Review and photographs by Fred Rudofsky
The only fools on the first of this month were the ones who stayed in on the hospitable Monday night – they must have been wary of getting pranked. Why else would they have even dared to miss two stellar sets by the Kirsten Thien Band, for FREE, at the best place to hear live music in the area?
Although based in NYC, Kirsten Thien is no stranger to our area, having played Alive at Five last summer as the opener for Dickey Betts & Great Southern. Some may also recall her rocking Albany several times at the now defunct Savannah’s, back when superfan Laura Paigo was running the cozy venue. The crowd in Hudson may have been initially small, but Thien and her band played Club Helsinki as if it were standing room only, which hopefully will be the case the next time around. A major vocal and songwriting talent, Thien is one best appreciated in person.
Her veteran band – bassist Erik Boyd, guitarist David Patterson and drummer Dyan Wissing – established a funky blues mood for the evening with a fine take of “Cissy Strut” by the Meters, with the club’s co-owner, Cameron Melville, sitting in on Hammond B-3. After Melville departed, Thien bounded up to the stage with acoustic guitar in hand. Brushing back her red hair, she stepped to the microphone for strong takes on “Nobody’s Ever Loved Me Like You Do” and “Love That’s Made to Share” from her recent album, Delicious.