THE DOZEN: December’s Must-See Concerts
By Greg Haymes
Photograph by Andrzej Pilarczyk
You could call it Best Bets, Prime Picks, Top Tips or whatever. We call it The Dozen, whereby we offer a monthly round-up of 12 (or so) of the shows around Greater Nippertown that have got us jazzed the most. Only one entry per venue. Of course, your results may vary, so please feel free to comment below and let us know what you think we missed or overlooked.
Here’s The Dozen for the month of December:
TODAY (TUESDAY, DECEMBER 5): Spoon @ Upstate Concert Hall, Clifton Park. Britt Daniel leads his Austin-based band in support of Hot Thoughts, their album that’s popping up on lots of Best of 2017 lists. With White Reaper. 8pm. $30.
WEDNESDAY (DECEMBER 6): The Regrettes @ the Low Beat, Albany. 17-year-old Lydia Night leads the LA punk rockers in support of Feel Your Feelings Fool, one of the best debuts of the year. With Mystery Girl. 6pm. $10.
FRIDAY (DECEMBER 8): Horton’s Holiday Hayride @ Colony, Woodstock. Wow! The Rev. Horton Heat has gathered together a rollickin’ roots-rockin’ line-up guaranteed to have you rockin’ around the Christmas tree all night long. With Junior Brown, The Blasters and Big Sandy. 7pm. $50.
SATURDAY (DECEMBER 9): Joe Henry @ Levon Helm Studios, Woodstock. In support of his new album, Thrum, the super singer-songwriter-producer brings along his whole band – Jay Bellerose, Dave Piltch, Patrick Warren and Levon Henry. With Rose Cousins. 8pm. $35 & $20.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 15: The Kennedys @ Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs. The husband and wife team of Maura & Pete Kennedy does it all – jangling Byrds-ian power-pop, acoustic folk and roots rockin’. 8pm. $16 in advance; $18 at the door.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 15: The Gibson Brothers’ North Country Christmas Show @ Proctors’ GE Theatre, Schenectady. Eric & Leigh Gibson and their band – Greater Nippertown’s own homegrown bluegrass superstars – have been honored as the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Entertainers of the Year… twice. 7:30pm. $30; VIP $75.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 16: Shemekia Copeland @ the College of St. Rose’s Massry Center for the Arts, Albany. The daughter of Texas blues great Johnny Copeland has carved out her own career on her own terms, earning the title of Queen of the Blues. 8pm. $35; students $10.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 20: Bettye LaVette @ Cohoes Music Hall, Cohoes. She’s simply one of the most dynamic, heartbreaking soul singers on the planet, and she’s comin’ to town for an intimate performance, accompanied only by keyboardist Edward Alstrom. 8pm. $42, $47 & $52.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 20: Tony Trischka’s “Of a Winter’s Night” @ the Cock ‘N Bull, Galway. A true innovator on the five-string, the banjo master is joined by vocalist-fiddlers Phoebe Hunt and Zoe Darrow, vocalist-guitarist Tim Eriksen and mandonlist Dominic Leslie for an acoustic celebration of the holiday season. 5:30pm. $60 for dinner and the show.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 22: The Lustre Kings @ McGeary’s Pub, Albany. Mark Gamsjager and his crew serve up the annual We Three (Lustre) Kings Christmas Show. Expect some special guests to drop by, too. 9pm. FREE.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 23: “Unsilent Night” @ various locations, Hudson. Phil Kline’s “Unsilent Night” is a street promenade in which the audience becomes the performer. Each participant gets one of four tracks of music in the form of a cassette, CD or MP3. The four parts are played simultaneously during a parade through the city’s streets, creating a unique mobile sound sculpture which is different from every listener’s perspective. 7pm. FREE.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 31: First Night Saratoga @ various locations, Saratoga Springs. The annual New Year’s Eve celebration features music by Sawyer Fredericks, Sirsy, Ramblin Jug Stompers, Ashley Sofia, the Hot Club of Saratoga, Annie & the Hedonists, Sydney Worthley, Professor Louie & the Crowmatix, Matthew Boyce & the Suspicious Minds, Bob Malone, Shane Guerrette, the Holly & Evan Band, Belle-Skinner, Harold Ford: The Spirit of Johnny Cash, Mike Campese, Darling Valley and a whole lot more… 6pm. $15 through December 25; $20 thereafter.