Blues master Rory Block set for Eighth Step appearance

Super guitarist-singer Rory Block of Chatham will visit the Eighth Step at Proctors GE Theater this

Rory Block has the deep cultural authenticity of a national treasure, plus a local ZIP code, international stature and a masterly way with the blues. She lives in Chatham, but unfortunately plays here only about once a year.

On Saturday, the super guitarist-singer visits the Eighth Step at Proctors GE Theater (432 State St., Schenectady). On nearly 40 albums since 1965, she faithfully echoes blues giants of early in the past century, or updates them, all with profound feeling and consummate skill. She has often performed the songs of Robert Johnson over the years and devotes her entire latest album to his music: “The Lady and Mr. Johnson,” a heartfelt virtuoso tribute.

Show time is 8 p.m. Tickets are $21, available at the box office, 346-6204 and; directly through the Eighth Step at 434-1703 and and at Eighth Step outlets.


Organist Joey DeFrancesco brings his trio to The Egg (Empire State Plaza, Albany) on Saturday at 8 p.m. He played with Grover Washington Jr. at 14 and Miles Davis at 17, before starting to record as a leader at 18. He has released 22 albums and has won DownBeat’s Best Jazz Organist honors five years running. His trio comprises drummer Byron Landham and guitarist Paul Bollenback.

Admission is $24. Phone 473-1845 or visit

Singer Dianne Reeves follows DeFrancesco into The Egg, performing on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. Winning her fourth Grammy recently for the soundtrack of “Good Night, and Good Luck,” Reeves has built a huge local following through superb shows where she sings everything, including the most musical band intros and stage patter around.

On Valentine’s Day eve, she’ll likely sing romantic songs from her “Music for Lovers” album and will perform with pianist Geoff Keezer, guitarist Romero Lumbambo, bassist Reginald Veal and drummer Gregory Hutchinson. But her voice is the most graceful, agile and expressive instrument in the band. The woman IS an instrument. Tickets are $28.

Karla Bonoff sings tuneful L.A. pop-rock at The Egg next Thursday at 7:30 p.m. Since Linda Ronstadt recorded a handful of Bonoff’s songs in the late 1970s, Bonoff’s songwriting eclipsed performing, but she has performed here regularly in recent years. She may not be that recognizable a face, but her songs will sound familiar as soon as she starts singing.

Bonoff recently released “Live” and will sing at The Egg with longtime cohorts Kenny Edwards (guitar, bass, mandolin, cello and vocals) and Nina Gerber (guitar). Tickets are $26.


The Gordon Stone Band returns tonight to Caffe Lena (47 Phila St., Saratoga Springs), armed with new songs they’re recording for an album due this summer. Maybe best known for jamming with Phish, Stone packs his own albums with sophisticated compositions, a sense of humor and monster chops. Stone plays banjo and pedal steel guitar, with bassist Jon McCartan and drummer Caleb Bronz.

Show time is 8 p.m. Admission is $15, $12 for members. Phone 583-0022 or visit

The Jeremy Wallace Trio takes over on Saturday at Caffe Lena, then moves on to Club Helsinki (284 Main St., Great Barrington, Mass.) on Sunday.

Wallace’s ramshackle blues sound like equal parts Tom Waits growl, timeless romantic rage and Model T Ford spare parts. In the title song of his new album, “She Used To Call Me Honey,” things go wrong in a hurry, and the is about resiliency and recovery, with romantic disaster at regular intervals.

Wallace and his trio, bassist Matt Gruenberg and drummer Tom Devito (Wallace plays dobro and guitar) fire up at Caffe Lena at 8 p.m. on Saturday. Admission is $15, $12 for Caffe members.

On Sunday at 8 p.m., they take the stage at Club Helsinki. Admission is $12. Phone (413) 528-3394 or visit

Meanwhile, back at Caffe Lena, country singer Jesse Stewart sings at 7 p.m. Sunday. Like Rory Block, Stewart is local, from Duanesburg, with a talent made for a wider world. David Malachowski, yet another locally based big talent, has been producing and playing on Stewart’s original songs at Dae Bennett’s (yes, son of Tony) studio in New Jersey. Songs, singing and playing are first class, promising big things for this star-capable artist.

Malachowski plays on this gig, and he’s always a treat. Admission is $12.


The Doc Marshalls party tonight at the Linda Norris Auditorium of the WAMC Performing Arts Studio (339 Central Ave., Albany) with special guest Jesse Lege, a Cajun accordionist and singer a generation older than themselves.

The Doc Marshalls are a versatile vehicle for the songs of Nicolas Beaudoing. The band skids across the Texas-Louisiana border on waves of down-home dance beats. Straight-on Cajun turns up on their new album “Honest for Once,” but they also play everything you might expect from Texans: deep country, blues and rock ’n’ roll. Show time is 8 p.m. Admission is $20, including food. Phone 465-5233 or visit

On Saturday, Captain Squeeze and the Zydeco Moshers — fresh from Proctors Mardi Gras where they opened for Mojo and the Bayou Gypsies — play Revolution Hall (425 River St., Troy) in “Fat Saturday for the Arts,” a benefit for the Arts Center of the Capital Region. Show time is 7 p.m. Admission is $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Food and Hoodoo Voodoo Ale from Brown’s Brewing Co. and other drinks are extra.

John Kirk, Trish Miller and Ed Lowman celebrate Adirondack music in “Songs of Our Land” on Saturday at the Ndakinna Education Center (23 Middle Grove Road, Greenfield Center). The trio’s two albums, “Fly Around, Fiddle Tunes of the North Country” and “Shuffle About,” are strong and authentic; but these guys are even more fun onstage. Show time is 7 p.m. Admission is $7, $5 for children, and $5 per person, family rate. Proceeds will benefit the Center, as will a 50/50 raffle. Phone 583-9958.

Categories: Life and Arts

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