It’s time for rockin’ o’ the Celts — and more
This St. Patrick’s Day week, we have so much Celtic music — and everything else — so let’s get right to it.
The Toronto Scottish-inspired combo Enter the Haggis rocks The Egg (Empire State Plaza, Albany) on Friday at 8 p.m. With 10 albums of lively, eclectic sounds since 1998 and their own PBS special (shot in Plattsburgh), ETH draws fans of folk, jams and everything else. Tickets are $24. Phone 473-1845 or visit www.theegg.org.
The Egg wraps up its Celtic offerings with Gaelic Storm on March 22. But first, the busy orb-venue hosts troubadour Sarah Jarosz on Saturday (7:30 p.m.; Lera Lynn opens; tickets $20, students $15); the “Led Zeppelin Experience” by Hammer of the Gods also on Saturday (8 p.m.; tickets $39.50 and $34.50); and Ladysmith Black Mambazo, world’s most influential Afro-beat vocal group, from South Africa, on Sunday (7:30 p.m.; tickets $29.50).
Road-trip-worthy Celtic sounds are not far down the highway in North Adams and Northampton, Mass., and in Hudson.
After a reportedly charming show at the Eighth Step last week, Irish singers Susan McKeown and Michael Brunnock reunite on Friday at MASS MoCA (1040 MASSMoCA Way, N. Adams, Mass.). Both have fine voices, but McKeown’s is really exceptional. Show time is 8 p.m. Tickets are $12 in advance, $16 on Friday, students $10. Phone 413-662-2111 or visit www.massmoca.org.
Iron Horse lineup
The Iron Horse (20 Center St., Northampton, Mass.) is all Celtic, all week.
Tonight, Alan Reid of Scottland’s Battlefield Band (keyboards, guitar, vocals) brings his duet partner, guitarist Rob Van Sante, to the Horse; Abby & Harrison Adams open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance, $18 at the door. Phone 413-586-8686 or visit www.iheg.com.
On Friday, Zoe Darrow and the Fiddleheads (her guitarist dad Philip and pianist Tom Coborn; she plays fiddle, don’t you know) take over the Iron Horse stage to play Celtic and Cape Breton tunes, starting at 7 p.m. Tickets are $12.50 in advance and $15 at the door.
On Saturday, rowdy Irish rockers Big Bad Bollocks, Northampton’s own Celtic thrash band, crank up the St. Patrick’s Day spirit at its noisiest at 7 p.m. They’ve been rockin’ Irish sounds since 1989, with a handful of albums and a reputation for loud fun. Tickets are $12.50 in advance, $15 at the door.
On Sunday it’s Maura O’Connell. O’Connell may have the best-known Irish voice across America — she lives in Nashville now — and a wonderful way of warming up any song in possessing it completely, and being completely possessed by it. John Mock opens the show at 7. Tickets are $22.50 in advance, $25 at the door.
Across town at the Calvin Theater (19 King St.), Gaelic Storm — recently at The Egg — plays on March 23, and Enter the Haggis visits Club Helsinki in Hudson on March 30, wrapping up our sprawling — in distance and time — Celtic music fest.
Before then, the Chris O’Leary Band plays a St. Patrick’s Day show on Saturday at Club Helsinki (405 Columbia St., Hudson). O’Leary is the Schenectady-born singer and harmonica player who led Levon Helm’s band when Levon’s voice was out of action. Show time is 9 p.m. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door. Phone 828-4800 or visit www.helsinkihudson.com.
Marsalises, more jazz
Yes, Branford WAS just here, at Proctors; and his brothers Jason and Wynton play here this week.
“Music is always in motion,” says Jason, the youngest Marsalis brother and a 2011 National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master. He certainly is. Jason plays drums in the periodic projects of the Marsalis family band, including a 2008 Proctors show. He plays many sideman gigs, including Los Hombres Calientes, Marcus Roberts’ band and — yes, even a Celtic band. But he comes to the Van Dyck (237 Union St., Schenectady) on Friday leading his Vibes Band. The Jason Marsalis Vibes Band, a quartet, plays two shows on Friday, at 7 and 9:30 p.m. Admission is $23 in advance, $26 on Friday. Phone 348-7999 or visit www.vandycklounge.com.
The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra celebrates boss Wynton Marsalis’ 50th birthday on Monday at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall. The Orchestra is 15 pieces strong — make that, very strong — and they have full command of jazz’s big-band tradition. Will they play “Happy Birthday”? Who knows? But if they do, they’ll swing it, guaranteed. Show time is 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $79, $69, $49, students and children $22. Phone 273-0038 or visit www.troymusichall.org.
Also in Troy, the next night, Tuesday, there’s more jazz in the capable hands of trombonist Joseph Bowie and percussionist and pianist Adam Rudolph at the Sanctuary for Independent Media (3361 Sixth Ave. at 101st Street, Troy). Like the Marsalises, Bowie hails from a musical family including saxophonist Byron Bowie and the late, great trumpeter Lester Bowie, who played RPI’s McNeil Room in Troy in the 1970s with the Art Ensemble of Chicago.
Joseph Bowie founded and led Defunkt, the baddest funk band this side of James Brown’s vintage crews. Rudolph is a world-music world traveler, experimenting with many ethnic styles, leading bands of various sizes and configurations and releasing 25 albums. Show time is 7 p.m. Admission is $10. Phone 272-2390 or visit www.MediaSanctuary.org.
The Pennsylvania-based jam band Dr. Dog rocks Northern Lights (1208 Route 146, Clifton Park) on Tuesday at 8 p.m. Despite regular personnel changes, they’ve become festival faves and released six albums since 2002; “Be the Void” hit last month. Tickets are $15 advance, $17 on Tuesday. Phone 371-0012 or visit www.northernlightslive.com.
The Lost Radio Rounders launch a new Third Friday Charity Concert Series on Friday at the McKownville United Methodist Church (1565 Western Ave., Albany). The Rounders — multi-instrumentalists and singers Michael Eck and Tom Lindsay — bring musical pals Low ’n’ Lonesome and Steven Clyde (Ramblin Jug Stompers and Blotto) for their “Spreading the Word: Spirituals & Gospel Blues” program.
There’s no admission charge, but donations will support the church’s Skye Farm Camps. The series continues with Kim Kilby and M.R. Poulopoulis on April 20 and the Gospel Train and guests on May 18. Phone 456-1148. or visit www.reddoorschurch.org.
On Saturday, the Steamer No. 10 (500 Western Ave., Albany) “Eclectic Performance Series” pairs up Albany-gone-national troubadour Sean Rowe with all-woman all-star group Babe City: Olivia Quillio, Meagan Duffy, Maryleigh Roohan and Caroline Corrigan.
Since releasing his album “Magic” on Anti Records, Rowe has built his star power on the national stage. He sang with Marketa Irglova on NPR’s “All Songs Considered” and sang a “Tiny Desk Concert,” also on NPR. And he’s busy mixing his second album, featuring Railbird. Show time for Sean Rowe and Babe City is 8 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets are $13 in advance, $15 at the door. Phone 438-5503 or visit www.steamer10theatre.org. This series continues with Rosanne Raneri and Bryan Thomas on April 14; the Star Spangled Washboard Band with guests Val Haynes and Todd Nelson on April 21; Rosary Beard, and Winterpills on May 4; and Frank Jaklitsch and Friends on May 5.
Reach Gazette columnist Michael Hochanadel at firstname.lastname@example.org.