Best of 2012: Fred Rudofsky

Candy Kane @ Pauly's Hotel

Fred Rudofsky’s Live Music Best of 2012

Story by Fred Rudofsky
Photographs by Fred Rudofsky, Andrzej Pilarczyk, Stanley Johnson

By my estimate, I attended over 75 music events in 2012, down slightly from 2011 because of a week of laryngitis and a slew of college recommendations letters to write on school nights. I logged in quite a few miles, tipped the wait staff generously, bought a lot of CDs and other merchandise, had conversations with some remarkable musicians and danced with several beautiful women. I even wrote a few concert reviews.

It was tough sticking to a short list, so I have taken some liberties befitting a music maniac. NOTE: For the second straight year, SPAC and the Times Union Center did not entice me to shell out money for a concert.

Here are my top picks of the past year, arranged by the type/size of venue:

1. Candye Kane @ Pauly’s Hotel, Albany, August 18
2. Billy Joe Shaver @ the Ale House, Troy, December 4
3. Los Straitjackets with the Knyghts of Fuzz @ the Ale House, Troy, October 3
4. The Chandler Travis Philharmonic with Pete LaBonne @ Valentine’s Music Hall, Albany, November 3
5. Hamell on Trial @ Valentine’s Music Hall, Albany, January 10
6. Scotty Mac & the Rockin’ Bonnevilles @ Pauly’s Hotel, Albany, May 11 & November 11
7. Joe Louis Walker @ Pauly’s Hotel, Albany, April 13
8. The Chris O’Leary Blues Band @ the Bayou Cafe, Albany, February 10
9. Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds @ the Garage at the Colonial Theatre, Pittsfield, April 12
10. The Joe Krown Trio @ Red Square, Albany, March 27 & November 17

11. Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds @ Jillian’s, Albany, February 12
12. The Chandler Travis Three-0 @ the Ale House, Troy, June 16
13. The Figgs @ Valentine’s Music Hall, Albany, August 17
14. Grainbelt @ Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, December 14
15. Pete Anderson @ the Ale House, Troy, September 15
16. Scotty Mac’s Mods and Rockers @ Pauly’s Hotel, Albany, April 7
17. Start Making Sense @ Jillian’s, Albany, May 18
18. Lost Bayou Ramblers @ Red Square, Albany, July 5
19. Bill Kirchen with Mark Gammsjager and John Tichy @ the Ale House, Troy, December 12

Peter Wolf
Peter Wolf (photo by Andrzej Pilarczyk)

1. Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds with Sirsy and Wild Adriatic at the Upstate Concert Hall, Clifton Park, November 16
2. Peter Wolf with the Roy Sludge Duo at The Egg, Albany, February 11
3. Hamell on Trial at the Steamer No. 10 Theatre, Albany, February 25
4. Los Lobos at Mass MOCA, North Adams, April 5
5. Alejandro Escovedo & the Sensitive Boys with Ghost Wolves at The Egg, June 15
6. Star Spangled Washboard Band with Val Haynes & Todd Nelson at the Steamer No. 10 Theatre, Albany, April 21
7. The North Mississippi All Stars with Lightnin’ Malcolm & Missing Cats at Upstate Concert Hall, Clifton Park, September 29
8. Nick Lowe at The Egg, Albany, September 18
9. Kinky Friedman with Brian Molnar, Tequila Mockingbirds and Amy Love at The Linda, Albany, June 18
10. Big Sandy & the Fly Rite Boys with SHEL at Club Helsinki, Hudson, October 13
11. Willie Nile at The Linda, Albany, February 18
13. Shelby Lynne at The Egg, Albany, March 30
14. Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real with Sarah Borges at Club Helsinki, Hudson, August 30
15. Ruthie Foster at The Egg, December 7
16. Eilen Jewell Band with Los Straitjackets at Club Helsinki, Hudson, June 1
17. The Robert Cray Band at The Egg, Albany, December 6
18. Walt Wilkins & the Mystiqueros with Michael Eck at The Linda, Albany, June 17
19. The Lustre Kings’ Elvis Birthday Celebration Party at The Linda, Albany, January 7
20. The Revelations featuring Tre Williams at Club Helsinki, Hudson, September 7

(photos by Stanley Johnson)
Bootsy Collins (photos by Stanley Johnson)

1. Dr. John & the Lower 911 with the Blind Boys of Alabama at the Palace Theatre, Albany, November 1
2. The Tedeschi Trucks Band with Charlie Mars at the Palace Theatre, Albany, December 2
3. Bootsy Collins at Alive at Five, June 14
4. Buckwheat Zydeco at Alive at Five, July 19
5. Dickey Betts & Great Southern with Kirsten Thien at Alive at Five, June 28

1. J.B. Scott’s Reunion Party at Michael’s Banquet House, Latham, May 5
2. Pat Tiernan Benefit at Graney’s Stout, Albany, July 31
3. Chandler Travis Three-0 at the Bordens’ house party, July 21
4. New York State Blues Hall of Fame 2012 Inductions at Pauly’s Hotel, Albany, November 11
5. Green River Festival 2012 at Greenfield Community College, Greenfield, July 14-15
6. Chandler Travis Philharmonic at the Beat Street Record Shop, Troy, July 7

Tim Livingston
Pete Mason
Gene Sennes
Stanley Johnson

J Hunter
M.R. Poulopoulos

  1. bernie says

    You missed one of the Best events in this region..
    The 2012 Move Music Festival….

  2. Denise says

    Wow Fred -Love this list ! When do you sleep ? Maybe You don’t sleep at all But what I know You DO is Listen To and Support Music by spreading the gospel of every fine band and musician that catches your ear..and they are many and varied as this list suggests..You have been doing this for many years and you do it with a devotion like no one else we know. Thank You for sharing this amazing list of shows -some we were there for and many we missed and wish we hadn’t …a Special Thank You on behalf of The Chandler Travis Philharmonic and the Chandler Travis Three-O …you know I agree that each of their shows belongs in a top 10 of the year performance list …Thank You Fred for all that you contribute to our local music scene and beyond . Happy New Year-keep rockin’ !!

  3. Christina says

    My music list of the year feels a little shabby in comparison. What a collection of killer shows!

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