The Hangar on The Hudson — A Unique Experience

I’m working with a team putting together on TP2, a revisit to Turning Pages, a film about me and my classmates preparing for our 50th high school reunion. TP2 will come out in 2022, 10 years after to steal from the name of a band that played the original Woodstock. 

Randy Johnson, one of those classmates interviewing me for the film, asks me how come I never moved away from the area like most of my classmates did. Randy has homes in Rhode Island and Jacksonville, Florida. I told him I’d never really thought about it, other than for an obvious reason that I have a lot of family still living within three miles of me. 

He said he thought because of my musical writing worldwide that I would have moved to Memphis or Nashville.  Then, it dawned on me that our music scene is almost as active, and definitely more diverse, than any of the cities usually thought to be the center of the musical universe. 

If you’re reading this in Nippertown, you already know that. Or maybe, like me, you take that for granted. I want you to take what we have here seriously. The mantra now is that we’re entering a new normal. Some of what that means is some of the old haunts we loved – or maybe didn’t even know about – may disappear. 

Everybody knows about SPAC, Proctors, The Palace, The Egg, etc., but are you familiar with The Hangar on the Hudson in Troy? Marc Wenner of The Nighthawks asked me to describe the place before the band played there a few weeks ago. The joint has an atmosphere with a capital Alpha I told him.  

the hangar on the hudson
Photo by Bryan Lasky

It used to be a building where they built prosthetic devices, and they still have a wooden leg propping up the bar. More important than that, they feature what politely might be called fringe acts. Artists on the edge who may not be as popular as those that play bigger halls, but they have the ability to take a club full of fans to another place, time, and attitude you don’t find anywhere else. Acts like Ray Wylie Hubbard, Billy Joe Shaver, The Lustre Kings, Dale Watson, and Bill Kirchen. 

CBGB’s in The City had it. The Filmore East took you out. Buddy Guy’s Legends has it in Chicago, and there’s few clubs on Beale St. in Memphis that whisk you away or some of the chitlin circuit clubs in the Delta.  

I’ve never seen an act at The Hangar on The Hudson that didn’t take me into high cotton. Brian Gilchrist, the owner, is working overtime to come back and be part of the new “normal,” and I use that word guardedly.  Consider the following: 

Saturday: Sarah Borges & The The Broken Singles.
A two-decade musical veteran, she’s been called a roots rocker and a cowpunk.  She’s touring on her third album Love’s Middle Name. 8:00 p.m.

Sunday: Blues Band Challenge. Silver Chain, The Drama Kings, the George Fletcher Blues Band compete for the right to represent the Capital Region Blues Network at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in January 2022. 2:00 p.m. 

Friday, September 17: Rhett Miller of the Old 97s. 
After more than two decades as a founding member of the venerable Old 97’s and acclaimed singer-songwriter in his own right, Rhett Miller has crafted a trio of new projects that see him pushing his creative energies in hitherto untraveled directions. Among them are two utterly unique new albums – one solo, the other as part of Old 97’s – as well as his first ever book, a collection of subversive kids’ poems. 8:00 p.m. 

Wednesday, September 22: Legendary Shack Shakers with special guest Brule County Bad Boys.
Twenty-five years into their worldwide crusade, Legendary Shack Shakers have become the leaders in the underground music scene’s “Southern Gothic” sound. Led by their charismatic frontman, Col. JD Wilkes, the band continues to offer their explosive interpretations of swamp blues, rock n’ roll, and hillbilly music. Frontman Col. JD Wilkes has been compared to Iggy Pop, David Byrne, and Jerry Lee Lewis. The Nashville Scene named Wilkes “the best frontman in Nashville.” 8:00 p.m. 

Comments are closed.