rock music

Wayne Kramer's memoir
Da Capo

There have been a lot of highs and a lot of lows in Wayne Kramer’s life — and he spends time on both in his raw new autobiography: The Hard Stuff: Dope, Crime, the MC5 & My Life Of Impossibilities. The founder of the short-lived but influential rock group the MC5 is one of Rolling Stone’s 100 greatest guitarists. He has released several solo albums and worked on scores for films and TV.

Mary Gauthier headshot
Mary Gauthier

When we last spoke with the musician Mary Gauthier a year ago, she was engaged in a sprawling new project — taking the words of America’s war veterans and making songs out of them. The raw lyrics and personal reflections form the backbone of Gauthier’s new album, her 10th: "Rifles and Rosary Beads." authier will be taking the songs and more from her terrific catalog on the road in the coming weeks, including several dates in our listening area.

Adam Goldberg on a bed
Adam Goldberg

You probably know Adam Goldberg from his acting career. He has appeared in films and TV shows like "Saving Private Ryan," "Dazed and Confused," "A Beautiful Mind," "The Hebrew Hammer," "Zodiac," "Fargo," "Taken" and many more. But Goldberg has also had a long career in music, recording albums and scoring films.  His latest is HOME: A Nice Place To Visit.

Blues Traveler photo
Blues Traveler

Now celebrating its 30th anniversary, the jam and pop juggernaut Blues Traveler will be back in our region for several dates in 2018, drawing setlists from its 12 studio albums and a lifetime of electric live gigs. The band will be at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington, Mass. on March 3, Sugar Daze in Ludlow, Vt. March 17, and the Saranac Brewery in Utica Aug. 17. Chan Kinchla is the group's guitarist.

The Wood Brothers
Alysse Gafkjen

With a new album, “One Drop Of Truth,” due out three days later, The Wood Brothers will be coming to our region January 30 for a concert at The Egg in Albany, part of a national tour. The flurry of activity comes on the heels of the group’s recent release “Live At The Barn,” recorded just down the road from here at Levon Helm’s venue in 2016.


Robbie Robertson’s memoir of the frenetic, fruitful early years of his music career, Testimony, is now out in paperback from Three Rivers Press. It covers in stark detail Robertson’s upbringing on a reservation, his time backing Ronnie Hawkins in the Hawks, and the monumental music he made with Bob Dylan and The Band. And for people in our region who have made the requisite pilgrimage to Big Pink in Saugerties, it’s a treat to read about the impact the Catskills had on The Band and vice versa.

Let's Play Two
Pearl Jam

Although Pearl Jam has been closely identified with its native Seattle since bursting onto the charts 25 years ago, Chicago has often served as an important stop for the rock group. Lead singer Eddie Vedder is a Windy City native and a massive Cubs fan. And when the band headed to Wrigley Field for a pair of sold-out concerts in August 2016, filmmaker Danny Clinch went along. The longtime music photographer and documentarian shows the band on stage and off in what proved to be a big year for Pearl Jam and a bigger one for the Cubs.

Melissa Etheridge
Melissa Etheridge

Continuing a relationship that first started three years ago, Melissa Etheridge will perform again with the Boston Pops this Sunday at 2:30 in the final concert of the summer at Tanglewood in Lenox, Massachusetts. The Grammy and Oscar winner is a regular presence in our region. She has released 14 studio albums and sold millions of records.

Classic Quadrophenia

Routinely cited as an essential entry among the very best rock albums, The Who's Quadrophenia will sound a little different this weekend at Tanglewood in Lenox, Mass. Pete Townshend, joined by punk legend Billy Idol and the opera star Alfie Boe, will present Classic Quadrophenia on Saturday night at 8. The Who's principal songwriter since the band's founding in 1964, Townshend tells the story of mods, rockers, alienation and youthful longing in the rock opera released in 1973. At this date, they'll be joined by Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops. Townshend is performing Classic Quadrophenia at a handful of concerts this summer.

Joe Cocker: Mad Dog With Soul movie poster
Joe Cocker: Mad Dog With Soul

The life and legacy of one of music’s peerless voices will be discussed this Saturday at Upstate Films Woodstock, which will screen the new documentary Joe Cocker: Mad Dog With Soul at Upstate Films Woodstock. The 9 p.m. showing will be followed by a conversation with director John Edginton, who has produced and directed several other documentaries, as well as Woodstock co-creator Michael Lang, who managed Cocker for many years. The film is a warts-and-all look at a soulful singer from Sheffield, a showbiz survivor who battled alcoholism for most of his adult life.

Pokey LaFarge
Nate Burrell

Not too many musicians can claim a sound all their own, but in the past decade or so Pokey LaFarge seems to have accomplished just that over hundreds of tour dates and the eight studio albums he has released. The latest album is Manic Revelations, which came out in May. LaFarge and his band will be in our region for several dates this summer.

Brian Bell and The Relationship
Renee Corey

Brian Bell has been part of some of the most defining rock music of the past 25 years as a guitarist, songwriter and singer in Weezer. This spring, Bell’s side project The Relationship is releasing a new album, Clara Obscura, which once again demonstrates Bell’s propensity for catchy pop-rock and guitar work. Albany music fans had a chance to see the band live last September at Larkfest. Bell will be back in our region with Weezer at Boston Calling on May 28.

Mary Gauthier
Jack Spencer

It’s always a treat to catch up with musician Mary Gauthier, beloved by fans of country, folk and Americana music alike for her honest and poignant music and lyrics. Gauthier did a lot of hard living before embarking on a music career relatively late in life. She will be back in our region for a string of dates this spring.

The album cover for Open Road
Open Road

Family has been a key component in Dave Davies' career. A founding member of the The Kinks and a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Davies and his brother Ray created some of rock’s most influential music despite  — or perhaps because of — their decades-long tempestuous relationship. Now, after recovering from a stroke that forced him to relearn to play guitar, Dave Davies has a new album — this time with his son, electronic musician Russ Davies. Open Road is a nine-track album made up of a variety of sounds, including rock, pop, and electronica.

Maybe you don’t know him by name, but you definitely know John Simon’s work. A noted musician and songwriter in his own right, Simon produced and played on some of the most important albums of the 20th century, including records by Leonard Cohen, Simon and Garfunkel, Janis Joplin, and The Band. Simon’s association with The Band was the occasion for our interview at The Linda. He will be discussing his work with the group at a series of talks in the coming days. It’s all part of The Egg’s New York Living Legacy series focusing on The Band.

Scott Sharrard
Scott Sharrard

The guitar virtuoso Scott Sharrard is spending a good bit of time in our region over the next few weeks, and it’s a chance to hear one of the best working axmen on the road today. The music director for the Gregg Allman band, which he joined in 2008, Sharrard has also toured and recorded with The Chesterfields and as a solo artist. Right now, he’s touring with the Brickyard Band. Sharrard will play the Athens Summer Concert series in Greene County on Friday; the Madison Theater in Albany on Saturday, and the Falcon in Marlboro, NY October 14th. With Gregg Allman, Sharrard is back in Albany August 24 at the Times Union Center and in Hartford a week later.

Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks.
Tedeschi Trucks Band

It’s hard to believe that Tedeschi Trucks Band has only been around for six years, because they’re the kind of group that sounds permanent. The blues and rock juggernaut released its third album Let Me Get By in January, and it quickly earned popular and critical praise. And if it’s summer, it means Derek Trucks, widely considered one of the greatest guitarists in the world, is on the road. Trucks joined the Allman Brothers Band as a teen and has toured and collaborated with a who’s who of the music industry in the years since.

Warren Haynes
Warren Haynes

A gifted, versatile and always busy guitar master is coming back to our region on Friday. Warren Haynes, known for his work with The Allman Brothers Band, Gov’t Mule, and The Dead, will be at Tanglewood for the latest stop on his Jerry Garcia Symphonic Celebration. Joining the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, Haynes will be performing the music of Jerry Garcia starting at 8 p.m. Haynes will continue the tour at Bethel Woods in Sullivan County August 6 and returns with Gov’t Mule to Utica August 16.

John Popper and Blues Traveler
Blues Traveler

From the suburbs of New Jersey to the clubs of New York to the top of the charts, musician John Popper has been pushing the boundaries of what’s possible on his instrument for decades. Best known as the frontman for Blues Traveler, Popper has collaborated with just about everyone in the music world by now. But as he writes in his new memoir, Popper wasn’t always a rock star — he started out as a socially awkward child who never did his homework. And in some ways, his struggles continued into adulthood.

Wavy Gravy Turning 80

May 13, 2016
Wavy Gravy is turning 80. He grew up in the Capital Region.
Wavy Gravy

This Sunday is a landmark birthday for Hugh Romney. Who? You might know him better as Wavy Gravy, the hippie era MC who founded the Hog Farm, Camp Winnirainbow and has been a constant on the jam scene since its earliest days. Now, Wavy Gravy is turning 80. As we discovered in a 2011 Roundtable interview, Wavy Gravy has warm memories of his childhood in East Greenbush.

Sarah McGowan
Sarah McGowan

We’re going to introduce you to someone new: musician Sarah McGowan, whose debut album For Whom They Sing is out now. The 10 songs on this album span earnest folk, cheeky anthems and indie pop, to name a few. McGowan will perform at Parish Public House in Albany on April 16.

The rock band Kansas is performing at Pittsfield's Colonial Theatre Saturday. From left to right is Richard Williams, Billy Greer, David Ragsdale, Ronnie Platt, Phil Ehart, and David Manion
Courtesy Photo/ Marti Griffin

With hits like “Carry On My Wayward Son” and “Dust in the Wind,” the band Kansas has spent more than four decades as a pillar of rock music. On the verge of releasing its first studio album since 2000, the band will perform at Pittsfield’s Colonial Theatre Saturday night.

Paul Kantner
Craig O'Neal, Wikicommons

We're only a month in and already 2016 has been a terrible year when it comes to the titans of rock. We've lost David Bowie, Glenn Frey, and now Paul Kantner, a founding a member of the San Francisco psychedelic band Jefferson Airplane, who died this week at age 74.

Remembering Glenn Frey

Jan 19, 2016
Glenn Frey
Glenn Frey

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Glenn Frey died Monday at the age of 67, leaving behind a renowned musical legacy in multiple genres. A co-founder of the Eagles, who sold millions of records behind hits like “Take It Easy” and “Hotel California” just to name a few, Frey began the group in L.A. in the early 70s after touring with Linda Ronstadt.

Chris Cornell

One of rock’s greatest singers, Chris Cornell scaled the music world decades ago with Soundgarden, selling millions of records, packing arenas and helping to define the sound of a generation.

Considered one of the greatest harmony singers in rock history, David Crosby is back in the limelight as a solo artist this winter with the release of his first studio album in two decades, Croz, out now from Blue Castle Records, the label he founded with longtime collaborator Graham Nash.

Tony Fletcher
Tony Fletcher

Something in my email caught my eye a couple months ago. Rock writer Tony Fletcher, who lives in the Hudson Valley and has been an occasional guest on this show, was selling off huge chunks of his music collection. Why was the leading authority on Keith Moon and a bunch of other bands hocking a life’s collection of CDs, records, and DVDs?

Of all the grunge bands to emerge from the fertile Seattle scene about 25 years ago, Alice in Chains stood out for its mix of hard-driving rock and affecting harmonies. Despite Nirvana’s reputation as a groundbreaker, it was Alice in Chains that was the first to go national.

As it often does in music, however, success brought problems: drugs, canceled tours, and tragic deaths. All of this makes for compelling reading in the first proper biography of the band, Alice in Chains: The Untold Story, by David de Sola, who also charts the group’s unexpected resurgence over the past decade.

Richard Goldstein didn’t set out to be a literary pioneer — as a young man, he simply found himself drawn to Greenwich Village from his Bronx project where a new generation of young people was changing popular culture.

Lukas Nelson Brings Promise Of The Real To Region

Nov 12, 2015
Lukas Nelson

Musician Lukas Nelson, who has spent much of the past year performing and recording with Neil Young, is coming through the WAMC listening area this weekend with the band Promise of the Real. The group's new record Something Real comes out in February, and as Lukas Nelson (who is the son of Willie Nelson) tells Brian Shields, the band will be playing new music tonight at The Capitol in Port Chester and Saturday at the Putnam Den in Saratoga Springs.