LIVE: Jeffery Broussard & the Creole Cowboys @ the Music Haven, 8/3/14

August 15th, 2014, 3:00 pm by Greg
Jeffrey Broussard & The Creole Cowboys

Jeffery Broussard (photo by Stanley Johnson)

Review by Fred Rudofsky
Photographs by Rudy Lu and Stanley Johnson

A recent Sunday evening crowd with an affinity for roots music got a double-dose of the good stuff at the Music Haven in Schenectady’s Central Park.

Ramblin Jug Stompers, local heroes of traditional jug-band music, got the feet tapping and hands clapping with their fine opener, “Mountain Dew.” Mister Eck’s lively mandolin propelled “Jug Band Music,” coaxing percussionist Will Bill to sing (and even whisper) like a mercurial carnival barker. Bowtie and Mister Eck played five-string and four-string banjos (“a patented duel banjo attack,” mused the latter) for a spirited “Pistol Packin’ Mama,” which was followed by guitarist Cousin Clyde’s mournful “A Man of Constant Sorrow.”

A delicate, swinging instrumental, “Frypan Jack Enters into Heaven” (from Hobo Nickel) was a fine showcase for Bowtie’s banjo and Cousin Clyde’s synchrony. Will Bill put aside his various percussion instruments for some soulful country harmonica during “Blues in the Bottle,” a showcase as well for Mister Eck’s robust vocals and resonator ukelele playing. No doubt hearing the freight train to their next destination, RJS closed their set with tight harmonies on crowd-pleaser “Old Plank Road,” a touchstone of the band’s live performances since its formation in 2006.

Jeffery Broussard & the Creole Cowboys brought the exuberant sounds and rhythms of zydeco from Louisiana for over an hour and a half. With a toothpick lodged in the right corner of his mouth, Broussard sang with a hearty voice in English and French and played his blue, white and red accordion masterfully. The crowd’s lack of familiarity with many of the songs – very few titles were announced – did not matter given the energy levels on the faster ones and the glorious ache of romance on the slow waltzes and two-steps. People young and old began dancing; by the end of the show, the area in front of the stage was crowded with happy dancers. Good will and good times never sounded so natural.

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LIVE: Grandpa Jones 100th Birthday Bash @ Caffe Lena, 10/19/13

October 21st, 2013, 3:00 pm by Greg
Bowtie, Tom Lindsay and Michael Eck

Bowtie, Tom Lindsay and Michael Eck

Photograph by Kirsten Ferguson

Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs was doin’ a whole lot of celebrating last weekend. On Saturday Skidmore College’s Tang Museum hosted a wine and cheese reception to celebrate the closing of the art exhibit, “Caffe Lena: Inside America’s Legendary Folk Music Coffeehouse.” On Sunday afternoon, Northshire Bookstore played host to a publication party and book-signing session for the marvelous coffee-table book of the same name, edited by Jocelyn Arem.

And in between, two of the Local 518’s premier vintage Americana bands – Lost Radio Rounders and Ramblin Jug Stompers – teamed up for a joint concert at the Caffe on Saturday night (October 19) to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Country Music Hall of Famer Grandpa Jones with an evening of music that ranged from the classic “Mountain Dew” to “Dust on the Bible” and “The Man Who Rode the Mule Around the World.” With plenty of corny “Hee Haw” cornfield jokes, too…

LIVE: WCDB-FM’s 34th Anniversary Music Festival @ Valentine’s, 3/3/12

March 30th, 2012, 1:00 pm by Greg
Dave Minehan of the Neighborhoods (photo by Timothy Reidy)

Dave Minehan of the Neighborhoods (photo by Timothy Reidy)

Review by Kirsten Ferguson
Photographs by Kirsten Ferguson and Timothy Reidy

New Jersey indie-punk band Titus Andronicus kicked off their amped-up headlining set on the second night of the WCDB birthday bash with a charged cover of Thin Lizzy’s “The Boys Are Back in Town.”

The ‘70s anthem may as well have been the theme song for Boston trio the Neighborhoods, who played earlier in the night and peppered their high-energy set with remembrances from shows past in Albany, where they were a fixture on the local music scene – and a WCDB staple – in the ‘80s and ‘90s.

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Nipper’s News: Brian Patneaude, Dan Johnson & His Expert Sidemen, Ramblin Jug Stompers

January 9th, 2012, 1:00 pm by Greg

Albany’s premier sax master Brian Patneaude recently brought his band – David Caldwell-Mason on piano and Fender Rhodes; Mike DelPrete on acoustic bass; and Danny Whelchel on drums and percussion – to Cotton Hill Studios in Albany. The upcoming album – Patneaude’s fifth as a bandleader – is titled “All Around Us” and features a half dozen original compositions, as well as arrangements of Wayne Shorter’s “Juju” and Bronislaw Kaper’s “Invitation.” The album was mixed at Bender Studios in Delmar and will be mastered by Scott Petito at NRS Studios in Catskill. It’s slated for release on WEPA Records, and Patneaude and his band will celebrate the release of the new album with a high-profile concert at the College of Saint Rose’s Massry Center in Albany at 7:30pm on Saturday, March 3. Tix are $10.

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LIVE: The Grascals @ Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, 11/3/11

November 8th, 2011, 1:00 pm by Greg
The Grascals

The Grascals

It was the kick-off concert of Banjo Bonanza week around around Nippertown, which also included the WMHT-TV airing of the historical documentary “Give Me the Banjo” on Friday, a concert by Abigail Washburn at Bearsville Theater on Saturday and the ever-adventurous Bela Fleck and the reunited original line-up of his band the Flecktones at The Egg on Sunday.

And without doubt, the Grascals concert served up the most traditional bluegrass display of the bunch. That is, if your definition of traditional bluegrass includes a version of the Monkees’ “Last Train to Clarksville.”

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Five Firsts: Steven “Cousin” Clyde of Ramblin Jug Stompers & Blotto

May 12th, 2011, 1:00 pm by Greg

NAME: Steven “Cousin” Clyde
BAND AFFILIATION: Ramblin Jug Stompers, Blotto
INSTRUMENT: guitar, bass





5. THE FIRST BAND I WAS EVER IN WAS … The Preskets, Plattsburgh NY, 1965

Yes, you may have seen him at Albany’s Tulip Fest last weekend playing bass with Blotto. But on Saturday, he’ll be playing acoustic guitar with his bandmates in Ramblin Jug Stompers at Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs. Showtime is 8pm, and tix are $15 in advance; $17 at the door.

LIVE: The Reviewers @ The Egg, 3/24/11

March 28th, 2011, 2:00 pm by Greg
The Acoustic Woodstock Allstars (photo by Ed Conway)

The Acoustic Woodstock Allstars (photo by Ed Conway)

Billed as “The Reviewers at The Egg,” the tenth anniversary celebration of the American Roots and Branches concert series featured several of the Capital Region’s music and entertainment journalists and their bands. Now they get to see what it feels like to have all their hard work analyzed and boiled down to three or four paragraphs. This would have been the perfect opportunity to get even for any of the things they may have written about other artists, but unfortunately (fortunately?), the evening was quite enjoyable.

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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.

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