Say Goodbye to Savannah’s/Dublin Underground…

August 22nd, 2012, 12:26 pm by Greg

You can add Savannah’s/Dublin Underground to the growing list of downtown Albany nightspots to shutter their doors…

Yes, Savannah’s will be closing for good on Monday night (August 27), following a final 8pm performance at the venue by the Bing Bamboo Room Burlesque.

Savannah’s has regularly hosted such events as Bandaoke with the Ruddys, Ralph Renna’s Capital Underground Live showcases and the monthly Bing Bamboo Room shows hosted by emcee Guy Smiley.

Other downtown nightspots that have closed this summer include the R Bar (in June) and Jillian’s (earlier this month). The Brown Derby is also slated to close after serving dinner on Saturday night (August 25).

Steve Barnes’ story at Table Hopping


LIVE: Reptar @ Savannah’s/Dublin Underground, 4/10/12

April 20th, 2012, 2:00 pm by Greg


Review and photographs by Timothy Reidy

For a show that was quietly tucked away on the corner of South Pearl and State streets in downtown Albany, Reptar delivered… and then some.

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CD Release Party X 2: Hard Soul & Smittix @ Savannah’s, 3/30/12

March 28th, 2012, 3:00 pm by Greg
Hard Soul: Love Eats the Young and Smittix: Leprenomichaun

Hard Soul: Love Eats the Young and Smittix: Leprenomichaun

That’s right – not one, but two CD release parties at the same place on the same night…

Led by former Amalgama frontman Johnny Salka, the rock trio Hard Soul – which also features drummer Eric Hoehn and bassist Damien Owczarski – describes their music as heart-on-your-sleeve rock n’ roll. The band is celebrating the release of their debut EP, “Love Eats the Young.”

Vocalist Rob O’Donnell leads punk-ska-rap-rock combo Smittix as they make it a double-barrelled CD release party with a celebration for their new full-length recording “Leprenomichaun.”

WHAT: Hard Soul and Smittix Double CD Release Party
WHEN: 9pm on Friday (March 30)
WHERE: Savannah’s/Dublin Underground, Albany

Five Firsts: Blaze of the Erin Harkes Band

December 12th, 2011, 11:00 am by Greg


NAME: Blaze
BAND AFFILIATION: The Erin Harkes Band
INSTRUMENT: Guitar, Keyboards

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … The first albums I ever bought with my own money were Neil Young’s “Decade” and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “One More from the Road,” BUT I had just been given Aerosmith’s “Toys in the Attic” and Elton John’s “Caribou” as a birthday present – so those four albums started my collection!

2. THE FIRST CONCERT THAT I EVER SAW WAS … My sister’s boyfriend Mark took me to see Yes at the Hartford Civic Center with the original lineup! I still remember Steve Howe playing “The Clap” and Rick Wakeman’s solo piece and the room spinning like his Leslie! I had never heard anything like that music before and was stunned!

3. THE FIRST MUSICAL INSTRUMENT I EVER OWNED OR PLAYED WAS … My Aunt Pat, a Beatles freak who even saw them at Shea Stadium, had an old Hohner electric guitar and cool tube amp with tremolo that she let me play when I was like 10 years old, and it’s because of her that I’m a musician (and Beatle lover!) today. Thanks, Aunt Pat!

4. THE FIRST SONG THAT I EVER PERFORMED IN PUBLIC WAS … Well, I played drums in elementary school in the dance band and the marching band, so maybe “Song Sung Blue” or “Sweet Caroline” was first public song, probably at some school concert. Mr. Billingham, the music teacher, was forever telling we drummers to “play softer, dammit!!!” Didn’t he know I was a rocker? But the first song in public on guitar was probably “Smoke on the Water” (a song I routinely tortured my family with from the beginning of my guitar career) at a house party near Siena where 10 girls lived off campus and my band SnowBlind played for the Women’s Rugby tournament – pure heaven, and I was hooked!!!!!

5. THE FIRST BAND I WAS EVER IN WAS … At Chester Elementary School in CT, I played a drum kit in Jason & the Wildcats. It was just me and a sax player, Jason. We’d play covers and a few originals at lunch time for whatever victims wandered by. But my first rock band was SnowBlind in my freshman year at Siena College. House parties were our specialty…

Blaze plugs in to play as a duo with Erin Harkes at 7:30pm tonight at McGeary’s Pub in Albany. He’ll also be joining the whole Erin Harkes Band for upcoming gigs at Graney’s Stout in Albany on Saturday night (December 17) and at Savannah’s/Dublin Underground in Albany on Thursday, December 22.

Five Firsts: Jermaine Wells of the Ill Funk Ensemble

December 2nd, 2011, 10:30 am by Greg

Jermaine Wells

Jermaine Wells

NAME: Jermaine Wells
BAND AFFILIATION: The Ill Funk Ensemble
INSTRUMENT: Lead vox, Rap

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … Biggie Smalls’ “Ready to Die”

2. THE FIRST CONCERT THAT I EVER SAW WAS … Bilal Oliver at the Virgin Megastore in Times Square, NYC in 2000.

3. THE FIRST MUSICAL INSTRUMENT I EVER OWNED OR PLAYED WAS … a xylophone in sixth grade for the Christmas show. I played “Silver Bells” and “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.”

4. THE FIRST SONG THAT I EVER PERFORMED IN PUBLIC WAS … my own rap at age eight. The first cover song I ever performed in public was “Poison” by BBD in the fifth grade.

5. THE FIRST BAND I WAS EVER IN WAS … Future, in high school. We were an R&B band – just voices, no instruments.

Jermaine Wells – lead vocalist and front man with Nippertown funkateers the Ill Funk Ensemble – steps out on his own with his debut solo EP, “For Dancing Girls & Admirers.” The CD release party will be held at Savannah’s/Dublin Underground in Albany at 8:30pm on Friday (December 2).

Nipper’s News: Timbre Coup, Hudson River Coffee House, Jermaine Wells, Mike Hotter…

November 15th, 2011, 1:00 pm by Greg

The Hudson River Coffee House in Albany marks its first anniversary in business later this month, and a big anniversary bash is slated to take place on Friday, December 2 featuring the Lucky Jukebox Brigade, the Sunny Side of the Street Band and Olivia Quillio. Admission is free. It’s no easy feat to keep a new venue in operation for a year – especially in the current economic climate. So congratulations go out to owner-operator Anton Pasquill and everybody else who has made HRCH such a cool new venue for live music. Happy birthday, and here’s to many more!

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ROUND-UP: Hurricane Irene Flood Relief Benefit Concerts

September 9th, 2011, 2:30 pm by Greg
A sight we're tired of: Hurricane Irene (photo by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)

A sight we're really tired of: Hurricane Irene (photo by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)

It’s been a double weather-whammy for much of Nippertown over the course of the past two weeks, and many of our neighbors are suffering and struggling to recover. They need our help. So please consider making a donation of whatever you can – your time, money, food, clothing, furniture, etc.

As usual, the local music community has come together to offer its time and talent to help out, too. There are quite a number of flood relief benefit concerts on tap throughout the region, starting tonight. Here’s a round-up of some of the benefit shows. If you know about others, please let us know. And remember, the admission charge for these shows is just a suggested minimum donation. If you can give more, please do:

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Be Here Now: Rock for the Region @ Savannah’s, 9/11/11

September 6th, 2011, 4:00 pm by Greg
The Ill Funk Ensemble

The Ill Funk Ensemble

Hot on the heels of the Local 518 Rock N Relief Fundraiser for Hurricane Victims at Valentine’s Music Hall on Friday night, Savannah’s/Dublin Underground in downtown Albany is hosting another flood relief benefit show on Sunday afternoon.

Organized by BJ Fitzgerald of the Ill Funk Ensemble, Rock for the Region will a multitude of homegrown bands, including Voodoo Lily, the Chris Dukes Band, the Getdown, the Big Idea, the Hearing Aides and, of course, the Ill Funk Ensemble. The event – which is slated to run from 1-5pm on Sunday – will also include a silent auction, a raffle and a clothing/furniture drive hosted by Miranda Realty Group.

Admission is $20 at the door – which includes food, as well as the live music – and all proceeds will be donated directly to the Red Cross of Northeastern New York. It’s an all-ages show so bring the family and help your friends and neighbors devastated by Irene.

Jim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysHolly & EvanCartoonist John CaldwellCaffe LenaThe Cock'N'Bull RestaurantAdvertise on Nippertown!Artist Charles HaymesHudson SoundsAlbany PoetsArtist GG Roberts