Heart’s stop at Proctors rare and wonderful
The numbers are impressive enough: more than 30 million albums sold since their debut album spent nearly two years on the charts, four Grammy nominations, 30 ex-members orbiting around the Wilson sisters (singer Anne and guitarist Nancy) since they formed their band, Heart, in 1974.
But it may be even more astounding that they have a hot new album, “Fanatic,” and are still touring.
On Wednesday, Heart plays Proctors (432 State St., Schenectady); a rare and wonderful thing. Rock tours seldom plug into the hyperactive Proctors schedule, where Broadway musicals and other extravaganzas dominate — including musicals about rock, for example, “Million Dollar Quartet,” “Green Day’s American Idiot” and “Fela!” — but I digress.
Rock shows sound seriously great there, with similar size and shape to Albany’s Palace. Some tremendous, and tremendous-sounding, past Proctors rock shows: the Kinks, the New Riders of the Purple Sage, James Taylor with his best-ever band, and Norah Jones.
Ann and Nancy Wilson bring the current Heart lineup to Proctors Wednesday at 8 p.m.: drummer Ben Smith, guitarist Craig Bartock, keyboardist Debbie Shair and bassist Dan Rothchild.
Tickets are $90, $70, $50, $40 and $20. Phone 346-6204 or visit www.proctors.org.
And before Heart hits Proctors, some special local favorites play here all week.
Floodwood at Putnam Den
Within the un- or semi-familiar Floodwood name are two prominent ones: guitarist Al Schneir and drummer Vinnie Amico of moe.
Floodwood is a sort of acoustic “newgrass” counterpart to another Al and Vinnie side project, Al and the Transamericans. Floodwood also comprises fiddler Nick Piccininni, bassist Zachary Fleitz and multi-instrumentalist Jason Barady.
Rebel Darling opens for Floodwood on Friday at 8 p.m. at Putnam Den (63A Putnam St., Saratoga Springs). Admission is $12 in advance, $15 on Friday. Phone 584-8066 or visit www.putnamden.com.
Bill Staines at Caffe Lena
Bill Staines drives 65,000 miles a year. He called his second best-of compilation (covering 1989 to 2005) “The Second Million Miles” and his memoir “The Tour: A Life Between the Lines.” He’ll be driving into Caffe Lena (47 Phila St., Saratoga Springs) on Friday.
He sings, he yodels — he won the Kerrville Folk Festival National Yodeling Championship — and he writes such fine songs that veteran troubadours Jerry Jeff Walker and Grandpa Jones and contemporary folk-country star Nanci Griffith recorded them.
Staines performs at 8 p.m. Admission is $18 in advance, $20 at the door. Phone 583-0022 or visit www.caffelena.org.
Rourke rocks The Egg
Rick Rourke sings and plays in three bands: the Out of Control Rhythm & Blues Band, Lost Wages and Bluz House Rockers. And he brings all three to The Egg (Empire State Plaza, Albany) on Sunday for three good purposes: to introduce the new Lost Wages album, to celebrate it and to raise funds for the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York.
One of the most active club and festival bands here for years, Out of Control seldom plays out these days, though they rocked a huge crowd at Alive at Five in July 2011, opening for Tower of Power. Bluz House Rockers and Lost Wages have a more regular presence onstage, and now on CD with “The 3-Sides to Every Story.”
With WPYX’s Quinn and Cantara morning team hosting, Sunday’s CD introduction/celebration/fundraiser showcases Lost Wages, Out of Control and the Bluz House Rockers.
Show time is 2 p.m. Tickets are $20, $35 for preferred seating and three autographed CDs of “The 3-Sides to Every Story.” Phone 473-1845 or visit www.theegg.org.
‘Home Bass’ in Hudson
There’s another fundraiser: this one at Club Helsinki (405 Columbia St., Hudson) on Sunday at 7 p.m.
“Home Bass: 4 Strings for Habitat” assembles an unusual group to benefit Habitat for Humanity. Bassist Melissa Auf der Maur (Hole, Smashing Pumpkins) hosts, with fellow bassists Tommy Stinson (the Replacements, Guns ’n Roses and Soul Asylum) and Meshell Ndegeocello; along with cellist Melora Creager (Rasputina). Blues singer Cathy Grier also appears.
Don’t you wonder how this impromptu “Home Bass” band sounds, with three basses and a cello? And isn’t it remarkable how bassists — notably Victor Wooten, and Stanley Clarke — like to build bands with more bassists?
Dinner begins at 5 p.m. and show time is 7 p.m. Table seating is $50, bar seating is $30 and standing room is $20. Phone 828-4800 or visit www.helsinkihudson.com.
Reach Gazette columnist Michael Hochanadel at email@example.com.