A Few Minutes With… Rob Crowell of Deer Tick

October 12th, 2012, 12:00 pm by Greg

Rob Crowell (photo by Jason Lehr)

Rob Crowell (photo by Jason Lehr)

Story and interview by Kirsten Ferguson

We caught up with Deer Tick keyboardist Rob Crowell “somewhere between” Tennessee and Rhode Island as he and Deer Tick founder/frontman John McCauley drove from their new hometown of Nashville to their old stomping grounds of Providence to pick up the rest of the band (Dennis Ryan, Chris Ryan and Ian O’Neil) and start a tour that kicks off in Saratoga Springs on Saturday night at the Putnam Den.

Q: You’ve played in the Capital Region several times at this point — Jillian’s in Albany last winter, the Restoration Festival, Valentine’s and a few other places before that. Any memories in particular that stand out?

A: I don’t totally remember to be honest. I think the last time we were there it was a bit of a blur. It was the last show of a long tour. I remember having a good time though.

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SNAP! The Artists of the 2011 Photo Regional

May 26th, 2011, 10:00 am by Greg

33rd Photo Regional @ Albany Center Gallery

This year, the 33rd annual Photo Regional attracted more than 450 entries submitted by more than 100 photographers, all of whom reside within 150 mile radius of Albany.

This year’s jurors – Ian Berry of Skidmore College’s Tang Museum in Saratoga Springs and Melissa Stafford of Carrie Haddad Photographs in Hudson – selected just 35 photographs from all of the images that were submitted, and the photographs will be on display at the Albany Center Gallery from Friday, June 3 through Saturday, July 16.

There will be an opening reception from 5-9pm on Friday, June 3, in conjunction with Albany’s monthly First Friday arts walk. And from 6-8pm on Saturday, June 11, the gallery will host a second reception with artists, as well as the awards ceremony at 7pm.

We’d like to extend our congratulations to Nippertown.com contributors Sebastien Barre and Jason Lehr, whose work is included in the exhibit.

Here’s the complete list of artists whose photographs were selected for the exhibition:

Jeffrey Altman, Deb Baldwin, Sebastien Barre, David Bruce, Bennett V. Campbell, Nicole Carriere, Patricia Decker, Chris DeMarco, Angelo Dounoucos, Craig P. Flood, Jerry Freedner, Keith Greenbaum, Deb Hall, Ray Henrikson, Dave Higgins, Ivan Koota, Steven Rolf Kroeger, Jeff Lansing, Jason Lehr, Mark McCarty, Jenny McShan, Linda Morrell, Heidi Ricks, Michael Roach, Anthony Salamone, Dr. N Sukumar, Jonathan Villegas, Dave Waite and Chad Weckler

Parade of Shoes: Sarah Barthel of Phantogram

May 3rd, 2011, 12:00 pm by Greg

Parade of Shoes: Sarah Barthel

Sarah Barthel of Phantogram is all laced up and kicking ass at Exit Dome IV, 1/29/11

Photograph by Jason Lehr
See more of his Exit Dome IV photographs here

Phantogram lands in the Nippertown spotlight once again at 8pm on Saturday when they perform at the RPI Student Union’s McNeil Room in Troy.

LIVE: Americana Tuesdays @ Valentine’s, 3/8/11

March 11th, 2011, 1:15 pm by Greg
Michael Eck

Michael Eck

The Americana Tuesdays series continues to roll on at Valentine’s Music Hall in Albany, and we stopped by last Tuesdays to check it out. The brainchild of Dan Johnson, the rollicking roots-music shebang has hosted performances by North Carolina’s Woody Pines and Nippertown’s Blackwell Sinners in recent weeks.

Last Tuesday’s show proved to be a solid winner, too. Host band Dan Johnson & the Expert Sidemen opened up the evening with an introductory set, followed by man-about-town Michael Eck. Then Schenectady’s Uncle Bootsy stirred things up with a fine solo set, and Johnson and the boys returned to the stage to wrap it up with a closing set.

It’s kind of like Nippertown’s own little Grand Ole Opry – country music and bluegrass, with some folk, old-timey and blues to spice things up a bit. In addition to plenty of sparkling original tunes, the musicians also dipped into the rich songbags of such folks as Townes Van Zandt, Hank Williams and Peter Case along the way. Since Tuesday was Mardi Gras, it seemed especially appropriate that Johnson led his band through a rousing rendition of Williams’ classic “Jambalaya.” Indeed, it was “some fun on the bayou.”

And it turns out that Americana Tuesdays make for some great networking opportunities as well. It seemed as though half of the crowd was made up of other area like-minded musicians.

You can hear Uncle Bootsy at the Moon & River Cafe in Schenectady at 8pm on Tuesday, March 22. Michael Eck will be sharing the stage with one of his musical heroes, Peter Case, at Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs at 7pm on Wednesday, March 23. And, of course, Dan Johnson & the Expert Sidemen will be right back at Valentine’s at 8pm on Tuesday for another Americana Tuesday – with special guest M.R. Poulopoulos.

Photographs by Jason Lehr.

Dan Johnson and Dave Walsh

Dan Johnson and Dave Walsh

Uncle Bootsy

Uncle Bootsy

LIVE: Exit Dome IV @ WEXT/WMHT Studios, 1/29/11

January 31st, 2011, 4:55 pm by Greg
Brendan Pendergast of the Charlie Watts Riots

Brendan Pendergast of the Charlie Watts Riots (photo by Jason Lehr)

Round IV of WEXT-FM’s Local 518 benefit concert series not only attracted a standing-room-only crowd of fans to the WMHT-TV studios in North Greenbush on Saturday night, but also drew a delightfully diverse crowd of musicians who kept the music flowing freely – on stage and off – for more than four and a half hours.

If you weren’t already aware of the decidedly incestuous nature of the Nippertown music scene, you might have had a somewhat difficult time figuring out just which band was onstage at any given time during the evening.

Kicking off the main stage festivities, Slender Shoulders – the indie-folkster duo of vocalist-guitarist Katie (who also performs solo as Bear Grass) and guitarist Rick Spataro – went with a more-is-more philosophy, their ranks swollen to a quintet that included bassist Eric Margan and the ubiquitous Matthew Carefully on drums. (Carefully’s performance was his third in the four Exit Dome concerts – each with a different combo).

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Live: Wreckless Eric & Amy Rigby @ Valentine’s Music Hall, 11/9/10

November 15th, 2010, 3:00 pm by Greg
Amy Rigby and Wreckless Eric (photo by Al Goldberg)

Amy Rigby and Wreckless Eric (photo by Al Goldberg)

Utterly charming.

Two delightfully idiosyncratic singer-songwriters from opposite sides of the globe have joined forces to make music that’s even a bit more left of center than what they do individually.

Having flown over from their home in France, the husband and wife duo of Wreckless Eric and Amy Rigby stepped up to the microphones at Valentine’s Music Hall on Tuesday night to kick off their U.S. tour. There were no more than two dozen people in the audience.

As they sang later in the evening during “Here Comes My Ship”: “It’s such a shame.”

And it probably would have been enough to make any sane folks jump right back on a plane and go home. Not these two, however…

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Five Firsts: Eric J. Krans of We Are Jeneric, Sgt. Dunbar & the Hobo Banned

November 15th, 2010, 12:00 pm by Greg
Eric J. Krans (photo by Jason Lehr)

(photo by Jason Lehr)

NAME: Eric J. Krans
BAND AFFILIATION: We are Jeneric, Sgt. Dunbar & The Hobo Banned
INSTRUMENT: Anything rhythmic or vocal

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … Depeche Mode, “Violator”

2. THE FIRST CONCERT THAT I EVER SAW WAS … The Celebrant Singers. They were a traveling contemporary Christian song and dance troupe. (They’re apparently still around. Their website describes them as “musicians as missionaries.”) I think many of them stayed at our house. The first concert I ever “went to” was a Kansas concert my mother took the church youth group to while she was pregnant with me. Apparently, the place was a haze of smoke and the music was deafening, this according to my mom, and I kicked and kicked and kicked and maybe even flipped.

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Live: Peter Case @ Valentine’s Music Hall, 11/5/10

November 8th, 2010, 2:01 pm by Greg
Peter Case

Peter Case

Intrepid Nippertown.com contributor Jason Lehr ventured forth to Valentine’s Music Hall in Albany on Friday evening to check out singer-songwriter Peter Case, and here’s what he found:

It was a great show. I hadn’t heard of Peter Case before reading about the show on Nippertown.com, but I checked out some of his stuff before the show and was impressed.

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Cartoonist John CaldwellHolly & EvanThe Cock'N'Bull RestaurantJim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysCaffe LenaAdvertise on Nippertown!Berkshire On StageArtist Charles Haymes