Win FREE TIX to the Hudson Valley Songfest @ Club Helsinki on Saturday

May 9th, 2011, 2:41 pm by Greg

The Hudson Valley Songfest is back in Hudson this weekend.

It all kicks off on Friday evening with the Best New Artists Showcase at Wunderbar & Bistro in Hudson. The festivities begin at 7:30pm, and the showcase will feature 10 up-and-coming acts. As determined by a panel of judges, the top three will be named as official Best New Artists of the HVS6, win valuable prizes, and have the opportunity to perform again in concert the following night at Club Helsinki Hudson. Admission to the showcase is $10.

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Pretty Good Problems to Have: Stew & the Negro Problem @ Club Helsinki Hudson, 4/15/11

April 14th, 2011, 2:00 pm by Greg
The shot Heidi doesn't like.

Stew & the Negro Problem: the shot Heidi doesn't like.

Stew and the Negro Problem are performing at Club Helsinki in Hudson on Friday night. If you have difficulty with the band name, see the picture. It’s worth a thousand words, and besides, I don’t do ‘how did you get the band name’ questions. In actuality, you will be getting the core duo of long-time cohorts Heidi Rodewald and Stew, from which the Negro Problem and all their good music comes.

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LIVE: A Weekend with the Felice Brothers, 3/25-26/11

March 29th, 2011, 5:00 pm by Greg
Ian Felice

Ian Felice

PART I: The Oneonta Theater, 3/25/11

I think I made a mistake.

I had decided early on to see the Felice Brothers again for the second time in about 2 months at the Oneonta Theater on Friday night. Later, when they announced a date at Club Helsinki for the following night, I debated, but I thought I wanted to see and experience them in a venue I had never been in, farther out of town, and in this neat old theater setting.

Mistake it was. Have we had enough of a very small minority of overly drunk – in this case, add rude and obnoxious – college students ruining a good time for the majority of others?

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LIVE: The Holmes Brothers @ Club Helsinki Hudson, 3/5/11

March 7th, 2011, 3:50 pm by Sara

“It’s so good to be back with our family!” exclaimed Popsy Dixon early during the Holmes Brothers’ highly-anticipated show at Club Helsinki. The feeling was mutual, as the jam-packed audience, ages 5 to 70, long-time fans and newbies, filled the dance floor throughout the night to enjoy a rousing mix of blues, soul, country and gospel.

The Holmes Brothers – featuring Dixon (drums) and brothers Wendell Holmes (guitar and keyboard) and Sherman Holmes (bass) – were perennial visitors to the previous incarnation of the venue in Great Barrington, as the club’s owner pointed out on Saturday in Hudson. Understandably moved by the ecstatic introduction and sheer beauty of the new place, the band opened with “Amazing Grace,” which showcased the hallmarks of their sound – charismatic lead singing, telepathic harmonies and impeccable musicianship – and followed it with a rollicking “Do Lord, Lord Remember Me.”

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LIVE: Rasputina @ Club Helsinki Hudson, 2/17/11

February 21st, 2011, 12:00 pm by Greg
Melora Creager

Melora Creager

“It’s 1844. What are you waiting for?,” wails Melora Creager as she leads the revolt against the oppressive Hudson Valley land-baron bastards, the Livingstons. Later on in the evening, her beautiful, haunting voice and dream-like cello playing convinces you that giants did exist… but eventually killed each other off. In fact, she is so convincing and heartfelt, painting musical portraits that drift between historical fact and dream-like fantasy, that she takes you there.

Founder of the cello-driven, classical power-trio Rasputina, Melora is from another place and time. A place and time where the past, future and present all collide in a maelstrom of soaring voices, magnificent twin-cello gun-play, mesmerizing sonics and lyrical folktales.

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Todd Snider’s Favorite Troubadours

January 31st, 2011, 2:15 pm by Greg
Todd Snider

Todd Snider

If there’s one thing that singer-songwriter Todd Snider knows all about, it’s telling stories. Rolling Stone magazine has named his “America’s sharpest musical storyteller.” His brand new double-disc live album is titled “The Storyteller.” And Snider is slated to ramble into Club Helsinki Hudson in Hudson at 9pm on Friday to regale us with his tales in person.

So we wanted to know about the troubadours whose songs and stories most inspired Snider. Here’s what we found out:

1. BOB DYLAN: For me, when it comes to being a fan of a troubadour, I have to laugh with you before I’ll cry with you, simply because most troubadours expect you to cry over their journal entries with them. Most troubadours are awful people. Bob, however, is not. I think he’s America’s finest contribution to the world, of any kind. He does not have a song I don’t like, and while he doesn’t talk much on stage, when he does, it’s precise, funny, wise and everything else. There really is no point in anyone else doing this troubadour thing. Hell, I once paid for a tape of Bob arguing on the phone…and I thought it was a great album.

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Five Firsts: Sean Rowe

December 17th, 2010, 11:00 am by Greg
Sean Rowe (photo by Leif Zurmuhlen)

(photo by Leif Zurmuhlen)

NAME: Sean Rowe

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … Falco! I must have been about 11 or 12 years old. I bought a huge suitcase cassette holder and graced it with the one tape cassette that I owned … Falco. I thought I was cool. Actually, no … I was cool!

2. THE FIRST CONCERT THAT I EVER SAW WAS … Debbie Gibson on her Electric Youth tour at the RPI Field House. I have nothing to say for myself other than … it was my sister’s idea. And I didn’t pay for my ticket, I swear!

3. THE FIRST MUSICAL INSTRUMENT I EVER OWNED OR PLAYED WAS … a marine band classic harmonica. Uncle Tony would give me one, which I would play for a few days and then sell on my own personal black market in Round Lake, NY for a dollar, which I would subsequently purchase candy with. This process was repeated several times. I did love the sound of that thing, though. It was years later when I would figure out how to bend a note.

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Live: James McMurtry @ Club Helsinki Hudson, 12/2/10

December 3rd, 2010, 3:00 pm by Greg

Texas songwriter James McMurtry has made the Capital Region a regular tour stop throughout his career, beginning 20 years ago with a solo gig at the long-gone Saratoga Winners.

Usually he’s seen with a full-throttle rhythm section behind him, but Thursday night he made his Hudson debut with a now rare solo performance at Club Helsinki Hudson.

For much of the evening McMurtry made up for the lack of a band by letting a twelve-string ring out his mesmerizing open-tuned changes. There was a touch of Lead Belly in the bottom end and the jangle of Roger McGuinn in the top, but there were also plenty of snaky Richard Thompson-like passages tangled in between the lyrics.

The lyrics?

James McMurtry – not a happy guy.

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