Steve Vai is such a rock star! Just look at these pictures and tell me this guy ain’t a rock star! I just got back from Steve’s show at The Egg, and what a show it was! The audience was wall to wall guitar geeks, and once again, Vai showed why he is worshipped by them! He really is one of the best guitar players out there! Steve Vai could walk on the stage with any band in the world and they’d be thrilled to have him! And you couldn’t yank him off the stage with a crane tonight! The encore was an hour, and the show didn’t end until after 11. Vai did everything! Electric, acoustic, band, solo. His virtuosity was on display all night long! From the minute he walked on, it was so refreshing to hear loud, rockin’ music, and that’s what he did for most of the night. The audience loved it and so did I! And The Egg is just about the best venue around for live music. There ain’t a bad seat in the house! My thanks to Ted Etoll at The Egg and Ryan Romenesko with the Vai tour for making it possible!
Steve Vai and his electric harpist, The Egg, Albany, NY, 9-9-12
Rock star and guitarist extraordinaire, Steve Vai, at The Egg in Albany, 9-9-12
If you are a guitar lover, or, like me, just appreciate the beauty of fine woodworking, you're going to want to attend the Woodstock Luthiers Showcase. Held annually at the Bearsville theater, this show draws luthiers from across the northeast to show some of the most beautiful sculptures I have ever seen -- that you are invited to grab and play too!
The show runs October 26-28. Visit their website for the lineup of events and performances.
Hi! Hope you’re all doing well. It’s been a busy week and right now, I’m getting ready to go see Bob Dylan at Bethel Woods, so this week’s is gonna be an abbreviated column. We’ll do the live music picks and I do have one bit of very cool news, which I’ll get to first.
Starting September 17th, I will be a regular guest on John Madeo’s Little Delaware Jamboree radio show, which is broadcast every other Monday night at 8 PM on WIOX, 91.3 FM, and on the web at www.wioxradio.org. Basically, what John and I will be doing, is bringing this column to the airwaves. We’ll talk about the latest news from the music world and then discuss upcoming live shows. We might even play some music! It should be a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to it with much anticipation. I hope y’all will tune in.
Yippee ti yi yo yo yo yo yo whattsup? That was one of the introductions we used to use for The Brooklyn Cowboys. Another one I used to like was, “And now, from Nashville, The Brooklyn Cowboys”. I had a lot of fun with that band. We made three great CD’s and a cool video, toured the US and Europe, made the charts, got airplay in 50 countries, and are still getting played today, all over the world. Y’all should check us out at www.brooklyncowboys.com, where this column is posted as Fredro’s Blog. There’s not a music player on the site, but there’s lots of video, and links to our Reverb Nation (#1 for over 3 years), My Space, Facebook, and other pages where there are music players. If you like Gram Parsons style Cosmic American Music AKA Country-Rock, you’ll like The Brooklyn Cowboys. In fact, my partner in the band, Walter Egan, wrote the Gram classic, “Hearts on Fire”, which we also recorded on our first CD, “Doin’ Time on Planet Earth”, now out of print, and there is also a Gram/ Walter co-write on that CD that has never been released anywhere except on our record.
The Brooklyn Cowboys was kind of like if Marmaduke from The New Riders stayed cool, Gram didn’t die, and they started a band, according to John Arnold, a fan and friend of Buddy Cage, our pedal steel guitarist, who held that seat in The New Riders for their entire career, ever since he replaced Jerry Garcia early on.
You can find the CD’s online, they’re also available through the website, and I have them at Reservoir Music. Stop by, pick one up, and buy a guitar while you’re there. LOL.
Greetings! Last week, due to taking the previous week off, I plumb forgot to write a review of The Grandmothers of Invention show at The Bearsville Theater. Well, let me tell you, the small, but well informed crowd who were lucky enough to be there got to see one of the best musical performances Woodstock has seen in a very long time! The band features 3 former Mothers, Don Preston, Napoleon Murphy Brock, and Tom Fowler, ably assisted by a few extremely capable young men, virtuosos all! They perform the music of Frank Zappa and some of their arrangements are actually more complex than the originals! It was such a joy to sit there and listen to a group of guys who could really play! The Grandmothers raised the bar on the level of musicianship expected from a professional band, and everyone, jazz guys, rock guys, classical lovers and everything in between, could all get together around Frank’s music and the playing of The Grandmothers of Invention. Many thanks to Jodie Sleed at The Bearsville Theater for courtesies extended.
And last Friday night at Bearsville, one of last week’s picks, and a group of musicians that I have profiled in these pages several times, once again proved that they are in a league of their own, especially when stacked against other local talent. CKS, a super group of sorts that consists of Randy Ciarlante (The Band, Levon Helm Band, Hoo Doo Gurus), who regular readers of this column know is my favorite Hudson Valley drummer, (not to mention his amazing, smoky, soulful vocals), Bruce Katz, 3 time Blues Music Awards nominee for Piano Player of the Year, and a regular member of Gregg Allman’s and Delbert McClinton’s touring bands, and Scott Sharrard, AKA “Gregg Allman’s secret weapon”, also a member of Allman’s band and bandleader in his own right, put on a blazing performance with high point after high point! These guys are smokin’! I’ve been watching Bruce and Randy for 8 years, and this is the best band they’ve ever had! The show was a total joy from start to finish!
The theater was filled with loads of old friends and familiar faces, and a splendid time was had by all! Again, thanks are due to Jodie at the theater for making it all possible. If you get a chance to catch CKS and you don’t, you’re a fool, and you will regret it. Maybe not today, and maybe not tomorrow, but soon, and for the rest of your life! (Apologies to Humphrey Bogart).
After a well deserved and much needed break last week, I’m back, refreshed, and I have some great news that’s gonna start the week off with a bang! The Capitol Theater, in Port Chester, NY, site of the legendary Dr. Stanley Krippner Dream Experiments with The Grateful Dead and their audience, forty years ago, is re-opening as Westchester’s premier Rock showcase! This is going to be a serious world class music hall! The head of the whole operation is Peter Shapiro, former owner of Wetlands Preserve and current owner of Brooklyn Bowl, who knows a thing or two about how to run a successful music venue! Peter’s partnered with concert promoters, Bowery Presents, who produce shows at The Bowery Ballroom, Terminal 5, The Mercury Lounge, Music Hall of Williamsburg, and lots of other rooms all over Manhattan and beyond! They’re even producing this week’s live music pick, John Prine and Lucinda Williams at The Palace Theater in Albany! So those guys know what they’re doing too!
The Capitol Theater had a long successful run as a rock venue in the 70’s, before falling on hard times. They got through it though, and now, with new owners, a new business model, and a newly renovated theater, this promises to be one of the best places to see a show anywhere! The theater itself is a beautiful, turn of the century, art deco palace, the kind of place that makes you feel good just being in it! I am so excited about this!