Strangely enough, almost all of this week’s live music picks are in the city. The only local show I’m recommending this week is The CKS BAND at The Falcon in Marlborough, and they are strongly recommended! So I’m going to take this opportunity to profile the band, who I consider one of the most promising and exciting new bands to come along in a while! They’re not really a brand new band though, as the members have played together in other outfits for a long time. Consisting of drummer Randy Ciarlante, keyboardist Bruce Katz, and guitar player Scott Sharrard, all three are world class players who never fail to put on a great show.
Randy Ciarlante, one of my favorite drummers and an awesome singer, has been a fixture on the Hudson Valley music scene for a long time. A member of The Band in later incarnations, Randy has also played with Jim Weider’s percolator, The Honky Tonk Gurus, The Levon Helm Band, and along with Bruce, was a member of the precursor to CKS, The Organiks.
Bruce Katz, a three time W.C. Handy Award nominee for Piano Player of the Year, is a member of the Gregg Allman Band, and also plays regularly with Delbert McClinton, John Hammond,and leads his own Bruce Katz Band. Bruce is a soulful master of the keyboard!
Scott, also a member of Gregg Allman’s band, has been called “Gregg Allman’s secret weapon”.
Together, these three master musician’s can’t be anything but great, and I think they’ve finally found the right configuration of members to take it to the next level. If these guys aren’t touring nationally and opening shows for artists who are household names by this time next year, I’ll eat your lunch! Well what did you think, I’d eat a hat? Saturday, March 3 at The Falcon in Marlborough with added bonus of David Kraai and Amy Laber as opening act!
And now for the best of the rest. All of these shows are in Manhattan, except where noted.
Wednesday, February 29 – Last week’s pick, LEO KOTTKE, finishes his three night stand at City Winery. Kottke is the leading living proponent of acoustic trance guitar, in the style popularized by the late John Fahey.
Thursday, March 1 – SISTER SPARROW AND THE DIRTY BIRDS are on their way up, and to prove it, they’re making the jump out of the Hudson Valley into Manhattan at The Bowery Ballroom tonight.
Friday, March 2 – In a career spanning five decades, Jamaican born pianist MONTY ALEXANDER has performed with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Quincy Jones, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Clark Terry, Milt Jackson, and now, SLY AND ROBBIE, the best Reggae rhythm section on the planet! At The Blue Note. Also tonight, former Woodstock resident TODD RUNDGREN returns to City Winery.
Saturday, March 3 – Tonight is hoppin’ downstate! One of the great rock n roll bands of the 80’s THE DEL FUEGOS, is back together after a 21 year hiatus and playing at the Bell House in Brooklyn! Also, one of the most authentic Country voices around today, CHUCK MEAD, formerly of BR549, is at Joe’s Pub. And one of the original Stiff Records’ stable of artists that included Elvis Costello and Nick Lowe, WRECKLESS ERIC, is at Maxwell’s in Hoboken with his wife, AMY RIGBY, a fine artist in her own right. The reviews on their albums and live performances are sensational, so this is very intriguing.
Sunday, March 4 – Master of the mandolin and former Jerry Garcia collaborator, DAVID GRISMAN, at City Winery.
Monday, March 5 – Waylon’s son, SHOOTER JENNINGS, is at Hill Country Barbecue. I saw Shooter play at CBGB’s when he first started out. The audience was filled with celebrities and he was pretty damn good! But the really big show tonight is the rehearsal show for ROBERT JOHNSON AT 100 at City Winery. The actual show is tomorrow night at The Apollo and is a benefit for the Blues Hall of Fame, but tonight all the participants, who include The Roots, Living Color, Shemekia Copeland, Taj Mahal, Chuck D, Keb Mo, Todd Rundgren, Sam Moore, and Bettye Levette, will be previewing tomorrow’s show at City Winery. VIP tix at The Apollo are $300, and a barstool at City Winery is $30, so, nuff said!
Tuesday, March 6 – ROBERT JOHNSON AT 100 at The Apollo and JANE’S ADDICTION at The Wellmont Theater in Montclair, NJ.
Wednesday, March 7 – TODD RUNDGREN’s back at City Winery.
Well, that’s a damn fine week of music…IF you’re downstate. In the Hudson Valley, if you wanna rock this week, you better show up at The Falcon.
Have a great week.