Story and interview by Wanda Callagy
Photograph by Robin Murray
Steve Daub has been busy in the last few weeks.
Not only did he enjoy some time in New Orleans, he had a birthday and was honored to be a judge at the recent Downtown Albany Business Improvement District’s recent Downtown Albany Blues Music Competition to help determine which bands would perform at the Local Blues Night of this summer’s upcoming Alive at Five concert series. (The winners – Blues Sanctuary and the Tom Healey Band – are slated to perform at Albany’s Riverfront Park at 5pm on Thursday, July 25).
Daub has been an influence in the area for several years, volunteering his Monday nights to promote local musicians on his “Stormy Monday Blues” program heard from 8-10pm on Mondays on college radio station WRPI (91.5 FM) out of Troy. The musicians he has hosted on his program stretch from regional and local artists to visitors to the Albany area, such as Peter Tork and Rory Block.
The radio show has been running for over 10 years now, and Daub says that he got into it quite by accident. A boss’ girlfriend suggested he get involved, simply a music lover. The position grew from being a co-host to running the show weekly with the assistance of audio engineer students who set up and operate the sound system for live performances on the show. With the summer ahead, the students will be gone until the fall, but Daub has plenty of vinyl to play, and though most of the music he plays is focused on the blues, other favorites or new bands are also often presented.
And if you want a bit of homegrown, Louisiana-flavored soundtrack to fuel your revelry, this – the fifth album in a dozen years from Nippertown’s premier zydeco combo, Captain Squeeze & the Zydeco Moshers – is a fine place to start.
The album starts out with “Aura du Bayou,” a brief, atmospheric bayou blues wail featuring Ryan Dunham’s howling harmonica and the slippery slide guitar of James Rissacher. But soon enough accordionist Greg “Captain Squeeze” Speck and his son Alex Speck on frottoir are whipping up their high-energy two-stepping Louisiana groove.
Headlining the bash is Rhode Island’s funky, folksy Americana quintet Brown Bird, who wowed the crowd at Albany’s Madison Grille back on January 9. Don’t believe us? Check out their rendition of Tennessee Ernie Ford’s classic, “16 Tons”:
Rounding out the “Hello Pretty City” Cavalcade of Stars are the Landlines and Nippertown favorites the Charlie Watts Riots and Pony in the Pancake. Showtime is 8pm, and admission is $8.
And while Glazer’s radio show has left WRPI-FM, don’t expect Friday’s show to be a sad and somber affair. In fact, it’s bound to be a serious party celebrating a new beginning, as “Hello Pretty City” is scheduled to return to the Nippertown airwaves shortly – this time around, it’ll be heard on WEXT-FM.
So let the party begin…
UPDATE: Laura Glazer’s “Hello Pretty City” radio show has found its new date and timeslot at WEXT-FM. The show will be broadcast weekly at 8-10pm on Sundays beginning on April 4.
Delightfully eclectic, helium-voiced disc jockey and fine arts photographer Laura Glazer has been hosting her award-winning radio show, “Hello Pretty City,” on WRPI-FM (RPI’s college radio station) every week since 2003.
It’s currently broadcast out of Troy between 7-9am – that’s right, it’s FM in the am – on Tuesday mornings. Admittedly, those certainly aren’t the hippest, most accessible hours, but Glazer was doing just fine with them. And over the years, she’s built a considerable following of regular listeners, both on the air and streaming live over the internet.
That’s all about to change, however, as WRPI’s final broadcast of “Hello Pretty City,” hits the airwaves at 7am on Tuesday, March 2.
Last week, Glazer snagged a job as a marketing specialist at Albany Medical Center, and she’s very happy about it. But, unfortunately, the job doesn’t allow her the opportunity to continue doing her WRPI radio show.
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