ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — On Friday, October 1, 1982, Michael Eck made his live musical debut, playing electric guitar with the hardcore punk band Deaf Zone in a Battle of the Bands at Bethlehem Central High School. First song? “Should I Stay or Should I Go” by the Clash.
In the decades since, Eck, a self-described “Roots scholar and multi-instrumentalist,” has played in every band you never heard of in Albany and some you actually may have, including The Plague, Chefs of the Future, Stomplistics, Ramblin Jug Stompers, Lost Radio Rounders, and Good Things. As a singer/songwriter, player, and producer, he has appeared on dozens of albums.
A June inductee to the Capital Region Thomas Edison Music Hall of Fame, Eck, a Signature Artist with Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments, is the only member who, as a longtime nationally published cultural critic, is also a voter for the national Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, in Cleveland.
At 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 25, Eck celebrates his 40th Anniversary in Live Music with a special performance at what he considers his spiritual home, Caffe Lena—located at 47 Phila Street in Saratoga Springs.
A veteran of “maximum solo acoustic gigs” in New York, New Orleans, and Austin, Texas, Eck will offer self-written selections from across his career, including tunes culled from four albums as well as a brace of new material, written, “during the pandemic and following a stroke.” Much of the new music has never been heard by a live audience.
Eck will be joined, on a select number of show-closing songs by his adult children, Lakota Ruby-Eck on guitar and Lillierose Ruby-Eck on violin. The show will also be a release party for Eck’s fifth solo album, “your turn to shine—new songs, live at wext.” Physical copies will be available on disc at the event, with digital distribution to follow. The title bears witness to the fact that most of the dozen selections were played live for the first time at the public radio station WEXT.