Ten Highlights of the Hudson Gardens Summer 2016 Concert Series

Hudson Gardens
Hudson Gardens

We know summer's here when the festival bills and outdoor series lineups start to get announced, and, as is the norm, the Hudson Garden Series is offering some wonderful bills for those partial to classic rock and soul. Here are ten highlights.

Jefferson Starship
Jefferson Starship

10. Jefferson Starship
Sunday, June 5, with Blue Öyster Cult

There once was a band called Jefferson Airplane, and it was wonderful. When that imploded, some of the members formed Jefferson Starship, and that was pretty great, too. When that imploded, some of the members formed Starship, and those guys recorded “We Built This City.” Starship is still out there touring and, bizarrely enough, so is Jefferson Starship. Longtime vocalist/guitarist Dave Freiberg and drummer Donny Baldwin are carrying the flame on, with Cathy Richardson taking Grace Slick’s parts.

Gladys Knight
Gladys Knight

9. Gladys Knight
Sunday, June 19

The Empress of Soul might not be bringing the Pips with her, but you can be sure that she’ll be playing a bunch of those old R&B gems, like “Every Beat of My Heart,” and “I Feel a Song (in My Heart).” The lady still has a voice like silk, and in 2014, she put out the Where My Heart Belongs album, her thirtieth release in the Top 40 R&B charts.

Lita Ford

8. Lita Ford
Sunday, June 26, with the Sweet and the Babys

The former Runaway disappeared for a long time to raise her kids following a successful solo career in the 1980s and early '90s, so it’s wonderful that she’s back on the road — with a book to plug, no less. In a very male-heavy metal world, Ford proved that she could play guitar with the best of them, and while she was fond of some revealing leather outfits, she didn’t have to rely on sex to sell her killer product. Expect to hear “Kiss Me Deadly,” "Shot of Poison,” and maybe even a blast through “Cherry Bomb.”

The Sweet
The Sweet

7. The Sweet
Sunday, June 26

There are two versions of the Sweet in existence right now, and that might be embarrassing. The shame is tempered somewhat by the fact that guitarist Andy Scott’s Sweet sticks to touring Europe, while it's bass player Steve Priest’s Sweet that we get in the States. He’s put together a decent band, too, including journeyman vocalist Joe Retta. Whether this is really Sweet is up to you to decide. At the very least, you’ll get to hear OG man Priest playing classics like “Fox on the Run,” “Ballroom Blitz,” “Action” and “Little Willy."

The B-52's
The B-52's

6. The B-52’s
Sunday, July 10

Arguably the ultimate summer party band, the Athens, Georgia, post-punkers still look and sound insanely good. The distinctive dual vocals of Fred Schneider and Kate Pierson have always been what make this band tick, and both appear to be defying the aging process successfully. You know what you’ll get: “Rock Lobster,” “Roam” and, of course, “Love Shack.” It’ll be a party, with dancing and big smiles the norm.

Read on for more highlights from the 2016 Hudson Gardens concert series.

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