(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Sean Rowe, a Troy, N.Y. native and lifelong naturalist, brings his gritty style of singer-songwriter folk-rock back to Club Helsinki Hudson on Thursday, May 18, at 8pm. A throwback to 1970s-era soulful rock poets like Leonard Cohen, Bruce Springsteen and Van Morrison, Rowe boasts an impossibly deep and rich baritone, a gift for melody, and a knack for the perfectly hewn image to get across his haunting, brooding folk-rock anthems. The Capitol Region electro-pop singer-songwriter Girl Blue (stage name of Arielle O’Keefe) will warm up the crowd for Rowe.
Rowe’s spare, organic approach and poetic simplicity at times recalls Greg Brown, another folk-rock poet with a deep growl. Other influences include Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, John Lee Hooker and Ray Charles, all of whom can be heard in Rowe’s vocals, rhythms, and percussive guitar playing.
Rowe will be performing in the wake of his just-released album, “New Lore,” which has been called “a road map for a gentle heart in modern times, in a world where the best oracle isn’t within a computer, but within ourselves.”
Appropriate to his love of folk-blues legends like Howlin’ Wolf, Rowe ventured to Sam Phillips Recording Studio in Memphis to work with Matt Ross-Spang (Jason Isbell, Margo Price). They tapped into the history of the legendary space to hone a sound that is at once rich and stark, putting Rowe’s deep and dynamic rage at the forefront. Because if high notes can shatter windows, Rowe’s low and guttural ones can meld sand into glass.
“I was looking for a specific sound and part of that was the rawness, the element of risk that Sam Phillips took with his artists,” Rowe says. “Since I was a kid I was really drawn to that music. I wasn’t really listening to music my peers were: I was really into old soul music, and music coming out of Memphis. It’s been in my work maybe in more subtle ways than now, but it’s always been in there.”
“My music isn’t glossy or shiny,” Rowe says. “But it’s true.”
Amen to that.
For reservations in The Restaurant or in the club call 518.828.4800.