Venues increasingly cooperate rather than compete for acts and audiences, a positive move as the number of shows grows with declining record sales.
Acts that once filled arenas by themselves now team up to combine audiences. Journey and Def Leppard tag-teamed recently at the Times Union Center, as Steely Dan and the Doobie Brothers did at SPAC, and as Chicago and REO Speedwagon will July 31.
Venues are co-presenting; as The College of Saint Rose and Troy Savings Bank Music Hall do in a both-venues jazz festival, while The Egg has long co-presented with and in other buildings. The Eighth Step presents at Proctors facilities. Caffe Lena is co-presenting with SPAC and Music Haven, and is celebrating its recently completed facility expansion by co-presenting shows also with Troy Savings Bank Music Hall.
Good for audiences, artists and venues, this trend centers on Music Haven this week when two of three shows are co-presentations: Mile Twelve and Honeysuckle tonight with Caffe Lena, and Iberi on Tuesday with Troy Savings Bank Music Hall. Music Haven’s own Sunday show with Pasualina Ilabaca Y Fauna and Taina Asili y la Banda Rebelde clearly fits the Schenectady Central Park venue’s international-and-roots style; Mile Twelve and Iberi do, too.
Like Lake Street Dive, Mile Twelve, at Music Haven tonight, germinated in the Berklee College of Music/New England Conservatory Boston academic nexus, earning props from stars Tim O’Brien, Darol Anger and Tony Trischka. Mile Twelve — Bronwyn Keith-Hynes, violin; Catherine BB Bowness, banjo; David Benedict, mandolin; Evan Murphy, guitar; and Nathaniel Sabat, bass — made their debut album “Onwards” last year in Nashville. Openers Honeysuckle also hail from Boston; they’ve played Mountain Jam and an NPR Tiny Desk concert, and just released their second album, “Catacombs.” Honeysuckle is Holly McGarry, guitar; Benjamin Burns, banjo and more; and Chris Bloniarz, mandolin. 7 p.m. Free. Rain site: Proctors. www.musichavenstage.org
Pascualina Ilabaca, at Music Haven on Sunday, is international as Music Haven itself. Spanish-born, she lives in Chile, studied music in India and plays a red accordion with her band Fauna, which whirls together jazz, pop, folk and dance forms. Troy-based activist-musician Taina Asili opens with her eclectic, elastic Banda Rebelde ensemble. She’s also played with punk bands, toured with Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine) in a musical campaign against the TTP and been praised in Rolling Stone, Billboard and Huffington Post for her rebel songs including “No Es Mi Presidente.” Name a progressive cause and she’s there, with music. “You see over and over that music has played a central role in changing how people think,” she says on her website. (Taina Asili y Banda Rebelde play Aug. 2 at Upbeat on the Roof at Skidmore’s Tang Teaching Museum.) 7 p.m. Free. Rain site: Proctors
Iberi, at Music Haven on Tuesday, sings music of the Republic of Georgia. A former Soviet republic smaller than Tennessee, Georgia boasts regional choral approaches that Iberi freely combines using bass drones, complicated harmonies, yodeling and falsetto. 7 p.m. Free
LOS LOBOS IN COHOES
“We’re a Mexican American band, and no word describes America like immigrant,” says Louie Perez on Los Lobos’ website.
One of our greatest bands, Los Lobos plays the Cohoes Music Hall (58 Remsen St.) Sunday.
Since seeing them rock a Los Angeles club in ’85, I’ve marveled at their growing musical power, ambition and authority as they played the Palace, The Egg, MASSMoCA’s first-ever show, a Mona Golub-produced show in Albany’s Washington Park, Jazz Fest in New Orleans and SPAC on the Wheels of Soul tour (2016). Perez and bandmate David Hidalgo made the music on our own resident genius David Greenberger’s “Growing Old in East L.A” spoken-word/music meditation on immigration (also subject of Alejandro Escovedo’s next album “The Crossing,” due in September). Hartley’s Encore opens. 7:30 p.m. $67 orchestra, $62 parquet, $57 balcony. 518-953-0630 www.thecohoesmusichall.org
If Music Haven impresario Mona Golub dreamt of the best that could possibly happen in a place for music to mix cultures and people together, it came true Sunday when Gabacho Maroc and Heard reached around the globe with instruments, melodies, beats and words seemingly from everywhere.
The bands played separate sets first, then joined in a free improvisation without barriers, net or map; thinking their way to a fresh and fine new thing. Opening act Heard had reached pretty far first, making cozy music of European art-song precision, jazz zip and bustling African percussion, with dancing.
Gabacho Maroc, like France’s World Cup-winning futbol team, comprises Europeans and North Africans. They cooked with ingredients similar to Heard’s plus a fierce, swinging glee and unfettered imagination. Making rhythms so complex I needed seat-neighbor Ricardo to count one spiky tune for me — “It’s 7/4!” — they built tunes in funky, fast-moving layers under vocals in French and Arabic. Neither language nor complex beats prevented the band from soaring high. About tricky time: Lead singer and guembri player Hamid Moumen arrived at the airport for this tour — Music Haven is its only U.S. date — with a minute to spare and a visa U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko, D-Amsterdam, and area immigration lawyers arranged. Their keyboardist tied everything together like the late Joe Zawinul welded Weather Report’s fusion music together — in only his fourth gig with Gabacho Maroc. This was unforgettable fire.
JD MCPHERSON X2
Rockabilly hero JD McPherson plays both Saturday and Sunday at the Hangar (675 River St., Troy). An onstage favorite for authenticity and punch, and supported by Doug Corcoran, guitar; Raynier Jacob Jacildo, keyboards; Jimmy Sutton, bass; and Jason Smay drums,
McPherson quickly outgrew the Ale House across the street where he started playing in 2013. His “Undivided Heart & Soul” album earned top praise in Rolling Stone, Paste, Guitar World, American Songwriter and others. Sam Lewis opens. 8 p.m. $25. 518-272-9740 www.thehangaronthehudson.com
HOME AT CAFFE LENA
What’s up at Caffe Lena (47 Phila St., Saratoga Springs) while they’re co-presenting Mile Twelve and Honeysuckle Tuesday at Music Haven? Plenty: The NYC Ballet Orchestra String Quartet tonight (11 p.m., after their SPAC gig!); Texas tornado Kinky Friedman on Friday; jazz by the NYC Ballet Orchestra (11 p.m.!), swinging strings-and-brass band Bumper Jacksons Saturday; classic folk from the Kingston Trio on Sunday; Carolina bluegrass by Chatham County Line on Monday; and jazz from Triple Play on Tuesday. www.caffelena.orgfor time and ticket details