John Hammond/John Sheehan
May 4. Any opportunity to see and hear Hammond is worthwhile, as he continuously turns traditional blues/roots music on its ear. The multiple W.C. Handy and Grammy award winner (and four-time Grammy nominee) checks into Bodles Opera House this month. Hammond has also shared the stage and recorded with many of his own influences, including Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, John Lee Hooker, and Howlin’ Wolf. For a special treat, check out his cover of Tom Waits’s “Fish In the Jailhouse,” on The I-10 Chronicles, Volume 2 (Back Porch, 2001). Opener Sheehan is a New Jersey-based singer-songwriter and a master of fingerstyle guitar. 6:30pm. $20. Chester. (845) 469-4595. www.bodles.com.
May 5, June 1. Band to watch, part one: Southern Drawl plays those classics you know you used to drink Dixie beer to, like Molly Hatchet, Mountain, .38 Special, Skynyrd, and the rest of the good ol’ boys. Do these guys a favor and add them at myspace.com/southerndrawlband (the MP3s rock, but they only have 29 friends so far). Gas up your pickup and meet them this month at the fabulous Skytop Steakhouse in Kingston (love that beer!). May 5 at 9pm; (845) 340-4277. The Loft in Poughkeepsie, June 1, 7pm; (845) 471-1966.
Band to watch, part two: This soul-blues dance unit plays everything from Chicago blues to Motown and is comprised of Mark Calkins (guitar/vocals/harp), Vincent Armanino (guitar), Bobby Lee (bass), and Doug Levey (drums). Their brand of “free-range boogie” keeps them in demand throughout the Hudson Valley, and they have three local appearances this month: at Cozzy’s in Pine Plains on May 5; the legendary St. Charles Hotel in Hudson on May 12; and the hot La Puerta Azul Mexican restaurant in Millbrook on May 25. Times and covers vary. www.theprovidersonline.com.
May 11. Tommy Booth’s hardest-working band in Ulster County brings new life to rockin’ jams by the Allmans (for whom Booth once auditioned on bass), the Stones, and other faves to the dance floor at New World Home Cooking. Booth corners the market on excellent area musicians, and Chef Ric has been known to join the band on vocals. Go for some food that rocks, then roll to the back room and burn off that Purple Haze Shrimp. (Jimmy Eppard’s Crawdaddy returns on May 18 and Sonando spices things up on May 25.) 10pm. No cover. Saugerties. (845) 246-0900. www.ricorlando.com.
May 18. Despite the fact that she’s the daughter of legendary Texas bluesman Johnny Copeland, Shemekia Copeland was actually born and raised in Harlem, where she started singing professionally at age 15. At www.ShemekiaCopeland.com, she recalls, “Dad wanted me to think I was helping him out by opening his shows. But really, he was doing it all for me.” With a voice best described as a blast furnace, she’ll burn up the Bearsville Theater in support of her latest album, The Soul Truth (Alligator Records); her ace band includes New Windsor’s Jeremy Baum on Hammond B-3 organ. Put on those high-heeled sneakers, we’re going out tonight! (Try a different kind of dancing when Woodstock Tango presents “Dance Fury,” featuring tango and swing dancing, on May 26.) 8pm. $20. Bearsville. (845) 679-4406. www.bearsvilletheater.com.