Good Music for a Good Cause

April 27th, 2010, 12:01 pm by Greg

Jim Gaudet and the Railroad Boys

Jim Gaudet and the Railroad Boys are on a roll. The band’s excellent sophomore album, “So Far So Good” was released last June, and now less than a year later, they’ve already got a big enough stockpile of great songs to record another one.

At a recent performance at Tess’ Lark Tavern in Albany, Gaudet and his band – fiddler Tim Wechgelaer, bassist Bob Ristau and guitarist-mandolinist Sten Isachsen – offered several marvelous new tunes, including the hilarious, Dylan-esque talking blues “Handle the Truth” and country honky-tonker “Our Last Goodbye.”

On Wednesday night, the Railroad Boys chug into the Diamond Jim Brady Room upstairs at Lillian’s in Saratoga Springs. Veteran singer-songwriter John Kribs opens the show at 7pm.

Co-sponsored by Saratoga Guitar and Starving Arts, this is a special benefit concert with all proceeds going directly to the Northeast Food Bank and the Southern Adirondack Musicians Fund.

Dedicated to the memory of beloved banjo and mandolin player Chan Goodnow, the Southern Adirondack Musicians Fund was formed following Chan’s sudden death in 2001. The not-for-profit organization raises funds to help local musicians and their families who may fall on hard times due to health issues or accidents.

Tickets are $10 and are available at Saratoga Guitar and at the door.


LIVE: “The Right Mix” @ the Saratoga Arts Theater, 11/7/09

November 20th, 2009, 12:35 pm by Greg

How big was it? Michael Jerling at the Saratoga Arts Theater

How big was it? Michael Jerling at the Saratoga Arts Theater

Produced by Nancy Walker – an excellent singer-songwriter-turned-concert-promoter – and emceed by Dave Michaels from radio station EXIT 97.7, “The Right Mix” showcased some of Nippertown’s very best roots-oriented musicians, packing the intimate Saratoga Arts Center Theater with a full house of fans.

Hot on the heels of his new CD, “Music Here Tonight: Live At Caffe Lena” on Fool’s Hill Music, magnificent singer-songwriter Michael Jerling kicked off the evening’s music in fine fashion. Accompanied by percussionist-keyboardist-accordionist Teresina Huxtable and the Northeast’s incomparable, premier bassist Tony Markellis, Jerling rolled through a set of evocative, heartfelt songs, highlighted by the humorous, real-life-on-the-road odyssey “Wide Awake In Parsippany” and the comical “In The Middle Ages.”

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Real Good for Free: Jim Gaudet & the Railroad Boys @ Tess’ Lark Tavern, 9/14/09

September 14th, 2009, 9:18 am by Greg


Mixing up some hot picking with some high lonesome harmonies and the wry, dry wit of Jim Gaudet‘s superb songsmithing, the Railroad Boys will be riding into Tess’ Lark Tavern in Albany for a fab free show about 7:30pm tonight.

Yes, we know that Gaudet and the boys have become mainstays on Tess’ schedule for the first Monday night of each month, but because of last week’s Labor Day holiday, they decided to push back their performance a week. So catch ’em tonight.

All other regular Monday night gigs at Tess’ (like Ramblin Jug Stompers on Monday, September 21) will continue on in their usual time slot, and next month Gaudet will be back to the first Monday.

Got it?

Real Good for Free: Tuesdays @ Revolution Hall (Tuesdays)
Real Good for Free: The Uncle Brothers @ East Greenbush Community Library (Sept. 26)
Real Good for Free: Capital Region’s Got Talent @ Rev. Hall (9/17)
Real Good for Free: Happy Traum @ the Crandall Library (Various days)
Real Good for Free: CRUMBS Nite Out @ The Linda (4th Thursdays)
Real Good for Free: Albany’s September in the City Art Fair (Wednesdays)
Real Good for Free: Lake George Jazz Weekend (9/19-20)
Real Good for Free: LarkFEST!!!!!!!! (Sept. 19)
Real Good for Free: Rock-It in Schenectady (Fridays)
Real Good For Free: Halfmoon (Wednesdays)
Real Good for Free: Albany Public Library (Third Fridays)
Real Good for Free: At The Plaza, Albany (Wednesdays)


June 25th, 2009, 3:53 pm by Greg

In the case of the new album from sublime roots singer-songwriter Jim Gaudet, “So Far So Good” just doesn’t cut it as a title. Really. He should re-name this sucker, “The Good Just Keeps Gettin’ Better.”

One of Nippertown’s very finest songwriters, Gaudet has a knack for crafting a mighty memorable melody – the kind that’ll get you singing along even on first listen. His delivery is wry and witty, often saying just as much with his pregnant pauses as he does with his lyrics. And lyrically, he’s poetic, literate and more than just clever.

After a string of excellent albums that culminated with “Give Up the Ghost” on the Prime CD label in 1998, Gaudet dropped out of the music scene for nearly a decade, but he came roaring back with with the sparkling “Re-Calling It Quits,” one of the best discs of 2007.

And fortunately we didn’t have to wait long for the follow-up, and this one is undoubtedly headed for the 2009 Nippertown Top 10.

While Gaudet fans will embrace the new CD with plenty of enthusiasm, “So Far So Good” is actually something of a departure from Gaudet’s earlier albums.

For one, this is a true band effort, and as befitting the first credited to Jim Gaudet and the Railroad Boys, the Boys – bassist Bob Ristau, mandolinist-lead guitarist Sten Isachsen and fiddler Tim Wechgelaer – get plenty of opportunity to shine in the spotlight.

Secondly, the album leans away from Gaudet’s usual folk-oriented approach and heads straight into high lonesome bluegrass territory. And these guys nail it. The vocal harmonies simply soar on original gems like “Get Up John” (not the bluegrass classic), “Jealous Heart” and the traditional “Hand Me Down My Walking Cane.”

But this isn’t just strictly a bluegrass album – not by any means. You’ll also find some whiskey-soaked roadhouse honky-tonkers (“Drive” and the love-gone-wrong nugget “Mind Over Matter”), a couple of chuggin’ train songs (the opening “Born to Be Lonesome” and the closing “Railroad Kill Bill”), some country twang (“Callin’ My Name”), a bit of finger-picking folk (“This Time”) and even some heavenly gospel (Gillian Welch’s “By the Mark,” the only cover song on the album).

In short, Gaudet has never sounded better or more confident. His voice is strong, and he takes more chances with it. Compare the title track with the version that Gaudet recorded for his 1994 album, “It’s a Colorful Life,” for example.

Much of the album was recorded live in Bender Studios in Delmar – the musicians playing all together at the same time, rather than layering on the one-at-a-time overdubs. And it shows. The proof is in the rich, warm, organic sound, which brings out the best in these stellar songs.

Jim Gaudet and the Railroad Boys celebrate the release of “So Far So Good” with a party and performance at the Ancient Order of Hibernians Hall (375 Ontario St., Albany) at 8pm on Saturday, June 27. Admission is free. Jim and his band will also be serving up another free performance at 1pm Sunday, June 28 in Shepard Park on Canada St., Lake George as part of the 22nd annual Lake George Summerfest weekend.

At either place, expect a seriously good time, some great music and a few of Gaudet’s deadly jokes, too.

Cartoonist John CaldwellThe Cock'N'Bull RestaurantHolly & EvanCaffe LenaJim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysAdvertise on Nippertown!Artist Charles HaymesHudson SoundsAlbany PoetsArtist GG Roberts