THE DOZEN: September’s Must-See Concerts

By Greg Haymes

You could call it Best Bets or Top Tips or whatever. We call it The Dozen, whereby we offer a monthly round-up of 12 (or so) of the shows around Nippertown that have got us jazzed the most. One entry per venue. Of course, your results may vary, so feel free to weigh in on what you think we missed.

Here’s The Dozen for September:

SEPTEMBER 4: Dust Bowl Faeries @ BSP Lounge, Kingston. Not only the mesmerizingly sad-funny, dark-folk, slightly surreal songs of DBF, but also Yard Sale and the Old Double E… all for free. 8:30pm.

SEPTEMBER 6: Albany Riverfront Jazz Fest @ Jennings Landing, Albany. Legendary jazz drummer Jack DeJohnette’s trio, jazz-blues singer Catherine Russell, the vintage New Orleans sounds of Professor Cunningham & His Old School, the good vibes of Michael Benedict Jazz Vibes and flamenco guitar fave Maria Zemantauski. 1pm. FREE.

SEPTEMBER 7: John Hammond & G. Love @ Skidmore College’s Zankel Music Center, Saratoga Springs. Two generations of the blues get together in a benefit concert for Saratoga’s acclaimed Caffe Lena… 7pm. $35, $47 & $75.

SEPTEMBER 9: King Crimson @ The Egg, Albany. Perhaps the most unexpected reunion of the year, and Robert Fripp and company are kicking off their tour with a two-night stand right here in Nippertown. 7:30pm. $36.75–$43.75.

SEPTEMBER 11: Cher @ The Times Union Center, Albany. You want glitz? You want spectacle? With Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo. 7:30pm. $39.50, $98 & $149.50.

SEPTEMBER 12: Peter Case @ the Low Beat, Albany. From the new wave of the Nerves to the perfect power pop of the Plimsouls to the folk-blues of Let Us Now Praise Sleepy John, the Buffalo-born singer-songwriter has had a long and very varied musical career. With Red Haired Strangers. 8pm. $10.

SEPTEMBER 14: Lake George Jazz Weekend @ Shepard Park, Lake George. Year after year, this is quite simply the best jazz fest in all of Nippertown. A fabulous outdoor setting. Two days of adventurous yet accessible music. And it’s all free… Although both days are recommended, we’re picking Day Two, which features Billy Martin’s Wicked Knee, Jane Bunnett & Maqueque and the very promising Raymond Scott Orchestrette. 1pm. FREE

SEPTEMBER 21: FreshGrass @ MASS MoCA, North Adams. All three days of this bluegrass-and-beyond fest are packed with great music, but if we had to pick just one day, it would be the Sunday with Emmylou Harris, Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn, Sam Amidon, the Dave Grisman Sextet, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Ramblin Jug Stompers and more… Gates open at 10:30am. In advance, $50; $40 students; $28 kids. At the gate, $58; $48 students; $32 kids.

SEPTEMBER 20: American Music Festival for the Lake @ the Festival Space at Charles Wood Park, Lake George. Day One of the two-day fest features NRBQ, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, Paranoid Social Club, Wild Adriatic, the North & South Dakotas and Rich Ortiz. 12noon. $15 & $25.

SEPTEMBER 25: Stefon Harris @ Proctors, Schenectady. The jazz vibes master (and Albany native) plays a homecoming benefit concert for the youth programs of the Schenectady Ring of Hope Boxing Club. His band features Linda Oh (bass), James Francis (piano), Jonathan Pinson (drums) and Elena Pinderhughes (flute). 7:30pm. $40 & $50.

SEPTEMBER 27: Anais Mitchell @ Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs. It’s been another big year for the fab singer-songwriter, who has everywhere from the Royal Albert Hall to the Newport Folk Festival in support of her new solo album XOA. Now she heads into the Spa City for a return to the Caffe. With Dietrich Strause. 8pm. $22 in advance; $24 at the door.

SEPTEMBER 28: “Boogie for Bob” @ The Linda, Albany. A tribute concert to longtime drummer and Nippertown music scene maker Bob Girouard, as well as benefit for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research featuring Hair of the Dog, Aged in the Hills, the Ernie Williams Tribute Band, Bluz House Rockers, Urban Gumbo, Diva & the Dirty Boys and Forest. 3pm. $10.

SEPTEMBER 28: Vintage Trouble @ the Hollow Bar + Kitchen, Albany. The electrifying soul-rockers make their long overdue Nippertown debut. This is gonna be one helluva rollickin’ night. With the Soul Selector Tom “Papa” Ray. 7pm. $12 in advance; $15 at the door.

  1. Jon says

    Nice list as usual. But you’re missing a helsinki show, and it must be crooked still’s surprise reunion show on sept 24.

  2. Greg says


    You’re right. I DID mean to include Crooked Still…

  3. Richard Brody says

    Great list but here’s one more – Eric Harland’s Voyager that features among others, Julian Lage, on guitar and singer Chris Turner, will be at the Zankel Music Center at Skidmore on Sept. 25.

  4. deborah Mcdowell says

    Missing awesome many Helsinki Shows!!
    Maybe the best of the season.

    Sept. 5—-Seun Kuti and Egypt 80 (Fela’s son with Fela’s band)…they
    blew the roof off last time.

    Sept. 6—-Lizz Wright —- and band……..Soul Singer SUPREME with surprise guests

    Sept. 19—- Buffalo Stack

    Sept. 24—-Crooked Still in their first performance together in nearly 3 years.

    26 Sept. —- Big Sandy and the Fly Rite Boys

    2 Oct. Shemekia Copeland.

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