It was the best of concerts and the worst of concerts. Yes, I’m celebrating and exploiting the genius of Charles Dickens in my lead, but that is far less egregious than what too often took place during a sold-out Friday night concert at Albany’s Palace Theatre that paid tribute to the genius of Jimi Hendrix. Call it a paradoxical experience.
NOTE: I make these observations as a fervent admirer of Hendrix’s music and the inspiration he derived from a variety sources such as the blues, soul, folk and Native American culture. I have always viewed him as complete musician, not a wild, hedonistic guitarist like so many still do.
The Experience Hendrix show was the best concert in the sense that it was uplifting to see local support for the music and memory of one of the greatest musicians the world has known – and the song selections were also far more eclectic than what had been the case six years before when the tour touched down in Albany. Yet it was also felt like the worst given that the celebratory nature of the night felt contrived, even exploitative. I even found myself drawing up a wish list of musicians, not just guitarists, that I thought should have been included on the bill (Joanne Shaw Taylor, Cassandra Wilson, Buddy Miller, Trombone Shorty, Michael Hill, Cindy Blackman Santana, Gary Clark, Jr., Steve Winwood, Hamell on Trial – who saw Hendrix play Syracuse in 1968 – to name a few). At times throughout the nearly 3 1/2 hour event, I thought of one of Hendrix’s most prophetic lyrics: “But as far as I know, they may even try to wrap me up in cellophane and try and sell me…” How can anybody celebrate properly a musician, who casts such a long shadow?
The conversational buzz of the audience in the venerable Schenectady jazz club came to a sudden stop as the Van Dyck All-Stars took the stage last Friday evening.
Pianist Lee Shaw shot a huge smile into the room as she sat down on the piano bench. Rich Syracuse picked up the upright bass and cradled his instrument against his chest. Dave Calarco positioned himself behind the drum kit, looked at electric guitarist Chuck D’Aloia and fired off a readied glance at saxophonist Brian Patneaude.
Kicking off the “Tribute to Nick Brignola” concert in front of a sold-out house of fans, family and friends, the band launched into an impassioned and lyrical version of the old jazz standard, “Stella By Starlight.”
You certainly don’t need us to tell you how important the music of Joni Mitchell is. But you just don’t get the opportunity to hear it often enough in a live concert situation.
So at 8pm Sunday, October 25, the ongoing “Music at the Movies” live music series at the Tinker St. Cinema in Woodstock presents “A Tribute to Joni Mitchell,” with a dozen of the area’s most talented musicians joining forces to perform their own unique interpretations of selections from Mitchell’s classic songbag.
Among the musicians stepping into the spotlight on Sunday are Amy Helm, Bar Scott, Daniel Littleton, Journey Blue Heaven, Julie Last, Kyle Esposito, Leslie Ritter, Elizabeth Mitchell, Peter Tomlinson, Scott Petito, Storey Littleton and Sylvia Bullett.
Yes, it’s time to celebrate the life of a true American icon, and really, what better way to do that than with a John Lennon tribute show?
You can’t make this stuff up.
Anyway, the annual Uncle Sam Parade kicks off at 1pm on Sunday, September 13 from 125th Street and Fifth Avenue in Lansingburgh, and it marches over to 106th Street.
And immediately following the parade, there will be a family fun celebration in Knickerbacker Park (103rd Street and 8th Avenue) featuring rides for kids, chicken barbeque, skydivers and, of course, music:
Today would have been Joe Strummer’s 57th birthday. In honor of this, The Sandinista Project!, a tribute to the Clash, is being offered as a free download, including high quality mp3s of the original CD as well as a bonus track and PDFs of the artwork. As Jimmy Guterman explains:
“The Sandinista Project didn’t set any sales record and of course the number of copies shared on the Net was greater than the number we sold. We didn’t undertake the project to make ourselves any money (it was a charity record) so I didn’t mind that it was available everywhere for free. But it did bother me that so many of the torrented versions sounded like crap.”
Do it today – it’s a one-day only thing, and at midnight PDT, it’s gone.
The Sandinista Project!
1. The Magnificent Seven, Joe Grushecky and the Houserockers
2. Hitsville U.K., Katrina Leskanich
3. Junco Partner, Jon Langford and Sally Timms with Ship & Pilot
4. Ivan Meets G.I. Joe, Jason Ringenberg and Kristi Rose
5. The Leader, Amy Rigby
6. Something About England, The Coal Porters
7. Rebel Waltz, Ruby on the Vine
8. Look Here, Jim Duffy
9. The Crooked Beat, Wreckless Eric
10. Somebody Got Murdered, Matthew Ryan
11. One More Time/One More Dub, Haale
12. One More Time (One More Time), Ted Harris
13. Lightning Strikes (Not Once But Twice), London Calling of Chicago
14. Up in Heaven (Not Only Here), The Smithereens
15. Corner Soul, Ethan Lipton
16. Let’s Go Crazy, Storybox
17. If Music Could Talk, Steve Wynn
18. The Sound of the Sinners, Bill Lloyd
19. Police on My Back, Willie Nile
20. Midnight Log, Soul Food with Mick Gallagher
21. The Equaliser, Sunset Heroes
22. The Call Up, The Lothars
23. Washington Bullets, Phil Rockrohr and the Lifters
24. Broadway, Stew
25. Lose This Skin, Jim Allen
26. Charlie Don’t Surf, The Crunchies
27. Mensforth Hill, Bee Maidens
28. Junkie Slip, Mark Cutler
29. Kingston Advice, Camper Van Beethoven
30. The Street Parade, Dollar Store
31. Version City, Tim Krekel
32. Living in Fame, Lou Carlozo
33. Silicone on Sapphire, The Blizzard of 78 featuring Mikey Dread
34. Version Pardner, Sally Timms and Jon Langford with Ship & Pilot
35. Career Opportunities, Sex Clark Five
36. Shepherds Delight, The Hyphens
Singer-songwriter-teacher-entertainer Paul Strausman died late last year, just a few days before Christmas. He was just 54 years old, and he left behind a wife, Carol Coogan, and three children.
At 3pm on Sunday, August 23, Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs will host a special children’s music tribute to Paul, featuring Terri Roben, Andy “The Music Man” Morse and a few special guests. All proceeds from the benefit concert will be placed in a fund for his children’s college education.
Pair up a classic bar-room belter (Southside Johnny) with the repertoire of an experimental blues maverick (Tom Waits), and what do you get?
Surprisingingly enough, you get a successful, solidly swinging jazz album, thanks primarily to Asbury Juke trombonist La Bamba, who arranged, orchestrated and conducted the big band that wails throughout.
And, yes, Waits himself slips in for a duet on “Walk Away,” as delicious as it is offhand.
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