It was 8:30 when my friend Rachel and I pulled up to this out of the way bar, Walsh’s Town Tavern, in Patterson, NY to see her brother’s band, Cheap Date perform. As I looked at this place, I let out a groan, and gave Rachel a look of “What the fuck are you getting me into, tonight?” I’ve lived in the Hudson Valley for most of my life, and Patterson just isn’t a place to go, to do anything. Nothing wrong with it, but I can honestly say that in 27 years, this was my first experience checking out anything “over there.”
You know what though…. this place was awesome! It was not the dive bar filled with back country people that I expected. Now don’t get me wrong it was ‘divey’ but in all the right ways. The music was great, the decor: country meets HGTV and the patrons were an eclectic generational mix. The bartender, Cristina was amazing, attentive, friendly and very welcoming. Walsh’s had a “Nuts and Bolts” night, a sort of ice breaker to find your match in the bar for a free drink, which lends it self to the idea of inclusion and communication. The staff there sets up a welcoming environment and atmosphere. This really is a unique find, under the radar spot to check out with a few friends.
So we came to check out the band, Cheap Date. I’m no music critic and I couldn’t even tell you the difference between a melody and a harmony, (Are those even things?), but what I can say is that the music MOVED people last night. You felt it resonate deep down and I think that comes from the passion, energy and talent that this band obviously has. People were dancing and singing and after every song, the bar rang out with applause and cheers for the band. At one point I was pleasantly surprised to see that one of the guys at the bar, someone who you might expect to keep to themselves, an older fellow dressed in ripped jeans, covered in evidence of a hard days work, and a construction belt, was up and dancing in his own groove. I’ll let some of the video footage speak to what the music was like, but what was the most surprising thing that I observed that night was the generosity from the bar patrons supporting the band.
Amanda Palmer has an amazing TED talk about “The Art of Asking”, I highly suggest watching this video, basically it is a discussion about the music industry and making money as an artist. On a deeper level I find it to be more about finding strength in your vulnerability when making true, authentic connections with people, either way it’s absolutely worth a watch.
So…. back to the band, at any show there is usually a “donation jar” for people to make contributions to the band and that night it was no different. Except for one thing, people in the bar freely gave to them without even being asked and at the end of the night, the jar was passed around the bar and without hesitation people were donating, because of the true enjoyable authentic experience they felt that night. I think that speaks volumes to what this band offered the audience that night, and wish I had more music theory knowledge, or even general understanding in music to describe the awesomeness that was that night.
Either way, Cheap Date should be a band to watch and follow around the Hudson Valley to get a chance to experience the awesome music. You can find them linked to this article or contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org for bookings and info.
Andrew “Tonka” Jordan-Guitar