LIVE: Israel “Izzy” Singer (“As Iz”) @ Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, 7/24/2020
This summer, the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall has been instrumental in bringing local music and culture to the Collar City and Albany County. The Jericho Drive-In Theater in Delmar has seen music performances from the likes of Jocelyn and Chris Arndt and The Wheel. Friday, July 24, the music hall courtyard welcomed Castleton illustrator, graphic designer, and singer/songwriter, Israel “Izzy” Singer to their outdoor stage.
Singer’s show, and the events at the Jericho Drive-In Theater would not occur without the support of the staff and Troy Music Hall Executive Director, Jon Elbaum. Five months have passed since the music hall shut its venue doors to the public due to COVID-19. With summer well underway, The Hall found a way to bring back music to the community with its successful drive-in movie and music shows at the Jericho Drive-In Theater and Singer’s show. Elbaum is fortunate to be involved in bringing culture and music to the community this summer within the Collar City.
“Well, the city and the Troy BID wanted to help businesses down here and find a way to help them survive and so we wanted to allow, you know, to provide cultural opportunities for artists, and you know, just to create a nice atmosphere downtown. So, we have some funding to do that and the city has helped provide cooperation, you know, keeping it safe…social distancing. So, it is kind of a group effort between the BID and us, and the Troy Cultural Alliance. We got eight weeks of programming scheduled from now (August 7) thru September 12, 2020,” exclaimed Elbaum.
The future for Troy Music Hall for the fall and winter season is grim. The hopes of booking any indoor entertainment is not going to occur for some time. “We’re not optimistic for the fall. We do not think we are going to be able to do things inside at this moment. We are hoping, perhaps, in January, maybe February, or March (2021). We will see how things go. But things are changing so quickly. We’re all trying to hang on until we can all go back to business.”
Israel “Izzy” Singer, known as, “As Iz”, wowed spectators and outdoor diners at Bacchus Wood Fired with his bluesy, country-folk rock originals and covers outside TSBMH. Performing originals from his three albums, “Stratosphere”, “I Travel with The Wind”, and “As Iz So Far…”, and covers, Singer, with his laid back guitar rhythms, drum kicking, and soothing voice, brought his listeners a new sense of hope, peace, love, and tranquility into the bustling city.
Singer’s messages to the crowd were made clear through his selective song choices and overall performance. “For What It’s Worth” (Buffalo Springfield) is what Singer called “A highly relevant song”. Heavily noted through its lyrics that reflect the times of resistance and fighting for what is deemed right during times of the current health and political climate. “Red or White” (original) gave Singer the moment to show off his blues riffs in his blues-rock tune; a nice contrast to the folk-country material that he previously covered.
In contrast to his covers, Singer relates his originals back to past life moments. “Stepping off the Ladder” allowed Singer to recall a moment of seeing Apollo 11 land on the moon at age 7 and watching an astronaut step off the ladder to touch the moon’s surface for the first time. “Before the Snow Flies” reflected on the singer’s hopes of finding his true love before spring arrives or before winter. “Furnace Woman” reflected on Singer cruising along Interstate 787 and the Northway to his given destinations, all fun tunes to listen and hear live.
Singer closed out the evening with an original, “There’ll Be a Time”, and the message about the need for hope, love, and unity remained ingrained for the remainder of the evening. There is a sense of hope that peace will happen, love will never die, nations will be united and not boarded or divided. A need for hope, love, and peace ended on an encouraging note and it was a good message to end the show.
We all need peace, love, hope, change, prosperity, unity, and good health. Through the power of music, as done by “As Iz” and the collaboration with the TSBMH, one can hope that a positive change, as bringing music and culture to the community, will bring those exact things we need into our lives, even in times of confusion, uncertainty, and pain.