Posts Tagged ‘The Linda’

Festival Fever: Albany Word Fest, 4/13-19/14

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Albany Word Fest

April is National Poetry Month, which means that it’s time once again for Albany Word Fest, an annual arts festival that brings together poets, writers and performers from all across upstate New York to celebrate the vibrant poetry and spoken word scene right here in Nippertown.

Organized by Albany Poets, the Albany Word Fest has grown from an afternoon poetry open mic in Thatcher Park in 2001 to this year’s rhyme-a-rama bash – a week-long cavalcade of events taking place at six different venues throughout Albany including featured readings, open mics, poetry slams and more.

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LIVE: Tim Eriksen & the Trio de Pumpkintown @ The Linda, 3/29/14

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014
Tim Eriksen

Tim Eriksen

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

The multi-talented Tim Eriksen – perhaps the only musician to have played with both Kurt Cobain and Doc Watson (although not at the same time) – led his new “hardcore Americana” band, the Trio de Pumpkintown into WAMC-FM’s The Linda in Albany last month, as the latest installment of the American Roots Series, hosted by Michael Eck, who also served as the opening act.

The former frontman of such pioneering bands as Cordelia’s Dad (folk-noise), Northampton Harmony (shape-note quartet) and Zabe i Babe (Bosnian folk and pop), Eriksen has performed at the Academy Awards, “Prairie Home Companion” and both CBGB’s and Carnegie Hall, but this was his debut at The Linda, where he was joined by his Pumpkintown bandmates Zoë Darrow (fiddle, vocals) and Peter Irvine (percussion, vocals).

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FIVE FIRSTS: Tim Eriksen of the Trio de Pumpkintown

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014
The Trio de Pumpkintown

Tim Eriksen (center) and the Trio de Pumpkintown

NAME: Tim Eriksen
BAND AFFILIATION: The Trio de Pumpkintown
INSTRUMENT: Voice, bajo sexto, fiddle, banjo, guitar

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … A single: can’t remember if it was “Death to Disco” by the Psychotic Frogs or the Ramones’ “I Don’t Want You.”

2. THE FIRST CONCERT THAT I EVER SAW WAS … My parents took me to a Verdi opera when I was six weeks old, but I don’t remember which one. I grew up going to see live music and theater all the time, from Gilbert & Sullivan to Kabuki Opera. Probably the earliest one I can remember was by the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The first one I went to on my own was the Ramones.

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Festival Fever: Roots Music Festival @ WAMC-FM’s The Linda, 4/5/14

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014
The Wiyos

The Wiyos

The fifth annual Roots Music Festival takes over WAMC-FM’s The Linda on Saturday, April 5 with the acclaimed Wiyos headlining the bash. The funky Americana trio is touring in support of their new, mostly live EP, One More for the Road. The fest will be emceed by Michael Eck.

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LIVE: Alexis P. Suter Band @ WAMC-FM’s The Linda, 3/7/14

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014
Alexis P. Suter

Alexis P. Suter

Review by J Hunter
Photographs by Rudy Lu

“The soundman said, ‘Can your voice go lower than mine?’” Alexis P. Suter told the totally rapt crowd at The Linda in Albany. Then she did something truly amazing: She lowered her voice! “I don’t know… Maybe?”

You have to understand: This Brooklyn-born blueswoman wields a bass/baritone that would send most opera singers scurrying into the nearest corner so they could cower better. You can’t compare Suter to contemporaries like Shemekia Copeland or Katie Webster, and even the late great Koko Taylor couldn’t match Suter’s lower range. The closest comparison would be to John Lee Hooker, another long-gone blues legend. But you pair up that range with the muscle-car power and unyielding control Suter puts behind her vocals, and the results are so unbelievably good, you just have to hold your head.

With her big top hat and all-black Moshood Creations outfit, Suter resembled an executioner as she slowly stepped onstage after her band’s opening instrumental number. The temptation to say she slayed us with her towering version of “Didn’t It Rain” is way too huge, but the fact is that anyone who hadn’t been exposed to the combination of Suter’s singular vocals and her death-defying back-up band got nailed to the wall like a butterfly in an entomologist’s lab. I know my jaw was on the floor during Suter’s awesome re-telling of The Flood, and it stayed there for most of the first four numbers.

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LIVE: Bobby Long @ WAMC-FM’s The Linda, 2/21/14

Thursday, February 27th, 2014
Bobby Long

Bobby Long

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

British singer-songwriter Bobby Long made his Nippertown debut at The Linda back in 2011, and he’s been building his Local 518 audience from the ground up ever since. He garnered a major radio-airplay push from the folks at WEXT-FM, and he scored a major coup with a headlining slot at last year’s LarkFest.

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LIVE: Garland Jeffreys @ WAMC-FM’s The Linda, 1/24/14

Thursday, February 20th, 2014
Garland Jeffries

Garland Jeffries

Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Veteran singer-songwriter Garland Jeffreys titled his 2011 comeback album, The King of in Between, after a recording hiatus of more than a dozen years. He wears the title proudly, and it fits him perfectly – and not just in regard to his multi-ethnic, African American/Puerto Rican heritage, although he addressed that directly in concert last month with his own personal anthem, “It’s What I Am,” a slow-burning ballad that featured the lyric, “Too white to be black, too black to be white.”

No, The King of in Between also refers to the far-reaching range of musical genres that he embraced in front of the sold-out, standing room only, Friday night crowd at WAMC-FM’s The Linda. He shifted gears effortlessly from the blues boogie of “‘Til John Lee Hooker Calls Me” to the reggae sing-along of “I May Not Be Your Kind” to the Spanish Harlem stroll of the exquisite “Spanish Town” to the jazz-flecked soul-stirrer “Any Rain” to the straight-up rock ‘n’ roll call to arms “Wild in the Streets.”

Jeffreys never fit neatly into any musical pigeon-hole, but it seemed as though every musical style that he served up at The Linda, fit him like the tight black sparkling shirt that he wore. The raw, buzzing blues of “Truth Serum” (the title track of his latest album) was as convincing a sermon as “The Contortionist,” a captivating urban stroll through dark city streets that Jeffreys dedicated to the late Lou Reed, who was his friend since their student days together at Syracuse University.

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LIVE: Guy Davis @ WAMC-FM’s The Linda, 1/17/14

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Guy Davis

Review by J Hunter
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Guy Davis prefaced his lightning-fast opening number at The Linda by saying, “I’ve stolen so much, this song doesn’t even have a title!” And even if he hadn’t name-checked Charlie Patton and Blind Willie McTell after it was all over, the SRO crowd could easily hear about 100 years of the blues coursing through Davis’ acoustic 12-string guitar, right down to the off-time beat that recalled Robert Johnson’s original version of “Crossroads.” But as Davis says he tells his students, “It’s okay to steal music – but once you steal it, you have to earn it!”

Davis definitely earns his keep. A scholar of the blues who once paid the rent as a cast member of the soap opera “One Life to Live,” Davis pays mad respect to all those who came before him by mixing their sounds into his music – that’s when he’s not breathing shining life into some of the genre’s many touchstones with either his 12-string, his six-string (which had a rose stuck in the tuning pegs) or his banjo. That last instrument might raise an eyebrow or two; it certainly did for the English music critic Davis lampooned in one of his hilarious pre-song raps. But when Davis laid a chugging take on Muddy Waters’ “I Can’t Be Satisfied” on us, I swear I could hear a freight train whistling by.

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