When Robert Christgau proclaimed, “Wussy has been the best band in America since they released the first of their five superb albums in 2005, only nobody knows it” — yeah, I was as skeptical as you. So I listened up and I got it.
Wussy makes its area debut on Monday at The Low Beat (335 Central Ave., Albany). I’ve been listening some more and expect something special in a wild week with way too many top shows.
Wussy is a successor to Cincinnati’s Ass Ponys, whose leader, Chuck Cleaver, found a singing-writing partner in Lisa Walker and gradually built a band while working day jobs — Cleaver has carved headstones and Walker waited on tables.
They make gloriously human rock ’n’ roll noise or surprisingly sweet tough stuff. They make this music for real; you can hear that they mean it, right down to their bones.
Wussy also features bassist/keyboardist Mark Messerly, drummer and keyboard player Joe Klug and pedal steel player John Erhardt. Show time is 7:30 p.m. Admission is just $10. 432-6572 www.thelowbeat.com.
Check the rest of this overcrowded mess, day by day.
Super-honored, hyper-accomplished singer songwriters Shawn Colvin and Steve Earle team up in “Songs and Stories, Together Onstage” at 8 p.m. today at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall (30 Second St., Troy).
They’ll sing duets, harmonize on and borrow each other’s songs and tell tales tall and deep. Both weave words as well without music as they do in songs. And they always have fresh songs: Colvin’s “All Fall Down” and Earle’s “The Low Highway.” Earle also has a novel, “I’ll Never Get Out of this World Alive.” Admission is $44, $36 and $29. 273-0038 www.troymusichall.org.
Also tonight, the explosive nine-or-more-piece Brooklyn power-funk combo Turkuaz introduces a new album, “Future 86,” at Putnam Den (63A Putnam St., Saratoga Springs).
Drummer Alan Evans (Soulive, Moon Boot Lover, the Grey Boy All-Stars) opens at 9:30 p.m. with his trio Playonbrother: organist Beau Sasser and guitarist Danny Mayer. Admission is $12, plus $5 for fans under 21. 584-8066 www.putnamden.com.
The eighth edition of Experience Hendrix is sold out on Friday at the Palace Theatre; not surprising, considering the super-high-powered lineup: bassist Billy Cox from two of Hendrix’s bands; guitarists Buddy Guy, Jonny Lang, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Dweezil Zappa, Eric Johnson, Doyle Bramhall II, Eric Giles and Ana Popovic; bassist Bootsy Collins; drummer Chris Layton and others.
Also on Friday, longtime Eighth Step favorite Cris Williamson returns, playing Proctors GE Theatre (432 State St., Schenectady) at 7:30 p.m.
Revered for more than just her leadership in founding the first all-women record label, Williamson writes and sings with such beautiful authority that Bonnie Raitt said, “The first time I heard Cris’s voice it was like hearing honey dripped on a cello.”
Admission is $26, advance; $28 at the door, $35 front and center. 434-1703 346-6204 www.eighthstep.org www.proctors.org.
Hedonists step in
Then on Saturday, Annie & the Hedonists play the Eighth Step Underground at 7:30 p.m.
Singer/player of all guitars Kevin Maul joins singer Annie Rosen and her Hedonists: guitarist/singer Jonny Rosen, bassist/singer Don Young and multi-instrumentalist Peter Davis. Maul makes every band he plays in better. Admission is $18, advance; $20 at the door, $35 front and center.
Meanwhile, the Sixties Spectacular classic-rocks Proctors Mainstage, starring Bill Medley of the Righteous Brothers (replacing originally announced headliner Johnny Rivers), Gary Puckett (the Union Gap), the Vogues and 1910 Fruitgum Company. Show time is 7 p.m. Admission is $54.75, $47.75 and $39.75. 346-6204 www.proctors.org.
When I asked violinist-of-all-music Regina Carter to sign her “Reverse Thread” album for me the last time she played The Egg, she wrote asking me for a good review! As if any other possibility existed.
At Jazz Fest in New Orleans last May, she played in so many bands I lost count — and always brilliantly. She returns to The Egg on Saturday playing the music of “Southern Comfort,” her most deeply rooted song collection. She fronts a new band these days: accordionist Will Holshouser, guitarist Marvin Sewell, bassist Jesse Murphy and drummer Alvester Garnett. Show time is 8 p.m. Admission is $29.50. 473-1845 www.theegg.org.
On Sunday, ukulele master supreme Jake Shimabukuro returns to The Egg after playing the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall last year. He may be the most completely unprecedented artist working today; playing a maligned and neglected instrument with a level of technical proficiency beyond dazzling, a fearlessly questing musical curiosity and irresistibly warm charm. Admission is $34.
On Wednesday, the Carolina Chocolate Drops return to The Egg, playing at 7:30 p.m.
Players have come and gone since their last show here. Now it’s multi-instrumentalists Rhiannon Giddens, Hubby Jenkins and Rowan Corbett, and cellist Malcolm Parson. They may be the most engaging musical antique show around, reaching back to the whole spectrum of American vintage string-band music. Birds of Chicago open at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $34.50.
Pennsylvania bluegrass sextet Cabinet visits The Hollow Bar + Kitchen (79 N. Pearl St., Albany) on Saturday; Big Leg Emma opens at 8 p.m. 426-8550 www.thehollowalbany.com.
Brazilian singer Luisa Maita sings on Sunday at 7 p.m. at the Sanctuary for Independent Media (3361 6th Ave., Troy).
Daughter of singer Amado Maita, she and her two sisters are both named for songs by Antonio Carlos Jobim. Admission is $15. 272-2390 www.mediasanctuary.org.
Phish bassist and singer Mike Gordon brings his solo tour to the Bearsville Theatre (291 Tinker St., Woodstock) on Sunday at 8 p.m., doors at 7. On a recent TV show gig, he fronted a cozy but propulsive trio. Admission is $45 and $35. 845-679-4406 www.bearsvilletheatre.com.
The Lost Radio Rounders present “Banjo Gospel — Sangin’ and Twangin’ ” featuring Paul “Bowtie” Jossman and Greg “Wild Bill” Haymes, both from the Ramblin Jug Stompers, on Friday at 7 p.m. in the McKownville United Methodist Church (1565 Western Ave., Albany).
This is the fifth season of the Lost Radio Rounders’ Third Friday Charity Concert series. Donations welcome. 465-1148 www.mckownvilleumc.org.
Top area saxophonist Brian Patneaude and singer Jeanne O’Connor visit DJ Bill McCann’s Saturday Morning Edition of Jazz program on WCDB FM on Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon, paying tribute to two departed jazz giants: saxophonist Michael Brecker and keyboardist Don Grolnick, O’Connor’s late husband. Tune in WCDB at 90.9 FM or stream at www.wcdbfm.com.
Reach Gazette Columnist Michael Hochanadel at email@example.com.