Posts Tagged ‘Stanley Johnson’

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

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

All-Paul-Show-8-23-14-01-sjp-nt

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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LIVE: The Ghost Train Orchestra @ the Music Haven, 8/10/14

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014
(photo by Stanley Johnson)

Ghost Train Orchestra’s Brian Carpenter (photo by Stanley Johnson)

Photographs by Stanley Johnson, Andrzej Pilarczyk, Richard Brody

The motto of the Music Haven Concert Series in Schenectady’s Central Park has always been “Join us in traveling the world one concert at a time.” And the 2014 series did indeed travel from Africa to Ireland to Cuba to Chicago to Louisiana. But in wrapping up their 25th anniversary season with the Ghost Train Orchestra, the series took a slightly different tact, traveling not around the globe, but rather back in time.

The brainchild of Brian Carpenter – composer, arranger, trumpeter, vocalist – the GTO draws from the deep well of jazz by such early 20th century bandleaders as Fletcher Henderson, Don Redman, Tiny Parham, Fess Williams, Charlie Johnson and others.

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LIVE: Jeffery Broussard & the Creole Cowboys @ the Music Haven, 8/3/14

Friday, August 15th, 2014
Jeffrey Broussard & The Creole Cowboys

Jeffery Broussard (photo by Stanley Johnson)

Review by Fred Rudofsky
Photographs by Rudy Lu and Stanley Johnson

A recent Sunday evening crowd with an affinity for roots music got a double-dose of the good stuff at the Music Haven in Schenectady’s Central Park.

Ramblin Jug Stompers, local heroes of traditional jug-band music, got the feet tapping and hands clapping with their fine opener, “Mountain Dew.” Mister Eck’s lively mandolin propelled “Jug Band Music,” coaxing percussionist Will Bill to sing (and even whisper) like a mercurial carnival barker. Bowtie and Mister Eck played five-string and four-string banjos (“a patented duel banjo attack,” mused the latter) for a spirited “Pistol Packin’ Mama,” which was followed by guitarist Cousin Clyde’s mournful “A Man of Constant Sorrow.”

A delicate, swinging instrumental, “Frypan Jack Enters into Heaven” (from Hobo Nickel) was a fine showcase for Bowtie’s banjo and Cousin Clyde’s synchrony. Will Bill put aside his various percussion instruments for some soulful country harmonica during “Blues in the Bottle,” a showcase as well for Mister Eck’s robust vocals and resonator ukelele playing. No doubt hearing the freight train to their next destination, RJS closed their set with tight harmonies on crowd-pleaser “Old Plank Road,” a touchstone of the band’s live performances since its formation in 2006.

Jeffery Broussard & the Creole Cowboys brought the exuberant sounds and rhythms of zydeco from Louisiana for over an hour and a half. With a toothpick lodged in the right corner of his mouth, Broussard sang with a hearty voice in English and French and played his blue, white and red accordion masterfully. The crowd’s lack of familiarity with many of the songs – very few titles were announced – did not matter given the energy levels on the faster ones and the glorious ache of romance on the slow waltzes and two-steps. People young and old began dancing; by the end of the show, the area in front of the stage was crowded with happy dancers. Good will and good times never sounded so natural.

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LIVE: Sheila E. @ Alive at Five, 8/7/14

Thursday, August 14th, 2014
Sheila E.  (photo by Stanley Johnson)

Sheila E. (photo by Stanley Johnson)

Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Stanley Johnson, Andrzej Pilarczyk, Timothy Reidy

The 2014 Alive at Five concert series ended the same way it started – at the rain site under the highway at the Corning Preserve Boat Launch – surely the most inhospitable music venue to be found anywhere around Nippertown. And yet Sheila E. didn’t let the setting get her down. And while it looked something like the set of “The Warriors” or “West Side Story” – and sounded worse – the veteran singer-percussionist turned the evening into a party nonetheless.

“It’s gonna be a lovely day, now that the rain is gone,” she sang early on in her show during the bouncy, pop ballad, “Lovely Day,” and sure enough, she somehow managed to chase the rain away for the rest of her performance.

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LIVE: MaryLeigh Roohan @ Riverlink Park, 7/26/14

Friday, August 8th, 2014

The MaryLeigh Roohan Band

Photographs by Stanley Johnson

In support of her perfectly splendid album, Skin & Bone, Saratoga Springs singer-songwriter MaryLeigh Roohan and her band wowed the crowd at Amsterdam’s Riverlink Park recently.

Roohan is back on the road again now, currently rambling through North Carolina, Tennessee, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota, but she’ll be back in time for a hometown concert at Caffe Lena at 8pm on Saturday, August 30.

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LIVE: Grand Funk Railroad @ Alive at Five, 7/31/14

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014
Grand Funk Railroad: Mel Schacher and Don Brewer

Grand Funk Railroad: Mel Schacher and Don Brewer

Photographs by Stanley Johnson

“We’re comin’ to your town. We’ll help you party it down. We’re an American band…”

No word whether Sweet Sweet Connie from Little Rock was in attendance at Albany’s Alive at Five bash last Thursday, but Grand Funk Railroad partied it down nonetheless…

With guitar hero Mark Farner long ago departed from the line-up, the original rhythm section of Don Brewer (drums) and Mel Schacher (bass) anchored a beefed up band of Funk-ateers that expanded the band’s classic power trio format to a qunitet with the addition of former Kiss guitarist Bruce Kulick, vocalist Max Carl and keyboardist Tim Cashion.

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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: Riverlink Jamboree @ Riverlink Park, 7/12/14

Friday, July 25th, 2014
The Nellies

Gene Lemme and Peggy Lecuyer of the Nellies

Photographs by Stanley Johnson

Led by Karen Ann Gilpin and Peggy Lecuyer, Nippertown’s own Nellies were once again on hand to host the sixth annual Riverlink Jamboree at the Beechnut Bandshell at Riverlink Park on the banks of the Mohawk River on a beautiful Saturday in Amsterdam.

Joining in the afternoon acoustic Americana hoedown was Dark Don’t Catch Me Here, a Alston, Mass.-based rowdy, roots-rockin’ duo featuring Evan Gavry and Laura Jean Dargus.

Meanwhile, straight outta Asheville, North Carolina, the Locust Honey String Band – featuring Chloe Edmonstone (fiddle, guitar, vocals), Grace Van Hof (banjo) and Meredith Watson (guitar, vocals) – captured hearts and tore ‘em asunder with their old-timey fiddle tunes and aching country harmonies, as they showcased selections from their latest album, Never Let Me Cross Your Mind.

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