This month, let’s all expand our musical horizons. Hudson Valley’s music scene is perhaps one of the most eclectic in the country, with world-class musicians of all genres playing on any given night, sometimes together. This is in big part thanks to our area’s diverse range of venues, promoters, and above all, music fans.
This September, we’re shining a spotlight on some off-the-beaten path music genres. For hippies of yore and modernity alike, we’ve got jam band and psychedelic rock recommendations. If you like digging deep to the roots of genres that have since exploded in dozens of sonic directions, our ska, rockabilly and soul picks are for you. Feeling adventurous? We conclude our column with two one-of-a-kind bands we’re putting under the umbrella of “cinematic indie space rock”.
Jam band pick
UPAC (Kingston, NY)
Friday, Sep. 23 • 8 p.m. • $45+
Little Feat was founded in 1969, so calling them a “jam band” is in some sense inaccurate. The genre classification only applies retroactively, as it was popularized in the 80s when the Phish and Grateful Dead fans were too numerous to be ignored. While music elitists will often discredit the jam band scene for being cheesy, its fans will be quick to drown out such nonsense singing en masse along with their favorite chorus. Little Feat are in some sense the grandparents of the jam band scene, and the scene has embraced them as such. They still rock eclectic and electric, cranking out driving roots rock in a kaleidoscope of styles.
Honorable Mention: Daryl’s House Club in Pawling, NY, is run by, yes… that Daryl Hall from the iconic Hall & Oates. Do yourself a favor and visit what’s fast become one of the hottest music venues around, and the tribute band state capitol. The upcoming Gratefully Yours show would make a great first visit. You don’t have to be a Deadhead to have a great musical trip with this tribute act.Just open your ears and your mind Thursday, Sep. 22 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $11-$17.50.
Psychedelic rock pick
Wand and guests
Tubby’s (Kingston, NY)
Thursday, Sep. 15, 2022 • 7 p.m. • $20
Drugs are not required to enjoy psychedelic rock, but, you know, it is called psychedelic rock for a reason. California’s Wand is the kind of mind-melting indie band that’s hard to define with a single substance. They’re trippy, of course, but there’s also a hard, driving edge to their sound that rings truer of stimulants. Dreamy wino verses with pop sensibilities will float around one minute, then a stoned guitar or hypnotic percussive breakdown will veer the song down a new dark and mysterious alley. There’s a mechanical repetitiveness to the rhythms, but with an organic heart. An incredible visual spectacle titled “The Mad Alchemist Liquid Light Show” accompanies the performance, not to be missed if blissful dissociation is your thing.
Honorable Mention: The Pineapples are a more traditional 90’s psych rock band reuniting for a night at Avalon in Catskill, NY. This blast from the past will blow your mind starting at 8p.m., and tickets are just $7.
Colony (Woodstock, NY)
Sunday, Sep. 11 • 8 p.m. • $35-55
The Skatalites originated from Kingston, Jamaica an astonishing 58 years ago. Though the first incarnation of the legendary band was relatively short-lived, they reunited in the 80s to begin a long and illustrious career touring the world as ambassadors for one of Jamaica’s finest exports: ska. As a precursor to reggae, ska embodied the punk rock spirit of social commentary and music with meaning. Woodstock loves The Skatalites and vice versa, so expect good vibes as you explore the roots of the genre the Jamaican way: Dancing, laughing, loving, and standing up to those who seek to curb your freedom to do so.
Honorable mention: Nice Time Sound Reggae Sound System features experienced DJs spinning dynamic blocks of reggae from all eras. Just $5 at the door at the Half Moon in Hudson, NY, starting at 9 p.m. on Friday, Sep. 23.
Lara Hope & The Ark-Tones
Widow Jane Mine (Rosendale, NY)
Saturday, Sep. 17 • 3 p.m. • $21
Rockabilly still thrives in the 2020s because greasing your hair back, getting all dolled up and shaking your ass to soulful Southern-fried blues rock never goes out of style. Lara Hope and the Ark-Tones are the Hudson Valley’s chief proprietors of the genre. When not touring the country for adoring fans, Hope is the music director of the O+ Festival, a realtor, and probably ten other things. The music economy sucks so much, even touring acts with thousands of fans need several day jobs. Especially with BSP closed. That place was cavernous. This show, on the other hand, is literally in a cavern. The irony is: BSP caught flak for lacking amenities, while the Widow Jane Mine is praised by performers and audiences alike for being a literal hole in the ground. Guess you can’t get more underground than that.
Honorable Mention: We were going to recommend 30-year rockabilly veterans Southern Culture on the Skids at Daryl’s House on Saturday Sep. 17, but it sold out right before we went to press. Just one more reason not to miss Lara Hope.
The Suffers / Laura Elliott
Levon Helm Studios
Wednesday, Sep. 21, 2022 • 8 p.m. $35-$50
Hailing from Houston, Texas, The Suffers are a 10-piece soul explosion that pulls no punches when it comes to telling it like it is. Their irreverent sense of humor sets them apart from more traditional and earnest soul bands. Their I-don’t-care-what-you-think attitude is on full display in their deep catalog of comedic music videos and occasionally expletive-fueled lyrics. The musicianship is top-notch, the songwriting is inventive and accessible. The band does have its more introspective, low-key moments, which serve as perfect breathers amidst the grinning-ear-to-ear energy of their eminently danceable ditties.
Honorable Mention: Lindsay Webster’s pipes aren’t only legendary in her native Hudson Valley. She’s toured venues across the globe, keeping the Woodstock name alive and synonymous with music (nevermind the namesake festival happened elsewhere). Webster has topped the smooth jazz charts, and catching her close to home will surely perch you atop the pinnacle of the Hudson Valley soul/R&B scene. She plays The Falcon on Friday, Sep. 30 at 7p.m., with no cover.
Cinematic indie space rock pick
Rabbit Rabbit Radio
Opus 40 (Saugerties, NY)
Sunday, September 25, 3 p.m. • $12
Carla Kihlstedt and husband Matthias Bossi released the debut Rabbit Rabbit Radio album roughly a decade ago in the most trailblazing way: Fans paid a monthly subscription fee, and the band delivered an original composition and recording every month in return. Today, such a model drives tons of independent bands on Patreon and similar services, but it’s appropriate that Rabbit Rabbit Radio invented it on their own, way ahead of the curve. Their music is similarly ahead of its time, sometimes sounding as if it was beamed from a post-apocalyptic future where life is dark but also starkly beautiful. Their musical stylings are all over the map, but a cinematic, brooding, haunting sense of foreboding permeates much of the work. And yet it can be paradoxically uplifting, with Kihlstedt’s piercing vocals ascending heavenward with inventive melodies and harmonies that are as catchy as they are challenging. It’s also fitting this one-of-a-kind band will perform in a truly one-of-a-kind venue of Opus 40. Best to go online and start listening. These sounds are hard to convey in words.
Honorable mention: Sound of Ceres dropped their dreamy, mind blowing space opus Emerald Sea just a few months ago. We can’t imagine a better place to experience this dramatic work of dark exotica with heavy classical flourishes than the open-air Maverick Concert Hall in the woods of Woodstock, NY. Launch your ears into a blissful black hole this Friday, Sep. 9 at 7 p.m. At the time of writing this, there were just a few dozen $23 tickets left.