Posts Tagged ‘Michael Eck’

LIVE: Dom Flemons @ WAMC-FM’s The Linda, 11/6/13

Monday, November 18th, 2013
Dom Flemons

Dom Flemons

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

As a key member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, the thoroughly entertaining, multi-talented mulit-instrumentalist and singer Dom Flemons has performed all over Nippertown – from FreshGrass to Mountain Jam to the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival.

But earlier this month, Flemons came to town for a rare solo performance as part of the American Roots Series at The Linda in Albany. Singer-songwriter Michael Eck served as the opening act, as well as the host for the evening’s festivities.

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LIVE: An Evening of Murder Ballads @ Caffe Lena, 10/26/13

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013
Tom Wadsworth and Kim Kilby

Tom Wadsworth and Kim Kilby

Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Tim Livingston

It was the third year for “An Evening of Murder Ballads,” Caffe Lena’s fund-raising Halloween tradition, and as Lena’s manager Sarah Craig explained, in years past, the focus was squarely on the traditional folk ballads of murder, killing and revenge.

Not so this time around…

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LIVE: Syd Straw @ WAMC-FM’s The Linda, 10/5/13

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013
Syd Straw

Syd Straw

Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

During “Actress,” the closing song on Syd Straw’s latest album Pink Velour, she sings, “I saw my name up on the marquee. They spelled it wrong, but it still looked good to me. I’m having that kind of career.”

That kind of career, indeed. The fact that her “latest” album was released five years ago might partially explain that kind of career. Well, that and the fact that she’s only released a grand total of three albums over the course of her 24-year solo career. Clearly, Syd Straw doesn’t play by the typical musical industry rules.

And she doesn’t deliver any kind of typical concert, either. At The Linda – where the marquee did spell out her name correctly – she admitted early on that she was trying not to talk too much. But she just couldn’t help herself on that count, and when she sang the lyrics, “I will, like a brook, babble on,” during “Papier Mache,” old fans knew what she meant and new fans were about to find out.

Between songs she chatted about putting on too much make-up, Miley Cyrus, why she likes to read The New Yorker, pandas, Fiona Apple’s run-in with a heckler and lots more. “It only seems like 17 minutes between songs,” she said, only half-joking. But that’s part of her charm. Well, that and the fact that she frequently chatted with her dog, Carol Burnett, who laid down calmly at her feet onstage for the majority of the show. And in the middle of her show, Straw broke into an a cappella rendition of “There Are Worse Things I Could Do” from the musical “Grease” and sang the whole song.

“I forget. Is this a show, or are we just having lunch?” she asked at one point.

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LIVE: Peter Case @ Valentine’s Music Hall, 5/10/13

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013
Michael Eck and Peter Case

Michael Eck and Peter Case

Photograph by Kirsten Ferguson

You never know who might pop up on stage with him when veteran singer-songwriter Peter Case makes a tour stop at Valentine’s Music Hall in Albany.

Back 2010, when Case dropped by, he was backed by drummer Brian Goodman of the Knyghts of Fuzz.

And when Case returned earlier this month, Local 518 fave Michael Eck – of Lost Radio Rounders, Ramblin Jug Stompers and more – joined him on stage for a handful of delicious duets, including Bob Dylan’s “Pledging My Time.”

Media Watch: Happy Traum Profiled in Fretboard Journal

Monday, November 12th, 2012
Happy Traum (photo by Tom Lindsay)

Happy Traum

Photograph by Tom Lindsay

Woodstock’s own Happy Traum – guitarist, singer and the head of Homespun Music Instruction – is featured in the current issue of the prestigious Fretboard Journal magazine, which you can find at Guitar Center. The 16-page story was written by Michael Eck with photographs by Tom Lindsay, the third story that the two members of Lost Radio Rounders have collaborated on for Fretboard Journal.

And you can catch Happy Traum on stage and in the spotlight at 8pm on Friday, December 14 at the Bearsville Theater in Woodstock, hosting the annual winter solstice concert with a batch of his musician pals including John Sebastian, Larry Campbell, Teresa Williams, Amy Helm, Byron Isaacs and others.

The Replacements Redux?

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

With Tommy Stinson relocating to Hudson recently, it’s no surprise that there might be a Local 518 resurgence in interest in the Replacements.

But now it seems as though there’s a whole nation-wide Replacements renaissance.

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LIST: Michael Eck’s Top 10 Woody Guthrie Collaborations

Friday, July 13th, 2012

Story by Michael Eck

Woody Guthrie wrote, by some estimates, 3,000 songs. Early on he found a few collaborators, but in recent years his daughter Nora Guthrie has been placing select lyrics with contemporary writers. Here’s a chronological list of my current faves.

“Oklahoma Hills” – Jack Guthrie

You could say that Woody’s cousin Jack “stole” this song, but so what? Woody stole just about every melody he ever sang. The bottom line is that Jack “fixed it up” in much the way A.P. Carter did with traditional mountain songs, and turned it into a true Western Swing hit in the process.

“Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos)” – Martin Hoffman

When Woody wrote this lament in 1948, the Huntington’s Disease that would take his life was already robbing him of his abilities to make music. Hoffman, a singing schoolteacher, set the lyric beautifully, with the melody matching the ache of the words. It became a standard even while Guthrie was still alive. There’s a great video of Dylan (doing his best Troy Pohl) and Baez singing this on the Rolling Thunder Tour. Barring that, believe it or not, Dolly Parton’s version is as good a place as any to start – at least she doesn’t mangle “adios” as badly as Springsteen does.

“Way Over Yonder in the Minor Key” – Billy Bragg

Part of the “Mermaid Avenue” project with Wilco. Bragg embodies Guthrie’s spirit in so many ways, and not just as a protest singer. The bloke’s own nods and winks in songs like “Sexuality” made him the perfect partner for Woody’s naughty little number about girls in trees.

“California Stars” – Jeff Tweedy, Jay Bennett

The Wilco half of “Mermaid Avenue.” The salt and sweet of Tweedy and Bennett clashed just right on this moonlit ditty. Gram Parson is still pissed that he died before he had a chance to record this one.

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Win FREE TIX to Michael Eck’s “Bound for Glory: 100 Years of Woody Guthrie” @ Caffe Lena on Saturday

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012
Michael Eck (photo by Al Goldberg)

Michael Eck (photo by Al Goldberg)

Saturday (July 14) marks the historic 100th anniversary of the birth of Woody Guthrie, and Local 518 singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalist Michael Eck has wisely chosen Saturday to debut his new one-man celebration of one of America’s all-time great musical icons, “Bound for Glory: 100 Years of Woody Guthrie,” at Nippertown’s legendary home of folk music, Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs.

Eck – a member of Ramblin Jug Stompers and Lost Radio Rounders, who has also played alongside such folks as Pete Seeger and Patti Smith – will perform a solo selection of classic Guthrie songs, relate anecdotes from the singer’s life and discuss how Guthrie’s influence still drives contemporary American folk music. Throughout the evening, Eck – who produced and hosted the Caffe’s 52nd Anniversary tribute to Guthrie in May – will explore Guthrie’s music from its roots in classic American folk songs to his explosive creative streak in the 1940s with “Dust Bowl Ballads” and the “Columbia River Collection,” as well as the tunes he wrote for children and the many collaborations by contemporary musicians with unset lyrics housed in the Guthrie archives.

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