HUDSON — What do you do when your mother was a backup vocalist for Mahalia Jackson, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Harry Belafonte, Mavis Staples and Dionne Warwick, among others?
Apparently, you grow up to be an award-winning blues, gospel, and blues-rock vocalist with an extraordinary bass/baritone voice. Your name is Alexis P. Suter, and you bring your smoking-hot band with you to Club Helsinki Hudson on Saturday, March 14, at 9pm.
The Alexis P. Suter Band first gained regional fame when the late drummer/vocalist Levon Helm invited them to warm up the crowds at the Midnight Ramble in Woodstock, N.Y. Helm brought them on the road as the opening act for the Levon Helm Band, where they won new fans at the Beacon Theater in New York City; Bethel Woods outside of Boston; the Paramount in Asbury Park, N.J.; and at Central Park’s Summerstage. Here she joins Helm on a version of the Band classic “The Weight.”
Suter’s repertoire ranges from old-time Delta blues like “John the Relevator” to classic electric blues like “Got My Mojo Working” to vintage soul including “Take Me to the River” and even to the Beatles - watch her rendering of “Let It Be” and marvel how she finds the soul song that always lurked inside of this ballad you’ve heard a million times - and Jimi Hendrix. She’s like the entire diverse history of the blues wrapped up into one soulful package. (She also tackles George Harrison’s “Isn’t It a Pity,” dedicated here to Trayvon Martin.)
Her tune “All Over Again” was selected by David Browne for the NPR feature “Song of the Day.” Browne called it “the most exuberant example of the way she applies defibrillator paddles to vernacular music. Everything about the track feels alive, from the snarling rock guitars that announce its arrival to the hopped-up piano and backup singers that take it from there. Riding roughshod over it all is Suter, who’s had it with that feckless cad in her life and wants him, through the gale-force winds of her voice, to know she means it this time.... Both the song and performance transport you to that roadhouse juke joint you’ve always wanted to visit but never have.”
Last year, Suter released “Be Love,” which included the funky, rock-influenced tune, “Sway.”
A few years ago, Suter did an in-depth interview with Albany’s Nippertown.
BluesBlast Magazine raved about her album, “All for Loving You,” calling it “an in-your-face collection of new tunes that deliver a powerful message while having you up and dancing, too.
And in a line I wish I had written, the Wicked Local in Brewster, Mass., said, “If Alexis P. Suter had been at the Battle of Jericho, Joshua could have put his ram’s horn away.”
Remember - for reservations in the Restaurant or in the club call 518.828.4800.
For the most up-to-date concert information, always visit Club Helsinki Hudson.