Review by Fred Rudofsky
When B.B. King, Stevie Wonder, RZA and Nona Hendryx count themselves as fans, a band must be doing something right. Brooklyn’s the Revelations (featuring Tre Williams) brought a whole lot of soul to a Friday night at Club Helsinki in Hudson, their second time playing the area’s best live music venue in 2012.
Though it drew a moderate-sized crowd compared to the last time in Hudson, the Revelations played some electrifying music right from the start, dipping into the Hi Records canon with “Take Me to the River.” Bassist Ben Zwerin and drummer Gintas Janusonis locked into an infectious rhythm, Adam Klipple stirred up some Memphis stew on the B-3, and Wes Mingus played his Telecaster with energy and taste. Tre Williams stepped up to the microphone, and it was star time.
What makes this band so impressive are its love of classic soul and blues and desire to make a dent with its own material. With two albums in the past three years, the Revelations have a growing repertoire of original songs. “Graceful Bow” and “Because of You” from 2009’s debut The Bleeding Edge were early standouts in the set, showcasing a band with serious chops and a vocalist who gets to the heart of the lyrics. Shifting the blues medley of “Goin’ Down Slow”/ “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out” up
to an unexpectedly faster tempo was daring and worth the pay off. Williams recalled the night many years ago when he got to meet and sing with Latimore, then sat on the edge of Club Helsinki for a great take on his idol’s classic “Let’s Straighten It Out.” Offering a testimony to his own 20-year marriage, Williams served up a depiction of living on the margins, a thumping “Something’s Got to Give,” from 2011’s Concrete Blues.