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Hudson, New York 12534

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Eat Food or Die: A Monthly Podcast Hosted by Chef Hugh Horner

Front Porch Style Conversations with Food Professionals of all walks and Helsinki Musicians, with music hand selected from some of Chef's favorite artists to appear here at Helsinki, both past and future.

A Monthly Podcast -

- The Restaurant at Club Helsinki

Every Tuesday 7 - 11
Signup begins at 6:00pm

- Open Mic


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Thursday, May 28

8:00 pm

Best known for his hit songs "Romeo's Tune" and "Goin' Down to Laurel," Grammy Award-nominated folk-rock singer-songwriter Steve Forbert was touted as a "new Dylan" when he burst upon the scene in downtown New York in the mid-1970s.

Originally from Meridian, Miss., Forbert traveled to New York in 1976 and played for spare change in Grand Central Station while seeking work in the local folk venues. He quickly garnered folk club dates, but also performed at CBGB's, the wellspring of punk-rock, where he became a favorite of the crowd for his dynamic, energetic, non-stop performances that owed as much to the Ramones as to Bob Dylan.

Forbert is in the midst of a creative revival this year: "Compromised," his first album of new songs in several years, is due out this summer, and his memoir, "Steve Forbert: Beyond the Chandelier," is scheduled for publication in fall 2015.


Sunday, May 31, 7pm

Song for the EARTH

Blue Ribbon Trio and Patchwork Symphony headline "Song for the EARTH," a benefit concert for Hawthorne Valley School's EARTH program. The event celebrates the second anniversary of Hawthorne Valley's unique EARTH curriculum, with music by musicians who themselves are tied closely to the land and Hawthorne Valley Farm.

Blue Ribbon Trio features singer-guitarist "Sauerkraut" Seth Travins, and Patchwork Symphony features guitar and vocals by Wesley Nichols and Alex Wernquest. Attendees will learn about the unique EARTH curriculum from faculty, students and parents while helping to support the future of the program.

Friday, June 5

9:00 pm

Upstate New York native Martin Sexton emerged on the highly competitive Boston "new-folk" singer-songwriter scene in its heyday in the early 1990s. By the end of a decade that saw him busking in Harvard Square and self-releasing a cassette album that sold 20,000 copies from his guitar case, he was headlining theaters, large clubs and festival stages. His career has received a boost by several TV placements of his songs, and he’s a favorite on NPR.

A self-taught musician, Sexton composes a singular blend of folk, soul, jazz, gospel, and pop. He is a dazzling guitarist and virtuoso vocalist with an extraordinary range and blend of textures. Reviewing a recent Helsinki peformance, music critic Seth Rogovoy wrote, "Sexton never fails to impress with his audacity of talent." He is a stellar live performer, which is why it was no surprise when in 2009 he won Best Live Performance Album at the 8th Annual Independent Music Awards for his album "Solo."


Saturday, June 6

9:00 pm

Four-time Grammy Award-nominee Femi Kuti, son of the late Fela Anikulapo Kuti, whose name was nearly synonymous with "Afrobeat," carries on his father's legacy, combining swirling African rhythms and gritty textures with horn-laced funk in songs laced with social and political messages performed by his band, Positive Force.

Femi just celebrated the opening of the Kalakuta Museum, which honors his father and his music in Lagos. According to Femi, Afrobeat is about "making people dance while helping them swallow the bitter pill of reality." Given the crisis currently hitting Africa and the world beyond, that pill is as hard as ever to swallow, and Afrobeat is as necessary and universal as it has ever been. Femi has taken upon himself to carry forward the music and its message with his standard-bearing band, the Positive Force.

In 2008 with "Day By Day," Femi Kuti pushed Afrobeat forward, taking in elements of jazz masters' such as Miles Davis' and John Coltrane's works without compromising the essential power of Femi's native music. Two years later he released "Africa For Africa," a pan-African musical manifesto recorded at Decca studios in Lagos, where Fela had worked for years. More aggressive in its sound, it was also more radical, politically speaking, than his earlier records.

Fela Kuti said that Afrobeat was "the weapon of the future"— designed to resist, not to fight. He would certainly be proud of his son putting his philosophy into use with songs like "Action Time" and "Carry On Pushin On."

"There is no place for my dreams in the real world. That is what the people who want me to give up keep saying. They do not know that without my dreams, my life would be meaningless," says Femi Kuti.


Sunday, June 7

8:00 pm

The Platte Clove Nature Theater is a musical collaboration between three visionary performers: Fredo Viola, Luis Mojica and Ryder Cooley. The ensemble offers a unique and theatrical blend of electronic and organic sounds, complex compositions, looped and layered vocals, piano, accordion, singing saw, beat box, ukulele, video projections, aerial movement and more. Guest musicians including Melora Creager of Rasputina will join in this electro-acoustic odyssey.

Fredo Viola is well known internationally for his stunning vocal compositions, and his debut record “The Turn” was named #2 album of the year by Les Inrockuptiples in France. Luis Mojica casts wild, narrative spells on piano, with dynamic vocals and layers of live beatbox. Ryder Cooley plays gothic-folk songs on accordion and ukulele. She performs with the band Dust Bowl Faeries, and co-hosts the Helsinki Open Mic night with Hazel, a taxidermy ram. The collective vision of this trio brings a symphonic dreamscape of songs, stories and sounds to the stage.

Monday, June 8, 8pm

Late Regulars

Thursday, June 11

8:00 pm

The Charlie Hunter Trio brings together the famed seven-string guitar wizard Charlie Hunter with longtime collaborators Bobby Previte on drums and Curtis Fowlkes on trombone. Hunter has worked with Hudson's own Previte and Fowlkes on a variety of projects, but this trio lineup is a brand-new formation, captured on the new album, "Let the Bells Ring On."

While Hunter gained acclaim as a performer on the jam-band festival circuit of the 1990s, his heart and musical aspirations have always been dialed into the intersection of jazz and experimental or avant-garde music, sometimes called acid jazz or post-bop, hence his work with Previte and Fowlkes - a charter member of the Lounge Lizards and the Jazz Passengers - who were both essential participants on the Downtown scene in the 1970s.

The new trio explores a variety of sonic spaces, ranging from the foreboding tension and release of "Anthem: USA" and the tautly cinematic "Fellini Farm Team" to the antic hoedown of "Hillbilly Heroine Chic" and the churchy waltz "Spence."


Saturday, June 13

9:00 pm

Rootsy folk-rock outfit Parsonsfield brings its unique, hard-hitting take on acoustic Americana music to Club Helsinki Hudson on Saturday, June 13, at 9pm. The five piece, Connecticut-based ensemble (formerly known as Poor Old Shine) boasts three-part, high lonesome harmonies, banjos and mandolins, and an overall sound and approach that should appeal to fans of Mumford & Sons and the Lumineers.

Boasting a dynamic rhythm section of bass and drums, Parsonsfield's energetic approach has garnered great acclaim from fans and critics alike. The group writes original songs and also draws on the great repertoire of American folk and blues, including songs by Mississippi John Hurt, Dave Van Ronk, and Bert Jansch.

Occasionally Parsonsfield stretches into Grateful Dead territory, and they even do a version of "The Power of Love" by Huey Lewis and the News, although they render it totally their own.

Parsonsfield is presented as part of Helsinki Hudson's commitment to programming regional, emerging and rising artists.


Thursday, June 18

8:00 pm

As a pianist, composer, and arranger based in Kentucky, Rachel Grimes straddles numerous musical worlds. She plays in rock groups, indie-rock chamber ensembles, improvisational outfits, and tours the world as a pianist playing classical and art repertoire. She channels all these various influences into her solo piano compositions, which are lovely and ethereal, lush and dynamic, evocative of mood, landscape, colors and emotion.

Hudson Valley guitarist-composer Alexander Turnquist will warm up the crowd for Grimes.


Friday, June 19

9:00 pm

Led by the dynamic singer-guitarist Michael Powers, this Club Helsinki favorite is the missing link among Southern porch-blues, down-and-dirty Chicago blues, and the hard-rocking R&B of British invasion-era rock groups. Michael Powers carries on the legacy of such blues greats as mentors Jimmy Reed and James Cotton on his own compositions as well as on choice renditions of classic blues by the likes of Willie Dixon, Etta James. Muddy Waters, and Jimi Hendrix.


Thursday, June 25, 8pm

ProJam 11

The Club Helsinki Blues Pro Jam is a bimonthly event, with dozens of professional musicians from the greater Hudson Valley region having taken part since it was launched in summer 2013. The Club Helsinki House Band is anchored by Sonny Rock (drums), Cameron Melville (Hammond B-3 organ), Petey Hop (guitars and vocals), and Vinny Leggiere (bass), with the region's top blues musicians joining together for an evening of jamming on the blues.

The event welcomes all working musicians in the region to sit in for a freewheeling blues jam.

Saturday, June 27, 5pm - 9pm

Iron Horse Cigar Night

Thursday, July 2

8:00 pm

Beloved for their unique blend of early swing jazz, rural folk, old-time blues and Appalachian music, the Hudson Valley-based trio the Wiyos are an intercontinental sensation, having warmed up U.S. audiences on a full 28-day summer tour for Bob Dylan in 2009 and having been featured in the BBC TV programs "Folk America – Hollerers, Stompers and Old-Time Ramblers" and "No Sleep ‘Til Yell." Gleefully subverting genre distinctions, their music comes from a time before commercial formatting separated blues from country, ragtime from gospel, and swing from hillbilly. Their sound is reminiscent of days gone by, when live bands could be heard both on the radio and at community dances, juke joints, and house parties. The Wiyos are Michael Farkas, Teddy Weber, and "Sauerkraut" Seth Travins.


Visit thewiyos.com

Friday, July 10, 9pm

Alejandro Escovedo & The Sensitive Boys

Saturday, July 11

9:00 pm

Crafting a unique style that mixes poetic ballads with swinging rockers, Eilen Jewell, a favorite of Helsinki audiences, ranks among the best in the Americana genre today. As the reigning Queen of the Minor Key, Jewell leads a tight quartet who blend influences of surf-noir, early blues, rockabilly, and 1960s era rock and roll. Over the course of a decade, Eilen and her band have toured relentlessly. They have performed for legions of fans from Boston to Boise and Madrid to Melbourne at festivals, theaters, rock clubs and coffeehouses. Eilen's fans marvel at her warmth, unique wit, and onstage humor alongside her beautiful songs and fiery performances.

Jewell's fifth studio album, Sundown Over Ghost Town will be released May 26th (Signature Sounds). The album was recorded with Eilen's longtime road band and special guests in her hometown of Boise, and is composed of twelve stunning, original compositions that feature some of her most personal stories yet.


Sunday, July 19

8:00 pm

Since her debut in 1992 with "Infamous Angel," country-folk singer-songwriter Iris DeMent has been regarded in musical circles as an authentic living legend, the last of fourteen children born in a Pentecostal household in Arkansas, who spent her childhood immersed in gospel and traditional country music.

Boasting an uncanny voice that recalls a grittier Emmylou Harris, Iris DeMent's "Infamous Angel," initially released by Cambridge-based Rounder Records in 1992, was re-released by Warner Bros., immediately establishing her as a major star on the roots-music scene. Its 1994 follow-up, "My Life," earned a Grammy Award nomination in the Contemporary Folk category, and her 1996 album, "The Way I Should," which addressed political, as well as personal themes, brought her a second nomination.

Along the way, several of DeMent's songs have become cultural touchstones. "Let The Mystery Be" found its way to MTV Unplugged as a duet by David Byrne and Natalie Merchant; "Our Town" was played over the farewell scene in the series finale of "Northern Exposure"; Merle Haggard invited her to tour with his legendary band The Strangers and recorded two of her songs; she has recorded and toured extensively with John Prine; and the Coen Brothers featured one of her songs over the closing credits of their 2010 remake of the classic western "True Grit."

In August, right around the time of her Helsinki performance, DeMent will release her latest work, "The Trackless Woods," a collection of 18 poems written by the late Russian poet Anna Akhmatova and set to music by DeMent.


Friday, July 24

9:00 pm

After nearly 50 years in the music business flying just under the radar of popular recognition, Bettye LaVette’s 2005 album, "I've Got My Own Hell to Raise," featuring songs by contemporary female singer-songwriters including Aimee Mann, Fiona Apple, Sinéad O'Connor, Lucinda Williams, Joan Armatrading, and Dolly Parton, introduced the Detroit-raised R&B vocalist to a wider audience for the first time. It also helped establish her new and unique aesthetic as a soulful interpreter of songs from the rock arena, as heard on her 2010 album, "Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook."

The CD, including an un-edited version of her Kennedy Center Honors performance of the Who's "Love Reign O'er Me," was critically acclaimed and nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album. LaVette subsequently became a frequent guest on NPR music programs, late-night TV shows, and at public events including 2009’s We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial. Earlier this year, LaVette released a new album, "Worthy," which includes songs by Bob Dylan, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.


Thursday, October 15, 8pm