Borrowing a Steve Earle song title, we all live in “Guitar Town” this week, when intrepid six-string axe-wielders parade across our stages. In fact, Friday marks a messy, three-venue collision of fret-work explosions — acoustic and electric, spanning folk to jazz to rock to the moon.
Albany-born, internationally renowned, mostly-metal master Mike Campese releases his ninth solo album this week and brings his band to celebrate on Friday at the Madison Theater (1036 Madison Ave., Albany).
His new “Chapters” is a departure for the Shaker High grad and sometime Trans-Siberian Orchestra member: a mostly acoustic (but spiced with electricity) concoction written in and about Italy and Hawaii. But he promises to play tunes from all nine releases. 8 p.m. $10. 438-2094 www.themadisontheater.com. Bring an unopened toy for Toys for Tots and get a movie pass to the Madison,
In a festive mood
Bill Kirchen returns to the Hangar (675 River St., Troy) on Friday in a very seasonal-festive mood for his Honky-Tonk Holiday Show with his raw, raucous trio Too Much Fun. The terrific, widely hailed “Titan of the Telecaster,” Kirchen co-starred in Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen and has been tearing up roadhouses coast to coast with Too Much Fun in the decades since.
With boogie pianist Austin DeLone, Kirchen recently released “Transatlantica,” highlighting the pub rock that Texan DeLone pioneered during a 1970s London sojourn. The two also contributed twisted holiday numbers to Red House Records’ “Christmas on the Lam and Other Songs from the Season.” 8 p.m. $20 advance, $25 door. 272-9740 www.brownpapertickets.com
Best known as a sometime Dave Matthews Band guitarist, Tim Reynolds has become a local fave for solo shows; and here comes another one, on Friday at the Massry Center at the College of Saint Rose (1002 Madison Ave., Albany). In addition to playing on nearly every DMB album and many tours, plus duo gigs with Matthews, Reynolds has made a dozen albums solo or with his power trio. Friday’s show is Reynolds all by his formidable self. 7:30 p.m. $25, students $15. 337-4871 www.massrycenter.org
Crossing the lines
Acoustic guitar jazz masters John Stowell and Mark Kleinhaut celebrate their new duets album “Cross Country Lines” on Wednesday at the Universal Preservation Hall (25 Washington St., Saratoga Springs). The album is well named: Stowell lives in Portland, Oregon, and Kleinhaut in Saratoga Springs. And it’s well-played: Bill Milkowski calls it “six string magic” in Jazz Times.
Both are well-schooled, well-traveled team players and solo talents; Milkowski has released nine albums as a leader and Kleinhaut six, while becoming a versatile hyper-active, play-with-everybody stalwart since returning to our area. Capital District Jazz presents the duo. 7:30 p.m. $15, under 18 free. 584-2627 www.universalpreservationhall.org,
A trumpet too
Trumpeter Chris Botti returns on Saturday to Troy Savings Bank Music Hall (30 Second St.), part of a string of warm-up dates for a month-long residency at New York’s Blue Note, where Chick Corea recently ruled the roost — but we digress. So does Botti, who’s played all kinds of music with all kinds of musicians, most notably rockers Paul Simon, Sting and Roger Daltrey; folk-jazz/popsters Joni Mitchell and Natalie Merchant; super soul-diva Aretha Franklin; straight-ahead jazz masters Stan Kenton and Mel Torme — even symphony orchestras.
In a recent show, guest violinist Lucia Micarelli (Josh Groban’s band, and “Treme”) led his band into Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir,” then Botti finished fearlessly with “My Funny Valentine,” a classic favorite of jazz-trumpet god Miles Davis. Botti has made both live and studio albums, most recently “Impressions” (2012). Botti’s fluent playing and stylistic wanderings have unfairly earned the faint praise of “smooth jazz;” but he’s truly too substantial and ambitious for that diminishing label. 8 p.m. $79, $69, $49, $29. 273-0038www.troymusichall.org
Reach Gazette Columnist Michael Hochanadel at [email protected]