(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Jazz legend Don Byron will perform a tribute to R&B legend Junior Walker – best known for hits like “(I’m a) Roadrunner” and “Shotgun” – and more with an all-star band of rock and jazz talent at Club Helsinki Hudson on Thursday, August 6, at 8pm. Joining Byron will be musicians who have played with Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie, the B52s, George Clinton, James Taylor, Chick Corea, Keith Richards, Dave Brubeck Gil Evans, the Brecker Brothers, Annie Lennox, Paul Simon, John Medeski and others.
Recording as Junior Walker & the All Stars, saxophonist Autry DeWalt Mixon, Jr. led one of Motown’s signature acts in the mid-1960s, when the label still recorded gritty, funky R&B music like Walker’s Louis Jordan- and Illinois Jacquet-influenced gutbucket jump blues. Junior Walker & the All Stars’ best known hits were “Shotgun,” the oft-covered “(I’m a) Roadrunner,” (Fleetwood Mac, Peter Frampton, Jerry Garcia Band, James Taylor), “What Does It Take (To Win Your Love)” and “Pucker Up Buttercup.” Walker’s saxophone can also be heard on Foreigner’s 1981 hit single, “Urgent.”
The musically omnivorous Don Byron recorded “Do the Boomerang: The Music of Junior Walker” in 2006. Though rooted in jazz, Byron’s music is stylistically eclectic. He has worked in many different musical genres, ranging from klezmer and Yiddish novelty (Byron was a charter member of the Klezmer Conservatory Member, with whom he performed for eight years) to German lieder, Afro-Cuban, Raymond Scott’s “cartoon jazz,” hard rock/metal, and rap. Byron primarily plays clarinet, but has also used bass clarinet and saxophones.
A member of the Black Rock Coalition, Byron has recorded with Allen Toussaint, Marc Ribot, Vernon Reid, Bill Frisell, Cassandra Wilson, Bobby Previte, and others. His compositional work has garnered him the Rome Prize Fellowship awarded by the American Academy in Rome in 2009, and he has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in composition several times.
Joining Byron on the gig are musical luminaries including Dean Bowman, Zachary Alford, Pete Levin, Scott Petito, and Matt Finck.
Vocalist Dean Bowman is lead singer for the Screaming Headless Torsos, and has worked with Charlie Hunter, Reggie Workman and many more.
Zachary Alford has played drums for David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen, the B52s, George Clinton, Simi Stone, and many others.
Scott Petito played bass for the legendary rock group the Fugs, and has also worked with James Taylor, Chick Corea, Keith Richards, Dave Brubeck, and hundreds more.
Pete Levin is a top NYC session player and has played keyboards for Gil Evans, the Brecker Brothers, Annie Lennox, and Paul Simon.
Guitarist Matt Finck has a successful solo career and has also performed with Randy Brecker, John Medeski, and others.
For reservations in The Restaurant or in the club call 518.828.4800.