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Catch string fever at area venues this week

Catch string fever at area venues this week

Borrowing a Steve Earle song title, we all live in “Guitar Town” this week, when intrepid six-string axe-wielders parade across our stages. In fact, Friday marks a messy, three-venue collision of fret-work explosions — acoustic and electric, spanning folk to jazz to rock to the moon.

Gift of music can be welcome holiday treat

Gift of music can be welcome holiday treat

It’s gift-shopping time, for gift-worthy recordings, recommended alphabetically, by artist.

Cohen, Russell, Morse, Malen: four big losses

Cohen, Russell, Morse, Malen: four big losses

Leonard Cohen, Leon Russell, Rick Morse and Buck Malen left the stage this awful week; each passing a big loss for music fans.

Tower of Power, NRBQ rolling into town

Tower of Power, NRBQ rolling into town

Tonight, Tower of Power plays the biggest show yet at the revived Cohoes Music Hall (58 Remsen St.): 10 players, with decades of hip tunes.

Nine events explore music, influence of The Band

Nine events explore music, influence of The Band

The Band cast a giant shadow, amplified here by proximity to Woodstock and frequent shows including drummer-singer Levon Helm’s triumphs; his last local concert, apart from many in his Woodstock barn, was June 29, 2007 at The Egg with his Midnight Ramble band. Now, the Egg dives deep into the music and influence of The Band with nine events across the region starting today, including six library appearances.

Women performers will hold sway this week

Women performers will hold sway this week

As we contemplate our first woman presidential candidate, how do we note without condescending or implied tokenism that women play most of the cool shows here this week?

Fantastic Negrito confronts issues with hope

Fantastic Negrito confronts issues with hope

Check Fantastic Negrito tonight at Cohoes Music Hall (58 Remsen St., Cohoes); our own (Delmar resident) Bryan Thomas opens.

From jazz to bluegrass, this weekend’s got it all

From jazz to bluegrass, this weekend’s got it all

The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall (30 Second St.) continues its strongest fall season in years with the Gibson Brothers on Saturday and Graham Nash on Sunday.

Beatles film successfully evokes thrill of an era

Beatles film successfully evokes thrill of an era

When I hied myself to Proctors GE Theater for the last showing of Ron Howard’s “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week — The Touring Years” last week, I didn’t know what to expect. Filmmaker Howard’s cumbersome title underlines the difficulties of re-telling a tale every boomer knows in our bones by claiming a chapter for a fresh cultural vision.

Maria Muldaur, Trixie Whitley coming to town

Maria Muldaur, Trixie Whitley coming to town

Blues mama Maria Muldaur plays the Van Dyck on Saturday, and bluesman’s daughter Trixie Whitley plays Club Helsinki on Sunday.

As summer wanes, another weekend of festivals

As summer wanes, another weekend of festivals

Late-season festivals cluster on the calendar; a glorious mess: Irish 2000 in Ballston Spa, FreshGrass bluegrass at MASSMoCA in North Adams, Jazz at the Lake on Lake George, indie-, alt- and roots rock on Pearl Street.

Ellis Marsalis Quintet heads Albany jazz lineup

Ellis Marsalis Quintet heads Albany jazz lineup

The Albany City Jazz Festival returns this Saturday. In the past 15 years, Albany has presented its jazz festival in Washington Park and what’s now called Jennings Landing on the Hudson; construction there has moved the fest back to Washington Park on Saturday. The rain site is the Corning Preserve under I-787 (Water and Colonie streets), and the lineup combines local heroes and national stars.

Robert Cray to open blues-filled Egg series

Robert Cray to open blues-filled Egg series

The Egg rocks four blues shows this month. And who better to launch the string than Robert Cray? The guitarist/singer who put the blues back on the charts, the Zelig of the blues who played with everybody, everywhere; returns to The Egg on Friday.

Christiana returns home for a good cause

Christiana returns home for a good cause

The Yarnapalooza Charity Concert on Sunday at Centre Street (308 Union St. at Broadway, Schenectady) brings singer-songwriter-guitarist Blake Christiana back to his home town — with his band Yarn.

Alex Slomka, Heavenly Echoes to play today


Some summer free-show series have wrapped up: Alive at Five, Music Haven and a few others; yet some few free shows remain.

Toby Keith imposing musically, charitably

Toby Keith imposing musically, charitably

As Toby Keith returns to SPAC on Sunday, I’m reminded that he is both an imposing sight and more than meets the eye.

Music Haven showcases music of the world

Music Haven showcases music of the world

Music Haven (Central Park, Schenectady) delivers extra-large on its promise to travel the world one concert at a time on Sunday, zipping to Eastern Europe as proudly eclectic self-proclaimed “ethno chaos” practitioners DakhaBrakha from Ukraine headline.

Looking back on an extra-cool week of music

Looking back on an extra-cool week of music

In last week’s music overload, I first hied myself (thanks, Carl Strock) to the Green River Festival near Northampton on July 8, mainly to see NRBQ, who headlined its first (1986) edition.

Douglas’ dobro echoes sounds of Flatt, Scruggs

Douglas’ dobro echoes sounds of Flatt, Scruggs

Dobro wizard Jerry Douglas will be on the Music Haven stage on Sunday.

5 major bands slated for week of big shows

5 major bands slated for week of big shows

Phish, one of our BIGGEST bands, played three giant shows last week; this week, five of our BEST bands play seven shows.

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