LIVE: “Hearts 4 Haiti” @ the Palace Theatre, 2/11/10

February 17th, 2010, 2:02 pm by Greg

David Malachowski and the Woodstock Allstars

David Malachowski and the Woodstock Allstars

The music was great.

A batch of some of Nippertown’s finest homegrown musical talent graced the stage at the Palace Theatre on Thursday night. Slick Fitty kicked off the evening’s festivities by steamrolling through some gritty, roots-oriented rock & roll. Sirsy was in the number two slot, and the dynamic duo of Melanie Krahmer and Rich Libutti had no problem filling the theater, as they ripped through the title track of their latest album, “Revolution,” and served up new ones like “Goner” as well.

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LIVE: Jocamo @ The Linda, 10/22/09

October 26th, 2009, 11:52 am by Greg

Bring in the funk: Jill Hughes, Brian Kaplan and Keith Pray joining Jocomo onstage

Bring in the funk: Jill Hughes, Brian Kaplan and Keith Pray joining Jocomo onstage

Subbing for the missing-in-action Matthew Loiacono, fabulous funkateers Jocamo took over the stage at The Linda in Albany on Thursday to support their new CD, “The New Funk Order.” (Read our CD review here.)

It was the free monthly CRUMBS Nite Out session, and Jocamo had a close-to-packed house cheering them on during their hour-long performance. Unlike the vast majority of Jocamo gigs, this one never turned into a sweaty, steamy dance party, and the audience remained enthusiastic, but seated throughout the show.

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LIVE: Jill Hughes @ the Van Dyck, 9/19/09

September 21st, 2009, 10:22 am by Greg


Jill Hughes stood onstage, soaking up the spotlight and the waves of applause from the packed house at the venerable Van Dyck in Schenectady.

It was a long time coming, but on Saturday night the veteran soul-jazz-blues singer was celebrating the release of her debut solo album – aptly titled “For the First Time” – and she wanted to savor every moment of it.

Pointing to the upstairs dressing room, she admitted to the crowd, “That walk down those stairs was the longest walk I’ve ever taken – especially in these heels.” The crowd roared back its appreciation.

Of course, the vivacious vocalist didn’t really have anything to worry about. She’s a captivating entertainer, who knows instinctively how to charm a crowd.

And she’s a confident, supremely soulful singer, who tackles every song with grace and style. There ain’t nothing “pitchy” about a Jill Hughes performance.

There’s no showing off, either, although Hughes could certainly dazzle with her vocal acrobatics if she wanted to. But she doesn’t need to. Instead, she simply pours her heart into the songs, bringing passion and power to each one.

Her repertoire for the evening – all culled from the new album – was vast and eclectic, leaping across a wide range of musical genres. Whether she was serving up a towering love ballad (“l Won’t Pretend”), a funky get-down (Sam & Dave’s R&B classic “I Thank You”), a tender jazz standard (“The Very Thought of You”) or a stone-cold blues (Willie Dixon’s no-punches-pulled scorcher “I Just Want to Make Love to You”), Hughes made nary a misstep.

Of course, she didn’t do it all by herself. She had a crack quintet behind her – led by keyboardist-producer Jon Werking and versatile saxman Cliff Lyons – to help her expertly navigate the tricky genre-jumps from the skittering scat of “Love Isn’t Likely Today” to the simmering bossa nova of “Better Off.”

On Saturday, with her long-overdue solo CD finally under belt, the night belonged to Jill Hughes. It’s about time.

Free Free Free Downloads…

September 14th, 2009, 3:02 pm by Sara

The B3nson Recording Company – who are taking over an entire stage at LarkFest on Saturday – have just released a compilation of songs from their artist roster, free for the downloading. If you’re not familiar with the B3nson folks, here’s your chance: 17 songs, including Scientific Maps, Matthew Loiacono (on loan from Collar City Records), We Are Jeneric, Sgt. Dunbar & the Hobo Banned and more.

Tomorrow is the official release of Super 400‘s new CD, “Sweet Fist,” but we still have a free mp3 download of their hot new single “Flashlight” available. Get it while you can.

Free download of the entire acclaimed Jeebus show at Savannah’s from Friday, August 28.

Jill Hughes is slated to release her new CD, “For the First Time,” with two swinging CD release parties at the Van Dyke this Saturday, September 19. Be sure to check back later this week, when will make a free mp3 download available, and we’ll be hosting a contest as well, giving away a free autographed copy of the CD.

LIVE: Jill Hughes @ the Tang Museum, 7/24

July 28th, 2009, 4:24 pm by Greg


Veteran jazz-soul singer Jill Hughes debuted the material from her new upcoming album at Skidmore College’s Tang Museum on Friday, July 24, as part of the ongoing “Upbeat On The Roof” free summer concert series.

Bandleader Jon Working was at the piano, while tenor saxophonist Eric Walentowicz, trumpeter Peter Bellino, drummer Greg Cortelyou and bassist Steve Rust rounded out the line-up.

Hughes’ solo album, “For the First Time,” is slated for release sometime within the next two months. Produced by Working, the album features a dozen tunes – including one sung in Portugese and eight originals.

Meanwhile, Hughes will be the headline performer at the Southern Vermont Art and Craft Festival in Hildene’s Meadow in Manchester, Vermont on Saturday, August 1.

Photos by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Eric Walentowicz and Jill Hughes

Eric Walentowicz and Jill Hughes

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