LIVE: Sean Rowe @ Valentine’s Music Hall, 9/8/12

September 11th, 2012, 12:03 pm by Greg

Review by Rob Jonas

Three years ago, I had the good fortune of frequenting the Daily Grind’s Thursday night open mic in Troy while Sean Rowe was hosting. If there weren’t a lot of performers on a given night, Rowe would play several songs to fill the time. Among the songs I and the other patrons heard were “Old Shoes,” “Flying” and “The Walker.” Saturday night at Valentine’s Music Hall in Albany, those songs were played once again but in a different context. Rowe was no longer standing alone in front of a mic with only his acoustic guitar in hand. Now, he had company in the form of three members of RailbirdSarah Pedinotti, Chris Carey and Chris Kyle.

The occasion was Rowe’s CD release party for “The Salesman and the Shark,” his first new recording for major independent label Anti- Records. Anti- re-issued Sean’s previous full-length album, “Magic,” last year after Rowe signed with them. With backing trio in tow, Rowe opened the night with “Flying,” one of six songs he played off “The Salesman and the Shark.” The song always stood out when Rowe played it solo, but the Railbird crew gave it an extra lift Saturday between Carey’s drumming and Pedinotti’s backing vocals.

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Be Hear Now: The Hearing Aides CD Release Party, 8/26/11

August 23rd, 2011, 2:30 pm by Greg
The Hearing Aides: Go Deaf With The Hearing Aides

Brian Patrik has found his band.

The singer-songwriter (aka Daily Gazette music writer Brian McElhiney) is set to release his first studio album, “Go Deaf With the Hearing Aides!” with his band – the aforementioned Hearing Aides – on Friday night at the Hudson River Coffee House in Albany.

“For me, I wanted to have this experience, and I needed to have this experience,” said Patrik. “After years of recording on boom boxes and in people’s basements, I wanted that full professional recording experience.”

Originally, Patrik intended on releasing the album under his own name, but that soon changed as he and his bandmates – bassist Arya Chowdhury and drummer Mark Adamo – gelled in the studio under the direction of producer/engineer Don Fury.

“I didn’t think the Hearing Aides would exist after this, but over the course of the recording [process], we became a band,” said Patrik. “I asked Arya if he’d be willing to stay, and he said yes. I asked Mark if he was willing to stay, and he said, ‘Dude, I’m in this for the long haul.’”

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LIVE: Bob Wiseman’s “Actionable” @ Caffe Lena, 1/29/11

February 1st, 2011, 11:05 am by Greg

Bob Wiseman

The last time I saw Bob Wiseman, it was more than two decades ago when he played keyboards for Canadian roots-rock band Blue Rodeo during their “Casino” tour-stop at Pauly’s Hotel. It was a cold December night (to quote a later Blue Rodeo lyric), but he heated up the joint with his free-wheeling, improvisational playing.

Fast forward to last Saturday night at Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs. There was Wiseman – now standing alone on a stage with only a computer, a projector, an acoustic guitar, an accordion and his stories of what happened during and after his years in Blue Rodeo. It was his one-man show, “Actionable.”

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Five Firsts: Rob Jonas of the Rob Jonas Band/Sumac

May 24th, 2010, 1:01 pm by Greg

Rob JonasNAME: Rob Jonas
BAND AFFILIATION: The Rob Jonas Band/Sumac
INSTRUMENT: Guitar/keyboard (the latter mainly applicable to Sumac)

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … My brain is a little hazy on this one since we’re talking about three decades ago, but I believe it was Billy Joel’s “The Nylon Curtain.” I remember really liking “Pressure,” especially that synth riff. Other favorite tracks from that one are “Allentown,” “Laura,” “Surprises” and “Scandanavian Skies.”

2. THE FIRST CONCERT THAT I EVER SAW WAS … Scarily enough, it was the Monkees’ 20th anniversary tour stop at SPAC. I went with my two older sisters and my brother-in-law, who all remembered the songs from their teen-age years. The show was pretty good, as far as I was concerned. Sitting in SPAC’s balcony, though … it was kind of hard to see what was going on.

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ROB JONAS’ “Take Me Anywhere”

June 11th, 2009, 2:51 pm by Greg

No, he’s not one of the long-lost Jonas Brothers.

Americana singer-songwriter Rob Jonas is about to uncork his sophomore CD, “Take Me Anywhere,” with a release party at Valentine’s on Saturday, June 13. Sharing the bill with Jonas will be Sumac and Jo Henley.

While Jonas is best known around Nippertown as a solo acoustic performer, he’s gathered a strong collection of musicians in support on this 12-song disc. Bassist Frank Moscowitz, drummer Steve Candlen, vocalist Katie Haverly, as well as guitarists Albie, Troy Pohl and J.V. Abbey lent their considerable skills to these recordings and the results are impressive.

All but one of the tunes are Jonas originals (the other, “Calm Before the Storm,” was penned by Candlen), and they’re all pretty solid works, often echoing the John Mellencamp brand of heartland rock laced with a bit more shuffle ‘n’ twang. If there’s a drawback to the album, it’s that Jonas’ vocal efforts don’t always live up to his songs and the arrangements.

At the CD release party, Jonas will actually be pulling double-duty. In addition to leading his own band (Moscowitz, the Black Fuel’s Albie and Vox Celeste drummer Pete Sheehan), Jonas will also be playing keyboards in Jeff Burger’s band Sumac.

Admission to Saturday’s celebratory bash is $10, which includes a copy of Jonas’ new disc.

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