LIVE: The Split Squad @ River Street Pub, 8/3/14

August 12th, 2014, 4:00 pm by Greg
The Split Squad

The Split Squad

Review by Fred Rudofsky
Photographs by Kirsten Ferguson

Three men in horizontally striped shirts are referring to each other as “Jackson”; their instruments are buzzing with volumes atypical of a mellow mid-summer, mid-afternoon in the middle of Troy. It’s Sunday, it’s the Knyghts of Fuzz, and they are only just getting warmed up.

The River Street Pub has its AC set for polar, but the frenzied heat of the garage rock has been winning out since Ian Carlton (guitar), Frank Novko (bass) and Brian Goodman (drums) opened with the blues stomper “I’m Not Talking” and a full-tilt “Hide and Seek” that features all three on vocals. Goodman’s eyes bug out as he pounds the skins and sings his guts out during a cool cover of the Jefferson Airplane’s “3/5’s of a Mile in 10 Seconds” and the original composition “Genny.” Carlton’s a live wire on the Electric Prunes’ “Get Me to the World on Time,” singing and playing at a tempo that leaves him drenched in sweat and the growing crowd howling for more. Novko’s bass rumbles like a D & H freight train during his take on “Hey Sha Lo Ney”; Carlton breaks two strings in the process, “a first” he declares while retrieving his spare guitar.

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LIVE: Urban Gumbo @ River Street Pub, 10/21/13

October 29th, 2013, 2:00 pm by Greg

Review and video by Joel Patterson

Is Lisa Gordon going to be Troy’s answer to Katy Perry? Well… what’s the question? Does she have the same fetching hairdo, the same bright, eager sparkle, the same vague sense of some kind of a Wonder Woman? I guess so… but these are skin deep.

What Lisa can do so much better is really sing, really howl with authority. Sometimes it’s a cheerful, happy howl, sometimes it’s anguishing. With her, you always feel like she’s taking you to the wild places, where strong emotions run riot. So far, the whole collaboration that’s going under the name Urban Gumbo makes a spectacular backdrop for her brilliant, biting songwriting and confessional caterwauls.

But I know your real question: will a damnably fickle public respond? See in her fireworks the credentials of a diva fit for pop royalty? How am I supposed to know??? I tell you what, though… I for one am going to stay tuned.

LIVE: Urban Gumbo @ River Street Pub, 9/29/13

October 9th, 2013, 2:00 pm by Greg

Story and Video by Joel Patterson

A funny thing happens to a band like Urban Gumbo, when they are determined to make the album that will be their breakthrough. Everyone starts focusing very specifically, pouring all the psychic energy they can muster into creating this amorphous, vaporous thing – this pounding, throbbing beat that fills the room. They are dedicated to the proposition that this beat has a limitless, uplifting, mesmerizing force – if they do it right, everyone within earshot will be stunned and transported into another realm for a few minutes.

It’s always struck me how incredibly delicate this is: the fine, fine touch it takes to see that it unfolds just right. All the players really need to think as one – which obviously is the result of talent, skills and practice, practice, practice… but it’s something more – something subliminal and magical that will always be mysterious.

LIVE: Urban Gumbo @ the River Street Pub, 9/3/13

LIVE: Harx @ River Street Pub, 8/28/13

September 10th, 2013, 2:00 pm by Greg
Erin Harkes

Erin Harkes

Photographs by Timothy Reidy

One of the Local 518’s most popular and versatile singer-songwriters, Erin Harkes pulled triple-duty on Wednesday, August 24. She started her day at 7:30am in her first stint as special guest host on Rock 100.9FM’s “Wolf in the Morning.”

In the afternoon, she headed over to Riverfront Park in Troy, where she strapped on her guitar to help wrap up the Rockin’ On the River concert series as the opening act for the tribute band Almost Queen.

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LIVE: Larry McCray @ the River Street Pub, 8/25/11

August 31st, 2011, 2:00 pm by Greg
Larry McCray

Larry McCray

It’s not often that we get world-class blues acts touring through the Capital Region, but it seems that we’re witnessing a resurgence. In July, Slam Allen brought the blues to Saratoga, starting off a parade of talent at the Parting Glass that includes upcoming shows by Johnny A., Sue Foley and Debbie Davies. Last Thursday night, Vinnie and the crew at the River Street Pub brought Larry McCray and his band to Troy, and booked a group of area blues/rock all-stars to warm up the crowd.

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