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November 20, 2008 - Bill Ackerbauer
It was refreshing to see today's What's to Do? section (on Page 8 in the print edition, not available online) had listings for several new bands, or at least bands that are somewhat new to our area. Not to diss the Karg Brothers, the Dream Team or Permagrin, the area's reigning popular bar bands, but it's nice to have some new entertainment options.
Among the new acts listed in What's to Do? today, we have:
> Johnstown resident Alex Higgins and her band Road to Oblivion will perform Saturday night at Partner's Pub. Check out their MySpace page, and have a listen to their CRUMBS interview, which you can download here. (CRUMBS stands for Capital Region Unsigned Musicians and Bands, if I remember correctly.)
> New & Used, a group I'd never heard of before today, will perform Saturday night at the Robin's Nest in Broadalbin.
> Structural Integrity Compromised, a metal band from Utica, will play Friday at the Upper Deck.
> Ed Munger will perform solo tonight at Mulligan's at the Kingsboro Golf Club. I understand he's a crackerjack guitar player.
On another note (F sharp?), I see that Johnstown's James Frederick has joined the CRUMBS blog over at the Times Union's Web site. James played a solo gig at Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs last night, which I wouldn't have missed but for my teaching duties. James has produced a very cool series of videos titled "Inside the Open Mic," which profiles a number of singer-songwriters who frequent the open mic at Caffe Lena, which is by far the highest-caliber venue of its type in the region. You can see the videos here. (One of the featured performers, Willie the Moak, has a terrific song that mentions Gloversville and Amsterdam.)
James was one of the fine folks who showed up for a gig I played last weekend at the Borders Books & Music cafe in Saratoga. My friend Roland Vinyard and I, who bill ourselves as The Bentwood Rockers, played a set as part of a Saratoga Acoustic Blues Society evening of "Blues for Hard Times." Also in the audience was Frank Wakefield, the legendary bluegrass mandolin-monster. Nice guy. Roland offered a few comments on the gig and chatting with Frank.
What else is going on musically around these parts? Keep me posted.
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Alexandra Higgins (from her band's MySpace page)