Top 5 of 2018 -With a little help from our friends.

Written by on December 28, 2018

We asked local musicians, and friends of RRX to give us their top 5 what ever has been in 2018. We will ad to this blog as we receive more!

​​​​Amy Modesti’s RadioRadioX Top 5 Music Events 

Blue Hand Luke

Musical Reflections of 2018: 2018 has certainly been the year for entertaining live local and regional music within Greater Nippertown as well as its vibrant arts scene. This year alone in our music scene has been the time for band reunions, new band formations, partial band-breakups, many fun festive charitable events and community happenings, amazing tribute performances, and fun memorable moments from national acts that had brought me back to my childhood that made me relive the 90’s era (I was born in 1989). You will be able to see from my top five events that I’ve attended this year, how much our music & arts scene has continued to evolve, and I hope that from this review that you will be able to learn about these acts and the happenings that are happening in our community. A special thank you goes out to Art Fredette of RadioRadioX for giving me this opportunity to list my top 5 musical events of the year.

1. RadioRadioX Open House Ft. Off the Record Trio @RadioRadioX, Waterford, 9/27/2018 & A Funeral for The X @ The Hangar on The Hudson, Troy (4/14/18):Congratulations to RadioRadioX for officially making their online radio debut and location debut in the town of Waterford, NY this year. After the sudden ending of “The X”, RadioRadioX founder, Art Fredette, announced the formation of the new station, “RadioRadioX” during The Funeral of the X event at The Hangar on 4/14/18 that featured music from many local bands and solo acts. The formation of the new radio station kicked off with an open house event featuring live music from 60’s rock and roll lounge band, “Off the Record Trio”. 

2. Blue Machine Plays the Rolling Stones @ The Hangar on The Hudson, Troy, 5/11/18: If you thought their tribute to Jimi Hendrix was amazing last year at the Dino BBQ, think again. Blue Machine, featuring Tommy Love, selected singers from the Troy Music Academy, among other guest performers, put on one of the most amazing tributes to British rock and roll group, the Rolling Stones (and one of their best musical performances to date) at the Hangar. This was a special show to be a part of to watch my friends pay homage to these rock and roll legends while celebrating my birthday week. Thank you again Blue Machine for singing Happy Birthday to me after performing your first set!! This was a concert and moment that I won’t forget.

3. Blue Hand Luke Halloween Bash & Costume Contest @Rustic Barn Pub, Troy, 10/27/18: This year alone, local rock and roll cover group, “Blue Hand Luke” has put on some great performances. Their Halloween bash gig, held a few days shy of Halloween, was one of their most entertaining, fun gigs to date. Since their last Halloween gig in 2015 at the Rustic Barn Pub, “Blue Hand Luke” continued to make things “Spooky” and fun with their Halloween flavored rock and roll tunes.

4. 5th Annual Dustin Mele Memorial Concert @ Revolution Hall, Troy, 3/10/18: This year’s annual benefit event continues to be one of the top benefit concerts held in the Capital Region. This year’s event to benefit the American Suicide Prevention and other organizations, featured live music from “Diva and The Dirty Boys”, “Soul Sky”, a special entertaining reunion from “The Burners U.K.”, and “Super 400/Blue Machine”. Another one of my favorite events to attend in the community every year.

5. The Tradition @ Colonie Center, Colonie 2/2/18 and Soul Sky @ Colonie Center, Colonie 3/9/18: Local radio station, “The X” (now “RadioRadioX”), was hosting a monthly concert series held in the center area of the bottom floor of Colonie Center, held during the first Friday of every month. It was a great way for local shoppers to shop for their goods while listening to some great live local music from local acts, “The Tradition” (my first time hearing the group perform) and “Soul Sky” and a great way for shoppers to learn more about the new radio station. It was a unique experience to be a part of this monthly concert series and a great way to help further promote our evolving music scene.  

Art Fredette Radio Radio X Top 5

1)    Beth Orton and The Chemical Brothers-  I never asked to be your Mountain.As a Tim Buckley fan, I held my nose and pushed play.  To say I was surprised was an understatement.  This song captures all the soul of Buckley and adds refreshing energy to  this classic. It is less a cover than an interpretation.  AMAZING!/

2}   The Split Squad-   Showstopper  –  This garage rock super-group features members of Blondie, The Plimsouls, The Fleshtones, The Baseball Project  and The Paralax Project.   Showstopper is a song penned by Keith Streng of The Fleshtones and while it has a ‘Tones feel it is purely a Split Squad rave -up.  This is a slice of Pure rock heaven.

3)  Blase Debris-  Ember’s Song – Written because Duane Beer’s  daughter for a song about her, this song never dips into the schmaltz that usually accompanies this kind of tune.  See “Beautiful Boy” by John Lennon for an example.   Instead you get power chord guitar, a honking sax and a slice of celebration.   A cool song for a cool little girl!

4)   Hozier and Mavis Staples-  Nina Cried Power –  Hozier hit the charts with the soul infected, ” Take Me To Church” and he continues to prove he is no fluke with this song. “Nina Cried Power” .  A celebration, a joyful noise , this song really does take you to church!   Mavis and Hozier never step on each other but instead vocally riff in classic R&B tradition that transports the listener.

5)  Boondock Kingz – SOLO-  Country Hip hop from Schaghticoke.   Do not be fooled into thinking this is another Nash Vegas offering of Redneck cultural appropriation.  This is real hip hop.  The beats are great and insistent, the lyrical flow is on point and the tip of a hat to lifelong friends is sincere.  Check it out and thank me later.


Ralph Renna Radio Radio X  Top 5 -plus one

1.Rival Sons- As I sat down for the first time in Madison Square Garden awaiting Black Sabbath, a hurricane of sound came from the arena floor as Rival Sons took the stage. I loved everything about this band , with a new album coming in January. Rival Sons reassure us that rock-n-roll is alive and well.

2.The Avett Brothers- It wasn’t until I stumbled upon the bands documentary “May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers “. I became a fan and dove in wanting to hear all.

3. Clutch- Still and always be my favorite band, encouraging you to overdose on their impressive catalog of gems.

4. The Magpie Salute- Rich Robinson waits for no one and has reinvented the sound we love from the “Southern Harmony” days of The Black Crowes.

5.Zeffler- The book of American roots rock has another chapter written. “Homeward Bound” is locally grown and harvested, providing the soundtrack for anywhere America!

6.Girth Control- I am a huge fan of “We don’t fucking care” hardcore and punk and this is exactly that “Shorter- Faster -Dumber”. High energy songs lasting only 30-40 seconds. Spastic, punch drunk crusty anthems will take you in, chew you up and spit you out! I want more Girth Control and you will too.


Matt Demers of local hardcore band Hold It Down/Full Effect Tattoo

$uicide Boy$

1.$uicide Boy$ “I Want To Die In New Orleans”

2. Danheim “Runagaldr”

3.Lurk “Hi Fi”

4.Action Bronson “White Bronco”

5.Warduna “Skald”


Fred Rudofsky   2018 picks
1. Hell-On (ANTI-) — Neko Case  

2. Things Have Changed (Verve) — Bettye Lavette 

3.  The Blues Is Alive and Well (Silvertone)– Buddy Guy

4. Downey to Lubbock (Yep Roc) — Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore

5. Children of Paradise  (River House) — Willie Nile 


Ed Conway  Top 6 Albums for 2018

Bloodshot Bill & The Hick-Ups – “This Is It”
Full length vinyl from the wild man of Rockabilly and his band from Montreal.

Kyle Eldridge & The Rhythm Rounders – “The Ecco-Fonic Sessions EP”
Kyle is a fantastic guitarist and this EP, recorded by Deke Dickerson, really highlights his talent.  w/ Dakota Collins (bass) and Chris Story (drums)

Sean Mencher – “Plays Guitar” Instrumental guitar from one of the top keepers of the Travis and Atkins fingerpicking style

JD McPherson – “Socks”  This is not just another rehashing of Christmas songs of the past, but instead, originals done as only JD can.  w/Ray Jacildo (keys), Jimmy Sutton (bass), Doug Corcoran (guitar, sax,  etc), Jason Smay (drums), Giardinaires and Lucie Silvas (vocals)

Shaun Young and The 3 Ringers AND The  Texas Blue Dots – “Movin”
This release from the lead singer from High Noon will get you up and dancing.

Delta Bombers – “Pressure and Time”
Hard rockin album from the Las Vegas based hard rockin quartet


Mike Valente Brick By Brick/ Upstate Black N Blue Productions

1.Vein “Errorzone”

2.Terror “Total Retaliation”

3. Judas Priest “Firepower”

4.Madball “The Cause”

5.The Clay People “Demon Hero


Bear Campo Black Mountain Symphony

1. Jamie Cullum- 20 Something 
2. Duran Duran- Rio
3. Michael Kamen – Robin Prince of Thieves Soundtrack
4. Bryan Adams- So Far So Good
5. Yanni- In the Mirror

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