Parade of Shoes: Bruce Katz

February 4th, 2015, 11:00 am by Sara

Parade of Shoes: Bruce Katz

Photograph by Wanda Callagy

Blues keyboardist Bruce Katz recently celebrated the release of his new album, Homecoming, with a bash at Club Helsinki in Hudson. At 8pm on Thursday (February 5), Katz – who is nominated for the Pinetop Perkins Piano Player of the Year Award at the upcoming Blues Music Awards in Memphis – returns to Club Helsinki to help lead the Pro Jam 9, where he’ll be joined by other Hudson Valley blues stalwarts including Slam Allem, Petey Hop, Rick Knapp, Sonny Rock and a cavalcade of special guests.


Guitars, Guitars, Guitars from Gerhards Guitarworks

August 13th, 2014, 2:00 pm by Greg
 The showroom and studio on Route 23 in Windham

The Gerhards Guitarworks showroom and studio on Route 23 in Windham

Story and photographs by Wanda Callagy

Musicians can find a little piece of heaven tucked in a studio in Windham. There, Gerhards Guitarworks offers everything from handcrafted guitars to strings and drumsticks.

Robert “Cue” and Alana Gerhards moved from Poughkeepsie a year ago with a handful of staff specializing in finishing and refinishing all forms of acoustic and electric stringed instruments, in addition to offering such tech services as set-ups, repairs, neck resets and bridgework. They also keep a complete line of retail products on hand.

Alana’s talents in graphic design mix with Cue’s experience as a long-time luthier, while they both bring musicianship and a love of woodworking to their craft.

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Parade o’ Shoes: Jared Alpern of Separated at Birth

May 20th, 2014, 10:00 am by Greg

Jared Alpern

Photograph by Wanda Callagy

Jared Alpern at Club Helsinki’s Pro Jam 4 in Hudson on February 6, 2014

The multi-talented Alpern joins veteran keyboardist Tony Perrino and the rest of the band Separated at Birth as they return to the Hollow Bar + Kitchen in Albany for an all-ages show at 7pm on Saturday (May 24).

The Capital Region Blues Network’s Big Blues Bash

April 11th, 2014, 10:33 am by Greg

Rhett Tyler and Mark Emanation

Rhett Tyler and Mark Emanatian

Story and photographs by Wanda Callagy

The Capital Region Blues Network is holding its fourth annual fundraising bash tonight (Friday, April 11). Music, raffles and a silent auction will be held at the Fuller Roadhouse Grille in Albany at 7pm.

Rhett Tyler and his Early Warning band and Soul Sky will bring their talents for the evening.

Mark Emanatian has a long history with the CRBN network and says it is important for him to be supportive as the organization does much to educate young artists about the history of blues music by being part of the Blues in Schools programs.

“I have been involved especially playing with Folding Sky and the Ernie Williams band, and I think all these blues societies across the states are a great movement, as they are keeping an essential art form alive,” said Emanatian.

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Tas Cru: Keeping the Blues Alive

March 21st, 2014, 3:00 pm by Greg
Tas Cru and Jeremy Walz

Tas Cru and Jeremy Walz

Story and photographs by Wanda Callagy

After settling a little upon their return from Memphis, the members of Tas Cru & the Tortured Souls are off and running to various new projects, but one wonders if the Rum Boogie Café will ever be the same.

Guy Nirelli had traveled from the Buffalo area, and Dick Earl Erickson came from Utah, traveling the path down South with gigs and events for the Keeping the Blues Alive program that Tas Cru keeps going. They visited with Wichita Blues Society members, recorded at the Juke Joint Chapel at the Shack Up Inn and performed at a wide variety of venues from KOLR-TV in Missouri to the Drop Zone in Leslie Arkansas.

In Memphis, the band played three nights at the Rum Boogie Cafe – one night with the Memphis Blues Society, and they opened up the Blues Foundation’s week-long International Blues Challenge by holding an all-night jam with proceeds going to Generation Blues programs, which offers opportunity for music scholarships, camps and lessons.

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LIVE: Rosanne Cash @ Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, 3/5/14

March 13th, 2014, 4:00 pm by Greg

Rosanne Cash and John Leventhal @ Troy Savings Bank Music Hall

Review by Bokonon
Photographs by Wanda Callagy

Rosanne Cash is Johnny Cash’s daughter. You can say that now. God knows you couldn’t years ago.

Early in her career, the distaff Cash righteously and rightfully fought to cut her own turf, building a catalog built on melancholy and melody. In the process, she became a country star, racking up 21 Top 40 country hits, including 11 number ones.

With 1990’s darkly personal Interiors, she broke her own mold, turning away from Nashville for a new New York look, sound and mouthfeel. She became something more than a recording artist — simply an artist.

But when Cash lost her parents (Johnny Cash and Vivian Liberto) and her stepmother, June Carter Cash, she turned hard again, for the first time truly embracing her legacy and her deep southern roots.

At the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall last week, Cash’s roots were showing.

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LIVE: Pro Jam 4 @ Club Helsinki, 2/6/14

February 20th, 2014, 3:00 pm by Greg
Murali Coryell with Richard M. Surrano

Murali Coryell with Richard M. Surrano

Story and photographs by Wanda Callagy

The recent Pro Jam 4 at Club Helsinki in Hudson was well attended by both listeners and musicians who came from Woodstock, Poughkeepsie and the Capital Region to play. At the Thursday evening jam session, folks had the opportunity to sit in with first-class musicians, including many NYS Blues Hall of Fame inductees and several Grammy nominees.

Sponsored by Harley Davidson, the jam session was organized by Gary McKeever and Sonny Rock. “This was our fourth event, and Sonny and I have been able to put this together on a weeknight so that these working musicians can actually meet and play with new people,” said McKeever. “Most of them are doing gigs on the weekends, and since musicians attend from all over, they get the opportunity to network and see other artists. They may need a drummer or see someone who has a talent that could add to their band or performance.”

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Kevin Hendrick: Not Just Blowing His Own Horn

February 19th, 2014, 2:00 pm by Greg
Kevin Hendrick

Kevin Hendrick

Story and photographs by Wanda Callagy

The rehearsal room at North Albany Studios filled with Kevin Hendrick’s music.

“I have so many tracks that I have been home-recording. This opportunity brings my compositions to life, and this is a great way to highlight the talent here,” said trumpeter-composer Hendrick about the first sessions on a recent Sunday. “I was not sure if I was actually gonna play, but this is really cool, joining up with these musicians. This week, we will add Maria Zemantowski, a flamenco-style guitarist and Brian Melick on percussion. There is such great energy!”

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