Jukebox: Jazz, Motown, blues on tap at several venues

It’s share-the-wealth week, when many different venues present more shows than we’ve seen in months.

It’s share-the-wealth week, when many different venues present more shows than we’ve seen in months.

Alphabetically, A Place for Jazz, the Bearsville Theater, Caffe Lena, The Egg, the Eighth Step at Proctors, Northern Lights, the Palace and more are all active this week. So let’s go, alphabetically.

u A Place for Jazz (First Unitarian Society of Schenectady, 1221 Wendell Ave.) presents the young saxophonist Tia Fuller on Friday at 8 p.m. The granddaughter of longtime area bassist Bill Fuller, but nationally known for playing in Beyoncé’s all-woman band, she has three albums of her own. She plays Friday with pianist Shamie Royston, bassist Mimi Jones and drummer Rudy Royston. Admission is $15. Phone 393-4011 or visit www.aplaceforjazz.org.

u The Bearsville Theater in Woodstock (291 Tinker St.) presents two shows this weekend (both at 9 p.m., doors at 8) and another on Monday.

On Friday, it’s the fourth monthly “Bearsville Sessions” celebrating Motown. A regular core band hosts and plays behind guests. If any town boasts enough musicians for such a fandango, it’s Woodstock. Admission is $12 in advance, $15 at the door.

On Saturday, guitarist/singer Jimmy Eppard and Crawdaddy take over for a Hurricane Relief Benefit Dance Party. Admission is $10.

Monday is singer-songwriter Kate Taylor’s turn. Yes, one of THOSE musical Taylors, and a recording artist since 19. The show is at 8 p.m., and doors open at 7. Admission is free.

Phone 845-679-4406 or visit www.bearsvilletheater.com.

u At Caffe Lena (47 Phila St., Saratoga Springs), Canadian blues singer-songwriter Ray Bonneville plays Friday at 8 p.m. The jazz mag Downbeat named his 2008 album “Goin’ By Feel” one of the best albums of that year, when his “I Am the Big Easy” was the most played song on folk radio. Admission is $18 in advance, $20 at the door.

Two pairs of life and musical partners perform on Saturday: Hungrytown (Ken Anderson and Rebecca Hall) and Dana & Susan Robinson, starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10.

Recently transplanted from NYC to Nashville, The Doc Marshalls will recognize no musical borders on Sunday at the Caffe. Show time is 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance, $17 at the door.

Phone 583-0022 or visit www.caffelena.org.

u The Egg (Empire State Plaza, Albany) has the blues, the jazz and the pop, in the persons of Keb’ Mo’ (Saturday), Madeleine Peyroux and Nellie McKay, respectively (both on Sunday).

If Robert Cray comes at the blues from soul music, the equally accomplished Keb’ Mo’ gets there via folk. His new 10th album “The Reflection” is an all-star affair, but very focused — as is his dependably powerful live show. Sunny War opens at 8 p.m. Tickets are $34.50 and $29.50.

Peyroux struggled at first to escape the Billie Holiday sound-alike tag, emerging a few years ago with a personal style by leaving behind the comfort of covers to write her own songs, a gutsy move that pays off on “Standing on the Rooftop,” her fifth album. (See Brian McElhiney’s cover story.)

Meanwhile, McKay — who has always been original and proudly unpredictable — has reached back for inspiration. Recent projects include “Normal as Blueberry Pie (A Tribute to Doris Day),” contributing to “Note of Hope — A Celebration of Woody Guthrie,” a musical based on “I Want to Live” about the life and execution death of Katherine Graham, and “Home Sweet Mobile Home,” an album of original songs. So who knows what she’ll do at The Egg? Show time is 7 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $29.50.

Phone 473-1845 or visit www.theegg.org.

u The Eighth Step launches its 44th season on Sunday with an unusual show for this venerable folk venue: “All About the Drums” — featuring drummer Cheryl Prashker, percussionist Brian Melick and singer-songwriter Reggie Harris plus a promised surprise guest poet. Show time is 7 p.m. on Sunday in the Eighth Step at Proctors Underground (432 State St., Schenectady). Tickets are $18 in advance, $20 at the door. Phone 434-1703 or 346-6204 or visit www.eighthstep.org or www.proctors.org.

u At Northern Lights (1208 Route 146, Clifton Park), the Sam Roberts Band headlines on Friday. Roberts and Co. are nothing less than a Canadian Wilco; they’re that good. They’re sonically versatile, from sweetness to noise. They’re stylistically diverse, too, with a distinctive rock-to-folk-to-country sound. And they’re craftsmen, more-than-capable songwriters who know how to put the pieces together behind a song in performance. They’re a tremendous band and, like fellow Canadian Ray Bonneville, underappreciated south of the border but a top-quality import. Show time is 8 p.m. when Zeus and Pillowhead open. Tickets are $12. Phone 371-0012 or visit www.northernlightslive.com.

u Alphabetically last, but certainly not least, the Palace Theatre (19 Clinton Ave. at North Pearl Street, Albany) brings back the eminent L.A. soft-rock troubadour Jackson Browne on Monday for what has become an annual visit — this time without longtime accompanist and wizard of all stringed things David Lindley.

When he started touring, Browne used to hide inside big and somewhat shapeless bands. But he has gradually pared down to his essence: a mobile, agile talent who writes graceful, insightful songs and has learned in recent years of acoustic small-scale albums and tours to put them across all by himself. In fact, he’s earned such kudos as a solo performer with Grammy nominations for both “Solo Acoustic. Vol. 1” (2005) and “Solo Acoustic, Vol. 2” that Gibson has introduced its Jackson Browne signature acoustic guitar.

Based on 1930s Jumbo styles, the guitar costs $7,738 or $5,799; but tickets for Browne’s 7:30 p.m. solo show are $64.50, $49.50, $44.50 and $39.50. Phone 465-3334 or 800-745-3000, or visit www.palacealbany.com.

Reach Gazette columnist Michael Hochanadel at [email protected]

Categories: Life and Arts

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