New Release Rack: Stellar Young

February 8th, 2013, 3:00 pm by Greg

Stellar Young: Everything At Once

Stellar Young is celebrating the release of their debut full-length album, Everything at Once. The band is slated to throw their CD release party on Saturday night (February 9) at McGeary’s Pub in Albany, and it’s shaping up to be quite a bash.

Since it’s also Mardi Gras weekend, Stellar Young is mixing it up, transforming their release celebration into a semi-formal masquerade party. Mardi Gras masks will be provided at the door, if you don’t have your own. The bash will also feature cake, an exhibit of the album’s artwork and caricatures by Smallbany’s Dana Owens.

And the night will also feature a double-bill of bands – sort of. The evening will start out with Stellar Young playing a set of their older material when the band was known as the City Never Sleeps. Then they’ll be back to play a second set – performing their new album Everything at Once in its entirety.

Doors open at 9pm. And admission is just $5.


Five Firsts: Blaze of the Erin Harkes Band

December 12th, 2011, 11:00 am by Greg


NAME: Blaze
BAND AFFILIATION: The Erin Harkes Band
INSTRUMENT: Guitar, Keyboards

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … The first albums I ever bought with my own money were Neil Young’s “Decade” and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “One More from the Road,” BUT I had just been given Aerosmith’s “Toys in the Attic” and Elton John’s “Caribou” as a birthday present – so those four albums started my collection!

2. THE FIRST CONCERT THAT I EVER SAW WAS … My sister’s boyfriend Mark took me to see Yes at the Hartford Civic Center with the original lineup! I still remember Steve Howe playing “The Clap” and Rick Wakeman’s solo piece and the room spinning like his Leslie! I had never heard anything like that music before and was stunned!

3. THE FIRST MUSICAL INSTRUMENT I EVER OWNED OR PLAYED WAS … My Aunt Pat, a Beatles freak who even saw them at Shea Stadium, had an old Hohner electric guitar and cool tube amp with tremolo that she let me play when I was like 10 years old, and it’s because of her that I’m a musician (and Beatle lover!) today. Thanks, Aunt Pat!

4. THE FIRST SONG THAT I EVER PERFORMED IN PUBLIC WAS … Well, I played drums in elementary school in the dance band and the marching band, so maybe “Song Sung Blue” or “Sweet Caroline” was first public song, probably at some school concert. Mr. Billingham, the music teacher, was forever telling we drummers to “play softer, dammit!!!” Didn’t he know I was a rocker? But the first song in public on guitar was probably “Smoke on the Water” (a song I routinely tortured my family with from the beginning of my guitar career) at a house party near Siena where 10 girls lived off campus and my band SnowBlind played for the Women’s Rugby tournament – pure heaven, and I was hooked!!!!!

5. THE FIRST BAND I WAS EVER IN WAS … At Chester Elementary School in CT, I played a drum kit in Jason & the Wildcats. It was just me and a sax player, Jason. We’d play covers and a few originals at lunch time for whatever victims wandered by. But my first rock band was SnowBlind in my freshman year at Siena College. House parties were our specialty…

Blaze plugs in to play as a duo with Erin Harkes at 7:30pm tonight at McGeary’s Pub in Albany. He’ll also be joining the whole Erin Harkes Band for upcoming gigs at Graney’s Stout in Albany on Saturday night (December 17) and at Savannah’s/Dublin Underground in Albany on Thursday, December 22.

LIVE: Super 400/Charlie Watts Riots @ McGeary’s, 7/7/11

July 12th, 2011, 4:30 pm by Greg
Charlie Watts Riot

It was a Charlie Watts Riot

Three is a magic number.

A pair of Nippertown trios graced the outdoor McGeary’s Summer Stage last Thursday for the Alive at 5 after-party. Leading off the night was the superb Charlie Watts Riots, who are new to the trio configuration. If anything, it makes guitarist Seth Powell, bassist Mike Pauley and drummer Joe Putrock sound more immediate. The nattily clad lads led off the set with a barrage of tracks from their CD “Long Story Short,” followed by healthy helping of new, post-CD tunes that more than held their own. They closed with a cover of the Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again.” The Charlie Watts Riot are downright Canadian in their Power Trio-ness!

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CD: Tom McWatters’ “A Beast Among the Civilized”

February 1st, 2011, 12:00 pm by Sara

Tom McWatters: A Beast Among the Civilized (The Rev Records, 2010):

Known for his cuttingly ribald lyrics and his no-holds-barred take on rock and roll, Tom McWatters has upped the ante with a stunning collection of exceedingly well-written rockers, ballads and classic pop tunes on “A Beast Among the Civilized”, his second release as a solo artist.

Backed by some of the very best local musicians going – Bob Buckley of the Kamikaze Hearts on bass and piano; Charmboy’s Eric Halder on lead guitar; and man about town Steve Candlen on the Bonham-esque backbeats – McWatters has never sounded better as a vocalist, the Seger/Springsteen bellow of his Sense Offender days maturing into a more versatile and expressive instrument that sees him as possibly the area’s reigning king of blue-eyed soul, now that Sean Rowe has signed to Anti-.

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The Trials and Tribulations of the Banjo Player

January 17th, 2011, 10:37 am by Greg

From Bowtie, the Ramblin Jug Stompers’ banjo player:

“OK – I know it is very annoying when people send you YouTube video links and say you gotta watch this and that, but I promise this is the most improbable representation of a banjo player but, in all honesty, is a true depiction of how we banjo players overcome impossible adversity and always get the girl in the end (void where prohibited by law).

Just go here…

And, yes, I too have jammed with Lee Van Cleef. He plays a mean hammer dulcimer.”

Ramblin Jug Stompers celebrate their fifth anniversary at 7pm tonight at McGeary’s in Albany. Admission is free.

Super 400: Blasting the Message

October 7th, 2010, 4:01 pm by Greg

Super 400

Super 400 @ Rockin' on the River back in August

Super 400 returns with a homecoming weekend in two parts!

In case you missed it (like the emcee did at the Empire State Plaza Food Fest earlier this summer), it’s a homecoming for the talented Troy power trio, who spent the month of September touring Austria, Switzerland, France, Spain, and Italy. As good as this killer ’70s-infused rock outfit is, you can bet that Super 400 will be honed razor-sharp and in rare form with this latest European outing under their belt.

Night 1:
Super 400 @ McGeary’s, Albany
The band is looking forward to their first show at Tess Collins and her Lark Tavern crew’s new McGeary’s location. And they’re thrilled to be the first rock band to christen the place. More than just a gig; this will also be a food drive for St. Joseph’s Church, so please don’t forget to bring a healthy canned good or non-perishable item or three.
Saturday, October 9. 10pm. $7.

Night 2:
Super 400 @ the Ale House, Troy
Two of the best things about Troy are the Ale House wings and Super 400. Now you can get ’em both in the same place at the same time. Bonus! It’s an early show, and Monday is Columbus Day, so don’t fret that it’s a school night. Super 400 bassist Lori Friday suggests, “Come early and hungry because you can’t beat the Ale House!”
Sunday, October 10. 9pm. $7.

Story and photograph by Matt Mac Haffie

Tess Collins Brings Live Music Back to McGeary’s

September 17th, 2010, 4:01 pm by Greg


As you’ve probably heard, Tess Collins – yes, the Tess of Tess’ Lark Tavern – took over the management of McGeary’s in downtown Albany (across the street from the Palace Theatre) at the start of this month.

And it hasn’t taken her and her staff long to get things swinging again at the downtown pub.

On Monday, September 20, live music returns to McGeary’s when Ramblin Jug Stompers take the stage. Showtime is 7pm, and admission is free.

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Tess Collins & the Lark Tavern Crew @ McGeary’s

September 7th, 2010, 11:01 am by Greg


McGeary’s Pub in Albany re-opened on Friday with Tess Collins of (Tess’ Lark Tavern) onboard as the new manager and many of the Lark Tavern girls as the new staff.

During the past two weeks, McGeary’s (Facebook) has undergone extensive renovations and remodeling, and the pub was definitely hopping for the first day of business on Friday.

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Jim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysHolly & EvanCartoonist John CaldwellThe Cock'N'Bull RestaurantCaffe LenaAdvertise on Nippertown!Artist Charles HaymesRamblin Jug Stompers