Posts Tagged ‘Saratoga Springs’

LIVE: Lucius @ Skidmore College’s Tang Museum, 9/18/15

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015


Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

There certainly wasn’t much off-campus promotion for the Saratoga Springs debut of the captivating alt-pop band Lucius, but if you missed it, well, all I can say is that you just gotta stay tuned to

Just two days after a knock-out show at the Bearsville Theater in Woodstock, the Brooklyn-based indie popsters slipped quietly onto the Skidmore College campus for a free concert to help kick-off the new school semester.



LIVE: MaryLeigh Roohan @ Caffe Lena, 9/6/15

Monday, October 5th, 2015


Photographs and video by Timothy Reidy

Singer-songwriter and Saratoga native MaryLeigh Roohan took the hallowed stage at Caffe Lena last month for a homecoming concert that served as the CD release party for her new five-song EP, Living Alone.

NOTE: MaryLeigh Roohan will be playing at the opening concert of the season at Mother’s Wine Emporium at RPI’s Student Union in Troy on Saturday (October 10) with fellow Saratogians Better By Morning. Showtime is 8pm; admission is free.


LIVE: The Down Hill Strugglers @ Caffe Lena, 9/11/15

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015
The Downhill Strugglers

The Down Hill Strugglers

Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Joe Deuel

From Bob Dylan to Ani DiFranco to Sawyer Fredericks, Caffe Lena has acted as launching pad for singer-songwriters for more than a half century now. But another part of the Caffe’s mission is keeping alive the traditional folk music of the past and presenting it to contemporary audiences.

Earlier this month, Brooklyn-based trio the Down Hill Strugglers played two 35-minute sets at the coffeehouse, and there was nary an original, self-penned tune in the bunch. Instead, they served up a high-spirited evening of genuine old-timey music – fiddle tunes, rags, reels, spirituals, breakdowns with a ballad or two tossed in for good measure along the way. And along the way, they proved that old-timey music is timeless.

The band – featuring Eli Smith on banjo, Jackson Lynch on fiddle and Walker Shepard on guitar – draws obvious inspiration from Harry Smith’s classic “Anthology of American Folk Music” (the touchstone of the ’60s folk revival), the Holy Modal Rounders and especially the New Lost City Ramblers. In fact, the Ramblers’ John Cohen is one of their primary mentors. But the Down Hill Strugglers brought their own contemporary verve to such warhorses as the lively “Sally Ann” and “Turkey in the Straw,” which closed out their first set in fine twin-fiddle fashion.


LIVE: The Zac Brown Band @ SPAC, 9/6/15

Monday, September 28th, 2015


Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Country music – or at least what passes for country music these days – dominated the 2015 summer at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center from opening show of the summer (Lady Antebellum on May 31) straight through to the end – the season-closing concert by the Zac Brown Band on Labor Day weekend.

Brown and the boys romped into SPAC in support of their new album Jekyll + Hyde, and just they had in 2012 and 2014, they attracted one of the largest crowds of the year, rockin’ and rollickin’ away the night.


LIVE: Giacomo Smith & Friends @ Universal Preservation Hall, 8/22/15

Thursday, September 24th, 2015


Review and photographs by Rudy Lu

The party atmosphere of summer track season in Saratoga was carried into the Universal Preservation Hall by Giacomo Smith & Friends during their second annual concert there.

This Victorian Church-turned-performance space was turned into a dance hall as clarinetist Smith and his band played dance music from many past jazz eras, ranging from the Dixieland of New Orleans to Kansas City swing, Parisian Gypsy jazz to the early bebop of Dizzy Gillespie.

The audience was encouraged to swing dance, and dance they did, as many tunes had the audience on their feet and movin’.


LIVE: String of Pearls @ Saratoga Race Course, 8/13/15

Friday, September 11th, 2015


Photographs by Timothy Reidy

Such sweet harmonies…

At the Saratoga Race Course last month, String of Pearls – the jazz vocal trio of Sue Halloran, Holli Ross and Saratoga’s own Jeanne O’Connor – sashayed their way through a delightful repertoire that stretched from the 1930s’ girl group sound of the Boswell Sisters to fresh, modern jazz, swing and sensuous Brazilian sambas.


LIVE: Bear Grass @ Skidmore’s Tang Museum, 8/21/15

Thursday, September 10th, 2015


Photographs by Tim Reidy

Led by singer-guitarist Katie Hammon, Local 518 indie-folk-popsters Bear Grass took over the roof of the Tang Museum at Skidmore College for a free Friday night concert in Saratoga Springs last month as part of the museum’s summertime UpBeat On the Roof concert series.

UPCOMING: Bear Grass is back in the saddle for another free show at the Albany Public Library at 6pm on Friday (September 18) as part of the Garage Bands in the Garage concert series. They’ll be joined by Hammer Hawk and the Firs.


FIVE FIRSTS: Eli Smith of the Down Hill Strugglers

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015
The Down Hill Strugglers

The Down Hill Strugglers

NAME: Eli Smith
BAND AFFILIATION: The Down Hill Strugglers
INSTRUMENT: Banjo and Guitar

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … Mississippi John Hurt, Live! Great album, changed my life.


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