Posts Tagged ‘Club Helsinki’

LIVE: The Wood Brothers @ Club Helsinki, 8/15/14

Thursday, August 21st, 2014
The Wood Brothers

The Wood Brothers

Review and photographs by Richard Brody

The sold-out, standing-room-only Club Helsinki crowd came expecting a great show. The Wood Brothers did not disappoint. They opened with “Sing About It” from their current album The Muse. The strolling bass line laid down by Chris Wood that began the song was quickly followed by the light touch of Oliver Wood’s acoustic guitar, and then Jano Rix’s melodica, and when the last instrumental note vanished into the night, the first vocal line was sung a cappella: “If you get too worried, what you ought to do is sing,” the second half of which was sung in three part gospel-like harmony. We were barely a minute into the show, and the band had displayed their ability to seamlessly integrate several musical styles that captured their essence.

Good songwriters need inspiration and the title track of The Muse is an homage to Oliver’s wife, who provides the space and support for the tunes to get created. But it was the birth of his child that helped him complete the song with the lines:

“And if I was thinkin’ I’d be thinkin’ thank God whoever you are
For the muse and the miracle right here in my arms.”

Yet the music was not all nice and tender. The band turned up the heat on a number of songs, most notably “Honey Jar,” a funk-influenced tune that began with some dizzyingly fast bass and drums that carried the song until it slid into a slower tempo blues bridge that transitioned back into the fast stuff and remained there until its crescendo finish. And then there was arguably the crowd’s favorite “Who the Devil” that began slowly with Chris’ bowed bass leading and building to a rocking instrumental break that provided numerous improvisational sparks led by Oliver’s electric guitar that was overtaken by Rix’s percussion and Chris’ thumping bass, and then slowly brought back to the song’s opening tempo by Chris’ bowed bass.

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Jerry Douglas, What Was the First Record You Ever Bought?

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014
Jerry Douglas

Jerry Douglas

“It was ‘Penny Lane’ by the Beatles. I bought it for my girlfriend. I don’t even have it. I gave it away immediately.

But the first record that I bought for myself was probably ‘Walk Away Renee’ by the Left Banke. Yeah, that was the first one. I paid 74 cents for it.”

His playing has been heard on over 2,000 albums, garnering him 13 Grammy Awards, three Country Music Association’s Musician of the Year awards, a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Americana Music Association. Dobro master Jerry Douglas leads his band into Nippertown for two shows this week. At 8pm on Wednesday (August 6), he’ll step into the spotlight at Club Helsinki in Hudson ($30). And at 8pm on Friday (August 8), he’ll take over the Swyer Theatre at The Egg in Albany ($28).

LIVE: The Baseball Project @ Club Helsinki, 7/23/14

Monday, July 28th, 2014

The Baseball Project @ Club Helsinki, 7/23/14

Review and photograph by Ross Marvin

By the time the Baseball Project roared into Hudson on Wednesday, they had played more than a double-header, appearing on “The Dan Patrick Show” and later on WAMC-FM (lunch was apparently quinoa burgers at Howard Glassman’s the Low Beat) before cruising south to Club Helsinki.

Despite the long day, the veteran rockers played with the spirit of newly signed bonus babies. Keyboardist Josh Kantor (who is also the official organist of the Boston Red Sox) threw the first pitch with some tasty ballpark sounds on his B3, and the band – Scott McCaughey (guitar/vocals), Steve Wynn (guitar/vocals), Mike Mills (bass/vocals) and Linda Pitmon (drums) – took the stage like the home team in the top of the first (OK, OK, enough of the baseball puns, but I could go all night).

For anyone who doesn’t know, this indie supergroup has released three albums of story songs about America’s pastime. From the obscure (Doc Ellis’ ejection for hitting three Cincinnati Reds in a row) to the infamous (A-Rod and Pete Rose), the band is a dream come true for those true blue-blooded Americans who love their baseball with a side dish of power pop.

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Five Firsts: Ruby Stinson

Monday, July 14th, 2014
Ruby Stinson

Ruby Stinson

NAME: Ruby Stinson
INSTRUMENT: Voice

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … The Fugees’ The Score

2. THE FIRST CONCERT THAT I EVER SAW WAS … Cher! She was also my mom’s first concert.

3. THE FIRST MUSICAL INSTRUMENT I EVER OWNED OR PLAYED WAS … My first instrument was the viola. I was never really that great, but I stuck with it until high school.

4. THE FIRST SONG THAT I EVER PERFORMED IN PUBLIC WAS … “I Am the Cute One” by the Olsen Twins for a Filipino talent show.

5. THE FIRST BAND I WAS EVER IN WAS … I was in a girl group called R&B Divas in the sixth grade. I don’t think we ever had an official performance, but we sang a lot of Divine and Destiny’s Child songs, a true kid of the ’90s.

Ruby Stinson will team up with her dad Tommy Stinson (who plays bass for Guns ‘n Roses and the Replacements) for the FarmOn! Hoedown at Club Helsinki in Hudson at 7pm on Friday (July 18). Headlining the benefit for the FarmOn! Foundation will be another second generation musician, Willie Nelson’s son, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, who made quite an impression at SPAC last September at Farm Aid. The Liana Gabel Band will open the show. Tickets are $50 for general admission; $75 for reserved VIP.

FIVE FIRSTS: Karen Cole of the Dust Bowl Faeries

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014
The Dust Bowl Faeries

The Dust Bowl Faeries

NAME: Karen Cole
BAND AFFILIATION: The Dust Bowl Faeries
INSTRUMENT: Lap steel guitar / percussion / vocals

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … I had a lot of 45s earlier, but the first two albums I remember actually buying were Donovan’s Greatest Hits and The Best of the Bee Gees, the one with the yellow cover.

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LIVE: The Felice Brothers @ Club Helsinki, 3/17/14

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

The Felice Brothers

Review and photographs by Martin Benjamin

The Felice Brothers delivered a spirited and ramshackle performance on St. Patrick’s Night at Club Helsinki in Hudson. Starting with a set list of 32 songs at their feet, they delivered a dozen of them before diverting from the list and calling an audible. Sadly, a dozen songs into it, “It’s a Wonderful Life” was skipped on the set list. Perhaps the room was getting too rowdy for a selection that quiet and sensitive, so they barreled ahead with faster rollicking material, which was more appropriate for this holiday drinking Monday night crowd. While playing lots of familiar stuff, there was an Irish tint to some offerings as well. And they did deliver some surprises.

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LIVE: Pro Jam 4 @ Club Helsinki, 2/6/14

Thursday, February 20th, 2014
Murali Coryell with Richard M. Surrano

Murali Coryell with Richard M. Surrano

Story and photographs by Wanda Callagy

The recent Pro Jam 4 at Club Helsinki in Hudson was well attended by both listeners and musicians who came from Woodstock, Poughkeepsie and the Capital Region to play. At the Thursday evening jam session, folks had the opportunity to sit in with first-class musicians, including many NYS Blues Hall of Fame inductees and several Grammy nominees.

Sponsored by Harley Davidson, the jam session was organized by Gary McKeever and Sonny Rock. “This was our fourth event, and Sonny and I have been able to put this together on a weeknight so that these working musicians can actually meet and play with new people,” said McKeever. “Most of them are doing gigs on the weekends, and since musicians attend from all over, they get the opportunity to network and see other artists. They may need a drummer or see someone who has a talent that could add to their band or performance.”

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LIVE: Bettye LaVette @ Club Helsinki, 1/11/14

Friday, January 17th, 2014

Bettye LaVette

Review and photograph by Tim Livingston

Stunning, beguiling, sexy, raw, emotional, gritty, smooth, transforming, independent, uplifting. original, gracious, dignified, powerful, stirring, heartfelt, down-to-earth, upbeat, soulful, bluesy, uncompromising, full of youthful exuberance, wise and witty…

Just a few of the words that come to mind while experiencing the terrific Bettye LaVette in concert recently at Club Helsinki in Hudson. You may have heard her story – under-appreciated during the early days of ’60s soul, but having a major resurgence in the second half of her life/career, due in part to some smart musical choices, an epic Kennedy Honors performance honoring the Who and singing at President Obama’s inauguration.

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