Fun karaoke spots in the Hudson Valley

Tio Fabi, 22, a student at SUNY Purchase, Tio Fabi, 22, a student at SUNY Purchase, sings "White Rabbit" by Jefferson Airplane during karaoke night at Barney McNabb's in Yonkers. (May 17, 2012) Photo Credit: Catherine Nance

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“Glee” and "American Idol" air their respective season finales this week, promising a musical tour de force that will see glee club standouts Rachel, Finn and Kurt graduating from high school, and Jessica Sanchez and Phillip Phillips vying for this season's "Idol" crown.

But even though these TV shows are wrapping up for the summer, it doesn’t mean that the show can’t go on. The Hudson Valley is home to several places that host karaoke nights. So warm up your vocal cords and overcome your butterflies — here’s our guide to where you can sing your heart out, and, at least for a night, be a star.

OLIVE'S

Where: 118 Main St., Nyack; 845-358-3120

When: Tuesdays at 10 p.m.

The crowd: Mostly Generation Y, ranging from the early 20s to late 30s

The scoop: Olive’s is known for hosting live music regularly, and bartender Joseph DiStefano said karaoke nights are among the busiest of the week. The relaxed and unpretentious vibe goes a long way in encouraging patrons to hit the mic, and the beer specials don't hurt. While waiting to sing, visitors can play pool and skeeball, or have their picture taken in the bar’s photo booth.

Star connections: NBC’s musical drama “Smash” filmed a bar scene here, and “Voice” winner Jermaine Paul cites Olive’s as one of his favorite local places to hear live music.

MAHONEY'S IRISH PUB & STEAKHOUSE

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Where: 35 Main St., Poughkeepsie; 845-471-7026 www.mahoneysirishpub.com

When: Wednesdays at 9 p.m.

The crowd: Everyone from college kids to grandparents, from the early 20s to mid-60s

The scoop: This down-home Irish pub attracts die-hard karaoke enthusiasts who come out to sing week after week. Some of the regulars have given themselves quirky names that reflect their personalities, like "SpongeBob LeatherPants," who always wears leather pants, and "Disco Steve," who always sings disco tunes. Wireless microphones are provided to encourage duets and group sing-alongs, which occur often, said waitress Annie Donohue. DJ Mad Mike emcees the evening and provides a full karaoke library.

Popular song choice: “Backstreet’s Back” by the Backstreet Boys, which Donohue said she hears every single karaoke night, always performed by the same group. 

CLADDAGH BAR & GRILL

Where: 925 Route 6, Mahopac; 845-628-0649; www.claddaghbarandgrill.com

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When: Wednesdays at 10 p.m.

The crowd: A mostly younger crowd, ranging from about 21 to 40 years old

The scoop: Karaoke nights at this lively, no-frills bar feature prizes for those who get up the courage to belt out a song. Not only do singers get drink discounts, they also spin a prize wheel to score giveaways like free drinks and T-shirts.

Be a star: If you think you’re the next Jessica Sanchez or Jermaine Paul, Claddaugh hosts an eight-week karaoke competition called The Claddaugh Voice, complete with judges and a grand prize free weekend in Atlantic City. The contest begins at the end of May. 

PETE'S SALOON

Where: 8 W. Main St., Elmsford; 914-592-9849; petessaloon.com

When: Thursdays at 9:30 p.m.

The crowd: According to night manager Jeff Sypher, karaoke brings in an all-ages crowd. “You’ll get one person singing Frank Sinatra and he’ll be followed by a guy who’ll sing Metallica,” Sypher said.

The scene: It's a neighborhood favorite for live music. Sypher said karaoke nights are "very lively and fun" but that when serious singers perform, things can get intense. Nick Moustakas from Spotlight Karaoke has been running karaoke nights at Pete's for the past decade and draws a loyal following each week.

Popular song choice: “Right now, every girl sings Adele,”  Sypher said.

BARNEY MCNABB'S

Where: 600 Tuckahoe Rd., Yonkers; 914-961-8960; www.barneymcnabbs.com

When: Thursdays at 10 p.m.

The crowd: Mostly millennials, with singers from their early -20s to 50s

The scene: From SUNY Purchase students to leather-clad bikers, this well-worn bar attracts an eclectic crowd,  The karaoke stage is in the middle of the bar, with the song lyrics projected on the screen behind it. On a recent night, song choices included Lady Gaga’s “You & I” and the classic rock song “White Rabbit” by Jefferson Airplane.

Popular song choices: “You never know what a person is going to sing,” said bartender Jimmy Quaile. “One moment you hear a pop song, the next minute something from 30 years ago.”

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