There is even more music to accompany the ballooning at the 28th annual Hudson Hot Air Affair, which has the theme Gone With The Windz — and there might even be some woodwinds thrown in as instrumentation.
The event goes on from Feb. 3-5. Music acts, by venue, are: At Mallory’s, Ella and Wade on Friday night and Kyle Kohila on Saturday night; at the tasting event at the Hudson House Grand Hotel, Boondoogle on Saturday night; at Urban Olive and Vine, Jazz Savvy on Friday night and Mark Keating on Saturday night, (with those two taking the stage at 7 p.m.); at The Smilin’ Moose, Kick on Friday night; and also deejay dance music and karaoke on both nights of the weekend.
Mallory’s on the north end of the downtown is new to the local band scene. Acoustic rock and country duo Ella and Wade are often dressed in black, like Johnny Cash, and he is one of their influences, along with Brandi Carlile, Blake Shelton, Oasis, The Lumineers, Garth Brooks, Kings of Leon, Gretchen Wilson, Zack Brown Band, 3rd Eye Blind, Matchbox Twenty, CCR, The Band Perry, Steve Miller Band, Sublime, The Cranberries, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Miranda Lambert.
Kyle Kohila usually goes it solo as an acoustic show, with strong and aggressive fingerpicking, and he also has a celebrity dress-alike. He and the late, great Michael Jackson have the similarity of wearing one glove. His sets may include, as an example, an acoustic version of Shook Me All Night Long by AC/DC, as only he could do it, a rocking out take on Folsom Prison Blues by yes, Johnny Cash, and a tune that smacked of slide guitar in Mother by Pink Floyd.
The Roberts-based band Boondoggle will highlight the tasting event, Gone With The Windz edition, on Saturday from 7:30-10 p.m. Guests also can enjoy spirits, wine and beer tastings, and appetizers, along with a silent auction to benefit Operation Help. There is an admission charge for this activity.
Boondoggle is known for their imposing stage-presence, driven by the sheer height of some of the band members, which is even more impressive on a raised stage.
Boondoggle’s members say they have been “terrorizing” the region with loud rock ‘n’ roll and “badass” country music since 2002, playing their version of hundreds of popular songs, which include The Beatles, The Stones, Led Zeppelin, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and Lynyrd Skynyrd.
The rock power trio Kick returns to kickstart Friday proceedings at 9 p.m. at the Smilin’ Moose. Their bio and again, manner of dress, evokes memories of the mock interviews done by the band Spinal Tap … “Atop wailing riffs all but forgotten. Young, old, ancient and winking, they’re not stopping. It’s rock and roll.” Kick definitely looks the hair-band part, not too unlike Motley Crue, from which they may have in-part taken their name — but not as hard-core or as much leather, just the big and wavy locks shown in their signature online photo of a lead guitarist taking a scissors-legged leap while jamming between the other two musicians.
You’ll want to tap your toes and snap your fingers to start the weekend, but it’s still savvy, not your usual jazz band. With what’s called a fresh and innovative sound, Jazz Savvy is a unique trio with songs you might not expect to hear locally, even though they have built a following at a number of Twin Cities area venues. There’s no pabulum radio sound, no smooth jazz, or “canned” standard tunes, and every time Jazz Savvy gives a performance, they give the audience a new jazz experience, they say.
After playing a wide variety of instruments and styles in his youth, at age 29, Mark Keating began extensive study of fingerstyle guitar, drawing inspiration from Michael Hedges, Leo Kottke, Pierre Bensusan, as well as artists such as John Dowland and Turlough O’Carolan for their compositions in traditional and Celtic music. He also boasts styles from jazz to drudging rock, to folk style instrumentals.
Rounding out the music options connected with the Hot Air Affair are acts at two of the other participating sponsors. There is deejay dance music downtown at Dick’s Bar and Grill on Friday and Saturday starting at about 10 p.m., which gives a chance to mingle with the pilots, especially after the adjacent Torchlight Parade and following fireworks starting at 7 p.m. Friday. DJ Ben Michaels, who is relatively new to the scene, has been known to provide some interesting mixes with the songs he plays, not just typical retreads. Also, there is karaoke in an intimate setting at the bar at the Plaza Lounge/Hudson Bowling Center on both nights at 9 p.m., a venue not far from the Moonglow or Field of Fire that is set for Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
Other noteworthy Hot Air Affair events are balloon launches at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and at 3 p.m. on Saturday, all weather permitting, and smoosh boarding at 1 p.m. Saturday. All are at the Rock Elementary School grounds.
The Hot Air Affair is presented by the WESTconsin Credit Union.
Visit www.hudsonhotairaffair.com for more information.
– Also, calling all modern country, rock and pop music lovers to “fly” to Burkhardt and take in a “Shotgun Wedding,” the name of a band, not a train wreck, at the Willow River Saloon on Friday night. This is called a double or triple shot, musicwise, of a must-see female and male fronted band featuring some of the Twin Cities’ best musicians — not just national influences, although they play a range of popular, plus a few lesser-known artists — and hailing from local bands such as Under the Covers, The Bad Animals, Playback, Shane Wyatt, Shadowstone and The Hootenanny.