Jan 13, 2011 Russ Tarby Uncategorized
The Empire State rarely receives plaudits for its contributions to American roots music, but we’ll set the record straight on Sunday, Jan. 23, when the January Jam Fest is staged at Eastwood’s Palace Theater.
Two of New York state’s best roots’n’blues bands – the venerable Commander Cody Band and the vanguard Professor Louie & The Crowmatix – will headline the Jam Fest also featuring ten area acts such as Isreal Hagan, Andrew Carroll, Mark Hoffmann, Los Blancos, Todd Hobin and Doug Moncrief, the Mojo Band and Jeff Stockham & The Jazz Police. The music will fill the theater from 1 to 8 p.m., climaxing with a 7 p.m. jam session spotlighting members of the CNY Jazz Orchestra.
Co-sponsored by Eagle Newspapers, the January Jam Fest benefits CNY Jazz Central (formerly known as the CNY Jazz Arts Foundation) which presents jazz in concert, cabaret, scholastic and festival settings.
Admission costs $15 in advance and $30 VIP tickets are on sale now by calling 435-2121. Admission at the door costs $20 and VIP admission $35, ($30 for holders of CNY Jazz, JASS, WAER and student ID cards).
Cody & Crowmatix
Having risen to prominence as leader of Commander Cody & The Lost Planet Airman in Ann Arbor, Mich. in 1967, the Commander (a.k.a. 66-year-old keyboardist George Frayne) has lived in nearby Saratoga Springs since 1997. Cody’s big hit was a cover of Charlie Ryan’s “Hot Rod Lincoln,” but the Airmen also made their own contributions to the counter-culture with songs like “Stems and Seeds Again Blues,” named one of the top 25 pot songs of all time by High Times magazine.
The Commander’s newest disc is titled “Dopers, Drunks and Everyday Losers.”
Besides being a consummate roots rocker, George Frayne is also a prodigious painter whose portraits of legendary musicians hang proudly in places such as Syracuse’s Dinosaur Bar-B-Que. A fine art raffle will be conducted at the Jam Fest, including original pieces by Commander Cody.
Professor Louie & The Crowmatix is a Woodstock-based band led by Hammond organist Aaron “Professor Louie” Hurwitz who hails from Peeksill. Each of the quintet’s members have Empire State roots, from Brooklyn to Troy. The band’s most recent release is “As The Crow Flies,” a compilation CD with new originals as well as popular songs from previous recordings.
If you dig slapstick, sexual innuendo and endless action, you’ll find yourself right at home at The Locker Room when Not Another Theater Co. stages “Unnecessary Farce” at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday Jan. 14 and 15.
At a Jan. 5 press preview the seven-member cast opened doors, slammed doors, wielded pistols and squirt guns, took off plenty of clothes and aimed video cameras at each other in compromising positions. Imbecilic action is clearly playwright Paul Slade Smith’s forte, but this cast, directed by the open-minded Meghan Leigh Pearson, created decidedly colorful characters.
Casey Callaghan brings a humorous Scottish brogue to his murderous, Tartan-clad Todd.
Justin Polly’s duplicitous Agent Frank draws huge laughs with a single syllable (“What!?”) as did Crystal Roupas as Officer Billie Dwyer, but her four-letter word started with “S.”
Steve Rowlands and Kathleen Egloff ably portray the milquetoast Mayor Meekly and his wickedly winsome wife.
Michael Shanahan’s bumbling Officer Eric Sheridan falls hard for Katie Deferio’s lovely Karen Brown. Deferio gamely shows her gams – and most everything else – as she negotiates between her boyfriend cop and various other would-be suitors and slayers.
The farce continues this weekend at The Locker Room, 528 Hiawatha Blvd. E., on the North Side. Couples can dine and catch the show for $55; dinner and show for singles costs $29; and tables of eight cost $199. For show only, you pay $20. For info, call 446-1461.
Joanie was our Bette Davis
Whenever Joan Vadeboncoeur reviewed a movie at a private press screening, she brought her own ashtray and chain-smoked through the entire film. She was a character who knew who she was and you could take it or leave it. She wore kids’ socks with images of rabbits or offbeat stripe patterns. Whenever she reviewed a stage play, she’d be up out of her seat and out the door before the curtain call. Her affinity for cigarettes – having out-lived its politically correctness in recent years – was celebrated nonetheless by “Joanie’s Smoke Break,” a series of video interviews shot by Post-Standard feature writer Hart Seely.
Joan E. Vadeboncoeur died Jan. 4 at her Cazenovia home. She was 78.
“For me, Joanie was the last of those great iconic newspaper dames I saw in the movie houses of yesteryear, and in the films she so loved she almost certainly would’ve had to have been played by the great Bette Davis,” said Frank Malfitano who worked with her on the 1986 tribute to Jimmy Van Heusen here and on the early-1990s downtown Walk of Stars. “No one else could have come close to capturing Joanie’s presence and power on screen. She was a giant and Hollywood would’ve had to cast a giant to play her.”