Music (and cake): Birthday girl Anne Marie Menta host songwriters’ circle Sat., May 12, at 7:30 PM

It’s Anne Marie Menta’s birthday Saturday, May 12, and to celebrate she has invited a group of her fellow singer-songwriters to join her on stage at Best Video Performance Space. Along with Anne Marie Menta, expect songs from Mark Mirando, Richard Neal, Shellye Valauskas, Bob Csugie and Lys Guillorn. The show starts at 7 :30 PM and the cover is $10. There will be birthday cake!

Anne Marie Menta hails from New Haven, CT., where she has been a long time favorite singer/songwriter. She comes from a family of three brothers, where playing and listening to music was their great passion. Anne Marie’s first two CDs of original music, “Untried & True” and “When the Love Ran Deep” were released in 1999 and 2004 to enthusiastic reviews and gained airplay throughout New England acoustic music programs. Her third CD, “Seven Secrets,” was released in late November 2009 and continues her lyrical and melodic style of songwriting, as well as collaborations with her producer and fellow songwriter and instrumentalist, Dick Neal.

Mark Mirando started his music career in New Haven Connecticut playing in the legendary “Dogs”, a group that was well know for their originals as well as carefully chosen, well crafted covers. Mark concentrates on original music now, although he’ll pull out a Beatles gem on occasion – and he’s recorded with no less than Beatle Ringo Starr. He performs the east coast singer songwriter circuit working both solo and also with his band and also travels to Nashville to write, record and perform with Nashville’s top songwriters including Georgia Middleman and Connecticut’s own Gary Burr.

Dick Neal is a student of music, songwriting, record production, and live performance. A multi-instrumentalist (guitar, 5-string banjo, mandolin, dobro, slide), he has been privileged to make a living as a musician and to work in a wide variety of musical settings and styles.

As a solo artist and songwriter, he has released 2 CD’s of original music, HOE and Beacon. Several of his compositions have been recorded by other singers.

Bob Csugie has been performing as part of the bluegrass and acoustic scenes in Connecticut for over 20 years. Among his roles has been playing upright bass with The Anne Marie Menta Band.

Lys Guillorn is a singer/songwriter of the same musical school as Laura Veirs and Kristin Hersh, with a little Emmylou Harris thrown in: dreamy, lyric-driven, melodically interesting, and indefinable. She makes “oddly uplifting, folk, blues, country-infused, acoustic semi-electric psychedelic dark pop music.” (Geraint Jones, Comes With a Smile, UK). In recent years, Guillorn has released a full-length CD, an EP, and a collection of compilation tracks on her own Little Cowgirl Records. She released her second full-length CD of original material, “Winged Victory,” in November, 2013.

Shellye Valauskas is a sweet songwriter who cares for catchy rhythms and hooks. Her CD “Box It Up,” recorded with her band The Shellye Valauskas Experience, is a box of secrets, surprises and delights. By the time she formed the band, vocalist/guitarist Shellye Valauskas was an established solo performer, winning the New Haven Advocate’s Grand Band Slam readers’ poll and rating a slot in New York’s CMJ Marathon. Valauskas recently released her second full-length LP, “History of Panic.” Online music blog Popdose enthused, “This is really good.  I mean REALLY GOOD.  This second album from The Shelleye Valauskas Experience, “History Of Panic,” which is anchored by singer-guitarist Ms. Valausakas and Mr. Dean Falcone on second guitar, took almost a decade to make and release, but it’s damned well worth the wait.”

UPCOMING EVENTS (Music events start at 8 PM unless otherwise noted; screenings start at 7 PM unless otherwise noted):

• Tuesday, May 8, 6-9 PM. GUITARTOWNCT BLUEGRASS JAM

• Wednesday, May 9, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC

• Thursday, May 10, 7:30 PM. ROCK: NOTATTOO

• Friday, May 11, 7 PM. STATE OF THE NATION—PROTEST MUSIC CABARET: SETH ADAM, THAT VIRGINIA, PAUL BRYANT HUDSON, ZOO FRONT, BRET LOGAN

• Saturday, May 12. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND

• Wednesday, May 16. JAZZ: CREATIVE ARTS MUSIC ENSEMBLE

• Thursday, May 17. INDIE ROCK: PROCEDURE CLUB, PERENNIAL, CITY STREETS COUNTRY ROADS

• Friday, May 18. JAZZ: BADSLAX

• Sunday, May 20, 2-4 PM. FREE OPEN IRISH MUSIC JAM

• Sunday, May 20, 6 PM. INDIE ROCK: FUTURE TEENS, SPIT-TAKE, MINEVA, ALL RIOT

• Monday, May 21, 6:30-9 PM. GUITARTOWNCT THIRD MONDAY BLUEGRASS JAM

• Tuesday, May 22. 7 PM. “AGAINST FORGETTING—READINGS FROM THE PETRY OF WITNESS”: READING BY DAISY C. ABREU & STEPHEN VINCENT KOBASA

• Wednesday, May 23. JAZZ: BOTTOMLEY/SOUZA/MORRISON

• Thursday, May. 24. BLUES ROCK: JOE MILLER & THE HIPSHAKERS

• Friday, May 25. ACOUSTIC OLD-TIMEY/SWING: THE RED HOTS; AMERICANA: PAT STONE

• Tuesday, May 29, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Wednesday, May 30. SINGER-SONGWRITER: BEN MIKULA/THE LONE GNOME

• Thursday, May 31. JAZZ: MICHAEL COPPOLA & FAYE GREEN

• Friday, June 1. JAZZ: HAMDEN HIGH SCHOOL JAZZ COMBO

• Sunday, June 3, 2-5 PM. FREE MONTHLY SUNDAY GUITARTOWNCT BLUEGRASS JAM

• Wednesday, June 6. AVANT-GARDE: ERNESTO CÁRCAMO CAVAZOS, HUMAN FLOURISHING

• Friday, June 8, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: THE PAGE TURNERS (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Thursday, June 14. BLUEGRASS: THE ANGRY O’HARAS

• Friday, June 15, 7:30 PM. ALT-COUNTRY: PAT STONE & THE DIRTY BOOTS; ROCK: HAPPY ENDING

• Sunday, June 17, 2-4 PM. FREE OPEN IRISH MUSIC JAM

• Monday, June 18, 6:30 PM. GUITARTOWNCT THIRD MONDAY BLUEGRASS JAM

• Friday, June 22. JAZZ: THE PAUL SHANLEY QUINTET

• Wednesday, June 27. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: THE BUTTONDOWNS, DR. MARTINO

• Thursday, June 28, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: JACOB JOHNSON (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Friday, June 29. SINGER-SONGWRITERS IN THE ROUND: PONY BIRD, FRANK CRITELLI, CHRISTOPHER BOUSQUET

• Sunday, July 1, 2-5 PM. FREE MONTHLY SUNDAY GUITARTOWNCT BLUEGRASS JAM

• Thursday, July 5. FILM SCREENING with LIVE SCORE: “THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC”

• Tuesday, July 10, 5:30-7:30. WALK TO END ALZHEIMER’S TEAM SIGN-UP

• Sunday, July 15, 2-4 PM. FREE OPEN IRISH MUSIC JAM

• Tuesday, July 24. FILM SCORES OF NINA ROTA: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS

• Wednesday, July 25, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: TOWN MOUNTAIN (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Friday, July 27. FOLK: LOVERS LEAGUE; INIE FOLK/POP: RAVI KRISHNASWAMI

• Tuesday, July 31, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Friday, Aug. 3. SOLO GUITAR: GLENN ROTH

• Friday, Aug. 31, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: DALE ANN BRADLEY (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Friday, Nov. 9, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: KENNY & AMANDA SMITH (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

• Friday, Dec. 7, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: HONEY DEWDROPS (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)

Music: Mark Mirando, Dick Neal, Bob Csugie—songwriters in the round—Wed., Dec. 2, at 8 PM

Singer-songwriters Mark Mirando, Dick Neal and Bob Csugie play Best Video Performance Space on Wednesday, Dec. 2. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

Mark Mirando started his music career in New Haven Connecticut playing in the legendary “Dogs”, a group that was well know for their originals as well as carefully chosen, well crafted covers.

Mark_Mirando_BV_111814_Web

Mark concentrates on original music now, although he’ll pull out a Beatles gem on occasion – and he’s recorded with no less than Beatle Ringo Starr.   Mark played guitar and sang backup vocals on Ringo’s releases, “Ringo-Rama”, “Choose Love”, and two of Ringo’s greatest hits CD’s, “Photograph” and “Ringo 5.1”.

He performs the east coast singer songwriter circuit working both solo and also with his band and also travels to Nashville to write, record and perform with Nashville’s top songwriters including Georgia Middleman and Connecticut’s own Gary Burr. Mark’s latest CD is titled “Now That You Mention It” and it features such guest artist as Gary Burr, Georgia Middleman, Jim Photoglo, Victoria Shaw and Stealing Angels (Caroline Cutbirth, Jennifer Wayne, Tayla Lynn). One of Mark’s song’s, “What More Do You Want?” was recorded by Kristin Chenoweth and was released on her latest cd titled “Some Lessons Learned.”

Dick Neal is a student of music, songwriting, record production, and live performance. A multi-instrumentalist (guitar, 5-string banjo, mandolin, dobro, slide), he has been privileged to make a living as a musician and to work in a wide variety of musical settings and styles.

Dick_Neal_BV_Web

Dick appears regularly in concert as a sideman for any number of acts, and also as a regular member of the bluegrass band HOE. His newest band is the bluegrass combo Phantoms of the Opry, who will play Best Video in December. As a solo artist and songwriter, he has released 2 CD’s of original music, HOE and Beacon. Several of his compositions have been recorded by other singers.

Bob Csugie has been performing as part of the bluegrass and acoustic scenes in Connecticut for over 20 years. Among his roles has been playing upright bass with The Anne Marie Menta Band.

Bob_Csugie_BV_Web

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Sunday, Nov. 22. FILM SCREENING/BLACK LIVES MATTER BENEFIT: “ANNE BRADEN: SOUTHERN PATRIOT”

• Friday, Nov. 27. ACOUSTIC ROCK: THE BIRDMEN

• Sunday, Nov. 29. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY STANLEY KUBRICK (“THE KILLING”)

• Wednesday, Dec. 2. SINGER-SONGWRITERS IN THE ROUND: MARK MIRANDO, DICK NEAL, BOB CSUGIE

• Thursday, Dec. 3. ELECTRONIC: AVMUS

• Friday, Dec. 4. CLASSICAL: RAVENNA MICHALSEN & BETHANY WILDER

• Sunday, Dec. 6. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY STANLEY KUBRICK (“PATHS OF GLORY”)

• Wednesday, Dec. 9. JAZZ: THE THELONIOUS MONK PROJECT BAND

• Thursday, Dec. 10. BLUES/FOLK/COUNTRY: CODA BLUE

• Friday, Dec. 11. INDIE POP: THE SHELLYE VALAUSKAS EXPERIENCE

• Sunday, Dec. 13. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY STANLEY KUBRICK (“DR. STRANGELOVE”)

• Wednesday, Dec. 16. SINGER-SONGWRITER: BRIAN DOLZANI

• Friday, Dec. 18. PSYCHO-FOLK: MILKSOP: UNSUNG

• Sunday, Dec. 20. MARK SCHENKER: HOW TO READ A FILM—FOUR BY STANLEY KUBRICK (“BARRY LYNDON”)