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May Music Highlights

Fr 5/28- FODFEST: FRIENDS OF DANIEL PEARL at Club Helsinki, Hudson—Good news for Hudson Valley music lovers: Club Helsinki is back in business, and so much closer now (though Great Barrington isn’t all that far, really). They’re easing back into the business with the Sound Check Series, which can be accessed on their website, and requires a basic email membership, and it looks to be well worth it, with upcoming shows like Crooked Still (5/19) and Bindlestiff Family Circus (5/30). And this show as well: FODFest is musician/producer Todd Mack’s tribute to his good friend—and onetime bandmate—Daniel Pearl, the late Wall Street Journal reporter brutally tortured and executed in Pakistan 2002. What started as an informal backyard jam has blossomed into an international touring organization, using the universal power of music to bring people together, producing free, publicly accessible concerts, school programs, and multimedia productions that promote its community-building mission with an interest in serving underserved areas and communities where there is a history of conflict. Part concert, part song swap, and part jam session, many of the musicians participating are meeting for the first time on stage. See if interested in participating musically, and for reserved seating. Club Helsinki, 405 Columbia St., Hudson,, 518.828.4800. 8 PM

5/28- LARA HOPE & THE CHAMPTONES with HANK & THE SKINNY 3 at Market Market, Rosendale—As bassist and singer for NCM and Tiger Piss (among others), Lara Hope has been making the rounds, playing all the right Ulster County bars and dives, staking her claim with a strong feminine presence in what’s still a pretty guy-sey world of rock around here. But if you found those other bands a bit manic at times, and wondered what might happen if that singer cooled it down and got down to some real singing, wonder no further. Hope shines in the rockabilly setting, which requires the right kind of guitar (Telecaster, that is) playing and tone, and picker Jeff Kadlic knows the style like he knows his times tables. Upright bassist Josef Pelletier and drummer Johnny Watson bring it up and down and all around, and you’ve got a damn good little roadhouse band here. Oh, and I’m told there will be a new CD. Nice. Market Market, 1 Madeline Lane, Rosendale,, 845.658.3164. 9 PM

Sa 5/15- JILL SOBULE with NINA VIOLET at Bearsville Theater, WoodstockOK, maybe I should be touting the Woodstock Day School Benefit (5/28) featuring none other than Blondie’s Deborah Harry, Chris Stein, and Matt Katz-Bohen; plus Tracy Bonham, Happy Traum, Jerry Marrotta, David Van Tieghem, and more. But Jill Sobule is my homegirl, and I know of few people who can charm a room faster. Long story short: debut produced by Todd Rundgren, first and (unfairly) last top-20 radio hit was I Kissed A Girl, which gave her notoriety but also tagged her as a novelty (Fabio guest-starred in the MTV video), five critically acclaimed solo albums, an appearance on The West Wing, role of “political troubadour” for NPR, Air America, and Huffington Post, and one-time tour lead guitarist for Lloyd Cole. Her recent release, 2009’s California Years, was completely funded directly by fans donating over $85,000. Jill is one of the few artists who can be topical and timeless simultaneously, and better believe she can play the guitar. If you haven’t seen her yet—or even if you have—don’t miss this intimate show, with regional favorite Nina Violet opening. Bearsville Theater, 291 Tinker St., Bearsville/Woodstock,, 845.679.4406.

Sa 5/29- DUDLEY SAUNDERS at Café Bocca, Poughkeepsie—Sometimes it’s better not to know the song names. Two songs into Dudley Saunders’ CD The Emergency Lane gives you what sounds like a low-key Jeff Buckley singing a “baby baby, my sweet baby” love song that suddenly morphs into “I carve my initials in your chest, and the blood you bleed is bled for me like the Jesus I can force to bless me now,” sung sweetly over nice acoustic guitars. A glance at the CD reveals the title: “Love Song for Jeffrey Dahmer.” Ew. Forgive me if I’m a little creeped out by that, much more so than having Aleister Crowley and H. P. Lovecraft arcana barked at me by some demented Norwegian metalheads. But I digress. Dudley Saunders paints some interesting landscapes with his songwriting, sounds like Leonard Cohen with vocal chops, and has earned the 2009 Outmusic Award for Outstanding Album of the Year. And Café Bocca has some really great food, so arrive early. Café Bocca, 14 Mt. Carmel Place, Poughkeepsie,, 845.483.7300. 8 PM

Fr 6/11- MARC BLACK BAND at the Kleinert/James Art Center, Woodstock—If there’s a harder working singer-songwriter-musician in the Greater Woodstock area than Marc Black I’m gonna have to see it for myself, so til then take my word for it. A frequent performer at the Bearsville Theater, Marc always brings a killer band, usually a combination of Gary Burke, Don Davis, Betty MacDonald, and Warren Bernhardt—this time with MacDonald, Michael Esposito, and Eric Parker. Gigs in New York City, Florida, and Texas, as well as recording projects for advertising and soundtracks keep Marc well occupied, but his musical soul is Woodstock-nurtured, and a new CD of tunes he wrote upon arriving in the area—Pictures of the Highway—has its CD release at this Kleinert/James show. Extremely talented (and often famous) special guests can be expected, circle this date on your June calendar. Kleinert/James Art Center, 34 Tinker St., Woodstock,, 845.679.2079. 8 PM

Fr-Su 6/4-6- Radio Woodstock and Warren Haynes present MOUNTAIN JAM VI, at Hunter Mountain, Hunter—Six years on, Mountain Jam has been going strong, becoming one of the don’t-miss music festivals in the Northeast, if not the whole U.S. Gov’t Mule anchors the first two nights, and Levon Helm & Friends closes it on Sunday with his 70th Birthday Jubilee, featuring—along with his stellar Ramble band—Ray Lamontagne, Donald Fagen, Steve Earle, Patterson & David Hood (Drive By Truckers, Muscle Shoals), Jackie Greene, and Allison Moorer…plus co-sponsor and Mule guitar man Warren Haynes. Camping is encouraged, late night music goes down in the lodge, food vendors, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, arts & crafts, the Awareness Village, and even an area for children. This is a rain or shine event. Visit and for ticket info and up to date scheduling. Here’s the line-up at press time:

Gov&Rsquo;T Mule, Avett Brothers, Les Claypool (late night), Grace Potter &Amp; The Nocturnals, Dr. Dog, The New Mastersounds (late night), Trombone Shorty &Amp; Orleans Avenue, The London Souls, Gandalf Murphy &Amp; The Scd, Natural Breakdown, Elmwood, Tamarama, Alabaster Brown, Dean Batstone, Kari Spieler, Join The Jam Contest Winner

Gov&Rsquo;T Mule, Derek Trucks &Amp; Susan Tedeschi Band, Yonder Mountain String Band, Drive-by Truckers, Toots And The Maytals, Dark Star Orchestra (late night), Dave Mason, Lettuce (late night), The Whigs, Company Of Thieves, The Duke &Amp; The King, Jerry Joseph &Amp; Wally Ingram, Sonya Kitchell, Zach Deputy, Tao Rodriguez-Seeger Band, The Brew, Simone Felice, Van Ghost, Bret Mosely, Sons of Bill, Is

Levon Helm &Amp; Friends 70th birthday jubilee, With Warren Haynes, Donald Fagen, Ray Lamontagne, Steve Earle, Allison Moorer, Patterson &Amp; David Hood, And Jackie Greene, Allison Krause &Amp; Union Station, Feat Jerry Douglas, Michael Franti &Amp; Spearhead, Matisyahu, Jay Farrar (Son Volt), Alo, One Eskimo, Justin Townes Earle, Allison Moorer, The Bridge, Mojo Myles Mancuso, These United States, The Mclovins, Jamie Mclean Band

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