Saratoga Springs

Jukebox: Still lots of music to hear outdoors

Zac Brown closes SPAC season
Zac Brown, left, performs in 2013 at SPAC.
Zac Brown, left, performs in 2013 at SPAC.

We can lament the end of outdoor shows at Alive at Five, Freedom Park, Music Haven, Riverlink Park and others.

Or, we can celebrate outdoor shows that remain: the Adirondack Music Festival this weekend in Lake George, the Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival next weekend and Jazz at the Lake (George) the weekend after that; the same weekend as MASSMoCA’s FreshGrass Festival. (Albany’s Riverfront Jazz Festival, as usual, follows the first A Place for Jazz show at the Whisperdome of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Schenectady; A Place for Folk starts the following week in the same venue.)

Meanwhile, and before we get to all that (thanks, Seth Meyers), this week’s really BIG show is country royalty Zac Brown on Saturday, last show of the season at SPAC (Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Rts. 9 and 50, Saratoga Springs).

Brown’s first single “Chicken Fried” neatly traces the rise of this bluegrass-and-grooves-inspired singer-songwriter and his big crew.

The food title: When Brown sold his Georgia club, he bought a tour bus and has roamed as one of country’s top road dogs since.

Brown is still reputed to cater the finest food at backstage meet-and-greets on the road.

The lawsuit/big brass ones: When the Lost Trailers broke an agreement to record Brown’s song but not release it as a single, Brown sued, got a cease-and-desist order that pulled the Lost Trailers’ single from the radio and earned a reputation for standing up to industry bigwigs.

The rest is country-rocking history: six studio albums, two live sets plus compilations and EPs, 13 chart-topping singles and nonstop roadwork. A versatile, high-powered sort of Dave Matthews Band among country acts, the Zac Brown Band boasts a big lineup armed with a music-store’s worth of instruments.

Singer-songwriter/session player Darrell Scott plays second on Saturday, after Caroline Jones opens.

After penning hits for others and playing on many more, Scott (son of singer-songwriter Wayne Scott) is coming into his own as a performer, despite the self-deprecating title of his 2012 live set: “Live: We’re Usually a Lot Better Than This.”

A multi-instrumentalist versatile as Scott, feisty like Brown, strong-voiced and independent, Jones is an arena-size star on the rise. Few indoor seats remain for the Zac Brown Band, Darrell Scott and Caroline Jones on Saturday. 7 p.m. 800-745-3000

Heavy on jam, tribute and indie bands, the Adirondack Music Festival returns for the third year to the Charles R. Wood Festival Commons (17 Westbrook Road, Lake George) on Saturday and Sunday.

There’s a LOT: music on two stages (plus King Neptune’s Pub, late) from 2 p.m. to 3:30 a.m. Saturday, it’s Pink Talking Fish, Kung Fu, Ryan Montbleau Band, Sophistifunk, Steal Your Peach Band, Annie in the Water, Mister F and Capital Zen.

The Sunday lineup is Twiddle (who sold out Albany’s Palace Theatre last New Year’s Eve), Funky Dawgz Brass Band, Hayley Jane and the Primates, West End Blend, Barika, Gratefully Yours, Formula Five and Strange Machines. $35 each day. $60 both days. $150 both days with camping onsite. VIP upgrades extra.

In addition, a free preview Friday night in Shephard Park presents Out on the Tiles, the Beau Sasser Trio and Bella’s Bartok. 4 p.m. At 10:30 p.m. Friday, King Neptune’s Pub (1 Kurosaka Lane, Lake George) presents Floodwood, an all-star jam crew with moe. drummer Vinnie Amico and bassist Tony Markellis (Trey Anastasio Band and much more; everybody’s favorite bassist). 668-2017

Tonight, mandolinist/singer Jeni Lyn brings her band to the Cock and Bull (5342 Parkis Mills Road, Galway), launching a string of mostly acoustic acts deeply rooted in venerable fundamentals.

Leading her own crew while the award-winning band Della Mae (IBMA Emerging Artist of the Year, Grammy nomination for Best Bluegrass Album of the Year) takes a break, Lyn just released her solo debut “Burn Another Candle.” 7:30 p.m. 518-882-6962

On Wednesday, the stylistically compatible Foghorn Stringband from Oregon — Caleb Klauder, stringed things; Nadine Landry, bass; Reeb Willms, guitar; Stephen Lind, some more stringed things — follows at the Cock and Bull. 7 p.m. $15

But before all that, on Friday, the Avett Brothers from North Carolina continue the season-ending hot streak at Tanglewood (297 West St., Lenox, Mass.).

The hottest roots music brother act this side of the Gibson Brothers, Scott and Seth Avett and the boys released their ninth album “True Sadness” last summer, so expect fresh homegrown tunes. Nicole Atkins opens, with a hot new album “Goodnight Rhonda Lee.” 7 p.m. $89-$35.  617-266-1492

And on Sunday, regional fave Eilen Jewell (from Idaho via Boston) returns to frequent gig-home Club Helsinki (405 Columbia St., Hudson). She and her band — Jerry Miller, guitar; Jason Beek, drums; Johnny Sciascia, bass — have a new album due in a few weeks: “Down Hearted Blues.” 8 p.m., doors 6. $20. 518-828-4800

Reach Gazette Columnist Michael Hochanadel at [email protected]

Categories: Entertainment

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