518 Sessions

WEXT

Local 518 songwriter, band leader, and activist Taina Asili has received national acclaim for her music; most recently for her single No Es Mi Presidente released in 2017. Now she is back with a full length album Resiliencia where she has taken herself out of the spotlight. This time around instead of writing soley from her own experiences she took this album as a tool for others to speak their truths and stories.

Angelina Valente at WEXT
WEXT

Local 518 Angelina Valente is releasing her new album, "You and Me."  She's written some pretty personal songs.  They ring with a true and honest voice. Wait until you hear the songs she sings for us.  She talks with us about her songwriting, her favorite place to play (especially to get to practice there), and growing up in a small town in upstate New York.

Her CD release is on Wednesday, April 10th at The Cock N Bull Restaurant in Galway, NY.

Sandy McKnight's Pop-Clique
WEXT

Sandy McKnight is a singer, songwriter, producer, playwright, author and phlebotomist. Well maybe not the latter, but his songs get under our skin.  His new band, Sandy McKnight's Pop-Clique, played our studio and talked up a new release called, "Hit List".  

Listen: Local 518 Saffi

Mar 18, 2019
Saffi at WEXT
WEXT

Saffi is the primary songwriter for and lead singer for the western New York based band, Leyda.  Saffi went to school right here in Voorheesville. She was back for a holiday visit home with the family and took some time to drop by to play songs and talk about her music and her band.

The Insolent WIllies
WEXT

Johnstown's The Insolent Willies dropped by to play a few songs and talk about music and their upcoming shows.  We learn a bit about Bill Ackerbauer and Frank Dever Pullen as they play as a duo for us in the studio.

See The Insolent Willies at The Low Beat opening for Stevie Tombstone on March 28th. And on the 23rd at Stoney's Irish Grill.

Kevin McKrell at WEXT
WEXT

Kevin McKrell dropped by to discuss a reformation of Donnybrook Fair. They're playing a few area shows this week. There are not plans beyond occasional shows, but Kevin is in the process of readying a new solo album. He's finalizing the songs. We hope to hear he's recording later this year.

Katie Louise
WEXT

Katie Louise dropped by to talk about hew new EP, "Unleash."  We discussed songwriting, her CD release show and specifically about two of the 7 songs on the EP.  Turns out the first song we play in the interview was a song she wrote at 16. It's called "Imprisoned in Paradise."

WEXT

Local musician Maria known as Belle Skinner splits her time between Albany and Brooklyn. This weekend she will be  in Albany  headlining a show alongside Girl Blue and Zan & the Winter Folk. Saturday at the Linda Performing Arts Center. Go to hear her soprano voice that will mesmerize you and the nostalgic sound of her music that will have your heart. 

Dan Berggren
WEXT

Dan Berggren and I talk about his career making music, the first open mic at Caffe Lena, his first song, and the view his mother and grandfather saw of the Sleeping Giant in the Adirondacks.

Plus, Dan plays a few delightful songs, including one that was in his short set that first open mic at Caffe Lena.

Dan plays two shows at Caffe Lena on March 2nd to celebrate his 70th birthday. The later show is sold out  contact Caffe Lena to see if tickets are still available for the matinee.

Bob Bates & JoAnn Sifo
WEXT

Bob Bates and JoAnn Sifo of Dyer Switch Band playing songs of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper. A special tribute on February 10 at 3pm at The Strand in Hudson Falls.

The live show sold out last year, and this is the 60th anniversary of the "day the music died." So, if you think you want to go, you should call up the Strand to get your tickets (518.832.3484).

Have a listen!

Listen: Local 518 Nicole Maher

Jan 22, 2019
WEXT

Local 518 musician Nicole Maher silently released an album in 2018 that caught our ear. "I Am With You, Always. Until The End of The World."  The song Lonely Heart from that album made it into our top 60 Local songs of 2018. She sits down with Eva and speaks about new albums she has in mind and plays us new songs that haven't been released yet! 

Michael Jerling at WEXT
WEXT

Local 518 singer-songwriter, Michael Jerling stopped in to discuss and play songs from his newest release called "Family Recipe." We learned a little about what inspires him and how he goes about making an album. Plus, Michael talked about the amazing contributors to this new record. 

Michael's CD release is at Caffe Lena on December 29th. 

Josh Clevenstine
WEXT

We found out about Josh purely by accident. Carrying on the tradition of the Adirondack folk singers, like Christopher Shaw, Dan Berggren and others. We met Josh through a Facebook post by Chris Shaw. So, we had to ask about the connection. Turns out, it's been a life-long connection that started when Josh was very young hearing one of Chris' recordings in his car seat.

Find Josh at the Across the Street Pub in Albany monthly.

The Gigglers from the Diver Library
WEXT

Libraries are more than just quiet spaces with books. These days, libraries are the hub of communities, and nowhere is that more apparent than in Schaghticoke, NY.  Diver Library director, Nicholas Matulis is also a Local 518 musician. He's been in the WEXT studios before with several projects, including Swamp Baby, one of our favorite Local 518 bands.

Playin' With Fire Band
WEXT

We had a visit with the Playin' With Fire Band.  During the visit, Kim told us the story behind her song (and album title track), "Closer Than We Know." She wrote it for her best friend, whom she lost when Pan Am Flight 103 was bombed over Scotland in 1988.  We hear that story, and a few songs performed live at WEXT in this special 518 Session.

Bob Warren & Matt  Donnelly
WEXT

Bob Warren stopped by to bring us up to date with some new music, and his new album, "My Town." The album is filled with songs about his town of Greenwich, and Saratoga Springs.

Bob was joined in the studio by Matt Donnelly on keyboard, and Tony Markellis on bass.

Bob has two shows as a release party for the CD at Caffe Lena on November 2 and 3. Both are sold out  you can watch on Concert Window. Details at Caffe Lena's website.

Honey Slider
WEXT

They met while performing in a student production of "Rent."  They've been writing songs ever since.  Hear what the duo/band Honey Slider is up to next.

Their new CD will be released at a special show at The Hollow on October 26th.

Julia Alsarraf
WEXT

Singer-songwriter, Julia Alsarraf stopped by to play a few songs and talk about making music.  Catch her around downtown Troy streets, or on her Facebook page.

Plus, we'll be with her and the City of Albany for September in the City at Dinapoli Park in downtown on September 13, 2018 from 1130-2p.

Here's her session. We look forward to when she makes some recordings.

Hamilton Craig
WEXT

From Shushan, NY, Local 518 singer-songwriter Hamilton Craig tends to break molds (and he has in the best of ways), but this time around, he's coming at music from a new place - in life and in his love for folk music.  While that may seem like he's giving us a straight-ahead set of folk music, it may not.  

His songs have a singular voice, one that speaks from the living of life, one that tells truth, emboldens, and empowers.

Steve Candlen & Chris Wienk
WEXT

Saratoga Springs singer-songwriter Steve Candlen has been a little quiet in his music output the last few months, but as he says in this session, the muse is back. His creativity took a slight detour while he built furniture and stuff for a new house he and his girlfriend just moved into.

Steve will be one of the Court Jester Troubadours with us at #ExitDome11. See details and get tickets at this link.

Mike O'Donnell of MOTORBIKE
WEXT

Mike O'Donnell, of the Rodeo Barons, has a new project. It's called MOTORBIKE. While the Rodeo Barons are on a bit of a break (do hurry back, guys!), Mike has continued writing. Very much influenced by Lou Barlow and a chance opening gig where he got to act all fan boy (despite trying hard not to do so), Mike has created this new sound. 

Zan & the Winter Folk
WEXT

Local 518 artist, Zan Strumfeld has been a favorite here at WEXT.  She's been on a quest for just the right sound. She thinks she has found it with the new bandmates that make up The Winter Folk.  Find out where the band name comes from, and hear the resulting sound (minus their drummer) in this new studio session. We're looking forward to the EP they talk about as well.

Listen: Local 518 Taylor Wing

Jul 19, 2018
Taylor Wing
WEXT

Local singer songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Taylor Wing stopped by the studio to share new music with Eva. She talks to us about working through stage fright, her writing process and a new record to hopefully be coming out next year.

She will also be performing in our Exit Dome 11 on September 7th!

The McWatters Brothers
WEXT

Matt and Tom McWatters dropped by with their band (Scott Smith, drums, Tony Califano, keyboards, and Chris Neuhaus, bass). They played a couple Springsteen tracks from "Darkness on the Edge of Town." The brothers will be covering the entire album at a special show at The Low Beat on August 11th.

Hear all about it, and find out their favorite songs from the record. Plus, we have a special treat with the opening act from that night, Unbreakable Bonds.

The Sea The Sea
WEXT

It's been a long wait for album number two from the Local 518 duo known as The Sea The Sea.  This time out, Chuck and Mira have joined forces with Cara and Stephen to form a quartet The Sea The Sea.  They've been playing in this configuration for some time.  And as you'll hear in the interview, the new quartet worked quite collaboratively on the new album, "From The Light."

Girl Blue
WEXT

Arielle O'Keefe, aka Girl Blue, is working on a new album. She intends to release another new single soon, and will release half of the album by August. We are super excited for this new record.

Thanks for coming to share the news and a few songs with us, Girl Blue.

Videos will be coming soon.

Join Girl Blue on Patreon at this link.

Dyer Switch Band
WEXT

Dyer Switch Band presents the Grand Ole Opry Tribute, May 6th, 3 pm-5 pm at the Strand Theater in Hudson Falls. Special Guests: Al and Kathy Bain, George Schacher, and Michael Craner.

Dyer Switch and Al & Kathy Bain dropped by to sing some old classics and talk about this fun show in Hudson Falls.

Blind Crow
WEXT

An acoustic string band from upstate New York, Blind Crow plays bluegrass, folk, 'dawg' music, and interesting rarities. Ryan, Eric, Tim and Jeff dropped by to play a few songs and promote their album, "Forgo the Balance."

We look forward to being with them at Tulip Fest in May.

Joel Brown & Dave Maswick
WEXT

Local 518 Joel Brown & Dave Maswick are releasing their new album, "Skyline Drive." They've got a show at Caffe Lena to celebrate, too (March 31, 2018).  This album is full of gems, including songs inspired by grandchildren, Emmylou Harris, and more.

Sam Reed
WEXT

Local 518 singer-songwriter Sam Reed wants to make a difference. He's writing songs that don't get written as much these days. Sam's writing protest songs.  Check him out.  See the video for his song "Doing Fine" below the audio for the Local 518 Session.

Visit Sam's website to see what he’s up to as well  

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