Kickstartin’ Amy Collins’ Debut CD

March 14th, 2012, 3:00 pm by Sara
Amy Collins (center) and the Whomevers

Amy Collins (center) and the Whomevers

Photograph by Al Goldberg

With her crystal-clear soprano voice and songs ranging from the humorous to the heartbreaking, Amy Collins has long been a popular mainstay on the Nippertown music scene.

But recently the long-time solo singer-songwriter put together her first band, the Whomevers – also featuring Mike Messitt, Bill Flynn and John Cromie – and now she’s finally gearing up to record her first full-length album using a Kickstarter Project to help fund the recording.

In addition to her band, Collins will join engineer Ted Malia at Black Dog Studio in Stillwater with a few special guest musicians – bassist Lorraine Waughn, fiddler Eileen Markand and multi-instrumentalist Mark Fredrick (of the Fighting 86s) – as well as vocalists Rosanne Raneri and Tom Flynn. The track listing for the album will be a combination of gorgeous Celtic traditional songs, modern folk and Amy’s original tunes.

With nine days of fundraising to go, the project is already 3/4 of the way to her goal of $2,000. Way to go, Amy. We’re rooting for ya!

You can also catch Amy & the Whomevers at Moon & River Cafe on the second Thursday of every month.

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LIVE: Ben McGrath @ Moon & River Cafe, 11/29/11

December 19th, 2011, 3:00 pm by Greg

Of all the “hothouses” in the Capital Region that nurture local talent, the Moon & River Cafe in Schenectady can claim a special niche: its open mic nights have boosted the careers of numerous performers, and its intimate setting is ideal for giving singers that critical experience of performing one-on-one and drawing an audience into their worlds. Here is Ben McGrath, longtime waiter, performing during a break during the Erin Harkes/Matt Durfee show on Tuesday, November 29.

Ben McGrath takes over the Moon & River Cafe in Schenectady at 8pm on Friday (December 23) when he’ll host a special holiday show that will also feature Kyle Miller, Chris Kovel and Mike Campana.

Video by Joel Patterson

LIVE: Amy Collins & Friends @ Moon & River Cafe, 8/11/11

August 24th, 2011, 2:00 pm by Greg
Mike Messitt, Tom Flynn, Amy Collins, Bill Flynn and John Cromie

Mike Messitt, Tom Flynn, Amy Collins, Bill Flynn and John Cromie

On the second Thursday of every month, some Celtic-inspired musical mastery takes place in Schenectady’s historic Stockade. Longtime area performer Amy Collins and her bandmates bring their unique, folk-revival-tinged sounds to the intimate confines of the Moon & River Cafe.

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The Return of Paddy Kilrain: Moon & River Cafe, 7/1/11

June 29th, 2011, 2:00 pm by Greg
Paddy Kilrain (photo by  Bryan Thomas)

Paddy Kilrain (photo by Bryan Thomas)

In late March, 2006, singer-songwriter Paddy Kilrain was hit by a car on Madison Avenue near Lark Street in Albany. She smashed the car’s windshield, bounced off the hood and slammed onto the ground, but miraculously escaped death. She did, however, suffer a broken leg and additional injuries that made it difficult to play guitar or sing.

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Five Firsts: Brian Patrik of the Hearing Aides

April 26th, 2011, 11:00 am by Greg
Brian Patrik

Brian Patrik

NAME: Brian Patrik
BAND AFFILIATION: The Hearing Aides
INSTRUMENT: Vocals and guitar

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … Third Eye Blind’s self-titled album. I loved that thing as a kid. I reviewed them at Tulip Fest a few years ago, and got super excited when they played “Semi-Charmed Life.”

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LIVE: Ukulele Mike @ the Moon & River Cafe, 4/19/11

April 25th, 2011, 11:00 am by Greg
Ukulele Mike

Ukulele Mike

Michael Eck debuted his new musical persona, Ukulele Mike, last week at the Moon and River in Schenectady. Surrounded by friends and family, Eck ran through a number of songs from many genres, all on the ukulele. No, there was no Tiny Tim or Don Ho or even hula dancers. From blues to old timey – and even one of his own from his latest album, “In My Shoes” – he brought the same gusto used for his Maximum Solo Acoustic shows. Maybe it should be called Minimum Solo Acoustic.

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CD: Gary Wager’s “Age of an Aquarian”

July 1st, 2010, 3:01 pm by Greg

Gary Water: Age of an Aquarian(no label listed, 2010):

You might get the wrong idea here. With an album titled “Age of an Aquarian,” it might seem difficult to get past the new-agey-ness of it all. Flip over the CD jewel case, and you’ll find as song titles as “Peace Garden #7,” “A Butterfly Song” and “An Aquarian Muse.”

Now you know you’re in new age territory, right?

Well, not so fast…

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Five Firsts: Tony Califano of Fairview Avenue

June 30th, 2010, 2:31 pm by Greg

Tony CalifanoNAME: Tony Califano
BAND AFFILIATION: Fairview Avenue
INSTRUMENT: Mandolin

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … I think I went 50/50 with my dad on Tom Cochrane’s “Mad Mad World,” which had “Life is a Highway” on it. But I think around that same time I got Pearl Jam’s “Ten” on cassette for a birthday present (circa fourth grade). Actually, most of my early tapes were probably gifts. One that I really wore out was the “Forrest Gump” soundtrack. That had some great stuff on it – Hendrix, Randy Newman, Jefferson Airplane, “Freebird!”

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