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Hudson Music Festival ÉCHO 2020


Steel Rail, comprised of Dave Clarke, Tod Gorr, and Ellen Shizgal, are back together in Quebec, making new acoustic music that reflects the best of the folk, bluegrass, and country traditions.

By Brian Gallagher

Nice to see the Hudson Music Festival back, even in a small way. Seems like the summer just wasn’t the same without it. I was chatting with festival director Blair Mackay and he was certainly happy to be bringing music back for a couple of weekends to the town of Hudson. As he says, “We at Hudson Music Festival have struggled over the last months to find a way to present the HMF annual tradition within the ever-changing COVID-19 restrictions. Safety, quality, respect and community connection are our guiding goals”.

So with everyone’s safety and entertainment on their minds, on September 26 and 27, at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. each day, HMF is inviting the community to participate with them, as they transform the Alibi Lounge/Room (420 Main Road) into a public T.V. recording set. The HMF has brought in 11 acclaimed performers, playing in duos, trios and quartets, to create an HMF 2020 ÉCHO series that can be viewed by everyone throughout the year, at your leisure on Csur.TV and our social media.

Admission for this weekend’s shows is free so you might want to get there early to ensure a spot. Here’s a look at the lineup:


Singer Karen Young and Pia­nist Marianne Trudel pay tribute to Joni Mitchell’s vast catalogue of memorable compositions.

Saturday, September 26

3 p.m.: Singer Karen Young and Pianist Marianne Trudel will perform ‘Portraits: Songs of Joni Mitchell.’ “The beauty, poetry, and richness of Joni Mitchell’s songs have found a perfect vehicle for expression in the duo formed by Montrealers Karen Young and Marianne Trudel.” — Frédéric Cardin, Ici musique (Québec), October 2018

7 p.m.: Rob Lutes and Rob MacDonald will perform their own brand of original blues and roots. After more than two decades of playing together, Rob Lutes and Rob MacDonald have developed a rare ability to harmoniously blend their sonic personalities – the powerful acoustic fingering as well as the hoarse, melancholy voice of Lutes with the virtuoso accompaniment on the resonator guitar by MacDonald – to create an exceptionally complex and intense sound.

Sunday, September 27:

3 p.m.: ‘Steel Rail’ CD release show for their new album ‘Coming Home.’

Strong original material, superb three-part harmonies and hot picking have helped Steel Rail win a loyal fan base in central Canada and the northeastern U.S. After almost a decade of living on opposite ends of the continent, Tod Gorr, Ellen Shizgal and Dave Clarke are back together in Quebec, making new acoustic music that reflects the best of the folk, bluegrass, and country traditions. Singer Gorr, bassist Shizgal, and guitarist Clarke first began playing together in Montreal back in the 1990s. They played the festival circuit in central and eastern Canada and the U.S. and released three critically acclaimed albums. But the band went into hibernation when Clarke headed to the West Coast. The new Steel Rail album Coming Home, released in May, is their first since reuniting.

7 p.m.: ‘Kora Flamenca’ - Zal Sissokho, Caroline Planté, Jean-Philip Mailloux et

Miguel Megina.

Flamenco improvisations play with the fluid and crystalline sounds of the kora. With this project, forming the basis of his album Kora Flamenca, Zal Sissokho, the Montreal griot and virtuoso of this majestic 21-string instrument, offers a real surprise. “Although the two types of music may breathe differently, the dialogue flows naturally. The kora never falls behind the syncopated and sometimes frenzied rhythms of flamenco, and the voice of Zal Sissokho remains just as cool and undulating as if he were singing Mandinka blues.” (La Presse, 2020). A performance of great beauty.

The Alibi Lounge will have limited distancing seating, but there will be room around the barn for many people to come and enjoy the music. The famed HMF bar as well as food from the Main Kitchen will also be on site.

The HMF wishes to thank Alex Matt new owner of the Alibi Lounge/Room, Marie-Josée and Tino Morganti of the Main Kitchen, and specifically the team of Csur.TV, Chantal Bédard producer, with its mission, to create, produce and direct television programs for, by and with the citizens of the Vaudreuil-Soulanges region.