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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.

Weather, mellow crowds a winning recipe

Weather, mellow crowds a winning recipe

Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival put 21 acts on two stages Saturday and Sunday, both perfect weather days, with free cookies. Crowds seemed smaller than usual, but typically mellow and friendly: a happy human rainbow that works every time.

Cleary among varied performers at jazz fest

Cleary among varied performers at jazz fest

Grammy winning pianist-singer Jon Cleary brings his funky Absolute Monster Gentlemen to Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival on Sunday.

Dolly Parton, EWF kick off Tanglewood pop season

Dolly Parton, EWF kick off Tanglewood pop season

Dolly Parton sings at Tanglewood in Lenox, Massachusetts, on Friday — her first major U.S. swing in nearly 20 years.

Chandler to celebrate bocce, bourbon in Troy

Chandler to celebrate bocce, bourbon in Troy

The Chandler Travis Philharmonic will play The Hangar on Friday, featuring songs from “Bocce & Bourbon: Comfortable Songs of Chandler Travis and David Greenberger.”

Fleck, Original Flecktones returning to Egg

Fleck, Original Flecktones returning to Egg

Banjoist Bela Fleck brings hhis original band, the Flecktones, back to The Egg on Wednesday.

GottaGetGon, outdoor shows get summer started

GottaGetGon, outdoor shows get summer started

Outdoor shows and festivals are revving up, with GottaGetGon this weekend at the Saratoga County Fairgrounds in Ballston Spa; Lake Street Dive opening the season at Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown on Saturday; the reunited Luna playing MASS MoCA’s first 2016 outdoor show in North Adams, Massachusetts, also Saturday; and the Defibrulators opening the season on Wednesday at Made in the Shade of the Egg on Albany’s Empire State Plaza.

Caffe Lena anniversary show moves to Zankel

Caffe Lena anniversary show moves to Zankel

Caffe Lena’s anniversary show moves on Saturday to Skidmore’s Zankel Music Center (815 Broadway, Saratoga Springs); its heritage has outgrown its soon to expand home-since-1961 at 47 Phila St. Troy-born troubadour Sean Rowe headlines.

Back on drums, Brucker scores on first album

Back on drums, Brucker scores on first album

Cliff Brucker plays two shows this weekend. He drums with the Joey Thomas Big Band on Friday at the Van Dyck in its annual Sinatra Centennial Salute with singer Bob Father. On Saturday, he plays solo piano at One Caroline Street where his new CD (coming soon to cdbaby.com) will be available.

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