Capital Region

Capital Region artists continue to create new music

“Flowers for You” is the latest album from local favorite Sawyer Fredericks.
“Flowers for You” is the latest album from local favorite Sawyer Fredericks.

Musicians have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic. From the cancellation of gigs and tours to the postponement of album releases, their lives and careers have been disrupted in one way or another.

As always, one of the best ways to support musicians is to simply buy their music. With that in mind, here are a few picks from local bands and artists who released new music during the past year or so.

Mark Tolstrup and Jill Burnham
‘Mark & Jill Sing the Blues’

Blending country and blues together, the album includes upbeat originals and encouraging gospel songs. The album was recorded live at Caffe Lena earlier this year and is available on Amazon, among other sites.

Buggy Jive
‘Ain’t Going Anywhere: The 2020 Diaries’

Written during this strange year, the album features songs that reflect everything from performing virtually and trying to “reach” people, to social justice issues. It was recorded in the artist’s home, as were several videos that accompany the soul-rock album. For information, visit

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‘Don’t Wanna Live, Don’t Wanna Die’

Released in early 2020, “Don’t Wanna Live, Don’t Wanna Die” is the band’s first full album. Written by T.J. Foster, it mixes classic pop-rock sounds and reflects on healing rather than wallowing in self-cynicism. Since the release of the album, the band has been signed to Mint 400 Records. “Don’t Wanna Live, Don’t Wanna Die” is available on most music streaming platforms, including SoundCloud, Bandcamp and others.

Carmen Lookshire
‘For Love’

This jazz EP highlights Lookshire’s silky voice, especially with songs such as “Ruby Red.” Most of the songs were written by Lookshire, as well as Joseph Carrick, Mack Gordon and Harry Warren. “For Love” is available on most streaming platforms as well as

In The Valley

This husband-and-wife duo recently began performing as In The Valley and released several singles this year under the moniker. Each is infused with smooth vocals and a touch of electric pop. For information, head to

Candy Ambulance

This grunge-rock inspired band has been a local favorite in recent years. With “Traumatic,” the band delves deeper into that sound, with the breakneck pace of “Pilot” and the made-for-dancing track “Road Valium.” The album is available on Bandcamp, Spotify and other platforms. For information, visit

Girl Blue
‘For You, My Love’

On this EP, local singer/songwriter Arielle O’Keefe’s voice is front and center, especially with stripped-down tracks like “Six Moons.” Others, such as “Wishing Well” and “If You Ever Take the Train,” are pop-infused tracks with reflective lyrics. For information, visit

Bright Dog Red
‘Somethin’ Comes Along’

This Albany-based band combines jazz, hip-hop and jam on this 20-track album. It’s packed with improvised and innovative jazz elements, and funk, especially on tracks like “Dagnabbit” and “Red Snapper.” It’s available on Bandcamp. For information, visit

Sawyer Fredericks
‘Flowers for You’

Released earlier this year, this album shows more of the rock and blues sensibilities of “The Voice” winner. As the case with many other bands, the singer-songwriter planned to tour with the album, but many shows were canceled because of the pandemic. The dozen-track album is available on most streaming platforms.

‘Upstate Mixtape’

This 12-track album features music by bands from throughout the Capital Region. It’s part of a grassroots antiracist fundraising effort led by Jammella Anderson. Songs range from demos to B-sides from bands such as Blue Ranger, Front Biz, Hand Habits, Victory Soul Orchestra, KATANI and more. “Upstate Mixtape” is available on Bandcamp.

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