405 Columbia Street
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, July 2

8:00 pm

with Pat Linnan Opening

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.

Pat Linnan is a member of Hudson-based mansion-rock outfit Nature Films, as well as various other side projects. This Helsinki gig has him playing a mix of new and old tunes backed by Mike Donny Amidon (bass), William Thomas Lawrence (drums), and Chris May (pedal steel) of Wassaic/Brooklyn-based outfit Mail the Horse.


Visit thewiyos.com

Friday, July 3

David Jacobs-Strain - 8:00 pm

Royal Jelly Jive - 9:00 pm

This double bill of soul-roots music features San Francisco-based outfit Royal Jelly Jive and blues singer-guitarist David Jacobs-Strain. Fronted by the sultry and soulful vocals of Lauren Bjelde, Royal Jelly Jive play a fusion of the jumpin' jive of the 1940s, brass band music of the 1950s and '60s, and today's Gypsy punk as popularized by groups like Gogol Bordello and Golem. Horns, bass, drums, and keyboards surround Bjelde's vocals that recall the elegance of Nina Simone and the rough grit of Tom Waits.

A highly percussive guitarist and slide wizard, David Jacobs-Strain buries himself inside a song and seemingly channels decades more life than he could possibly have experienced and miles beyond what he must have seen growing up in Eugene, Ore. But what comes out sounds like a modern version of Mississippi Fred McDowell, Lightnin' Hopkins or Skip James mixed in with a little Michael Hedges or Kelly Joe Phelps. He favors modal blues and his playing often takes the music back to its African roots. His live show moves from humorous, subversive blues, to delicate balladry, and then swings back to swampy rock and roll.


Thursday, July 9

8:00 pm

This evening of melodic folk-rock features two of the Hudson Valley's most promising talents - the vocal collective Wilber Forest and Hudson singer-songwriter Lorkin O'Reilly.

Founded in 2012 by Ezra Glatt, Wilber Forest is deeply rooted in harmony, often containing three vocal parts and various instrumental harmonies. Each of five band member plays multiple instruments and sings diverse harmonies. Their sound is reminiscent of music from the 1960s and '70s, while capturing the progressive spirit of today. One can easily hear the Beach Boys in their choral harmonies, and their sophisticated melodies and arrangements recall the Zombies and the Beatles. They also count Fleet Foxes as a contemporary influence.

Arriving in Hudson from his native Scotland last year, Lorkin O'Reilly has made a name for himself around the Hudson Valley, headlining his own shows and sharing bills with established artists including Charlie Parr, Simi Stone, and the Stacks. O'Reilly's debut EP, "After the Thaw," was recorded one week after his 21st birthday and one week before his wedding day.

This double-bill represents Helsinki Hudson's commitment to featuring regional and emerging talent.


Friday, July 10

9:00 pm

Texas-raised Mexican-American Alejandro Escovedo, the uncle of pop-funk star Sheila E, is a one-time punk-rocker mostly playing original alt-country music since before there was such a term – and indeed his music today ranges from Velvet Underground-style drone rock to classic punk to Los Lobos-like Chicano rock to idiosyncratic, character-based visionary music along the lines of Tom Waits.

Escovedo, who has recorded with Ryan Adams, Whiskeytown and Jon Dee Graham, is both a critic's darling (No Depression magazine, the bible of alt-country, called him Artist of the Decade in the 1990s) and a musician's musician (rock historian and Patti Smith guitarist Lenny Kaye contributed the biographical tribute to Escovedo on the latter's website).


Saturday, July 11

9:00 pm

with Seth Adam Opening

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.


Monday, July 13

8:00 pm

Singer songwriter Joe Pug – a protégé of Steve Earle – has already drawn steady comparisons to Bob Dylan, John Hiatt and John Prine for his literate approach and his roots-inflected brand of folk-rock. A Greenbelt, Md., singer-songwriter by way of Austin, Pug has toured far and wide with a trio and as the opening act for Steve Earle, a kind of trial-by-fire and university-on-the-road. Touring on and off for the last seven years has seen him play hundreds of shows, including stops before enthusiastic audiences at Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, and the Newport Folk Festival.

As much as Pug draws comparisons to the greats of the folk-rock singer-songwriter tradition, especially when he accompanies his rootsy vocals on acoustic guitar and harmonica, Pug pays tribute to his literary influences, who include John Steinbeck, Walt Whitman and short-story writer Raymond Carver.

Pug's most recent album, "Windfall," was a stripped-down affair with tasteful accompaniment by the likes of Wilco's Pat Sansone that was released in March to rave reviews in Paste and Rolling Stone.


Thursday, July 16

8:00 pm

San Francisco-based string band Brothers Comatose blends old-time folk and bluegrass with a contemporary edge. The group is as likely to play a song by Cake or Keith Richards as it is to offer bluegrass standards, Norman Blake tunes, and original sing-alongs like "Pie for Breakfast" that have entertained audiences at festivals include DelFest, High Sierra, Bottlerock and Pickathon.

Brothers Ben and Alex Morrison, guitar and banjo, and lead vocalists, front this rocking string band that has become a West Coast headliner and national touring act in a mere four years. With stellar accompanists Phil Brezina on fiddle and Ryan Avellone on mandolin, their high- energy, audience-engaging shows have caught fire with fans from San Diego to Seattle to Salt Lake to Silk Hope, N.C., and beyond. On their home turf in Northern California they sell out shows in San Francisco, Santa Cruz and Petaluma and are booked at the enormous Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco this August.

During early 2014 the band enjoyed incredible success on extended tours with Devil Makes Three and Yonder Mountain String Band, which led to their own headline and festival touring this summer and fall. Along with numerous club dates, upcoming appearances include Sisters Folk Festival, Grey Fox Festival, Hangtown Festival, shows opening for Lake Street Dive in Colorado, and a much coveted showcase slot at the Americana Music Conference in Nashville on September 20.


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.


Friday, July 31

9:00 pm

The song titles alone tell half the story of JP Harris & the Tough Choices: "A Breaking Heart," "Home Is Where the Hurt Is," "South Oklahoma," "Old Love Letters," "Truckstop Amphetamines," "Young Women and Old Guitars." JP Harris is a throwback to the classic country and honkytonk sounds of Buck Owens, George Jones, Waylon Jennings and Hank Williams. Fiddles and pedal-steel guitar licks dance around his authentic honkytonk vocals as he sings lines like "My breakin' heart doesn't make a sound" and "Thought I'd write a song for you/ Retelling all the things we used to do."

After more than six generations in Alabama, Harris's family left seeking work, first to California and then on to Nevada. He left home on foot at the age of 14, traveling via thumb and freight train, living the next four years mostly from a backpack, tarp, and a bedroll. Eventually landing in the northeast, he worked as a farm laborer, equipment operator, lumberjack, luthier, and carpenter. It's no wonder he became a country music singer.

Harris released his all-original debut, "I'll Keep Calling," in May 2012. Shortly after its release it won Best Country Album of 2012 from the Nashville Scene, the same honor at the Independent Music Awards, and a cameo on NPR's American Routes. Two songs were also licensed to the soundtrack of 2012's "At Any Price," starring Dennis Quaid and Zac Efron.

Rolling Stone named JP Harris one of fall 2014's "Country Tours Not To Miss" as well as one of "21 Must-See Country Acts at SXSW 2015."

The concert by JP Harris represents Helsinki Hudson's ongoing commitment to programming emerging and rising talent in a diversity of musical genres.


Saturday, August 1

9:00 pm

Woodstock keyboardist Bruce Katz's resume reads like a who's who of blues and blues-rock. Playing piano and Hammond B3 organ, Katz has toured and recorded with the Greg Allman Band, Delbert McClinton, Maria Muldaur, Ronnie Earl & the Broadcasters, among numerous others. While blues remains his core influence, Katz's music occupies a unique space where blues, soul-jazz, jam-band rock, New Orleans-inspired music and all aspects of Americana collide into a style of original music all his own. "Homecoming," the most recent recording by the Bruce Katz Band, features songs and instrumentals including guest appearances by guitarists John Hammond Jr. and Jimmy Bennett and drummer Randy Ciarlante.


Sunday, August 2, 8pm

Christopher Paul Stelling

with Planes on Paper opening


Sunday, August 9

7:00 pm

Having just completed a sold out run in NYC at 54 Below, this will be the only Hudson Valley cabaret appearance this year for two Time Tony Award and Golden Globe winner Linda Lavin. With the incomparable multi-talented Musical Director Billy Stritch on the grand piano, look for Linda and Billy to do some great duets and listen to Ms. Lavin doing what she does best-singing the American songbook standards and telling some fabulous show biz stories.


Monday, August 10

8:00 pm

Having migrated from his birthplace, Nashville, to New York City, the critically acclaimed folk-rock singer-songwriter Justin Townes Earle - who was named after Texas singer-songwriter legend Townes van Zandt - pairs the sage wisdom of Americana music with themes that relate to life in the Big Apple as well as his recent marriage and newfound sobriety.

Earle directly confronts the legacy handed down to him by his father, Steve Earle, on the poignant song, "Mama's Eyes," on his album, "Midnight at the Movies," when he sings, "I am my father's son/I've never known when to shut up/I ain't fooling no one/I am my father's son." His most recent albums, "Single Mothers" and "Absent Fathers," have deepened the autobiographical nature of his work.

When it comes to comparisons, the Guardian UK hears "echoes of Guthrie and Springsteen" in Earle. Earle himself claims to be influenced by artists including Randy Newman, Chet Baker, the Replacements, Tom Waits and Bruce Springsteen. Accolades for Earle include the 2011 Americana Music Award for Song of the Year, as well as the 2009 Americana Music Awards in the Best New and Emerging Artist category, as well as nominations for Best Artist and Best Album.



Saturday, August 15, 9pm

Lindsey Webster


Saturday, August 22

9:00 pm

with Mad Satta Opening

The Big Takeover is a unique concoction of backgrounds and spirits that perfectly creates a version of reggae that is fresh and vivid. With Jamaican-born and raised NeeNee Rushie as a captivating and memorable front woman, plus a playful horn section and pulsating bass and drums, Big Takeover boasts a signature blend of upbeat, horn-inflected ska, deep, funky reggae grooves, soulful melodies, and dub dropouts that guarantee a memorable Jamaican-infused dance party.

Openers Mad Satta are a future-soul band based in New York comprised of eight members who strive to bring original, positive, eclectic, thoughtful music to a wide array of listeners. This ultra-tight outfit is held down by edgy bass lines and a sophisticated mix of guitar, organ, drums and horns that surround and support the powerful, smoky vocals of front woman Joanna Teters.

The show featuring Big Takeover and Mad Satta represents Helsinki Hudson's commitment to programming regional, emerging, diverse and rising talent.


Saturday, August 29, 9pm

Ian Hunter & The Rant Band

Saturday, September 5

9:00 pm

Since the last time Lake Street Dive performed here, the group has been discovered by the national press, with raves in Rolling Stone, the New Yorker, Hollywood Reporter and the Daily News, and championed by superstar producer T Bone Burnett. Yet the Boston-bred band, known for its unique fusion of jazz, classical, pop, swing and soul, are committed to keeping it real.

Lake Street Dive is a unique quartet with an approach like no other group you've ever heard. Four jazz- and classical-trained musicians who met at Boston's New England Conservatory got together and formed an indie-pop band featuring a trumpet-wielding guitarist, a bassist, a drummer, and a female vocalist with pipes that can seduce you while at the same time they're knocking you down with sheer power. The wonderful result produces a lazy, strutting New Orleans-inflected version of the Jackson Five's "I Want You Back" or a steamy jazz-funk version of Hall & Oates' "Rich Girl."

Lake Street Dive find themselves on the cusp of stardom, though they insist they will always be the same people whose stage outfits once consisted of matching sweater vests. "We realize this could all go away tomorrow," says Rachael Price. "But that won't change what we do. We want to continue to do this for a long, long time. This is what we love. We just want to make sure we keep enjoying ourselves."


Sunday, September 6, 8pm

Charles Busch


Thursday, October 1, 8pm

Cowboy Junkies

Thursday, October 15, 8pm


Saturday, October 17

9:00 pm

A longtime favorite of Helsinki audiences, rootsy singer-songwriter Fred Eaglesmith headlines the Traveling Steam Show, an old-fashioned vaudeville-style road show, which includes an opening set by singer-songwriter Tiffani "Tif" Ginn, who is also a member of Eaglesmith's band.

Acclaimed singer, songwriter and bandleader Eaglesmith is a genuine iconoclast and true original. As he has doggedly gone his own way as an independent musical artist, Eaglesmith has also enjoyed such high profile rewards in recent years as having his songs covered by country superstars Toby Keith, Alan Jackson and Miranda Lambert, among many other accomplishments.

The closely observed details of rural life, including dogs, guns, trains, tractors, trucks, cars, engines, drinking and farming, often populate Fred Eaglesmith's songs, many of which portray the vicissitudes and struggles of family farms and small businesses. Down and out characters dealing with loss of love or livelihood, and quirky rural folk also populate his songs. His songwriting uses many of the techniques of short story writing, including unreliable narrators, surprise endings, and plot twists.

He's also hysterically funny, and a Fred Eaglesmith concert is nearly as much a stand-up comedy show as it is a musical performance.


Friday, November 13

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

Sunday, November 15, 8pm

Joseph Arthur