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Guy Davis

Proctors ge Theatre, Friday

Guy Davis, son of Ozzie Davis and Ruby Dee, has talent written into his genes. Davis taught himself blues guitar by observing other musicians, from fingerpicking to the rich chords of good old Southern blues. Raised in New York City by a Southern family, Davis says his music is deeply influenced by his grandmother’s stories of life down South. An accomplished composer and actor, Davis has won multiple awards from the Blues Foundation. Tomorrow (Friday), the Eighth Step brings him to Schenectady for an intimate concert in Proctor’s new 100-seat theatre. (Jan. 4, 7:30 PM, $21, 440 State St., Schenectady, 346-6204)

Empire State Troopers CD release

Valentine’s, Saturday

The classic-metal revival that’s cropped up over the last few years has brought many riches, and many reasons to disavow any knowledge of bands like, say, Hatebreed. Chief among the metalheads, at least on a local level, are the rifftastic Empire State Troopers, who will celebrate the release of their new CD this weekend. Led by Kelly Murphy, bassist for a number of area bands and 2004 winner of Best Frontperson in our Best Of issue, the Troopers sound a bit like Black Sabbath fronted by Grace Slick—that is, when they’re not full-steam rocking out, as on their “theme” song. Yes, they have a song named after the band. Yes, that’s awesome. Get ready to thrash this Saturday when they share a bill with the Mitchells and Complicated Shirt. (Jan. 5, 9 PM, $5, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572)

The Lustre Kings’ Elvis Birthday Bash

WAMC Performing Arts Studio, Saturday; the Ale House, Sunday

It’s that time again. The King would have been 73 on Jan. 8, and Mark Gamsjager and the Lustre Kings are ready to party like the guy never died. The band have been honoring Elvis’ legacy for a number of years now, and the party gets bigger and bigger each year. This year is no exception: In addition to this weekend’s shows, they’ll continue the festivities at Daisy Baker’s in Troy next Friday, and they have additional shows planned in Vermont, Rochester, Syracuse, Connecticut and New York City. Because everybody loves the King. Along for the festivities will be Johnny Rabb, John Tichy and Rocky Velvet, and together they’ll cover the Presley gamut, playing songs from the ’50s through the ’70s. (Jan. 5, 8 PM, $20, 339 Central Ave., Albany, 465-5233 ext. 4; Jan. 6, 8 PM, $10, River St., Troy, 272-9740)

John Prine

Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Sunday

John Prine has never had quite as much popular success as he has had respect: The critics dug him from the get-go, and his fellow songwriters have paid him the great compliment of rushing in clusters to cover his songs. His tune “Angel From Montgomery,” for instance, has been performed by Bonnie Raitt, Carly Simon and Tanya Tucker; “Hello in There” has been picked up by 10,000 Maniacs, Eddi Reader, Joan Baez and Bette Midler—and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Since the late ’60s, Prine’s been quietly and consistently cranking out humorous and richly human folk- and blues-based songs of the type you wish you had written yourself. Even the titles are winning enough to inspire professional envy: “Jesus, the Missing Years,” “Humidity Built the Snowman,” “The Late John Garfield Blues,” “Your Flag Decal Won’t Get You Into Heaven,” “Yes, I Guess They Oughta Name a Drink After You,” and the philosophical “Big Ol’ Goofy World,” are just samples from an extensive catalog. Why didn’t we think of those? (Jan. 6, 7:30 PM, $45, 30 2nd St., Troy, 273-0038)


Miley Cyrus

Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus, the Jonas Brothers

Times Union Center, Wednesday

Hello, time travelers, and welcome to 2008. We hope you had a nice trip from 1991. Sorry about the turbulence back there around the early part of this decade; we’ll explain that later. First, we’d like to clear a few things up regarding the apparent similarities between our time and yours: 1) That’s not the same President Bush; he’s actually worse, if you can imagine that. 2) When you see the name Cyrus on the Times Union Center (you know it as Knickerbocker Arena) marquee and get all achy-breaky about it, just stop. That’s Billy Ray’s daughter, Miley, and she’s the biggest little Disney star right now, thanks to her TV character, Hannah Montana. And she’s performing with the biggest little boy band in Disney Nation, the Jonas Brothers. Don’t even try to get tickets to the show, because it’s so sold-out that mothers are selling out their own daughters to get in. Enjoy your stay! (Jan. 9, 7 PM, 51 S. Pearl St., Albany, 800-30-EVENT)

 


Also Noted

Janis won’t be there, but don’t let that stop you: Big Brother and the Holding Company are at the Bearsville Theater in Woodstock on Friday (8 PM, $30, 845-679-7303). . . . Sounds, uh, yummy: Necrosis will ring in the new year with a Friday bill at Northern Lights that also includes Moodswings to Murder, Image of Death, Terrestrial Sphere and more (5:30 PM, $10, 371-0012). . . . Noteworthy Kidz, Inc. present the first installment of their second annual Midwinter Music Festival this Saturday at the Carl B. Taylor Community Auditorium at Schenectady County Community College; the Electric City Rock Fest will feature Hyngd, the Erotics, 8 x 9, Stuck on Stupid, Blackcat Elliot, Electric Lipstick, and Acoustic Trauma (2 PM, $10, noteworthykidz.org). . . . Time for laughter, time for folking: Christine Lavin and Cheryl Wheeler perform at the Eighth Step in the GE Theatre at Proctors on Saturday (7 PM, $25, 434-1703). . . . Brooklyn’s Swimclub, a band featuring former members of defunct area band the Users, share the bill at Tess’ Lark Tavern on Saturday with Scientific Maps (10 PM, $5, 463-9779). . . . The Albany Sonic Arts Collective presents a program of experimental banjo, turntables and electronics with Holland Hopson and Jason Cosco at the Upstate Artists Guild Gallery this Saturday (7:30 PM, $5 donation, 426-3501). . . . Get your fix of “lively and lyrical acoustic folk music” when Adesso perform at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall on Tuesday as part of the Music at Noon series (noon, free, 273-0038).


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