.

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