Making Hoosick Falls the destination for arts and music
We are spoiled here in Albany, Saratoga, and Troy when it comes to live music venues. Sometimes it’s hard to decide what to do with all these choices. There are hundreds of venues and bands. But if you go into the middle of nowhere, with not much more than a diner, a Stewart’s Shop and a whole lot of nothing to do, there are opportunities that one man dreamed to make something happen. Something real, grassroots and from the ground up. Hoosick Falls, New York is a small blue-collar, country town on the border of Vermont and Unihog owner, Jasen VonGuinness, is making its mark quickly.
A very artistic, musical local hang and a destination for travelers. This abandoned old shirt factory has been transformed into a very rustic but diverse home-like space, thanks to his “gal pal” and business partner Sarah Gorgas. This has locals and travelers making Unihog their hang every week. Local musicians have been banging down the door to play in this space booked with live entertainment through September 2020 (after this coronavirus chaos is over). Acts like The Mallett Brothers Band, Root Shock, Hot Lips and a growing list of others are making Unihog a regular stop on their tour schedule! Owner Jasen VonGuinness is putting Hoosick Falls on the map and has inspired this weathered old town to do the same. As you now see many new businesses popping up, together transforming Hoosick Falls into a stellar destination for food, arts, and music!
Straight out of Kinderhook, Jasen VonGuinness is the son of a lumber trader and health care professional. Educated at Ichabod Crane and UAlbany, with a BA in Anthropology. He grew up with his old man constantly asking “who is this?” every time a new tune came on PYX 106. “My family played four albums for years on end in constant rotation. Eat a Peach, Darkside, Temptations, Best of Donna Summer’s “On the Radio”, says VonGuinness and continues “college was the era of jumping the fence at Saratoga Performing Arts Center for any concert we could.” He was a constant +1 for his pal Mike Biggane of local pop punkers F-Timmi fame. “Unihog was purely real estate. The property was a great deal I couldn’t pass up and creating killer spaces is what we have always tried to do”. VonGuinness “The first rendition of a BBQ restaurant proved to be an excellent way to lose money fast”. So VonGuinness retooled it as a live music venue with Gary Yeung’s Sumo’s Kitchen now handling the food side of things. VonGuinness is also the owner of Hoosac Package Shop (Fine wine and spirits).
Now that Unihog is becoming more established, they are looking forward to booking more shows by musicians that perform originals and have both regional and national draw. They have some lofty goals for the exterior, including an outdoor stage and bar/bath built from a repurposed shipping container. Unihog is currently building seven units above the venue to serve as weekend rentals for folks on tour and their fans. Still very much a work in progress but we love listening to our patrons’ ideas and trying to build them the best experience we can. The first of three outdoor shows is scheduled for June 20th with The Cordovas (Nashville and Todos Santos MEX) headlining. “We love the festival they host in Mexico, Tropics of Cancer, it’s the only fest we never miss. They’ve become fast friends and are really looking forward to sharing them with the Unihog family. Beard and Glasses (Bennington, VT) to open. After party with Swampfoot (parts unknown).