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Mitch Elrod and CountrySoulHouse CD-Release Show

Red Square, Friday

We’re going to get to Mitch Elrod and his CD in a minute; we just don’t want to confuse you. The point is this: You can spend all of Friday evening at Red Square, because there are four notable bands on the bill. The fun begins at 8 PM with Vermont’s the Everybodyfields. This rootsy trio are fronted by a dobro . . . dobroist? Dobro-playing singer. Then, at 9 PM, it’s Mitch Elrod and CountrySoulHouse, who will celebrate the release of their just-released album Roadhouse Nature. Elrod’s one of the best singers in town (we’ve said so, time and again), which is reason enough to go. After this rich musical goodness, at 10 PM, porch-rockers the Kamikaze Hearts will don eye patches, parrots and electric guitars, thus transforming themselves into their alter-ego, Pirate School. Finally, at 11:30-ish—according to the club’s Web site—the evening concludes as it began, with a Vermont band. Turkey Bouillon Mafia present a mélange of “funk, jazz, metal, ambience, rock and utter insanity.” Which means, of course, that they have a horn section. (Nov. 18, 8 PM, $5, 388 Broadway, Albany, 432-8584)

Mach 5

Valentine’s, Friday

Albany, meet Cowboy Mach Bell. Actually, you may have already met. The whiskey-voiced Holliston, Mass., native Bell sang lead for Boston-area band Thundertrain through the late ’70s and early ’80s; during that time, the band played a number of now long-boarded-up venues in our fair city. But you may know him best as the vocalist on Once a Rocker, Always a Rocker, the third and final album by the Joe Perry Project. (Perry, of course, being the at-the-time erstwhile Aerosmith guitarist.) Anyway, enough with the history lesson: Bell has a new quartet together, cleverly named Mach 5, and the members brag to be the “most rockingest, most handsomest players in the world.” Whether or not they can back up that claim, their debut disc, Meet Mach 5, is a darn fine slice of skanky, Boston-style garage rock. Also on Friday’s bill are the Red Hopes and Boston’s fabulous Rudds. (Nov. 18, 9 PM, $5, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572)


RPI Fieldhouse, Saturday

They found their beginnings as an Ohio State University frat band, jamming out at college parties and winning local and regional affection. Now O.A.R. (Of a Revolution) have developed such success that they are selling out venues coast to coast, pumping their reggae-rock-jam sound out of college music servers everywhere, and selling records in the hundreds of thousands. The last eight years have become a true-to-life, rock & roll rags-to-riches story for the group, and it isn’t over yet. According to All Music Guide, their newest studio album, Stories of a Stranger, “presents everything that defines O.A.R. in a more concise package.” Mr. North, an Irish band gone American, will open Saturday’s show. (Nov. 18, 7 PM, $20, 110 8th St., Troy, 276-6262)

josh cole

Josh Cole and the Household

Lark Tavern, Saturday

With so many bands coming through town and so many press releases flying over the transom, we have a high tolerance for promotion. So we’re willing to forgive cool-by-association promo lines like this, from Josh Cole’s Web site: “After appearing with Wilco, Patty Griffin and Chuck Prophet on Paste magazine’s first-ever CD sampler. . . .” Whoa, Nellie. That’s some rarefied company, Josh, but no harm done. This former Oregon organic-goat-cheese farmer, and his band, the Household, have a “folk/rock/pop” album, Hypocriticool, that has enough snarky guitar to rock, and enough catchy hooks to be pop. And Cole himself does sing a bit like a young Dylan, without working it enough to be obnoxious. Opening will be the “hard-rocking” Sense Offenders. (Nov. 19, 10 PM, $5, 453 Madison Ave., Albany, 463-9779)



A Woman’s Heart

The Egg, Saturday

In 1992, a group of Irish lasses came together to create an album that would demonstrate their own unique talents, along with the diverse influences that have shaped Irish music. What they ended up with was Ireland’s best-selling album of all-time, with nearly a million copies sold. The songs on that and the two subsequent A Woman’s Heart releases range from political to romantic to historical; Saturday’s show will feature performances from all three albums. Headlining their debut in the U.S. will be Mary Black, Maura O’Connell, Cara Dillon and accordion and fiddle virtuoso Sharon Shannon. (Nov. 19, 8 PM, $28, Empire State Plaza, Albany, 473-1845).

Blue Rodeo, the Damnwells

Iron Horse Music Hall, Monday

And, to the East, Canadian roots-rock royalty meets scrappy Brooklyn-bred Americana in this Monday-night matchup. Blue Rodeo have been lighting up Toronto clubs for two decades, yet like so many Canuck bands, they’re a multimillion-selling success story north of the border, but virtually invisible here in the States. The group, led by songwriters Jim Cuddy and Greg Keelor, currently are touring in support of their 10th studio album, Are You Ready? The Damnwells have spent the majority of the last four years van-bound, and the touring has paid off—they’re a very respectable live act for it, and their most recent There’s No One Left in Brooklyn But You EP shows a band who aren’t afraid to reinvent themselves on the fly, just because they can. (Nov. 21, 7 PM, $18, 20 Center St., Northampton, Mass., 413-584-0610)

Also Noted
ray charles

Tomorrow (Friday) night, “ambassador of the blues” Roy Book Binder performs at Caffe Lena (8 PM, $15, 583-0022). . . . New local pop outfit Sunset Aside will celebrate the release of their debut album, Ghost Stories, at the Hudson Duster Friday night with the help of Blasé Debris and Spitfire Pilot. (9 PM, $5, 467-2391). . . . Also on Friday, the Paddy Kilrain Band will come out of hiding for one show at the Van Dyck (8 PM, $6, 381-1111). . . . It may be completely sold out by showtime, but don’t let that stop you from trying to nab tickets for Phish head Trey Anastasio’s Friday night solo show at the Palace Theatre (7 PM, $38, 465-3334). . . . At the Lark Tavern on Friday, “Grace: An Albany Tribute to Jeff Buckley” gathers local poets and musicians to interpret the words and music of the late singer-songwriter (10 PM, $5, 463-7875). . . . On Saturday, local musicians pay tribute to the late Ray Charles at Caffe Lena (8 PM, $10, 583-0022). . . . Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul and Mary) will perform with his daughter, Bethany Yarrow, at Troy Savings Bank Music Hall on Saturday (8 PM, $28, 273-0038). . . . At the other end of the musical spectrum, Blanks 77 will headline a multi-act punk-rock bill at Valentine’s on Saturday (7 PM, $10, 432-6572). . . . Legendary gospel group the Dixie Hummingbirds will pair with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band for a performance titled “Just a Closer Walk With Thee: The Sacred Sounds of New Orleans and Southern Gospel” at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington, Mass., on Saturday (8 PM, $20-$40, 413-528-0100). . . . Finally, the Van Dyck welcomes acoustic-guitar ace Adrian Legg on Wednesday (7 and 9 PM, $20, 381-1111).

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