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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

- Helsinki on Broadway

Every Tuesday 7 - 11
Signup begins at 6:30pm

- Open Mic


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Wednesday, August 20

8:00 pm

Grammy Award-winning blues musician Taj Mahal is a pioneer of world music, blending American blues with global roots music representing virtually every corner of the world – West Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, the Hawaiian islands more. The singer and multi-instrumentalist who plays guitar, piano, banjo and harmonica (among many other instruments) is a living legend who has worked with blues greats such as Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf and Buddy Guy as well as Ry Cooder, Otis Redding and the Rolling Stones. In 2014 he celebrates 50 years of making music as a professional.


Visit tajblues.com

Friday, August 22

9:00 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.



Saturday, August 23

9:00 pm

Like his friend and sometime collaborator, Martin Sexton, singer-songwriter Ryan Montbleau is an adept of the more soulful side of folk-rock. The winner of a Boston Music Award, Montbleau sounds equally at home backed by a New Orleans-flavored outfit or covering soul classics by the likes of Bill Withers or Curtis Mayfield. He's written songs for Trombone Shorty, and he's recorded with members of Galactic, the Meters and the Neville Brothers.

Montbleau didn't start singing and playing guitar in earnest until he was in college, at Villanova University. Later, working at the House of Blues in Boston, he began playing solo sets as a warm-up act. His band came together naturally over time, planting strong roots in coffee shops, folk venues and rock clubs before converting audiences on the outdoor festival circuit. Like Sexton, he's one of those singer-songwriters who can just as easily win over audiences at folk festival stages or at jam-band gatherings.

After a strong run, the Ryan Montbleau Band dissolved last fall, with several members reaching the stage in their lives where they had to commit to staying home to devote time to their families. Always keeping one foot in the world of the solo performer, however, Montbleau hasn't missed a beat, and is reestablishing himself on the circuit as a solo artist.


Monday, August 25, 8pm

Bobby Previte's Voodoo Orchestra North is a scintillating musical journey based on Miles Davis's landmark jazz-funk recording "Bitches Brew." This groups regular series brings a new level of jazz improvisation and virtuosity rarely heard outside of the world's major cultural capitals and jazz festivals.

From the opening bars, you knew you were in the hands of a master. Leading an octet (or so) of instrumentalists, Previte quarterbacked the players through the general terrain of Davis's masterpiece. This wasn't a note-for-note recapitulation. Rather, it was a reconstruction, based on the original structure and riffs, yet allowing these particular musicians their own leeway and expression through what Davis had mapped out.

And why not? As Previte's band made clear, what Davis wrought was nothing less than a four-movement jazz symphony, and to hear it fresh and live and pulsing and breathing was even better than the real thing. There should be more of these sorts of efforts to breathe new life into jazz classics along the lines of what is accepted as the norm in classical music; indeed, that stupid cliché that "jazz is America's classical music" could actually mean something if attention and respect is paid to its greatest works, the ones that hold up over time, played by musicians solidly grounded in the tradition but with voices of their own, as was the case on Monday night.

Previte has got to be one of the world's greatest drummers. This small, wiry guy propelled the small jazz orchestra along with a combination of power and finesse. You know from the get-go you were in the hands of someone who has lived and breathed this music, and his confidence and joy were contagious, taking you along for the ride.

Wednesday, August 27

8:00 pm

Mini-Festival of Dreampop
Hand Habits
Sleepers Bells

This mini-festival of dreampop features three New York-based bands exploring the depths, corners and intersections of psychedelic rock, freak folk, and mumblecore.

Brooklyn-based indie-rock duo Widowspeak, comprised of guitarists Molly Hamilton and Robert Earl Thomas, is known for its dreamy, western-tinged take on rock 'n' roll. The duo's jangly, guitar-infused sound emerges from a gauzy landscape out of a David Lynch movie, perhaps - meeting somewhere in between Mazzy Star and Chris Isaak (the group does a delectable cover of Isaak's "Wicked Game").

Upstate New York's Hand Habits, likewise, plays a dreamy style of psychedelic indie-rock, with leader Meg Duffy's vocals floating atop reverb-drenched guitars. The band's EP, "Nameless Lust," is a nod to poet Anne Sexton, and one of the musicians in the group, perhaps tellingly, has a dog named Wilco.

Sleepers Bells, from Woodstock, is led by singer-songwriter Jesse Alexander, and plays emotive and demanding music, with thick layers of instrumentation anchoring Alexander's mumble to the decaying grooves of the songs.


Thursday, August 28

8:00 pm

with Grant Gordy Trio Opening

The Del McCoury Band has been able to stride the divide between traditional and progressive bluegrass like no other group before or since. In addition to original songs and classic tunes by Bill Monroe, for whom McCoury sang and played guitar for a number of years, the group has incorporated modern material into its repertoire, delivering hardcore bluegrass versions of numbers by Tom Petty, the Lovin' Spoonful and Richard Thompson. The band has also performed and recorded with Phish, the String Cheese Incident, and Steve Earle, and has been featured at rock festivals including Bonnaroo and High Sierra, as well as all the major traditional bluegrass festivals.

In June 2010, McCoury received a lifetime achievement award from the National Endowment for the Arts in the field of folk and traditional arts, and in 2011 he was elected into the International Bluegrass Hall of Fame.

To hear bluegrass performed live by the Del McCoury Band is to hear a direct link between the old-time music of Bill Monroe and Flatt & Scruggs and modern roots music. Mostly, though, it's a chance to hear honest country-soul singing, plain and simple.


Saturday, August 30

9:00 pm

Named the 54th greatest rock guitarist of all time and the 16th greatest acoustic guitarist by Rolling Stone magazine, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Jorma Kaukonen - one of the most highly respected interpreters of American roots music, blues, and Americana - is a veritable Zelig of rock history. One of the original, early-1960s blues and roots music revivalists, he went on to cofound two of the most influential rock groups of all time, Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna. Besides the members of the Airplane and Hot Tuna, the list of players he's performed with reads like a who's-who of rock n' roll, especially the California-based roots scene including Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead, and such prominent singer-songwriters as David Crosby and Warren Zevon.


Sunday, August 31, 8pm

Charles Busch


Friday, September 5

9:00 pm

With Egypt 80, Seun Kuti carries on the legacy of his father, the late Fela Anikulapo Kuti, whose name was nearly synonymous with "Afrobeat," combining swirling African rhythms and gritty textures with horn-laced funk in songs laced with social and political messages. Kuti's 15-piece band, including many musicians who performed with Fela, boasts a four-member horn section (plus Kuti himself on saxophone), two backup vocalists/dancers, four percussionists, and a full rock band including two electric guitarists playing the incessant rhythms and circular, twisted single-note lines and riffs that came to characterize and define Afrobeat music, as popularized on the public radio program "Afropop Worldwide" hosted by Georges Collinet.

Seun Kuti has worked with Brian Eno, bringing full circle the Afrobeat sounds that mid-career Talking Heads introduced to American audiences on Eno-produced albums including "Fear of Music" and "Remain in Light." Kuti, however, has found his own idiosyncratic voice as songwriter, singer, and bandleader, with the scorching rhythms and kinetic funk energy that has earned the band worldwide acclaim as one of today's most incendiary live acts.


Saturday, September 6

9:00 pm

With one ear in the southern Georgia church where her father was pastor and musical director, and the other turned to R&B charts, soul-gospel vocalist Lizz Wright can sing a lofty spiritual like "Amazing Grace," and then turn on a dime and render a steamy rendition of "(I've Got to Use My) Imagination" by Gladys Knight and the Pips. On a song like "Hit the Ground," she connects the dots between Ella Fitzgerald and Otis Redding.

In addition to her own rootsy, eclectic recordings that have been likened to those of her contemporary, Norah Jones, Wright is a much-in-demand-vocalist, having lent her voice to efforts by Jakob Dylan, Joe Sample, Danilo Perez, David Sanborn, Toots Thielemans, Amos Lee, and Hudson's own Meshell Ndegecello, who wrote the title track to Wright's album, "Fellowship."


Friday, September 19

9:00 pm

With slide blues guitar, gospel organ chords, New Orleans-style horns, and group harmonies, bluesy roots-rockers Buffalo Stack can’t help but recall Woodstock heroes the Band. In fact, it was at Levon Helm’s barn in Woodstock that husband-and-wife Andy and Tania Stack of Hudson – at the time performing as a duo called the Stacks - met bassist Brandon Morrison, drummer Lee Falco, and guitarist Connor Kennedy, the other musicians who would soon join them to become Buffalo Stack, who at their hardest hitting and blues-rockingest recall Black Keys or White Stripes.


Sunday, September 21, 7pm

Marilyn Maye

Wednesday, September 24, 8pm

Crooked Still

Friday, September 26

9:00 pm

For the last quarter-century, Rockabilly Hall of Fame winners Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys have mined the corners of pre- and early- rock 'n' roll influences, including Western swing, honkytonk, doo-wop, and country boogie. Hearing Big Sandy instantly puts a listener in mind of early greats like Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison, Buck Owens, Chuck Berry, and, of course, Elvis Presley. Take a trip back to a more innocent time with these ever-joyful roots-rockers.

Visit bigsandy.net

Thursday, October 9, 8pm

Heavy Trash

Sunday, November 2

Blues Hall of Fame Induction

Friday, November 14

9:00 pm

with Milton Opening

Honing a synthesis of folk and blues for 50 years, Chris Smither is truly an American original. Having released a series of timeless records since the early 1970s, Chris' newest release, Still On the Levee (release date: July 22, 2014), is a career-spanning retrospective double CD. Recorded in New Orleans with studio-mates he calls The Motivators, Still On the Levee plays host to special guests including Allen Toussaint and Loudon Wainwright III. The record highlights the vast catalog of an American music master. Reviewers and fans from around the world agree that Chris is a profound songwriter, a blistering guitarist and, as he puts it, a 'one-man band to the bone.' Chris melds the styles of his two major influences, Lightnin' Hopkins and Mississippi John Hurt, into his own signature guitar sound. His music continues to draw deeply from the blues, American folk music, modern poets and humanist philosophers. He may be best known for writing "Love You Like A Man" which Bonnie Raitt and, more recently, jazz great Diana Krall have covered. His music has been covered by numerous artists and featured in soundtrack albums, independent film, television and commercials

New York Times: WIth a weary, well-traveled voice and a serenely intricate finger-picking style, Mr. Smither turns the blues into songs that accept hard-won lessons and try to make peace with fate.


A Songwriters' Tribute to Chris Smither - soundcloud.com

Visit smither.com

Saturday, November 22, 9pm

Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express

Friday, January 2, 9pm

Sarah Borges/Girls Guns and Glory