UPDATE—Rescheduled to 7/7: Rich Moran sings from the Great American Songbook

UPDATE! Due to the potential—if you can trust meteorologists, which you can’t—for possibly inclement weather at or near showtime today (June 19), Rich Moran’s performance of tunes from the Great American Songbook has been rescheduled to Wed., July 7, at 5:30 PM.

Rich Moran returns to Best Video Film & Cultural Center on Sat., June 19, with his longtime backing band of Judy Webber, Jeff Webber and Mike Bimonte to play popular and jazz music from the 1920s through the 1980s.

If you turn your radio dial on a Saturday evening at 6 and come across a Standard being performed by a classic artist such as Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald, there’s a very good chance that you are listening to the One Great Song program hosted by Rich Moran on WMNR. He also writes and produces many of the episodes for the popular series which focus on a particular song, singer, or songwriter from the Great American songbook era.

As a singer, Rich, has brought his neo-traditional take on that same Standards repertoire to venues throughout New Haven County. Just as he does on One Great Song, his performances feature entertaining anecdotes about the history behind the music being played. As a member and neighbor of Best Video, he has brought a variety of themed programs to our space including celebrations of different eras of movie music and the career of Frank Sinatra.

The performers are donating their tip jar proceeds to the Aid For Orphans Relief Foundation, a Connecticut-based 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is to provide orphans and other at risk children around the globe and in Connecticut with proper healthcare, nutrition and wellness treatments that would otherwise be unavailable.

The Best Video cafe will be open from 4-8 PM, serving coffee drinks, beer, and wine.
We ask respect for social distancing, please, and conscientiousness on masks. Not everybody is vaccinated yet and our venue wants to advise caution and consideration for others.

No cover charge but please bring cash for the musicians’ tip jar. This has been a real hard time for musicians, almost all of whom have seen their live performance income dry up. There will also be a donation vase set out for Best Video.
Parking available behind Best Video and on Thornton Street.

RESCHEDULED TO Wed., June 30: Brooke Dougan, Justin Esmer play Best Video

UPDATE: Due to the likely threat of rain and possible thunderstorms, the Brooke Dougan/Justin Esmer show on the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck that was scheduled for Fri., June 4, is being rescheduled to Wednesday, June 30, at 5 PM.

Brooke Dougan and Justin Esmer play the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck on Fri., June 4. The show starts at 5 PM.

Brooke Dougan is a singer songwriter who has been performing all over Connecticut since she was 14. She has a laid back sound with a smooth voice. Brooke sings with an understated vocal style and writes sweet, simply arranged songs that are accented by interesting chord changes. The result are songs that feel familiar but have unexpected twists.

Justin Esmer is a rising 17 year old Filipino indie pop artist from Hamden, Connecticut. When creating music, Justin is inspired by dreaminess, nature, and nostalgia. He’s the lead vocalist in his high school band “Bad Habits” and is a solo artist for his independent project “Esmer.”

We ask respect for social distancing, please, and conscientiousness on masks. Not everybody is vaccinated yet and our venue wants to advise caution and consideration for others.

No cover charge but please bring cash for the musicians’ tip jar. This has been a real hard time for musicians, almost all of whom have seen their live performance income dry up.

Parking available behind Best Video and on Thornton Street.

Click here for a complete list of upcoming events.

UPDATE: Rescheduled to Sun., June 27, 3 PM— BEPW on the deck at Best Video, with Brian Larney

UPDATE: due to the near-certain threat of rain on the originally scheduled June 3 date, the BEPW show has been rescheduled to Sun., June 27, at 3 PM. Dan Carrano will not be part of the rescheduled show; Brian Larney has been added to the bill.

BEPW (Brian Ebin Parker Wolfe) has been playing original music on guitar, mandolin and tiple since the late 60’s. He earliest gigs at The Exit Coffeehouse shaped his ambition to do little more than hang out on the New Haven Green for most of his young adult life. Little has changed since then.He will be joined by his wife Rose on vocals and their compatriot Bobo Lavorgna on bass—the nucleus of the Ebin-Rose Trio.

Over the years he has played in many diverse bands including, The Wyrd Brothers, Pottery, The Name, Ebin-Rose Trio and Amalgamated Muck. This year of forced isolation inspired him to put together a solo set for the first time since he started playing guitar in 1963.

Singer-songwriter Brian Larney will share the bill on June 27. Haunted by hooks and good old fashioned song-craft, Brian Larney is an eclectic, non-stop music-making machine. The Connecticut native and New England Music Awards nominee splits his time performing as a solo acoustic act, as the front-man of his band Brian Larney and The Town Hall, and—until the recent tragic passing of his colleague Rob Nelson—as part of the harmony pop group Pigeon English. He’s an alternative folk-rock singer-songwriter with an honest and thoughtful style that has been described as “quirky, earnest, and vulnerable.” Larney’s music is as influenced by pop songs of the mid-1960s as it is by the contemporary artists he’s often compared to, such as Jason Isbell and The Decemberists.

We ask respect for social distancing, please, and conscientiousness on masks. Not everybody is vaccinated yet and our venue wants to advise caution and consideration for others.

No cover charge but please bring cash for the musicians’ tip jar. This has been a real hard time for musicians, almost all of whom have seen their live performance income dry up. There will also be a donation vase set out for Best Video.

Parking available behind Best Video and on Thornton Street.

Click here for a complete list of upcoming events.

Lys Guillorn Duo with Eric Bloomquist, Karen Ponzio share bill Sat., June 26

Lys Guillorn duo with Eric Bloomquist and special guest, poet Karen Ponzio, play the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck on Sat., June 26, at 5:30 PM.

Lys Guillorn is a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, bandleader, and discipline-hopping artist from Shelton, Connecticut. A stylistic shape-shifter, Guillorn dips her pointy boots in folk and psych-rock.

In 2018, Guillorn won CT Now’s Best of Hartford Readers Poll for Best Singer-Songwriter. She has two full-length studio records of original material, a collection of covers and compilation tracks, and a couple of EPs and singles on her own label Little Cowgirl Records. Her most recent single is called “Dolores & I,” released on the 2020 compilation Waiting on a Sunrise Vol. 1. Guillorn will be playing electric guitar, and will be joined by Lys Guillorn & Her Band’s bassist, Eric Bloomquist (also of Bronson Rock, Chica Non Grata.)

Karen Ponzio has been involved in the healing arts for over 30 years and in the creation of poetry, prose, and drawings for even longer. She has shared her poems, displayed her artwork, and hosted a variety of live shows throughout the New Haven area.

She also hosts a biweekly show on CygnusRadio.com called The Word According to KP focusing on written and spoken word of all kinds and types as well as lyrically driven music.

Karen is currently an arts journalist for the New Haven Independent and has been published in local magazines such as The Cut-Up and Put Down Your Phone, New Haven. She also teaches journalism in the Creative Writing program at ACES- Educational Center for the Arts in New Haven.

We ask respect for social distancing, please, and conscientiousness on masks. Not everybody is vaccinated yet and our venue wants to advise caution and consideration for others. Masks are optional outside but required if you go inside Best Video.

No cover charge but please bring cash for the musicians’ tip jar. This has been a real hard time for musicians, almost all of whom have seen their live performance income dry up. (There will also be a Best Video tip jar for donations.)

Parking available behind Best Video and on Thornton Street.

Singer-songwriter Richard Neal plays Fri., June 25, at 5:30 PM

Singer-songwriter Richard Neal plays the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck on Fri., June 25, starting at 5:30 PM.

Richard 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.

Neal appears regularly in concert as a sideman for any number of acts, and also as a regular member of the bluegrass band HOE. 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.

The Best Video cafe will be open and serving coffee, wine, and beer.

We ask respect for social distancing, please, and conscientiousness on masks. Not everybody is vaccinated yet and our venue wants to advise caution and consideration for others. Masks are required inside Best Video.

No cover charge but please bring cash for the musicians’ tip jar. This has been a real hard time for musicians, almost all of whom have seen their live performance income dry up. There will also be a donation vase set out for Best Video.

Parking available behind Best Video and on Thornton Street.

Goodnight Blue Moon on the Best Video deck Thurs., June 24

Goodnight Blue Moon plays the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck Thursday, June 24, starting at 5 PM.

Goodnight Blue Moon is an americana/indie-folk band that writes great songs and puts on an outstanding show. Whether it’s traditional sea chanties or through-composed orchestral pop, their arrangements are thoughtful and their melodies are contagious.

Mat Crowley plays mandolin and guitar; Erik Elligers plays acoustic guitar. Their voices blend in fine harmony. They play this show in their quartet format with Nancy Matlack on cello and banjo and Vicki Hayes Wepler on violin.

The Best Video cafe will be open and serving coffee, wine, and beer.

We ask respect for social distancing, please, and conscientiousness on masks. Not everybody is vaccinated yet and our venue wants to advise caution and consideration for others. Masks are required inside Best Video.

No cover charge but please bring cash for the musicians’ tip jar. This has been a real hard time for musicians, almost all of whom have seen their live performance income dry up. There will also be a donation vase set out for Best Video.

Parking available behind Best Video and on Thornton Street.

Songs + Stories 12 on the Best Video deck Sun., June 20, at 5 PM

SONGS + STORIES returns to the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck, Sunday, June 20, starting at 5 PM. There is a suggested $5 donation to the tip jar for the performers.

The event is hosted by Saul Fussiner and this edition’s theme is “Mothers and Daughters.” Paticipating storytellers are are Laura Hurwitz, Sharen McKay, Elisabeth Anton.

Stefanie Clark Harris and Sarah Dunn will offer the songs and music for the event.

The Best Video cafe will be open and serving coffee, wine, and beer.

We ask respect for social distancing, please, and conscientiousness on masks. Not everybody is vaccinated yet and our venue wants to advise caution and consideration for others. Masks are required inside Best Video.

No cover charge but please bring cash for the musicians’ tip jar. This has been a real hard time for musicians, almost all of whom have seen their live performance income dry up. There will also be a donation vase set out for Best Video.

Parking available behind Best Video and on Thornton Street.

Happy Ending plays semi-unplugged show Fri., June 18

Rock band Happy Ending—which features current and former BVFCC executive directors Hank Hoffman and Richard Brown—plays the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck on Fri., June 18, with music starting around 5:30 PM. (A limited edition handmade silkscreen poster for this show lists the start as 5 PM; that time has been changed.)

The quartet will be playing semi-unplugged—while Richard Brown will be on electric guitar and saxophone and Randy Stone will play electric bass, vocalist Hank Hoffman will play acoustic guitar throughout the show and drummer Tom Smith will work a stripped-down kit. This will be a quieter version of Happy Ending but with 100% of the energy.

Happy Ending has released three albums. The most recent, “Electricity for the Youth of Today,” was recorded live at Best Video Performance Space in December of 2013. The vinyl LP and 45 “Have A Nice Day” came out in 1984 and the compact disc “Smile for the Camera” in 1996. John Foster, editor of Op Magazine, described “Have A Nice Day” as a “future cult item for the collectors.” Happy Ending’s music is influenced by 1960s pop, garage rock and psychedelia as well as punk and free jazz.

The group will play six songs they’ve never done live before, including two new songs, two songs from Hank Hoffman’s solo project released last year under the name The Alex Butter Field, and two cover songs.

Writing about a Happy Ending show at Lyric Hall in June, 2017, New Haven Independent arts editor Brian Slattery observed, “With kaleidoscopic projections of faces, hands, drawings, and landscapes swirling behind the band, Happy Ending was at its best during its guitar freakouts, when [guest keyboardist Scott] Amore, Stone, and Smith created tossing waves of rhythm and Hoffman and Brown traded off solos and rhythm work seamlessly, giving the music a chance to fly.”

We ask respect for social distancing, please, and conscientiousness on masks. Not everybody is vaccinated yet and our venue wants to advise caution and consideration for others. Masks are optional outside but required if you go inside Best Video.

No cover charge but please bring cash for the musicians’ tip jar. This has been a real hard time for musicians, almost all of whom have seen their live performance income dry up. (There will also be a Best Video tip jar for donations.)

Parking available behind Best Video and on Thornton Street.

Bluegrass, swing, and more from Too Blue Thurs., June 17

Too Blue plays the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck Thurs., June 17, starting at 5 PM.

Traveling freely between bluegrass, swing, Celtic and jazz, a Too Blue show is a dynamic dose of serious fun. Smooth harmonies and adventurous musicianship bring stellar arrangements to life and leave the listener anything but “blue.” Original songs as well as fresh covers from Patsy Cline to Bill Monroe keep the show moving and toes tapping.

Seamlessly blending their vocals are guitarist Betsy Rome and banjoist Joan Harrison. Mandolin powerhouse Michael Sassano astounds and entertains, while jazz bassist Jamie Doris brings a creative perspective. Together, Too Blue makes exciting bluegrass that swings and entertains.

Of their second CD, “Trouble With the Grey,” Barry Mitterhoff (mandolinist with Jorma Kaukonen) said, “To quote Bill Monroe, ‘This is powerful music!’ … Swing-grass, original tunes, hot pickin’ & sweet singin.”

The Best Video cafe will be open from 4-7 PM, serving coffee drinks, beer, and wine.
The Best Video cafe will be open and serving coffee, wine, and beer.

We ask respect for social distancing, please, and conscientiousness on masks. Not everybody is vaccinated yet and our venue wants to advise caution and consideration for others. Masks are required if you go inside Best Video.

No cover charge but please bring cash for the musicians’ tip jar. This has been a real hard time for musicians, almost all of whom have seen their live performance income dry up. There will also be a donation vase set out for Best Video.

Parking available behind Best Video and on Thornton Street.

UPDATE—Rescheduled to 6/16: Jeff Burnham, Brother Other play Best Video deck

UPDATE: Due to the high likelihood of rain for the originally scheduled time frame for this show (5/28, 5-7 PM) by Jeff Burnham and Brother Other, it has been rescheduled to Wednesday, June 16, from 5-7 PM. See you then!

Jeff Burnham plays the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck Fri., May 28. The show starts at 5 PM with Litchfield band Brother Other opening.

Singer-songwriter Jeff Burnham takes listeners on a journey across a gritty, haunted landscape, where sunlight flickers through the rain, framed in the tradition of Americana and folk-rock with heartland rock elements.

Music journalist and author Chip McCabe describes Jeff’s first record, Hard Luck Town as “down home and soulful… the perfect complement to an album collection that includes acts like Son Volt and Wilco.” A 2019 track by track review of the “Lost and Found” EP by columnist Myemuisemo described various songs as “Americana … with a touch of 1990s-era alt-rock optimism” and “Outlaw workingman’s blues.”

“The Insiders” is a moniker for recording projects and live band shows. During the pandemic, Jeff has been writing and recording in his home studio. His latest single releases include “State of Mind,” “What You Learned,” “Jaded,” and “Doing Hard Time.”

“You and I and Everything,” Brother Other’s debut album, dives deep uncovering naked truth and raw emotion. It was recorded and mixed at Dirt Floor Recording & Production in 2020. Overcoming odds like COVID 19 interrupting sessions, Brother Other stayed the course and through great tenacity, completed their first album.

Click here for a complete list of upcoming events.