Our journey into the city for Hugh Bob began in Stamford. Which is one of the most confusing train station I’ve been in in the U.S. Never ever going there again confusing.
Did I mention that I printed the directions at 3:20 am during my night terrors and got us directions to the center of Stamford and not the train station? Yeah, not my best work.
It was not so easy to get to Metro North and arrive at Grand Central.
Had to hustle up to the Upper East Side to run an errand for my cousin’s friend.
Then downtown to the tip of Manhattan to Club Quarters to check in.
Dinner was a delicious treat at Dim Sum Go Go. It’s not the cheapest dimsum in Chinatown but they serve it all day. And it was darn fine dimsum.
We started with spring rolls, pumpkin pancakes, and sesame balls (my favorite).
Then we had:
Steamed roast pork buns, Shumai, and Sticky rice with chicken wrapped in lotus leaf.
My cousin loved these Malaysian sweet cakes. I didn’t like the spongy texture.
We ended with duck dumplings, more steamed roast pork buns, some pea tip dumplings, and sesame balls.
We had to make a quick pitstop back at the hotel and then cabbed it over to Williamsburg to Skinny Dennis, which definitely earned its rep as the best country bar in NYC. Drinks are cheap and good. The bar is so down to earth you swear you’re hundreds of miles from the city.
We snacked on the free warm peanuts and got the hot pretzel. It came with mustard. I “decided” it was honey mustard and slathered it on my piece of the pretzel. Sad to say it was spicy mustard.
So on to the reason for my trip to the city:
They were setting up when we arrived and were the nicest bunch of guys I ever met in the city. Hugh immediately recognized me from our Butternut connection (and my Butternut t-shirt) and gave me a big welcoming hug.
We chatted about the ‘Nut and all the fantastic people I got to meet there–including his aunts Geralyn & Kathy and the iconic Maxine who introduced me to his music. It’s really awesome to talk to someone else who is doing what they love and trying to make a go of it. Completely inspiring.
Anyway, I didn’t want to hog his time so I went back to hang with my cousin.
The bar crowded up as the night went on. But the sound was amazing. Hugh Bob and The Hustle sounded as great in person as they do on their CD. I’m a sucker for country. Hugh’s voice at times reminds me so much of Dwight Yoakam it’s eerie cool.
They have a unique sound that is their own and yet completely accessible. They won over the bar’s diverse crowd. I couldn’t help taping my foot.
I love loved loved Ashland County and North Country. There is something indescribably authentic about these guys and their music.
I tend to listen more to lyrics and its clear these guys are true storytellers.
Had to head out early because my cousin wasn’t feeling well, so I didn’t get to hear Butternut. Sigh. I guess I’ll just have to make it to another one of their shows. They are definitely worth a trip back to Wisconsin. 🙂
I expect very big things from them & many more forays to the east coast. So if you enjoy country with a touch of bluegrass and a dash of rockabilly and some real Americana–check out Hugh Bob and The Hustle!
You’ll be glad you did. And yes, I’ll expect a thank you from your ears.