Posts Tagged ‘Schenectady’

LIVE: The James Cotton Band @ Music Haven at Proctors, 7/27/14

Thursday, July 31st, 2014
Ted Henessey and Matt Mirabile (photo by Andrzej Pilarczyk)

Tom Holland and James Cotton (photo by Andrzej Pilarczyk)

Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Stanley Johnson, Andrzej Pilarczyk, Rudy Lu, Richard Brody

For a quarter of a century now, the Music Haven has presented what is unquestionably the Capital Region’s most ambitious and culturally diverse free annual summer concert series. The concerts don’t always attract the big, Alive at Five-sized crowds, but the series always attracts great musicians from all over the globe, and it consistently lives up to the motto of its mission – “Come travel the world with us, one concert at a time.”

Due to the threat of inclement weather last Sunday, the Music Haven’s concert featuring legendary blues harmonica master James Cotton was moved to the rain site – Proctors – and when the show is moved to a beautiful site like Proctors nothing is lost in the venue shift. Not even the audience, apparently, as nearly 1,400 people packed the downstairs of Proctors’ Main Stage theater for what proved to be a very special celebration. Not only was it the biggest Capital Region blues event of the summer, but it was also the Music Haven’s 25th anniversary gala party, and the bash was well attended by a plethora of local political dignitaries, as well as staunch music supporters.

In a brief, pre-concert ceremony on the Main Stage, former Schenectady mayor Karen Johnson was honored for her support of the Music Haven throughout the years, and in a surprise proclamation, Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy honored Music Haven’s founder, visionary and producing artistic director Mona Golub with the Patroon Award, the city’s highest honor. “It’s been a labor of love for me, bringing such a diverse, cross-generational audience together,” said an audibly choked-up Golub, as she accepted the award.

The concert also served a heartfelt memorial to Albany bluesman Tom Healey, whose death the previous Monday shook the Local 518 blues community. Guitarslinger Matt Mirabile and his band, fronted by vocalist-harmonicat Ted Hennessy, tore through a seven-song opening set that ranged from such blues classics as Muddy Waters’ “I Just Want to Make Love to You” and Sonny Boy Williamson’s “So Sad to Be Lonesome” to a funky, cowbell-fueled rendition of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son,” and they dedicated their performance to Healey. The Music Haven folks also joined in the tribute, playing selections from the Tom Healey Band’s two albums – Pearl Street and Tough Dog – during the between-band intermission.

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LIVE: Eileen Ivers @ Proctors, 7/13/14

Friday, July 18th, 2014
Eileen Ivers

Eileen Ivers

Photographs by Stanley Johnson and Rudy Lu

Fab Celtic fiddler Eileen Ivers has been a longtime favorite with Nippertown audiences, having played at such concert venues as the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall and The Egg. So it was no surprise that a large crowd came out to see her play a free show, despite the fact that rain forced the concert to move from Central Park’s Music Haven to indoors at Proctors’ Main Stage.

While Ivers and her crack band – percussionist Tommy McDonnell, accordionist Buddy Connolly, guitarist Greg Anderson and bassist Lindsey Horner – certainly are rooted in Irish music, they also know how to hybridize with a deft touch (the Afro-Celtic mash-up “Paddy in Zululand”) and stretch out far beyond the Celtic music genre altogether, like their encore of the Allman Brothers Band’s “People Can You Feel It (Love Is In the Air).”

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LIVE: Mokoomba @ Music Haven at Central Park, 6/29/14

Friday, July 11th, 2014
Mokoomba

Mokoomba

Photographs by Stanley Johnson

With Mona Golub at the helm, the slogan for the Music Haven Concert Series is, “Traveling the world one concert at a time,” and the series kicked off its 25th anniversary season last month in Africa.

Not just any African band, either. Mokoomba hails from the isolated town of Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, and their appearance in Schenectady’s Central Park was their first ever concert on American soil. And what a concert it was. led by vocalist Mathias Muzaza, Mokoomba was all-around terrific: great dancers, great singers and great players.

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New Release Rack: Gordon St’s “The Electric City”

Friday, June 20th, 2014

The Electric CityGordon St is gearing up for this weekend’s release of their sophomore EP, The Electric City, and the rockers are celebrating with a free concert at Freedom Park in Scotia at 7pm on Saturday (June 21).

Titled for the band’s Schenectady base of operations, The Electric City is a diverse collection of three original songs – “Motion of the Ocean,” “Such a Fool” and “Ripcord” – that showcase Gordon St’s talent at blending multiple rock genres, all underscored with a danceable beat.

“The songs are a bit more grown-up, but they don’t sacrifice the underlying aspect of fun that has always summed up what we’re going for,” explains singer-bassist Dan Noonan. In addition to Noonan, the band features guitarist Ritch Harrigan, drummer Dennis Fatato and keyboardist Mark Bertini.

The Electric City – the band’s follow-up to their 2012 debut, Telenovella – was recorded with engineer John Chiara at Albany Audio.

And if you can’t make it to Freedom Park on Saturday for the band’s CD release party, you’ll have another chance to catch Gordon St in action at 6:30pm on Friday, June 27 at Cafe NOLA in Schenectady.

Patti Cathcart, What Was the First Album You Ever Bought?

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

Patti Cathcart

Patti Cathcart


“‘The One Little Duck with the Feather On His Back,’ but I was probably only about five years old. I didn’t actually go out and buy it myself, but I heard it at my cousin’s house, and I just had to have it.

“It was a red record, and it had little ducks on the label. I used to have a little baby record player, and I’d put the record on and then there was a mirrored-glass kind of merry-go-round thing that I would put on top of it.

“It must have been a 78. I don’t think they had 45s back then, did they?”

Patti Cathcart steps up to the microphone as one-half of the husband-and-wife jazz duo Tuck & Patti at the Van Dyck in Schenectady at 8pm on Thursday (June 5). Tickets are $18 in advance; $22 at the door.

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LIVE: Lou Donaldson @ A Place for Jazz, 5/16/14

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014
Lou Donaldson

Lou Donaldson

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Jazz master Lou Donaldson was originally scheduled to kick off the 2010 season of A Place for Jazz, but he fell ill the day before and had to cancel his performance. Many Nippertown jazz fans feared that they may have missed their last chance to see the veteran alto saxophonist in concert. After all, he was 83 years old.

But that wasn’t the case. And last month, Donaldson made good on his cancellation when he finally made it to the Whisperdome at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Schenectady for A Place for Jazz’s spring concert. Now 87 years old, Sweet Poppa Lou blew up a storm, from blistering bebop to strutting funk to the smoldering, greasy soul-blues jams that populated his classic Blue Note albums of the ’50s and ’60s.

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Tuck Andress, What Was the First Album You Ever Bought?

Monday, June 2nd, 2014
Tuck and Patti

Tuck and Patti

“I’m not sure whether it was the Monkees or ? and the Mysterians. I was just fascinated by this person whose name was ? What did he think of himself? How did he refer to himself? At the time, it was really very interesting to me.”

Tuck Andress straps on his guitar as one-half of the husband-and-wife jazz duo Tuck & Patti at the Van Dyck in Schenectady at 8pm on Thursday (June 5). Tickets are $18 in advance; $22 at the door.

Win FREE Tickets to the Hellions of Troy Roller Derby Bout on Saturday!

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

HerculadiesIt’s time once again for authentic all-girl roller derby mayhem!

The Hellions of Troy Roller Derby season rolls along as the Herculadies (The Hellions’ B-team) play their first home bout of the season against the Hill City Rollers from Oneonta on Saturday night (May 10) at the Rollarama Skating Center in Schenectady.

We’re talking fun, fishnets and fast ‘n’ furious flying elbows.

The doors open at 7 pm; the opening whistle is at 8pm. Tickets for the bout are $10 in advance; $12 at the door; $3 for kids under 12. Advance tix are available online.

BUT WAIT… Have we got a deal for you!?! We’re giving away a pair of FREE tickets to this bout. To enter the contest, just post a comment below. Please leave your email address, too. We won’t publish it, but we’ll use it to contact you if you win. Deadline to enter in 12noon on Friday (May 9), and the winner will be selected at random and notified on Friday afternoon. Good luck! Congratulations to the winner, who has been notified by email.

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