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The end of summer is always a time to look back and reflect on what you did while the sun was shining bright and with no obligations as you do the rest of the year. It’s a moment that is fleeting and you want to freeze in time forever. The soundtrack that was heard by the capacity crowd on the last day of August in Troy, NY, at The Hangar screamed this sentiment as JD McPherson strolled on stage and presented the 300 people in attendance with a night full of rockabilly and blues.

JD McPherson and his four person backing band were tremendous all night. Starting strong with “I Wish You Would,” the small room heated up quickly with people dancing all over the venue. JD jumps around the small stage and commands the crowd in a way that one can see they are ready for bigger crowds. From just watching the band and their interactions with one another and the crowd, the rockabilly and blues music that they produce is out of genuine love and not just a phase for them. About half way through the show, JD thanked the crowd for coming out and talked about being in the bar across the street just a year ago. He also slowed things down for a few numbers so everyone could catch their breath.

Once the crowd was cooled off it was right back to getting the crowd singing and dancing with “Let the Good Times Roll”, “Head Over Heels” and “North Side Gal”.  After the band left the stage the crowd roared with approval clearly wanting more. The three song encore that followed had the opener McKinley James come out to share a song with the band, before they launched into a rousing rendition of “Scandalous” to close out the evening. With his fan base in Upstate New York constantly growing, JD McPherson should have no problem playing larger venues in the future. Hopefully though some small shows like this can happen for fans in the area as well since there is nothing better than seeing a band firing on all cylinders in a tiny venue.

McKinley James, the son of the JD’s drummer, started the evening off with a lot of blues. The teenager can play the guitar and clearly loves the genre, but it seemed weird to be watching such a young kid sing about the blues as he couldn’t have experienced too much of it yet in his life. McKinley definitely has some potential and it will be fun to see where music can take him in the years to come.


Bryan Lasky is a DMDNR Satellite contributor from the Albany/upstate area. More of his work can be found here.