Mark Gamsjager and the Lustre Kings
Elvis Presley Birthday Bash
Club Helsinki Hudson
Saturday, January 4, 2014
Review by Seth Rogovoy
(HUDSON, N.Y.) – This coming Wednesday, Elvis Presley would have turned 79. Long gone, his spirit and influence live on, of course, as Mark Gamsjager and the Lustre Kings, musical friends, and a devoted, frisky crowd proved at Club Helsinki Hudson on Saturday night.
For years, the Lustre Kings have been one of the greater region’s premiere early rock ‘n’ roll outfits, so they were the perfect band to pay tribute to the King. While Gamsjager and fellow singer-guitarist Ian Carlton did not mimic Presley, they did a fine job capturing his aura and vibe on a selection of his material that, while including best known hits like “All Shook Up” and “Blue Suede Shoes,” was heavy on deep-catalog material, especially tunes from Presley films, some of which, like “Kissin’ Cousins,” could well be David Lynch material.
The Lustre Kings are themselves a dynamically antic group. Wireless pickups allowed the musicians to leave the stage and play anywhere in the house – awesome, slap-happy standup bassist Michael “Chops” LaConte and his white acoustic bass appeared out of nowhere standing on the bar in the rear for an incredible star turn. Drummer Jason Smay was the group’s secret weapon. And the band featured several guest stars, including Hammond B-3 player Cameron Melville, singer Tim Livingston, and drummer Paul Rapp aka Lee Harvey Blotto, adding a festive note to the occasion.