CLUB HELSINKI HUDSON
ALEXIS P. SUTER BAND
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Review by Fiona Breslin
(HUDSON, N.Y.) – When it took the stage at Club Helsinki on Saturday night, Brooklyn’s Alexis P. Suter Band looked more like a country-music traveling family band than it did a Brooklyn-based blues group. But when the band’s namesake, Alexis P. Suter, moseyed out through the dark, crowded, center of the music hall, she grabbed the mic around its neck, pulling it closer to her face to start off with a “Listen up, I’m gonna tell you a story” type of feel. With an electric guitarist channeling Jimi Hendrix and a keyboard player with an Elton John vibe, the band hit the ground running and the audience was ready for the ride.
With her deep, strong, New York City voice, Suter – the leader of the pack, who calls herself “mama,” grooved her way into songs such as “Rain Song” and “Ride Ride.” Dressed in top hat and red pants suit, Suter struck quite a pose, using her expressive eyes and wide-spread arms to help her “talk” through her songs, with an Ovid-like approach to story-telling that had audience members sitting on the edge of their seats – those who remained seated, that is.
By the third song, couples had one by one found their way to the center of the dance floor, transforming the space into a Dirty Dancing-type underground club. As Suter serenaded the audience, hushing the band until it had completely withered out, she stood on the stage in a moment of silence, watching the crowd, until she belted out, once again, her final crescendo of “a little bit higher now.” And so it went.
Fiona Breslin is a special guest correspondent for the Rogovoy Report.