Editor's Note: Thursday night's Roseanne Cash concert at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall has been postponed due to illness, it was learned early Thursday.
“A feather’s not a bird, the rain is not the sea,” sings Rosanne Cash. “A stone is not a mountain, but a river runs through me.”
I think that river is talent.
Cash sings tonight at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, while two sons of superstars play Club Helsinki tonight and Friday: Devon Allman, son of Gregg; and Teddy Thompson, son of Richard — winners, both, in the genetic lottery of musical talent DNA.
While Cash sang first on the road with famous father Johnny, country’s fabled “Man in Black,” she has always wielded many colors in her music and always gone her own way. Once when Johnny was playing the now-vanished Coliseum Theater in Latham, she and husband John Leventhal were shopping guitars with owner Buzzy Levine at Lark Street Music, and neither knew the other was in town.
Rosanne has been busy tending legacies since her mother, father and stepmother died over a devastatingly short time. Her album “Black Cadillac” mourned those deaths while “The List” celebrated her father’s favorite country songs.
On new release “The River and the Thread,” she patches together a colorful, very southern quilt of traditional roots and self-expression. The album marks a return to songwriting and is the finest music she has ever crafted in a distinguished career with mainstream Nashville hits and highly individual self-exploration through her musical legacy.
In fact, that legacy shaped this music; she and Leventhal found the sound and sense of these songs on a southern odyssey. Cash was recently honored by the State of Arkansas and the Old State House Museum for her efforts to preserve her father’s boyhood home. That same night, she played at the Oxford American magazine’s venue in Little Rock in conjunction with its annual Southern Music edition, featuring her essay Tennessee.
Cash and Leventhal also visited Memphis, where she was born — though she grew up in Los Angeles, studied at Vanderbilt in Nashville and lives now in New York City. A featured performer in the documentary “Nashville 2.0: The Rise of Americana,” she also played a residency at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. She has released 15 albums and published four books — navigating her own course through her family’s river of talent.
Tonight, Cash performs with Leventhal at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall (30 Second St.) in a benefit for the Capital Region Coalition to end Homelessness. Show time is 7:30 p.m. Admission is $39, $35 and $28. 273-0038 www.troymusichall.org.
Singer-guitarist Devon Allman — son of Gregg (though not of Cher) and nephew of Duane — has performed with his father and in the bands Honeytribe and Royal Southern Brotherhood — reaching for a more mainstream rock sound than the southern-fried Allman Brothers Band. Early this year, he released his solo debut “Turquoise” and formed a touring band. Show time for Devon Allman is 8 p.m. tonight at Club Helsinki (405 Columbia St., Hudson). Admission is $20. 828-4800 www.helsinkihudson.com.
Singer-songwriter Teddy Thompson co-starred with his father, Richard Thompson, at The Egg earlier this year — and on previous tours and albums — and he has produced recordings by his mother, Linda Thompson. He doesn’t try to emulate his famous father’s fretwork fire or deeply cynical songwriting, but instead displays a wry humor and modest folk-based guitar accompaniment. He’s at Club Helsinki on Friday. Admission is $25 in advance, $30 on Friday.
As Valentine’s faces demolition (and replacement by a venue to be named later), both owner Howard Glassman and promoter Greg Bell of Guthrie/Bell seem determined to go out with a bang, booking acts with deep resonance.
On Friday, Bell presents Free Beer and Chicken, and Wreckloose in a 9:30 p.m. show; doors open at 8 p.m. Admission is $10. 432-6573 www.valentinesalbany.com.
On Saturday, Bell presents another crew of old favorites at Valentine’s (17 New Scotland Ave., Albany). Saturday’s triple-header features Moonboot Lover, Dr. Jah and the Love Prophets, and Subduing Mara. All are favorites from decades past but have been seldom seen or heard recently. Show time is 9 p.m.; doors at 8 p.m. Admission is $15.
As warm and welcome a holiday tradition here as Mountain Snow & Mistletoe and Nowell Sing We Clear (last weekend at The Egg and Old Songs, respectively), Sing Solstice! returns to the Eighth Step at Proctors GE Theatre (432 State St., Schenectady) on Saturday. This holiday revue unites two well-established folk duos — Magpie (Terry Leonino and Greg Artzner) and Kim & Reggie Harris — plus extras. On Saturday, the lineup includes the Pokingbrook Morris Dancers, performing Abbotts Bromley Horn Dance.
Then Boston folk artist and journalist Scott Alarick will host the Sing Solstice! quartet of Magpie with Kim & Reggie Harris. Show time is 7:30 p.m. Admission is $24 in advance, $26 on Saturday; $35 front and center. 434-1703 www.eighthstep.org; or 346-6204 www.proctors.org.
Jewmongous celebrates the 2000th anniversary of Jesus Christ’s bar mitzvah on Sunday at 7 p.m. at Caffe Lena (47 Phila St., Saratoga Springs). The creation of irreverent former Rockapella singer Sean Altman, Jewmongous creates clever comedy from faith traditions, particularly Jewish, and the collisions among them. Admission is $16, members $14, students $8. 583-0022 www.caffelena.org.
The African Children’s Choir sings at Proctors on Friday at 7 p.m., raising funds for programs to fight poverty and hunger in seven African nations: South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, Sudan, Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda. Admission is $30. 346-6204 www.proctors.org.
Reach gazette columnist Michael Hochanadel at email@example.com.