A Musical Grand Opening at Sideshow Clothing Co.

Sideshow Clothing Co. is, you guessed it, a clothing store. Located at 707 Warren Street in Hudson, NY, the shop is a great addition to the culture of Hudson — not to mention its style. Recently relocated from MA, Sideshow offers an excellent assortment of both vintage and newer clothing. The store, which is run by Meri Avratin, held its grand opening on April 30th and musical festivities were abundant.

There was a great turnout at Sideshow — it was the place to be! Many local luminaries were there, including several artists, musicians, and producers. The evening kicked off with Hudson’s own Evan Randall, a singer and guitarist who also works sound at the newly opened Club Helsinki Hudson. The music Evan plays and sings evokes a warm nostalgia. That’s not just because many of the songs are old swing and blues tunes, but because Evan’s voice has a captivating quality and is comforting, yet saddening somehow at the same time. I guess nostalgia is always bittersweet… Evan played an assortment of songs at the Sideshow opening, including covers of Tom Waits’ “Picture In A Frame” and the depression-era “Brother Can You Spare A Dime.” Perhaps my favorite, however, was Evan’s rousing rendition of the standard “Make Me A Pallet On Your Floor.” A man with a guitar could get boring after a while, but not if that man is Evan Randall. He frequently switches things up and keeps things interesting. Not only is his music fun, but Evan gives off a great energy both when he’s performing and otherwise. His guitar technique is truly stellar, and his playing is the perfect balance of musicianship and fun. Evan has great range and an even greater tone to his voice, which is a little scruffy at times — in a most pleasing way. Evan is a young blues player, but sounds like an old one. He wails pretty damn good for his youthfulness, and his guitar playing has got a lot of soul. His voice spirals and circles, taking the listener along for the ride, and you never know where it’s going to take you next.

After Evan’s set there was belly dancing by Lola, a member of The Bleeding Hearts. Although the music for the dancing wasn’t live, it was really great. After the belly dancing, Stephen Bluhm performed. Stephen is a new local to Hudson, and he also works sound at Club Helsinki Hudson. His set was a blast! He wrote and recorded multi-layer tracks in his room, and sang along to them live. Stephen’s voice sounds like a blend of Tim Buckley and Raoul from “Phantom of the Opera,” while the songs Stephen sings are 70s and 80s inspired Pop/Rock anthems and ballads. If you’re thinking that doesn’t sound like something you’d usually listen to, well, I thought so too until I heard Stephen. He can make even the strongest disliker of that style (and time period) of music love what he sings. That’s what happened to me. The rest of the crowd was really into it as well, and things got a little wild… At one point the audience was stripping him of his glasses and socks… Stephen had fun with his performance, and he’s very charismatic — in an endearingly geeky sort of way.

After Stephen finished his set, Evan started playing once more. The songs he played towards the end of the night were some of my favorites (along with “Make Me A Pallet On Your Floor”), and Evan even got one of the owners of Club Helsinki, Deb, to sing a song with him. The song they performed together turned out to be “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love, Baby,” the first song I ever heard Evan sing, actually. Throughout the whole night people danced — in the aisles, down the steps leading outside, around the musicians, wherever there was space — and they continued to up until the very end. It was a great night, one that was filled with all the best things in life: music, dancing, laughter, and friendship. If you’re ever in Hudson I highly suggest you check out Sideshow Clothing — although if you weren’t there for the opening, you sure did miss one heck of a show.

*The address on the poster is inaccurate. As I mentioned, Sideshow Clothing Co. is located at 707 Warren Street.

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