A good song stays good and doesn’t need much help. Grammy-grabbing songwriters Lyle Lovett and Shawn Colvin have played here with great bands, but they’ll sing solo tonight at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall (30 Second St.). Lovett’s Large Band roars like a big train, but his solo talent zips fast and agile like the motorcycles he rides through the Texas plains he still calls home. Colvin’s great band featured Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams last November at The Egg; like Lovett, she began as a solo singer-songwriter before joining Buddy Miller’s New York City-based country band. Her memoir shares its title with her album “Diamond in the Rough,” and her new album “The Starlighter” celebrates lullabies. 7:30 p.m. $69, $59, $49, $29. 518-273-0038 www.troymusichall.org
Saturday, young songwriters Brian Dunne and Girl Blue sing at WAMC’s The Linda (339 Central Ave., Albany). Brooklyn-based country-rooted Dunne followed his 2015 debut “Songs From the Hive” with “Bug Fixes & Performance Improvements” last year. A star from Caffe Lena to Spotify, Girl Blue (born Arielle O’Keefe) has Next Big Thing buzz and her first full album under construction. 8 p.m. $15. 518-465-5233 www.thelinda.org
Saturday, secret-weapon songwriter Chip Taylor sings at Caffe Lena (47 Phila St., Saratoga Springs). Secret? Well, Taylor wrote “Wild Thing” AND “Angel of the Morning,” plus hits for Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, Janis Joplin, Waylon Jennings, Linda Ronstadt and many others; and he’s actor Jon Voight’s brother. Better known as writer than singer, he’s released 25 albums since 1971; his first single “Here I Am” hit in 1962; meeting up with singer/fiddler Carrie Rodriguez at SXSW in 1993 revived his onstage career. 8 p.m. $22 advance, $25 door, $12.50 students and children. 518-583-0022 www.caffelena.org
PLAYERS GONNA PLAY
Just as the Chieftains dominate Irish music this week, Phish bassist Mike Gordon makes the big noise among players, bringing his own band to The Egg (Empire State Plaza, Albany) Sunday. On Gordon’s new (5th) album “OGOGO,” he decided, “Every song had to have something in it that was a little warped;” innovative producer Shawn Everett helped achieve this through sonic experiments and an emphasis on group grooves that parallel the recent improvising evolution of Phish. Gordon’s band features Scott Murawski, guitar and co-writer, Robert Walter (keyboards, Greyboy Allstars), John Kimock, drums; and Craig Myers, percussion. Phish-heads and fans of Gordon’s subtle thunder will pilgrimage to this one, even while scrambling for tickets to a summer-ful of gigantic Phish shows including three August days in Watkins Glen. 8 p.m. $55. 518-473-1845 www.theegg.org
Sunday, drummer/pianist Cliff Brucker celebrates the release of “Full Circle featuring Leo Russo Vol. 2” with his all-star local heroes band at Van Slyck’s (Rivers Casino, 1 Rush St., Schenectady). Saxophonist Russo turned 81 on the last day of recording and gets top-billed as a contemporary of the late, great Nick Brignola and father of tenor star Lee Russo but also as an eloquent soloist in the here and now. Full Circle also features Larry Ham and Pete Levin, piano; Dylan Canterbury, trumpet and flugelhorn; Otto Gardner, bass; and Mike Novakowski, guitar; Brucker plays drums.
Full Circle has played Albany’s Jazz Festival, Music Haven and area clubs and will represent local talent at A Place for Jazz this fall. Sample songs from “Vol. 2” at https://cliffbruckermusic.com. Admission free, CDs $10. 2 p.m. 518-579-8800 www.riverscasinoandresort.com/entertainment/van-slycks
Get in the jazz mood tonight when pianist Scott Bassinson introduces his New Quintet at Troy Kitchen (77 Congress St.) This crew features familiar and respected names: Dylan Canterbury, trumpet; Lee Russo, tenor sax; Otto Gardner, bass; and Joe Barna, drums. 518-268-0068 troy.kitchen/
Then, Tuesday, Caffe Lena presents its monthly jazz night with pianist Chuck Lamb’s trio and guest alto sax giant Bobby Militello. Last time Militello played here was at SPAC with Dave Brubeck whose songbook will supply tunes on Tuesday; Lamb plays with Brubeck’s sons. 7 p.m. $18 advance, $20 door, $10 students and children
Last year, renovations sent Caffe Lena roaming from venue to venue. Tonight, it’s a one-night moveable feast. Its InnVasion 2018 fundraiser brings a houseful of regional folk artists to the Union Gables Inn (55 Union Ave., Saratoga Springs). Caffe Lena favorites will play for fans in the cozy rooms of the historic inn including Dan Berggren (the Jamcrackers), Chuck Lamb & Ria Curley, Renehan & Mastrianni, Alex Smith, the Bluebillies, Heard, Emma Larson, Girl Blue, the Schroon River String Band, Different Than Normal, Rich Clements Band, Blind Crow, Golfstrom, Sonny Speed’s Stretching the Truth, Alan Epstein & Frank Orsini, Hui Cox & Laura Roth, Drank the Gold & J.P. Hubbs. 6:30 P.M. $150, $100, $75, $60.
SONGS O’ THE GREEN
The Chieftains may be the biggest Irish band playing here this week, but other Irish artists also take the stage.
Tonight, two-thirds of Donnybrook Fair, singer-songwriters Jeff Strange and Kevin McKrell, re-team up at the Parting Glass (40 Lake Ave., Saratoga Springs). Donnybrook Fair soundtracked many a rowdy 1980s night but seldom reunited since. Strange and McKrell still can raise a glass, a ruckus or a tear. 7 p.m. $10. 518-583-1916 www.partingglasspub.com
On Saturday, the Druids bring rebel songs to the Glass. After McKrell and area folk giant Chris Shaw saw them recently in Dublin, Shaw warned, “…this is no spectator sport. When I heard them the first time at a GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) hall in a fine, blue collar neighborhood in Dublin, the crowd sang like a choir possessed with the passion only people seeking freedom can convey.” Shaw added, “This is no luck o’ the Irish, leprechaun romp through the shamrocks,” citing the Druids’ music as a cry for justice that still rings loud and proud. 8 p.m. $10