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Circle of Friends concert

The Eighth Step at Proctors, Saturday

Area husband-and-wife duo Kim and Reggie Harris are well-loved in folk and gospel circles for their spirited performances, and for their extensive and eclectic repertoire. So it’s no wonder that, when Reggie recently took ill, his fellow performers would gather around to donate their time and talent to his recovery effort. This Saturday, a number of those performers will share the stage at the Eighth Step to toast his returning health: The massive bill features Magpie, Greg Greenway, Bob Franke, Betty and the Baby Boomers, Lorraine & Bennett Hammond and about half a dozen more. Proceeds will go to Reggie and Kim Harris, and of course donations will be accepted even if you cannot attend the show. (Nov. 29, 7:30 PM, $26, 432 State St., Schenectady, 346-6204)


Blue Hand Luke

Blue Hand Luke

Revolution Hall, Saturday

They always come back. The Capital Region’s undeniable magnetism never lets anyone stay away for long. Some have called it a black hole—but when we’re talking about talented musicians coming home to roost, nobody’s really losing. Case in point: Luke McNamee, the saxophonist and bandleader of Blue Hand Luke, left the area in early 2008, after a hugely successful going-away show where he promised to one day return. He made it to Los Angeles, then worked his way back east to Austin, Texas, where he ended up playing with a host of great bands. But he’s a man of his word, and on Saturday he’s putting the band back together for a welcome-back show. We’re pretty sure this is just a one-off, but if he’s back for good, we’re not going to complain. The Twisted String Band will open. (Nov. 29, 8 PM, $10, 425 River St., Troy, 274-0553)

The Lonesome Brothers CD release

The Ale House, Saturday

Singer-songwriter-guitarist Ray Mason is something of a Western Mass. institution. And the Lonesome Brothers, Mason’s longtime “hick rock” band with fellow songwriter Jim Armenti and former Scud Mountain Boys drummer Tom Shea, has become a kind of parallel institution. With 23 years, seven records, and thousands of touring miles under their belts, the band are pressing on, peddling their world-weary rock & roll at pubs and coffeehouses around the Northeast. Their new disc, The Last CD, is another in a long line of fine releases from the Ray Mason music brand, but don’t be taken by the title—we’re pretty sure they’re just trying to create a sense of urgency, and move some product. Do your part and check the band out at the Capital Region CD-release show, this Saturday at the Ale House. (Nov. 29, 9 PM, $5, 680 River St., Troy, 272-9740)

Aaron Neville and His Quintet

Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Sunday

Some radio stations may have been pumping the holiday cheer for a month now, but the Christmas season really kicks into high gear this weekend. And the Mahaiwe has a special holiday treat scheduled for this Sunday: Aaron Neville, he of the broad stature and angelic singing voice, will lead his jazz quartet in a program of Christmas standards that is sure to warm the cockles of your heart. He’ll be joined by his brother, saxophonist Charles, on the show, to add a bit of family spirit; Charles will pull double duty as musical director for the quintet. Santa’s coming early this year. (Nov. 28, 8 PM, $43-$65, 14 Castle St., Great Barrington, Mass., 413-528-0100)

The Stationary Set, Cats Don’t Have Souls, Coma

Valentine’s, Sunday

This might be a tough weekend for a New York City-based indie-rock band to roll up to Albany for their first show, especially on Sunday. With so many people dosed-out on turkey leftovers, it’ll take some work to stir the clubgoing faithful. Thankfully, we think, New York City-based indie-rockers the Stationary Set have just the right formula to knock you out of your tryptophan comas. Their music at various times reminds us of Ben Folds, the Killers, and some of the less obnoxious emo—you know, the stuff that sounded like power pop. The band will be joined Sunday by local new-new-wave act Cats Don’t Have Souls and Coma, the new band from former members of Lincoln Money Shot, Amazing Plaid, Zahnarzt and about100 other bands. (Nov. 30, 9 PM, $5, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572)


Also Noted
Five Alpha Beatdown

Flights from Iceland must be pretty cheap this time of year: Five Alpha Beatdown will bring their patented brand of hard-rocking silliness to Red Square tomorrow (Friday), along with local boys the Charlie Watts Riots and the Sense Offenders (9 PM, $7, 465-0444). . . . “Road warrior” Paul Geremia plays the blues at Caffe Lena Friday night (8 PM, $18, 583-0022). . . . After drinking your way through a long day with the extended family, you’re gonna need it: Hair of the Dog will play Revolution Hall on Friday (7 PM, $25, 274-0553) and the Parting Glass on Saturday (8 PM, $13, 583-1916). . . . Or you could just have the holiday cheer beaten out of you: Stigmata, Burning Human, and Murderer’s Row head up a big, brutal bill at Northern Lights on Friday (7 PM, $12, 371-0012). . . . Call a priest—a Judas Priest! British Steel will unleash the Priest at the Roadhouse Grill Friday (9 PM, $10, 489-3170). . . . Where oh where have Complicated Shirt been hiding? Ask them when they re-emerge this Saturday for a show at Valentine’s, on a bill with Scientific Maps (9 PM, $5, 432-6572). . . . Close out the week with two world-class student performance groups: The SCCC Jazz Ensemble and SCCC Percussion Ensemble will hold a concert at the Carl B. Taylor Auditorium at Schenectady County Community College on Wednesday (7:30 PM, free, 381-1336).


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