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The Kamikaze Hearts CD-release show

Iron Horse Music Hall, Friday

You’ve been waiting. You’ve seen the band’s newsletters, promising the release of a new album for, what, three years now? Wait no longer: The Kamikaze Hearts’ second full-length CD, Oneida Road, is finally here. Really—we’ve heard it, and it is good. Very good, in fact: The Hearts took a long-ass time perfecting the recording, and it shows in the sound quality, the arrangements, and in the dark country soul that hangs in each of the album’s nine songs. Tomorrow (Friday) night, the Hearts celebrate the release of Oneida Road with a show right here in their hometown . . . waitaminute—it’s in Massachusetts? What gives? Anyway, they’re making it special for those wary of the road trip: A one-time-only expanded Hearts lineup will perform the album in its entirety. (Sept. 29, 10 PM, $10, 20 Center St., Northampton, Mass., 413-584-0610)

Knotworking, Slow Learner, French Press Marie

Valentine’s, Saturday

Those of you who recall the Great Albany Americana Wars of the early 2000s should enjoy this weekend’s live-music programming, as heavyweight champions Kamikaze Hearts play Friday (see above), followed on Saturday by a rare appearance from wiry welterweights Knotworking. Frontman Ed Gorch moved off to Brooklyn a few years back, and his old gang (including ax-slinger and Metroland music scribe Mike Hotter) doesn’t get much stage time these days, so this one’s a must for fans of the group’s Will Oldham-style folk. Gorch is bringing along Slow Learner, the band for whom he currently plays guitar. The band, led by songwriter Michael Napolitano, frequent the same dark musical terrain as Knotworking, and their debut disc In This Time They Are Magnificent was called “a brilliant and beautiful creation” by online music zine Revolt Media. Catch the two bands, plus special guests French Press Marie, this Saturday night. (Sept. 30, 9 PM, $5, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572)


Caffe Lena, Saturday

Berkshires folk trio Evergreen recently released their new album Old Songs and New. They’ll be coming to Caffe Lena this Saturday with more than four decades of performance experience under their belts, where they’ll share material from their new disc. Their shows have been called “an enjoyment for audiences ranging from pre-schoolers to senior citizens.” Mixing traditional folk of the British Isles with contemporary American folk, including some of their own compositions, Wintergreen offer pristine three-part harmonies and song types including ballads, gospel, waltzes, jigs and Celtic tunes. The trio’s performance involves a variety of instruments including double bass, autoharp, psaltery, guitar, hammered dulcimer, recorder, banjo and percussion. The Berkshire Eagle has praised them as being the “crystalline clarity of a chamber ensemble . . . complex, downright acrobatic three-part harmonies.” (Sept. 30, 8 PM, $12, Caffe Lena,47 Phila St., Saratoga Springs, 583-0022)

Umphrey’s McGee

Umphrey’s McGee

The Egg, Monday

If ye are not of the jam-band tribe, it can be a confounding surprise when a band like, say, Umphrey’s McGee come out of nowhere with a huge and fervent following. Nay, but this is not the case. A band like Umphrey’s McGee actually earn said big following slowly, by a constant regimen of touring and jamming, jamming and touring. Verily, they play what the jamsters want to hear: “A seamless fusion of diverse musical influences, from progressive rock to metal to funk to folk to jazz fusion to classic song-based rock & roll, all woven together with infectious melodies, thought-provoking lyrics, pristine harmonies, blistering musicianship and rollicking grooves.” Soundeth too good to be true? Heed the words of Variety critic Jeff Miller on an April performance: “They don’t always get there . . . but when they do . . . Umphrey’s almost deserve the reverence their fans heap on them.” Verily. (Oct. 2, 8 PM, $25, Empire State Plaza, Albany, 473-1845)

Leo Kottke

Colonial Theatre, Wednesday

Guitarist-vocalist Leo Kottke will take the stage at Pittsfield’s Colonial Theatre on Wednesday night. The solo guitarist explored music early on, playing the violin and piano in his youth. When he first took a guitar in his hands, however, he knew he had found his instrument. Kottke, who began his career focusing solely on his guitar playing, has gone in a distinctly more vocal direction. His offbeat performances feature his signature finger-picking style and vocals, as well as his original (and sometimes bizarre) monologues. Kottke, who describes his own unique baritone unsparingly as “geese farts on a muggy day,” has a 29-album career under his belt. Emerging on the music scene with his first album “12 String Blues” way back in 1968, like a fine wine (or perhaps a whiskey), Kottke has never staled or lost popularity, consistently producing successful albums, including last year’s Sixty Six Steps. (Oct. 4, 8 PM, $25-$45, 111 South St., Pittsfield, Mass., 413-997-4444)

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