The Penny Knight Band and the Amazing Rob (photos by Stanley Johnson)
Sunday was a good news/bad news night, kicking off the annual free summer concert series at the Music Haven in Schenectady.
The bad news was that Broadway Blotto – Blotto’s guitarist, vocalist and songwriter – was ill, and Blotto was forced to cancel their performance.
The good news was that back in their heyday Blotto put together a surprisingly strong roster of talent for their own Blotto Records, and four of Blotto’s labelmates reunited and took the stage for a musically diverse but uniformily strong concert.
There’s been an unusually high number of pompadour sightings at the Albany International Airport this week.
Rockabilly kingpin Johnny Rabb is headed out to sunny California, where he and Eddie Angel and the rest of the masked caveman in the Neanderthals will be making their west coast debut this weekend with gigs in Rosemead on Friday and Long Beach on Saturday.
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.
That can mean only one thing – it’s January, and time once again for the annual Elvis Birthday Bash.
Yes, the King is gone, but he’s not forgotten – certainly not by these guys. Elvis Presley would have celebrated his 75th birthday today, and his music remains as timeless as ever. In tribute, the Elvis Birthday Bash Band is once again hitting the road for a string of performances designed to delight every Elvis fan, young and old alike.
The band is revving up for a trio of local Nippertown performances. On Saturday night (January 9), they’ll serve it up concert-style at The Linda in Albany. On Sunday (January 10), they’ll squeeze into the intimate confines of the Ale House in Troy. And after rolling through NYC and Long Island, the all-star combo returns to town to wrap up the tour with one final blowout at Daisy Baker’s in Troy on Saturday, January 16.
The Lustre Kings – who have also accompanied Wanda Jackson, Bill Kirchen and Robert Gordon – are among the nation’s premiere roots rock acts, with a regular touring schedule that takes them from NYC to Austin, from Seattle to New Orleans. Critically-hailed guitarist Deke Dickerson says “Like a fine wine, the Lustre Kings just get better with each passing year.”
Johnny Rabb might have been Elvis if the King hadn’t beaten him to the punch. Rabb’s onstage intensity is undeniable, and he always gives 120 percent whether wailing with the Jailhouse Rockers in a Nippertown bar or shaking his tail-feather onstage in Europe with the wild ‘n’ woolly Neanderthals.
Nippertown rockabilly kingpin Johnny Rabb looooves Christmas. His annual Christmas in July parties are legendary, and when the real-deal holiday rolls around, Rabb is always at the head of the party pack.
His “Hi-Fi Christmas Dance” takes place at 7:30pm tonight at the Polish American Association in Cohoes, and you can bet that Rabb and lots of his musician buddies will be cranking out some roots-rockin’ holiday tunes and caroling around the ole wassail bowl.
One jumpin’ little tune that you’re certain to hear is “Christmas Dance,” that annual December favorite that Rabb recorded way back when at Art Snay’s Arabellum Studios with an all-star band that included guitarmeister Eddie Angel (who co-wrote the tune with Rabb), bassist Buck Malen, drummer Mark Foster and keyboardist David Maswick.
It’s difficult to believe, but “Christmas Dance” was first issued as a 45RPM single – yes, kiddies, vinyl – 25 years ago on Blotto Records. (Buck Malen also penned the flipside, “Lucky for Christmas,” and snapped the photo that adorned the black & white picture sleeve.)
So get ready to do a little rockin’ around the Christmas tree, and celebrate a quarter century of “Christmas Dance” with Johnny Rabb and Friends tonight.
Raise your hand if you’d rather hear Eddie Money than Moby.
OK, that’s what we thought…
But that’s not gonna stop Mr. “Two Tickets to Paradise” from heading back into downtown Troy for what we’ve decided to call the second annual Free Money in the Collar City Concert. (You may recall that Money was in Troy for a free concert last August as the headliner at the New York-Penn League All-Star Fan Festival.)
Kicking off Troy’s Hudson Quadricentennial Celebration on Saturday, September 19, Eddie Money will once again be belting out his hits at a free outdoor performance in Monument Square. Rockabilly faves Johnny Rabb & the Jailhouse Rockers get the musical festivities underway at 2pm, followed by Money at 3pm.
Or of course, you could go to LarkFest…
Or the Irish 2000 Music and Arts Festival…
Or the Lake George Jazz Weekend…
TOO MANY CHOICES!!
Yes, the summer-long series of free concerts in Troy’s Powers Park was supposed to have ended this past weekend with the big Uncle Sam Jam.
But the August 22 was rained out, which means that the always revved-up rockabilly favorites Johnny Rabb and the Jailhouse Rockers were postponed. If you want to add a little old-school rock ‘n’ roll to your Labor Day weekend, Rabb and the boys will fire it up at Powers Park at 6pm Saturday, September 5.
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