March 5. Alexander is as versatile as a player can be. From a solo performance of Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring” (at The Uptown March 20) to his summer gig with the reggae band at Gully’s in Newburgh, Alexander’s wide-open-mind and hot chops make him da man in demand. Between tours he finds time for his own project, “Nail,” a truly original groove of acid-funk and jam-rock trips. His line-up always includes fantastic musicians and djs, like Tower of Power sax-man, Norbert Statchell. Dig what’s hip at the Corner Stage, a jazz-friendly room with soul. 9pm. $3. Middletown. (845) 342-4804.
March 5. All the young dudes may be older now, but Hunter appears to have gathered no moss. His Mott The Hoople (with Mick Ronson) planted the roots of glam rock for future stars like Davids Johannsen and Bowie, whose songs helped propel mth to stardom in the early 1970s. Hunter also charted his era with an acclaimed auto-bio, Diary of Rock’n’Roll Star. (If you need more classic rock history, the touring Thin Lizzy, hits the stage the following night, March 6) 8:30pm. $25. Poughkeepsie. (845) 471-1966.
The Comfy Chair
March 5. It’s a Catskill thing when you take your swing to The Comfy Chair at Hickory BBQ Smokehouse on 28 West. The Chair’s music is a mellow melange of Americana, country swing, and bluegrass that effortlessly packs a dance floor. These travellin’ road warriors (John Milward, Baker Rorick, Larry Packer, Steve Burgh, and Eric Parker) have played with some of the best, and (imagine!) call our area home. Get comfortable, but don’t expect to sit for long. (Come back March 12 for Doug Elliot’s Wet Paint) 8pm. No cover. Kingston. (845) 338-2485.
Marilyn Crispell Henry Grimes Duo
March 12. You may have heard the amazing story of jazz bassist Grimes, who dropped out and didn’t play on the scene for 30 years. Then a young bassist and admirer gave Grimes a bass and after three decades he’s burning up stages again. His virtuoso sound will be matched by the exuberance of Ulster resident Marilyn Crispell, an early Cecil Taylor disciple and world-renowned pianist in her own right. Once again, early seating is advised at the Rosendale Cafe. 9pm. $15. Rosendale. (845) 658-9048.
March 6, 13. Carlos Valdez’ Mambo KiKongo updates Latin jazz with smoldering results, and even the sometimes-stodgy Catamount Café at Chez Gitter will feel the heat for not one, but two windy weekends. With an all-star ensemble including Peter Buettner on sax and Paul Duffy on piano, Mambo KiKongo has turned up the heat on our fledgling Latin music scene. Cover charge includes one hour of Latin dance lessons. (The band is featured on-air March 27 at 8pm on The Laurel Masse
Jazz Show from wamc’s Linda Norris Auditorium.) 9pm. $10. Mount Tremper. (845) 688-2791.
John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers/Luther “Guitar Junior” Johnson
March 14, 27. Even though 2003 was international year of the blues, it’s still on at the Towne Crier. The ageless Mayall brings his latest thundering herd to the valley on his tour of 12 dates in the us with more promised for the summer. (If you’re green to the blues, Mayall broke talent like Eric Clapton, Fleetwood Mac co-founder Peter Green, and the Stones’ Mick Taylor.) Luther “Guitar Junior” Johnson, a tour de force of the Chicago “West Side” style, stomps into town on March 27. 8:30pm. $35, $32.50 (Mayall). 9pm. $25, $22.50 (Johnson). Pawling. (845) 855-1300.