Welcome to another edition of Kingston After Dark, where we love to connect you with your best options for a rocking time in the Hudson Valley. Hope everyone has had a safe and fantastic Fourth of July by the time this sees print and that you are in fact still celebrating. America might have a lot of problems and a jackass in charge these days who thinks it is OK to use the presidency to make fun of women’s plastic surgery, but in the streets and between the sheets, we still have one another.
One band that never forgets to try and unite people around a good time and across backgrounds is the hard-rock group Hellyeah. Featuring ex-members of legendary metal bands like Pantera, Mudvayne and Nothingface, the rowdy and mischief loving stage stompers are coming to The Chance in Poughkeepsie this month to kick ass and take names. Touring in support of new album Unden!able (exclamation insert intentional), the well-established rockers are one of the bigger alt-metal bands in the country. Recent anthems like “Human,” “Sangre Por Sangre (Blood for Blood)” and “Moth” have only seen the band’s songwriting improve as they continue to defy critics who found some of their more party-style early tunes too silly. You can’t deny that Chad Gray has one of the more distinctive and instantly recognizable voices in hard rock, a feat in itself in the age of people copying one another left and right in pursuit of easy hits.
Hellyeah hits our region on Tuesday July 25 with 7 p.m. doors for a measly $23. It is a reasonable ticket to see Vinnie Paul smash the skins. L.A. based rock band Kyng open up — they’re a promising and powerful trio who have toured with bands ranging from Seether and Megadeth to Wovenwar and even played Metallica’s Orion Festival.
Shout-out this week to Arrowood Farms brewery. Did you know that in nearby Accord we have a farm-turned-brewery which uses brewing water from the Widow Jane Mine in Rosendale? The water apparently has a similar composition to the water from the Rhine River in Germany, which is renowned for brewing purity. People have been raving about Arrowood’s selection of beers — from a honey porter to a Mohonk IPA, the brewery at 236 Lower Whitfield Road in Accord is a great experience for visitors or area residents both. Just remember to be a responsible driver or take one along with you. Find out more at www.arrowoodfarms.com.
Dancing, dancing in the streets
The Rosendale Street Festival is coming up once again, thankfully. The on-and-off-again street festival is one of the most emblematic summer fun stops for the region; the event this year is sure to bring a lot of smiles to the faces of those in attendance. Saturday, July 15 at noon the festivities kick off. The Midtown Stage is especially great this festival with several acts we have raved about in this column before (and by “we” I mean me). The Victoria Levy Band, Kingston’s own J.K. Vanderbilt and indie favorites Kyle & the Pity Party are going to be hits of the festival, mark my words. Some other bands to look out for this year are of course the sultry sounds of Soulia and the Sultans, area rockabilly ambassadors Lara Hope & The Ark Tones and solo songstress Brittani O’Hearn, one of the better singer-songwriters in the Hudson Valley.
I titled the column this week after a Hellyeah hit because they are visiting the area but also because all of the artists mentioned above are undeniably themselves. It takes a lot for me to endorse something despite the fact that it is my job. I am a musician myself and also being a writer has made me somewhat more objective than most people to other people’s experiences. But if you are out there making music I expect you to do it from the heart and with honesty. Whatever level of fame you achieve, if you do that you are undeniably a success. It’s hard enough to get up in the morning with all the discouragement, racism, gaslighting and hate in the world these days let alone make a painting, pass out hugs or to do yoga or run a mile. Whatever demons you need to conquer or hurdles you need to leap, tap into that fire to whatever degree you can and you are a winner. Even if you ultimately fail at your larger goal or get discouraged sometimes, you’ve done more than a lot of people.
Waters at Bard
Friday July 7th truly legendary director and comedian John Waters (Cry-Baby, Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble and Hairspray) launches the Spiegeltent season at Bard with his one-man show. Combining uncensored and ribald comedy with tales of personal triumphs and bawdy adventures, Waters is one of our true surviving treasures. I will never forget one of the first times I ever went to Provincetown — I was drinking a very dirty martini with way too many olives and I saw him, trashed, being carried down the street between two dead ringers for Divine. It was an epic start to a weekend and actually was around a July 4 about 10 years or so now, if I recall correctly. At least I swear it was him but I was also drinking.
Anyway, the Bard spoken-word night is going to be crucial fun and you should all scrape up $45 in magic beans and get your butts down there. Head first to fishercentertickets.bard.edu for info on purchase options.
Until next week, stay colorful, loud and proud.