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CountryFest

Altamont Fairgrounds, Saturday

It’s time again to give the horses your beer and ride a cowboy on down to Altamont, because radio station “Country 107.7” WGNA will host the 15th annual CountryFest this weekend. This year’s star-studded lineup is a mix of the old and the new, and of the X and Y chromosomes. Headliner Trisha Yearwood was one of country music’s biggest stars throughout the 1990s; though her most recent release is a cookbook, rest assured that she’ll bring the hits old and new at CountryFest. On the other end of the spectrum are James Otto, whose new album Sunset Man is one of this year’s surprise hits, and newcomer Ashton Shepherd. Saturday’s lineup also features Billy Currington, Eric Church, Phil Vassar, and the Capital Region’s own Back 40 Band. Git along now. (July 12, 11 AM, $35, children 10 and under free, Route 146, Altamont, wgna.com)

Brad Paisley, Jewel

Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Sunday

Has Metroland gone country? Sort of. More to the point is that the arrival of the “Paisley Party Tour” is the one major country-music event on SPAC’s summer schedule. Headliner and tour namesake Brad Paisley is one of the genre’s biggest stars, with 11 No. 1 country singles and a Grammy award to his credit, and album sales in the multi-millions. While we don’t typically condone anything that comes from West Virginia, he is one heck of a guitar player, so there’s that. Warming up on Sunday is Jewel—the same Jewel who came to fame as a yodeling folkie, who later dabbled in dinky electro-pop, and who recently re-branded herself as a country musician, which, we have to say, actually kinda works for her. Also on Sunday’s bill are Chuck Wicks and Julianne Hough. (July 13, 7:30 PM, $27.50-$49.75, Saratoga Spa State Park, Saratoga Springs, 476-1000)

Adirondack Homegrown Music Festival

Shepard’s Park, Sunday

The lineup at this year’s Adirondack Homegrown Music Festival will serve up heavy doses of funk, jam, rock, blues and folk for open-minded listeners. This is the third year for the AHMF, which was thought up by bassist Andrew DelSignore of Three Dimensional Figures (who are, not coincidentally, on Sunday’s bill). Glens Falls punk-funk rockers Capital Zen should add to the positive vibrations on with their infectious music and good-time attitude (abiding by their MySpace motto, “mixin punk with funk, gettin crunk with skunk”). Also in the lineup are acoustic-rock outfit Flakjacket, Saratoga pop-punk quartet the Loyalty, and the bluesy guitar licks of Phil Camp and the Joe Mama Band. To prevent dead time during setups and sound checks, acoustic sets will be staged in between bands, ensuring constant musical stimulation all day and night. (July 13, 11 AM, free, Shepard’s Park, Lake George, 928-0170)

Sones de Mexico

Central Park, Sunday

This Grammy- and Latin-Grammy-nominated Mexican folk group out of Chicago are bringing traditional Mexican music to new heights. Utilizing more than 70 instruments—but no synthesizers—the ensemble show how “deep Mexican culture can go,” explains band member Juan Díes. The ensemble’s newest album, Esta Tierra Es Tuya (This Land Is Your Land), is filled with traditional Mexican folk music, plus a few popular covers—like J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G major. They even add a south-of-the-border flair to Led Zeppelin’s “Four Sticks.” “This piece attracted me, because it was very rhythmic,” Dies says. “We began to transform it into an Aztec ceremonial dance, and when you listen to Aztec drums, you have the same feeling of power and drive that you would get from heavy metal.” (July 13, 7 PM, free, Central Park, Schenectady, 382-5151)


The Dollytrots

The Dollyrots

Washington Park Lakehouse, Monday

Kicking off this year’s estrogen-heavy Monday Nights in the Park lineup are punk-pop trio the Dollyrots. Frontwoman Kelly Ogden was named one of Blender magazine’s Hottest Women of Rock, and eye candy’s always nice, but don’t let that distract you from the fact that she rocks like she drinks: hard. Along with bandmates Luis Cabezas and Chris Black, Ogden produced one of the best slabs of rah-rah-rah punk in recent memory with the title track from the Dollyrots’ Because I’m Awesome (a song that cheekily borrows the riff from Blur’s “Song 2”). The album also features a genuinely kickass cover of the 1971 Melanie hit “Brand New Key,” which you’ll be singing along to on Monday night. Opening what is sure to be a pleasingly loud show are Sirsy and Ophelia Smiles. (July 14, 7 PM, free, Washington Park, Albany, 434-3861)


Also Noted

Start your weekend early with a little Bo peep: American Idol rocker Bo Bice headlines Alive at Five today (Thursday) at Albany Riverfront Park; Sirsy open the show (5 PM, free, 434-2032). . . . For something a little lower-intensity, head over to the Amrose Sable Gallery in Albany tonight for the subtle sounds of Philadelphia’s Noa Babayof, Brooklyn-based Sharon Van Etten, and the Capital Region’s own Swamp Baby (8 PM, $5 donation, amrosesablegallery.com) . . . . Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews and Orleans Avenue bring their accomplished New Orleans funk to Red Square tonight (9 PM, $10, 465-0444). . . . Also tonight, ’60s hitmakers the Happenings sing their classics at Vapor Nightclub at Saratoga Gaming and Raceway (8 PM, $25, 800-595-4849). . . . “Greaser metal punk rockers” Blasé Debris are getting ready for an eight-day stint on the Vans Warped Tour; they’ll warm up with a show at Savannah’s tomorrow (Friday) night, with Hellfire and Restless Streets sharing the bill (8 PM, $5, 426-9647). . . . Girl power strikes the Pines Theatre at Look Park in Florence, Mass., this weekend: Friday, it’s Melissa Etheridge (7 PM, $65-$75, 413-586-8686); Saturday, Ani DiFranco shares a bill with Juno (and Moldy Peaches) songstress Kimya Dawson (7 PM, $35, 413-586-8686). . . . Nonagenarian saxophone- and clarinet-whiz Al Gallodoro celebrates his recent 95th birthday, and the release of a new live CD, with a show at Caffe Lena this Saturday (8 PM, $15, 583-0022). . . . The Bob Gluck Trio celebrate the release of a new CD, Sideways, this Saturday at Justin’s (9:30 and 11:30 PM, $5, 436-7008). . . . Get your indie-folk-whatever fix at Tess’ Lark Tavern Saturday, where Scientific Maps, Barons in the Attic, Martha Dumptruck Massacre, and El Olio Wolof will team up for a very big show, both physically and figuratively (9 PM, $5, 463-9779). . . . You have two chances to SMiLE this week: Brian Wilson and his band play the Belleayre Music Festival in Highmount on Saturday (8 PM, $45-$75, 800-942-6904); then it’s off to the Calvin Theatre in Northampton, Mass., Tuesday night (8 PM, $55-$75, 413-586-8686).


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