LIVE: Jo Henley @ Freedom Park, 8/11/12

August 17th, 2012, 3:00 pm by Greg
Andy Caprio

Andy Campolieto

Review and photographs by Stanley Johnson

Led by songwriter, vocalist and guitar player Andy Campolieto, the roots band Jo Henley rolled into Freedom Park in Scotia last week for something of a homecoming concert.

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LIVE: Sirsy @ Freedom Park, 7/15/12

July 23rd, 2012, 2:30 pm by Greg
Sirsy (photo by Stanley Johnson)

Sirsy (photo by Stanley Johnson)

Review and photograph by Stanley Johnson
Additional photographs by Abigail Williams

Six-year-old Abigail Williams was excited about seeing Sirsy for the first time. She knew every song on their CD “Revolution,” often singing and dancing along with us in the kitchen.

I’m not sure why Sirsy has a strong following of young girls who otherwise are listening to Justin Bieber (also a favorite of Abigail), although it could have something to do with the occasional school-girl-styled outfits of Melanie Krahmer. But Abigail had never seen her or partner Rich Libutti before, so I’m pretty sure that it’s the music. She and several other young fans stood directly in front of Melanie’s drums.

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Real Good for FREE: Freedom Park, Scotia

June 18th, 2012, 10:00 am by Greg
July 22: Maria Zemantauski & Friends

July 22: Maria Zemantauski & Friends

Freedom Park in Scotia is back with another summer full of free outdoor concerts right around the corner from Jumpin’ Jack’s. The concert series kicks off on Wednesday (June 20) with Funk Evolution.

Bring a chair or blanket if you like.

All shows start at 7pm, unless otherwise noted.

Here’s the line-up of free performances for the summer of 2012:

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LIVE: Michael Benedict’s Bopitude @ Freedom Park, 8/4/11

August 10th, 2011, 2:00 pm by Greg
Michael Benedict, Mike Lawrence and Brian Patneaude

Michael Benedict, Mike Lawrence and Brian Patneaude

Michael Benedict’s Bopitude showcased their recently released self-titled debut CD with a free concert at Scotia’s Freedom Park last week. Led by drummer Benedict, the band also featured Mike Lawrence on bass, Brian Patneaude on tenor sax, Chris Pasin on trumpet and, for this performance, pianist Dave Gleason substituting for Bruce Barth, who plays on the CD. Both Gleason (who plays in the Latin jazz band Sensemaya) and Lawrence are teachers in the Schenectady school district.

As Benedict explained to the crowd at the outdoor amphitheater, Bopitude plays music from the hard bop era, best exemplified by the ’50s recordings of Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. And in Scotia the band ran the hard bop gamut from the obscure – Kenny Dorham’s “Whistle Stop” – to the more widely recognized “Joy Spring” by Clifford Brown. The first set also featured “Cheesecake” by Dexter Gordon and James Williams’ “Alter Ego.”

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LIVE: Sirsy @ Freedom Park, 7/13/11

July 19th, 2011, 1:00 pm by Greg

It was a beautiful night for the return of Sirsy to the newly renovated amphitheater on the banks of the Mohawk River in Scotia. The rebuilt terrace surrounding the stage area – next to Jumpin’ Jacks – was nearly full as drummer-vocalist Melanie Krahmer and guitarist Rich Libutti rocked through a set of mostly original material from the four CDs, especially the latest “Revolution.”

The band previewed some songs from their next CD still under construction, including one that Rich described as “so new it has that new song smell.” Also featured were a few covers, including Tom Petty’s “Last Dance With Mary Jane.”

The dance floor in front of the stage had a great many youngsters dancing to songs such as “Revolution,” “Oh! Billy” and “Mary Concetta.”

Mel told the crowd – which included her parents and some of her relatives – that it had been a dream of hers to play the Scotia stage ever since she had been a young girl and seen the annual fireworks show there.

As the band played, the water ski team zipped by on the river and much ice cream was consumed. And it’s a pleasure to report that the venue has high-tech port-a-potties, too.

Review and photographs by Stanley Johnson


Cruisin’ On the Avenue: Scotia Father’s Day Car Show, 6/19/11

June 24th, 2011, 2:00 pm by Greg
Hope there's enough in the ATM to pay for it

Hope there's enough in the ATM to pay for it

In Nippertown, life is a highway, as that’s about the only way to get to the many festivals, concerts and other events. To get where we’re going, we become players of wheeled instruments of mobility, controlling tempo, cadence and key by a foot on the “whoa, WHOA” pedal or by a twist of the wrist, as we follow the ribbons of road like a lead sheet.

On a weather-perfect Sunday, all roads led to the Village of Scotia, where prized two- and four-wheeled instruments were put on display along Mohawk Avenue by their players in a symphony of color and sound, part of the village’s 13th annual Cruisin’ On the Avenue Father’s Day Car Show.

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Real Good for Free: Freedom Park, Scotia

April 28th, 2011, 10:14 am by Greg

The summer concert schedule for Freedom Park (next to Jumpin’ Jack’s) in Scotia has been announced, and once again, it’s the biggest slate of free shows anywhere around Nippertown. Quite a variety of music, too, as well as production of the musical “Altar Boyz,” a puppet show for the kids, a dance performance and more. Showtime is 7pm except where noted.

Here’s the line-up of performances for the summer of 2011:

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Sure Sign of Spring: Jumpin’ Jack’s is Open!

March 31st, 2011, 10:00 am by Greg

Snow, be gone!

That’s right, spring is here! Even if it doesn’t feel like it. How do we know for sure? Jumpin’ Jack’s Drive-In in Scotia opens for the 2011 season at 11am today. Make mine a Jackburger, fries and a choc/van twist, please…

And new this summer at Jumpin’ Jack’s? BACON!

Hurry and get your first Jackburger of the season before the snowstorm hits!

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