CARS HOMES JOBS

Rowe at Music Hall, Corea at Saint Rose

Thursday, April 10, 2014
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Troy native Sean Rowe will perform at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall on Saturday for the first time.
Troy native Sean Rowe will perform at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall on Saturday for the first time.

This week is mostly about local roots and wide wings: artists from here who have returned.

Troy-born troubadour Sean Rowe steps on stage at the Troy Savings Music Hall (30 Second St.) on Saturday. A newcomer to the Hall, he’s a wandering troubadour for both the ancient and the Internet ages, a man with deep roots here, primed for a new round of accomplishment, and a man on a mission.

“I’ve never actually been in there, as crazy as it sounds,” he said of the Hall, emailing from a house-concert tour through much smaller places. “I recently played a house concert in Maryland for about six people in a tiny living room and . . . I loved it.”

There’s no doubt his colossal voice will fill the Hall. Its depth and power have carried him from bar gigs here to tours overseas, “The Late Show” with Jimmy Kimmel and NPR’s “Tiny Desk Concerts.”

Meanwhile, his two albums — “Magic” recorded in Troy and released on local Collar City Records (2009) and “The Salesman and Shark” on international label ANTI-Records (2012) — built his audience far beyond 518-land. With songs inspired by “Otis Redding for singing and Leonard Cohen for writing,” he said he plans to release his new album, “Spiritual Leather,” this September.

Nature has also shaped much of his music. “My journey with music and my exploration of nature started together,” Rowe has said. “Because I spent a lot of time growing up in the woods, the naturalistic world elements have always had an effect on my writing. It’s my religion, and I try to convey that in my songs.”

He wrote “Magic” after living alone in the woods for 24 days, foraging for food and water, building shelters. Tom Brown’s book “The Tracker” and the Hawk Circle Wilderness Education Center inspired him as much as his musical heroes.

His show on Saturday is a benefit for the Rensselaer Land Trust. “We need to conserve what little natural habitat we have left and find a way to work with the land instead of attempting to subdue, tame and sell,” he said in his email. “I support the land trust’s goal of conserving our land base. Land is everything.”

Rowe’s fellow local troubadour MaryLeigh Roohan opens the 8 p.m. show, singing tunes from her debut album “Skin and Bone.” Admission is $30, $25 and $20. 273-0038 www.troymusichall.org.

Heard at Proctors

Tonight’s Palace show by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons is postponed, so now everybody can see Elizabeth Woodbury Kasius & Heard, and James Weber & Berkshire Bateria tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Proctors GE Theatre (432 State St., Schenectady).

Heard is the world-music successor to Kasius’ Jupiter Circle and boasts wider wings, decorating Kasius’ classical-, jazz- and rock-trained keyboards in focused exotica: Ghanian percussion master Zorkie Nelson, percussionist Brian Melick, woodwind player Jonathan Greene and bassist Bobby Kendall.

Kasius and Melick both also play with the elastic percussion-and-samba collective Berkshire Bateria, so this show should be electric with collaborations. Admission is $15. 346-6204 www.proctors.org.

Jazz dilemma

On Friday at the Massry Center at the College of Saint Rose (1002 Madison Ave., Albany), jazz giant Chick Corea plays solo, a format he’s explored on record and onstage since the early 1970s. With encyclopedic musical knowledge, unlimited imagination and chops undiminished by time, Corea (now 72) remains a phenomenon. Admission is $40 for the 7:30 p.m. concert and $85 for both the concert and the 5:30 p.m. reception with open bar, tapas stations and live jazz. 337-4871 www.concerts@strose.edu.

Also Friday, unfortunately for jazz heads, Schenectadian/Brooklyn transplant Matt Steckler leads his band Persiflage into Proctors GE Theatre, part of the NYC Horns series he curates.

“Persiflage” means “light and slightly contemptuous mockery or banter,” suggesting this interactive crew is more playful than Steckler’s other band, Dead Cat Bounce. Persiflage is Steckler playing reeds, trombonist Curtis Hasselbring, guitarist Todd Neufeld, bassist Dave Ambrosio and drummer/percussionist Satoshi Takeishi. Show time is 7:30 p.m. Admission is $15.

Road trip

Well worth the miles: Alejandro Escovedo and the Sensitive Boys play the Bearsville Theater (291 Tinker St., Woodstock) tonight at 8 p.m., doors at 7.

No new record releases since “Big Station” (2012) probably means fresh songs waiting for the next one. And as usual, his band has changed. Few keep it as fresh and real as Escovedo.

Admission is $40 in the (reserved seats) balcony, $30 on the standing-room-only main floor. 845-679-4406 www.bearsvilletheater.com.

Short cuts

Duos play the Eighth Step at Proctors Underground (432 State St., Schenectady) on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. — Lou & Peter Berryman, and Steve Gillette & Cindy Mangsen. Both are seasoned, creative and deeply satisfying.

Admission is $35 front and center, $26 general admission. 434-1703 346-6204 www.eighthstep.org www.proctors.org.

Nashville-based Nora Jane Struthers & the Party Line play acoustic Americana bordering bluegrass, country and blues tonight at WAMC’s The Linda (339 Central Ave., Albany) at 8 p.m.

Energetic, accomplished and tight, her four-guys band gives Struthers’ Dolly Parton/Gillian Welch voice and tunes a cozy ride. Multi-instrumentalist troubadour Michael Eck opens. Admission is $15. 465-5233 ext. 4 www.wamcarts.org.

The name Malcolm Cecil may be no more familiar than Tonto’s Expanding Head Band, the groundbreaking synthesizer combo that Cecil co-led with Robert Margouleff. But the two are famed behind the scenes as collaborators with Stevie Wonder on his 1970s albums.

Cecil plays a very rare live show on Saturday at 7 p.m. in the Arts Center Theater at Columbia-Greene Community College. Aided by eight other musicians, Cecil will play jazz, reggae, rock and R&B. Admission is $15, $12 for students and seniors. 828-4181 ext. 3344 www.mycommunitycollege.com.

Reach Gazette Columnist Michael Hochanadel at Hochanadel@dailygazette.net.

 
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