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Charlie Watts Riots

SING FOR SOMEONE ELSE’S SUPPER Here’s your chance to potentially get a big-stage gig, and help those less fortunate on your way there. This Saturday (Sept. 27) from noon to 4 PM, the first-ever Uncle Sam Open Mike Acoustic Championship will be held in front of the River Street Beat Shop in Troy. Musicians, both professional and amateur, can sign up starting at 11 AM on the day of the event, and the entry fee is one nonperishable food item (or the cash equivalent). Judges include a number of local notables, including Rensselaer County Legislature Chairman Neil Kelleher; the winner takes home $150 cash, a live appearance on WVCR program Kaleidoscope (co-hosted by Beat Shop owner Jim Barrett), and an opening slot at an upcoming Revolution Hall show. Get more on the competition by calling 270-2888 or 272-0433.

JAZZ INTERACTION The fall season of Schenectady’s A Place for Jazz concert series is in full swing (heh), and a series of work shops has been scheduled to coincide with the concerts. The workshops are designed to help music students hone their chops, and to get a new generation of listeners interested in jazz music. The workshops are entirely free, and open to the public. This Friday (Sept. 26), tenor saxophonist Lee Russo will hold court at Nat Phipps’ jazz-improv class at Schenectady County Community College at 1:45 PM; the pair also will appear at the Hamilton Hill Arts Center at 4 PM. On Oct. 10, bassist Ben Allison will appear with Phipps at the same times and locations; vibraphonist Joe Locke will do the same on Oct. 24. Visit for more on the series.

LATE REGISTRATION Songwriter and performer Sandy McKnight has kicked off his fall songwriting workshop at Hudson Valley Community College. The first session was this Tuesday, but there are still five more classes to go; if you’re interested in getting in on it, go to recreation.html.

Also, performer-teacher Steven Marking just began his fall season of music classes at Hubbard Hall. The voice and musicianship class for children ages 8 to 13 meets Saturdays from noon to 1 PM, while the voice class for adults (ages 14 and over) meets from 1:15 to 2:15 PM. Both classes started this past Saturday, but it’s worth the call to 677-2495 to see if there’s still room.

SAVED BY THE BELL There’s still time for this one: Old Songs in Voorheesville will begin a series of classes in acoustic instruments on Oct. 6. It’s basically a six-week crash course in folk and Celtic music; instruments taught include fingerstyle guitar, mandolin, mountain dulcimer, clawhammer banjo, and accordion. The folks at Old Songs know their stuff, and the instructors are all top-notch players, so you’re bound to come out frailing with the best of ’em. Get times and information—and sign up—at, or call 765-2815.

MORE FOOD FOR ROCK, CHARLIE The rumblings about town are true: Feedback, Metroland’s annual local-music bash and benefit for Food Pantries of the Capital Region, is reclaiming its early-November perch, adjacent to our Local Music Issue, after a few chilly midwinters away. New area “supergroup” the Charlie Watts Riots and recent Metroland cover stars Charlie Everywhere are just some of the acts scheduled to perform. The date (Friday, Nov. 7) and location (Valentine’s) are solid; the name, however, is not. See, we already did Feedback 2008 back in January. If anyone has any ideas about what to call it this time out, e-mail me at with your suggestions. The full slate of performing acts, and the show’s official title, will be announced next week.

—John Brodeur

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