Remember that awful spring when snow fell on the lilacs in bloom? Well, this isn’t that spring, so things look good for music road trips.
Perfect case in point: Neko Case has reset her show at the Bearsville Theater to tonight after postponing it from the original, snowy Feb. 1 date. Here’s when anyone who felt they didn’t hear enough of her in Jacob Dylan’s “Three Legs” show at The Egg last year can catch the full range and power of this exceptional singer-songwriter. Case made one of 2009’s best records, “Middle Cyclone,” so she’s due for fresh tunes; and she’s an exceptional performer and band leader.
Show time for Neko Case (she once called her band Her Boyfriends) is 8 p.m. tonight at the Bearsville Theater (291 Tinker St., Woodstock) when Y La Bamba opens. Tickets are $40. Phone 845-679-4406 or visit www.bearsvilletheater.com.
Off to Helsinki
Mapquesting more music might take you to Club Helsinki (405 Columbia St., Hudson) for some familiar names in new configurations, or vice versa.
First up is Wicked Knee, tonight: a new quartet with a brassy lineup featuring drummer Billy Martin of Medeski, Martin & Wood; trumpeter Steven Bernstein; trombonist Curtis Fowlkes and tuba player Marcus Rojas. Imagine an agile, scaled-down, muscle-funky Bonerama. Show time for Wicked Knee is 8 p.m. Admission is $18. Phone 828-4800 or visit www.clubhelsinkihudson.com.
On Friday, the high-impact, super-soulful blues shouter Shemekia Copeland — she deserves all the adjectives she can get — takes over. But she’s not the only great voice on the bill. Scrapomatic featuring singer Mike Mattison of the Derek Trucks Band and the new Tedeschi Trucks Band opens her 9 p.m. show.
Mattison was aboard when the Trucks band played The Egg last year, their last show before a hiatus as Trucks formed a new big band with his guitarist-singer Susan Tedeschi. The Scrapomatic lineup is sparse but strong: Mattison’s mighty voice with the multi-instrumental skills of Paul Olsen and guitarist Dave Yoke.
This is a very cool band, yet they’ll have to be in top form to steal this show from Copeland, who steals lots of shows when she opens for others, such as the Rolling Stones. Tickets are $25.
The Grand Slambovians — formerly Gandalf Murphy & the Slambovian Circus of Dreams — play Club Helsinki on Saturday, starting at 9 p.m. New name, new album (with the same name), and the same fanciful, folkloric rock sound that has delighted fans from folk purists to young jam fans. Tickets are $20.
On Sunday, guitarist Tisziji Munoz leads his new quartet into Club Helsinki, featuring keyboardist John Medeski of Medeski, Martin & Wood. (If the club had booked the Wood Brothers they could have brought all members of Medeski, Martin & Wood to the same stage, on different days.) A self-taught free-jazz artist — he is arguably more strongly influenced by John Coltrane than by any guitarist — Munoz always brings first-class support to the stage.
Show time is 8 p.m. Admission is $18 in advance, $20 at the door.
Hicks and Cole
Of course, Mapquest music happens to the north as well as the south, and the Charles R. Wood Theater (207 Glen St., Glens Falls) comes alive this weekend with two road-worthy shows.
“American Idol” pop singer Taylor Hicks sings on Monday at 7:30 p.m., and Paula Cole performs on Wednesday at 8 p.m. Both are bigger talents than you might expect to see in this cozy 300-seat venue.
Hicks won the fifth season of “Idol” with such strong vocal performances as “Takin’,” attracting fans into his devoted “Soul Patrol.” Tickets are $48.50.
Cole has interrupted her career at times to lead an interesting and full life, releasing just four albums since “Harbinger,” her 1994 debut; though her second, 1996’s “This Fire,” garnered seven Grammy nominations and she won as Best New Artist. She sings of divorce and parenthood, among other weighty topics, but often displays a skillfully light touch on “Ithaca” and “Courage.” Tickets are $48.
Phone 798-9663 or visit www.woodtheater.org.
Trischka banjo blast
Syracuse native and spiritual-sonic godfather of new acoustic music at the cusp of folk and jazz, banjoist Tony Trischka inspired and instructed Bela Fleck, for example. Without Trischka, the Americana style arguably wouldn’t have developed in quite the same way. On Tuesday, Trischka returns here to play WAMC’s The Linda (339 Central Ave., Albany).
As usual, he leads a different band than his last visit, this time a versatile unit called the Territory. Hot Mustard opens the 8 p.m. show.
Tickets are $18. Phone or visit www.wamcarts.org.
Six days after Mother’s Day, here comes the Mother Daughter String Band, comprising two mothers and their daughters, playing on Saturday at the Eighth Step at Proctors Underground (432 State St.). This Celtic-country quartet is Lyn Hardy (formerly of the Rude Girls) and daughter Ruthy Ungar Merenda (the Mammals and Mike & Ruthy), Abby Newton (Ferrintosh) and daughter Rosie Newton (The Pearly Snaps) — all singing and playing lots of instruments.
Show time is 7:30 p.m. Admission is $18.
Phone 434-1703 or 346-6204 or visit www.eighthstep.org or www.proctors.org.
p>Reach Gazette columnist Michael Hochanadel at [email protected].
Categories: Life and Arts