Categories: Life & Arts
Supergroups can be volatile and short-lived, but also exciting and big at the box office. Three of them play here during the coming week.
Some history: Apart from Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, the best-known rock supergroups — Cream, Blind Faith and Derek & the Dominoes — all included Eric Clapton. He also played with an even better but obscure one: Delaney and Bonnie & Friends, assembled by Leon Russell, who also put together Mad Dogs & Englishmen for Joe Cocker. (Clapton isn’t on Delaney & Bonnie’s best album “Accept No Substitutes.” Reissued recently, it will roll your socks up and down.)
In the early 1960s, Albert Grossman recruited Peter Yarrow, Paul Stookey and Mary Travers to build Peter, Paul & Mary, originating the supergroup idea — assembling headline-caliber performers into something intended to be more than the sum of its parts.
Around that same time, John Sebastian, Happy and Artie Traum started playing together in Greenwich Village, and their achievements since then qualify them as a supergroup when they reunite on Saturday at WAMC’s Linda Norris Auditorium (339 Central Ave., Albany). Sebastian guested there when the Terry Adams Rock ’n’ Roll Quartet played its first show there last summer, and he teamed up with mandolinist David Grisman at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall just last week.
Happy and Artie hosted “Bring it All Back Home” at WAMC for four years, and Sebastian guested on the show, recording “Coffee Blues” on the “Bring It All Back Home Vol. 1” collection.
Show time is 8 p.m. Admission is $23. Phone 465-5233, ext. 4, or visit www.wamcarts.org or www.thelinda.org.
Refugees at Lena
The three-woman supergroup the Refugees — singer-songwriters Cindy Bullens, Deborah Holland and Wendy Waldman — performs on Saturday at Caffe Lena (47 Phila St., Saratoga Springs).
Bullens played in Elton John’s band and her debut album, “Desire Wire,” earned a Grammy nomination for the hit song “Survivor.” Holland co-starred in Animal Logic with jazz bassist Stanley Clarke and Police drummer Stewart Copeland, and has released four solo albums. Waldman has the longest track record, starting in Bryndle with Karla Bonoff, Kenny Edwards (both recently at The Egg) and Andrew Gold, and continuing through eight solo albums and numerous collaborations. In this collaboration, each will sing her own songs, accompanied by the others, playing and singing. Show time is 8 p.m. Admission is $18, $15 for members. Phone 583-0022 or visit www.caffelena.com.
MOONALICE IN TROY
On Wednesday, Moonalice plays Revolution Hall (425 River St., Troy), with the most powerful pedigrees of this week’s supergroups. Their name comes from a line in Jackie Gleason’s early TV sitcom “The Honeymooners” where he threatened to send his wife “to the moon, Alice,” but the individual names of these players carry big reputations.
Guitarist GE Smith led the Saturday Night Live Band, toured with Hall & Oates and Bob Dylan and most recently played here with his wife, Taylor Barton, at the Van Dyck. Bassist Jack Casady played The Egg recently with Hot Tuna in the venerable blues band’s annual visit. Keyboardist Pete Sears played with Jefferson Starship and Rod Stewart. Guitarist and pedal steel player Barry Sless played with Phil Lesh & Friends. Drummer Jim Sanchez played with Dr. John and Boz Scaggs.
Albany-born guitarist Roger McNamee studied with Jefferson Airplane/Hot Tuna guitarist Jorma Kaukonen and performs with his keyboardist/singer wife, Anne McNamee, plus Smith, Sless, Sears, Sanchez and others, in the Flying Other Brothers. But he may be even better known as a Silicon Valley financial player.
Also performing on Wednesday at Revolution Hall are jammers Tea Leaf Green. Doors open at 7. Admission is $15. Phone 274-0553 or visit www.revolutionhall.com.
They Might Be Giants, and They Might Be Giants again.
They Might Be Giants will play two shows on Saturday at The Egg (Empire State Plaza, Albany), a family matinee at 3 p.m. and an 8 p.m. show for fans over 14.
These guys — guitarist John Flansburgh and keyboardist John Linnell and their band — put the “play” into playing music in a big way. They reach out — but not down — to children with goofy words and infectious tunes on their “Here Come the 123s!” and “No!” albums. For adults, they just take the humor up a few age-appropriate steps, but they’ll probably play “The Egg” for both audiences.
They created a wonderfully clever music-and-video tribute after playing here in 2004, but this and their groundbreaking Dial-A-Song service, that delivered songs to callers via answering machine, would be excessively cute without substantial music. That’s what They Might Be Giants makes, playfully.
Admission to the 3 p.m. family show is $15, $10 for children; and for the 8 p.m. show, it’s $25. Phone 473-1845 or visit www.theegg.org.
TYMINSKI IN TOWN
Dan Tyminski’s wife may be the biggest fan of the film “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” — hearing her husband’s beautiful tenor voice coming out of George Clooney’s movie-star face. In Alison Krauss’s great bluegrass band Union Station, Tyminski was similarly obscured, behind Krauss’s charismatic, pristine singing and Jerry Douglas’s flashy dobro solos — until he opened his mouth to sing lead, that is.
On Sunday, Tyminski steps to the front at The Egg, leading his own new band, which features Union Station bassist Barry Bales while Krauss tours with Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant in the wake of their Grammy win.
The Dan Tyminski Band plays at 7 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $24.
Father and son jazz guitarists Larry Coryell and Murali Coryell team up tonight at Columbia-Greene Community College (4400 Route 23, Greenport), along with Larry’s singer wife, Tracey Coryell; bassist Victor Bailey; and drummer Thierry Arpino.
Show time is 7 p.m. Admission is 23. Phone 828-4181 or visit www.sunycgcc.edu.