LIVE: Sirsy @ Freedom Park, 8/15/15

September 4th, 2015, 2:00 pm by Greg


Photographs by Timothy Reidy

It takes two to tango…

And in the case of Sirsy, it only takes two to knock out a rollicking set of alt-pop-rock, too, as drummer-vocalist Melanie Krahmer and guitarist Rich Libutti proved once again during a free concert last month in Scotia’s Freedom Park.

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LIVE: The All Paul Show @ Freedom Park, 8/23/14

September 4th, 2014, 4:00 pm by Greg


Photographs by Stanley Johnson

Since it’s the year of the Beatles2K, it seemed only fitting that the All Paul Show would dig into the repertoires of the Fab Four, Wings and more to help wrap up the summer’s free concert season at Scotia’s Freedom Park.

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

June 20th, 2014, 12:00 pm by Greg

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.

LIVE: Sirsy @ Freedom Park, 7/24/13

August 2nd, 2013, 2:00 pm by Greg


Review and photographs by Stanley Johnson
Additional photographs by seven-year-old Abigail Williams

Sirsy returned to Freedom Park in Scotia last week in what has become a popular annual tour stop for the two-person band.

Sirsy – featuring Melanie Krahmer on vocals, stand-up drums, flute, and bass keyboard with Rich Libutti on vocals, guitar and foot-pedal bass – have recently returned home after an extensive coast to coast tour.

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LIVE: Hair of the Dog @ Freedom Park, 6/19/13

June 24th, 2013, 4:00 pm by Greg

Hair Of The Dog

Review and photographs by Stanley Johnson

Maybe it was because of the absolutely beautiful weather, or perhaps it was because of the Summer Solstice. Maybe it was because it was the first concert of the season or maybe it was because Hair of the Dog is a very popular band.

Whatever the reason, the capacity of the amphitheater at Freedom Park was at dancing-room-only, and even that space was full of kids.

To be sure, Hair of the Dog can get a crowd singing, clapping and dancing. This year the band is celebrating their 20th anniversary, and many of their CDs were available on the merchandise table, including Donegal, Release the Hounds, Liam Left the Lights On Again and Parting Glass (live). Band members Rick Bedrosian, Larry Packer and Michael DeAngelis also had solo albums available.

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Real Good for FREE: Freedom Park in Scotia

June 18th, 2013, 12:00 pm by Greg
Alex Torres and his Latin Orchestra

Saturday, July 6: Alex Torres and his Latin Orchestra

Freedom Park in Scotia is gearing up for yet another summer chock full of music. No, the summer season of free concerts at Freedom Park doesn’t boast the big-name recognition of some of the bands that play, say, Albany’s Alive at Five series. But it certainly does host more free outdoor performances than any other summer concert series in Greater Nippertown – 34 shows in all, stretching out across the summer calendar.

The series kicks off on Wednesday (June 19) with the ever-popular Hair of the Dog. The concerts all take place at 7pm, except for Summer of Doug on Friday, June 28, which starts at 8pm so that it will be dark at the end of the show for a special fireworks display.

Here’s the full schedule of Freedom Park shows for 2013:

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INTERVIEW: No Second String for Rhett Tyler

June 4th, 2013, 1:00 pm by Greg

Interview and story by Don Wilcock

When Ozzy Osbourne’s lead guitarist Randy Rhoads was killed in a 1982 plane crash, Sharon Osbourne called Rhett Tyler – who is headlining at TJ’s Flightline Pub in Scotia on Saturday night (June 7) – to replace him.

“Of course, I turned her down,” says Rhett today. “I wouldn’t even do the audition.”

Never mind that Randy had combined classical influences with heavy metal and was on several greatest guitarist lists. David Fricke in Rolling Stone proclaimed him the 85th greatest guitarist of all time, declaring unequivocally in 2005, “Were it not for (Randy’s) 1982 demise in a plane crash, his already enormous influence on metal-guitar playing would have increased a hundredfold.”

Rhett says simply, “I did not like his music at the time. I was not into that dark thing. I didn’t realize that he (Ozzy) was really a Vincent Price character, and that it probably would have been a lot of fun, but you know….”

Then there was the time in ’75 when a mutual friend told Rhett that Keith Richards loved his music but couldn’t consider him as a replacement for Mick Taylor in the Stones because Rhett wasn’t famous enough.

And for years Rhett wondered why Stevie Ray Vaughan sounded so familiar to him until someone came up to him during a gig at Terra Blues in the Big Apple and said that Stevie had spent hours and hours learning to play guitar from a Rhett Tyler audition tape that Rhett’s dad had left at the studio where Stevie recorded his first five albums.

Listening to his new double CD The Rhythm, the Power and the Blues, it’s obvious that for Rhett it’s totally about the music, never about the glory. “We’re hoping to get the music out there and to get it presented in a way that people can pick up on what it really is,” says Tyler, “and not some Pepsi commercial.”

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Spring Is Comin’!

March 7th, 2013, 10:00 am by Greg

Jumpin' Jack's and The Snowman will be opening soon.

Spring doesn’t roll around on the calendar for another couple of weeks, but it’s already beginning to taste a bit like springtime out there…

The Snowman in Troy is opening for the 2013 season at 12noon on Saturday (March 9). Ice cream is on the way!

And another sure sign of impending spring? Jumpin’ Jack’s Drive-In in Scotia will open its windows at 11am on Thursday March 28.

“Renovations are nearly complete, and we couldn’t be happier with the results,” says the post on Jumpin’ Jack’s Facebook page. “We have expanded our ice cream menu to include some delicious new treats.

“Can’t wait to see you all on Opening Day!”

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