Jazzy, Blue(Grassy) shows kick off season

Here come the holiday shows, all at once and right on time.

Here come the holiday shows, all at once and right on time.

On Friday, the Peanut Gallery Jazz Trio presents its fourth annual “It’s a Jazzy Christmas” show at the Massry Center at the College of Saint Rose (1002 Madison Ave., Albany). The cheerful piano-trio jazz that Vince Guaraldi wrote for the “Peanuts” specials glues together spoken pieces and newscasts ala 1940s radio.

The Peanut Gallery Trio is pianist David Gleason, bassist Mike Lawrence and drummer Pete Sweeney. Gleason leads the Latin jazz ensemble Sensemaya and plays with Big Soul Ensemble, Soul Session and other crews.

A busy sideman with Bop-itude and others, Lawrence teaches strings at Schenectady High School. Sweeney also teaches and boasts big-time sideman credits.

Other players, singers and voice actors will chime in, including Massry Center impresario Sal Prizio. 6 p.m. $20, students $10. A milk-and-cookies reception follows the show. 337-4871, www.massrycenter.org

Area roots music-masters Jim Gaudet (vocals, guitar) and Sara Milonovich (fiddle) present A Blue(Grassy) Christmas on Friday at WAMC’s Linda (339 Central Ave., Albany). They’ll bring members of Gaudet’s Railroad Boys and Milonovich’s Daisycutter, expert players and ace accompanists, forming a hybrid band. 8 p.m. $15. 465-5233, www.wamcarts.org

Folksingers Christopher Shaw and Bridget Ball bring their well-loved Mountain Snow & Mistletoe holiday extravaganza to The Egg on Saturday and Sunday. They present Adirondack songs and stories with masterly skill, polished panache, irresistible warmth and the support of their superb Mountain Snow Orchestra: fiddler John Kirk, guitarist-singer Kevin Mc-Krell, and percussionist extraordinaire and comic Brian Melick. Saturday 7:30 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m. $24. 473-1845, www.theegg.org

Also at The Egg, singer-songwriter Michael McDonald presents “This Christmas, An Evening of Holiday & Hits” at 8 p.m. on Tuesday. McDonald graduated from singing harmonies on Steely Dan albums to transform the Doobie Brothers from a guitar-powered rock band into a soul combo starring McDonald’s keyboards and big voice.

Flying solo, McDonald has made soul-influenced pop including his “Motown Vol. 1” and “Vol. 2” albums, and he recently rejoined the Doobie Brothers on their “Southbound” album.

At The Egg on Tuesday, McDonald brings guitarist Bernie Chiaravalle, keyboardist Pat Coil, bassist Tommy Sims, drummer Dan Needham, saxophonist Mark Douthit and singer Drea Rhenee. $99, $69.50 and 65.50

Mostly American-born, the virtuosos of Solas are steeped in the sounds and soul of Ireland. They return on Friday to The Egg: Seamus Egan, the band’s he-plays-everything leader, violinist Winifred Horan, accordionist and tin-whistle player Mick McAuley, guitarist and keyboard player Eamon McElholm and singer Niamh Varian-Barry.

On their 10 albums and tours, they play and sing Irish songs both political and personal, as well as songs across the same spectrum by Tom Waits, Bruce Springsteen and others. 8 p.m. $24

It’s too early to talk about festivals, but faves from two 2013 warm-weather fandangos team up on Friday at the Hollow Bar + Kitchen (79 N. Pearl St., Albany). Alt-rockers Lucius were the surprise hit of MASS MoCA’s Solid Sound blast and Bahamas grabbed the spotlight at Farm Aid at SPAC. 8 p.m. $18. 426-8550 www.thehollowalbany.com

The all-but unclassifiable Grand Slambovians return to the Eighth Step at Proctors GE Theatre (432 State St., Schenectady) on Saturday.

Once Gandolf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus of Dreams, this quartet — leader-songwriter-singer-guitarist-harmonica player Joziah Longo, guitarist-mandolin player Sharkey McEwen, mostly accordionist Tink Lloyd and drummer Eric Puente — rocks hard, sweet and strong. But their music has the bedrock conviction of the folk that is the Step’s stock in trade.

Hailing from Sleepy Hollow in Westchester County, they conjure a surreal America in their songs; they also promise a “Very Slambovian Christmas” show. 7:30 p.m. $26, advance; $28 door, $35 front and center. 434-1703 www.8thstep.org

Two punk-era Albany bands tag-team on Saturday at the Low Beat (335 Central Ave., Albany) in an early-for-punk-rock 8 p.m. show — The Plague, which hadn’t played in 30 years until a reunion last summer, and Capitle, just as seldom seen.

The Plague co-stars Michael Eck, now (typically!) playing in several other bands. Capitle lead singer Jim Romano (as Mr. James) also hosts the neo-burlesque revue Bing Bamboo, which follows the 8 p.m. show by the Plague and Capitle. $5 — “just like punk rock,” says Eck. 432-6572, www.thelowbeat.com

Also Saturday, jazz drummer/magician Jaimeo Brown leads his combo Transcendence into the Sanctuary for Independent Media (3361 6th Ave., Troy).

Transcendence is a band of elastic membership — virtually orchestral on their self-named album — and big ambitions: to portray Alabama spirituals in modern jazz terms. 7 p.m. $15. 272-2390, www.mediasanctuary.org

Hot Tuna beefs up for their Sunday return to The Egg and brings a first-class, similarly rootsy, opener in central New Yorkers Donna the Buffalo.

Hot Tuna founders Jorma Kaukonen (guitar, vocals) and Jack Casady (bass) team up with longtime mandolinist Barry Mitterhoff (formerly of Catskills-based Bottle Hill, back in the day), plus guest-pals from Woodstock: multi-instrumentalist Larry Campbell, singer Teresa Williams and drummer Justin Guip. With a hot opener and talented guests, this could be the most interesting Hot Tuna show in years. 7 p.m. $36.50

Also Sunday, Adirondack bluegrass boys the Gibson Brothers play Caffe Lena (47 Phila St., Saratoga Springs). Leigh and Eric Gibson trim their award-winning band (twice Entertainer of the Year winners at the Bluegrass Association) down to bassist Mike Barber for this cozy gig. 3 p.m. $25, advance; $27 door. 583-0022, www.caffelena.org

On Wednesday, hot any time but infused with wack holiday spirit these days, is Bill Kirchen and Too Much Fun, bringing their Holiday Honky Tonk Tour to the Ale House (680 River St., Troy).

Telecaster master Kirchen, a veteran of Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen and 10 solo albums since, plays with drummer Rick Richards and bassist David Carroll.

Their holiday faves include “Daddy’s Drinkin’ Up Our Christmas,” “Silent Surfin’ Night,” “Truckin’ Trees for Christmas” and “Santa Looked a Lot Like Daddy.” Our own Lustre Kings open. 7 p.m. $20. 272-9740, www.alehousetroy.com

Finally, also on Wednesday, Cora Crawley (née Levinson), Countess of Grantham, Viscountess Downton visits The Egg — or rather, actor Elizabeth McGovern, who portrays her on “Downton Abbey,” does. McGovern sings with her seven-piece Americana crew, as Sadie and the Hotheads. 7:30 p.m. $36

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