Music: Washboard Slim & The Bluelights play Fri., June 14, at 7:30 PM

Washboard Slim & The Bluelights play Best Video Performance Space on Friday, June 14. The show starts at 7:30 PM and the cover is $10.

After 40 years of playing together, Washboard Slim and the Bluelights has evolved into one of the country’s most versatile and original of jug bands.

Incorporating pure Americana instruments like tub bass, washboard, jug, banjo, harmonica, and fiddle, adding drums and powerful vocal harmonies, this band rocks sold-out concerts, dance halls and family shows. Playing their own compositions as well as original arrangements of traditional gospel and blues tunes, their music is by turns playful and haunted. It’s no wonder legendary blues/folk artist, Eric Von Schmidt described Washboard Slim and the Bluelights as “traditional music on overdrive.”

The members of Washboard Slim & the Blue Lights are Peter Menta (aka Washboard Slim, drums, harmonica, kazoo, washboard, vocals), Brooks Barnett (accordion, banjo, drums, guitar, mandolin, piano, vocals), Howie Horn (banjo, jug, washtub bass, vocals), Mat Kastner (banjo, guitar, National steel guitar), Johnny Pendergast (guitar, fiddle, mandolin, vocals),and Lauren Agnelli (guitar, ukelele, kazoo, vocals).

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Music: Flint Ladder plays folk and string band music Thurs., June 13

Flint Ladder plays Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, June 13. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

Flint Ladder grew out of the creative, environmentally-conscious New Haven arts community in the late 1980s. During that time, a community member offered the use of his barn—which previously housed The Flint Ladder Company—to form a home for a neighborhood circus. Cellist Shula Weinstein was one of the first members of the accompanying circus band. Shortly after, guitarist Frank Panzarella joined. Bassist Jim Baldoni was soon recruited by Panzarella. Anne Cherry, another community member, joined on fiddle, glockenspiel, and various percussion.

After the circus, the band continued performing, shortening its name from The Flint Ladder Circus Band to simply Flint Ladder. Along the way, they picked up mandolinist Karen Hogg via a random yoga class that Baldoni attended. Today, Flint Ladder is an eclectic, fun string band that specializes in unique arrangements of old jazz, folk, classic rock, country, and other popular tunes.

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Music: The Steve Nystrup Trio, Mad Agnes play folk-influenced acoustic music Fri., June 7

The Steve Nystrup Trio and Mad Agnes play Best Video Performance Space on Friday, June 7. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is $10.

Steve Nystrup Trio is a true family affair. Steve on guitar and vocals, his son Aaron on bass guitar and wife Maureen Wasik on lead vocals “blend perfectly to make transcendent and uplifting music. Whatever they play becomes their own (not to mention their own compositions!).” The band plays a colorful mix of folk, blues, Americana and popular songs. The harmonies are tight and the interplay between father and son on guitar and bass is always compelling!

Steve is an award winning guitarist, composer and educator. His music has been featured on several “Folk Next Door” CD”s from WWUH and on many CT Classical Guitar Society recordings. Maureen has been singing all her life and is well know to audiences in NYC and along the CT shore where she has performed as a member of Acoustic Exile, Freefall, and Step Edna. Aaron has been playing bass guitar with his dad since he was 14 years old and appears on several recordings with him. He lives in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, NY and is a member of the very popular band Everest Cale.

Even though Mad Agnes officially stopped performing in 2011, they are doing rare performances. Margo Hennebach, Adrienne Jones and Mark Saunders reunite to bring you the sculpted harmonies and compelling songwriting for which they are known. The trio has a decade-long musical history together, performing across the U.S. and overseas. Margo and Adrienne have been performing together on and off for over 30 years. Individually and collectively they’ve recorded twelve albums and a DVD.

Hennebach and Jones write most of the songs, which they arrange in a purely fair and democratic fashion. With “three-part harmonies as tight as jeans from the dryer” (Rob Weir, The Advocate), the resulting sound is captivating, uplifting and rare.

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Music: GuitarTownCT monthly afternoon bluegrass jam takes place Sun., June 2, 2-5 PM

The “First Sunday” Hamden Bluegrass Jam—hosted by GuitarTown CT Productions—takes place on Sunday afternoon, July 2, from 2—5 PM in Best Video Performance Space.

There is no cover so come on down—have a coffee, beer or glass of wine and enjoy the music. It’s all acoustic and mostly traditional. Any and all bluegrass players are welcome.

Bring your instrument or just bring your ears. Come to pick or just to listen.

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Music: The Moon Shells, Kat Wallace & David Sasso serve up Americana Sat., June 1, at

The Moon Shells and the duo of Kat Wallace & David Sasso play Best Video Performance Space on Saturday, June 1. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you can in that range).

The Moon Shells are a new project from Maggie Shar, Laura Murawski, and Brian Slattery, who met one another through the Appalachian fiddle community in 2015 and started playing together as often as they could. As musicians they were drawn to each other by a shared sense of rhythm and improvisation, grounded in the Appalachian fiddle tradition but drawing from the many kinds of music they love from Louisiana, West Africa, Eastern Europe, and elsewhere, to create a sound that’s emotional and groovy at the same time.

Kat Wallace and David Sasso met playing hard and fast bluegrass with New Haven string band Five in the Chamber. Their shared background in classical music and affinity for all things trad brought them together to form an intimate and virtuosic duo. Both singers and multi-instrumentalists, Wallace and Sasso orbit around traditional folk, original songwriting, and the ever-evolving Americana movement. Their effortless vocal lines and innovative harmonization command the stage while allowing space for each song to tell it’s story. In April 2019, Kat and David will be recording their debut album in Dimension Sound Studios in Boston, produced by acclaimed cellist Mike Block.

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Music: GuitarTownCT evening bluegrass jam takes place Mon., May 20, 6-9 PM

The monthly first Sunday GuitarTownCT bluegrass jams became so successful that Chris Wuerth added a new jam to the schedule. For those who need to twang community-wise more than once a month—or can’t make the Sunday afternoon events—we now have a bluegrass jam (usually) on the Third Monday of every month from 6-9 PM. Admission to this jam is a suggested donation of $5. May’s jam is on Monday, May 20, from 6-9 PM.

Players of all abilities are welcome as well as those who just enjoy listening.

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Music: GuitarTownCT monthly Sunday afternoon bluegrass jam takes place Sun., May 5, 2-5 PM

The “First Sunday” Hamden Bluegrass Jam—hosted by GuitarTown CT Productions—takes place on Sunday afternoon, May 5, from 2—5 PM in Best Video Performance Space.

There is no cover so come on down—have a coffee, beer or glass of wine and enjoy the music. It’s all acoustic and mostly traditional. Any and all bluegrass players are welcome.

Bring your instrument or just bring your ears. Come to pick or just to listen.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Music: Shawn Taylor, Frank Critelli trade tunes Thurs., May 2

Singer-songwriters Shawn Taylor and Frank Critelli play Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, May 2, The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you can in that range).

With a thumping thumb, dancing fingers, wailing harp, deep, gritty, soul stirring vocals and poetic blue collar lyrics, Shawn Taylor’s songs ooze American roots; wandering roots. He’s drawn comparisons from Tom Waites to Ray Lamontagne, Bruce Springsteen to Chris Smither, but his original songs are colored by the experiences of his own working class, wandering roots. He’s been an oysterman, carpenter, hitchhiker, homeowner, familly man, Appalachian Trail ‘thru-hiker’ and a performing musician and song writer, for over twenty years.

He plays venues from New England to Nashville and has shared the stage with artists such as, Maria Muldaur, Peter Mulvey, Vance Gilbert, Garnet Rodgers and Caravan of Thieves.

Frank Critelli writes songs. He dabbles in haiku and other short poetry. He also writes other things. Like postcards.

Frank Critelli often performs live. Sometimes he performs solo, sometimes he is accompanied by one or more musical co-conspirators (“The Don” Horton: bass guitar, acoustic guitar; Shandy Lawson: lead guitar, mandolin; Mark Mirando: keys, guitar, backing vocals; Al Raebuck: guitar, backing vocals; Rich “Southbound” Suarez: drums; Jim Stavris: drums; Ed Leonard: percussion; Bumpy Chimes: guitar, misc) or in conjunction with other songwriters (most specifically, as part of the Times Three Tour with Christopher Bousquet and Mr. Ray Neal). Over the years he’s played in streets and subways, barrooms and classrooms, coffeehouses and colleges, theaters, festivals, and (most recently) in his kitchen.

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Music: “Three chords and the truth” from The Bluegrass Characters Tues., Apr. 30, at 7:30

The Bluegrass Characters will play Best Video Performance Space on Tuesday, Apr. 30. The show starts at 7:30 PM and the cover is $5.

Formerly led by the great Stacy Phillips—who tragically passed away last year—The Bluegrass Characters are a local bluegrass supergroup who play the great straight-ahead, hard-driving bluegrass from the 50s and 60s.

The group features a rotating cast of acoustic roots music virtuosos. This month’s line-up features Phil Zimmerman (mandolin), Tom Hagymasi (fiddle), Pete Kelly (bass), Joe “Pepe” Lemeris (banjo) and Andy Bromage (guitar). Three chords and the truth, sung from the heart and through the nose.

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Music: Singer-songwriter Sabrina Trueheart plays Fri., Apr. 26

Sabrina Trueheart plays Best Video Performance Space on Friday, Apr. 26. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10—pay what you can in that range.

Sabrina Trueheart is a singer/songwriter from New Haven, Connecticut. A lifelong musician, she began playing guitar and writing her own music at age 10, and later decided to turn her passion into her career. In 2014, Sabrina released an EP of original works entitled “Neck of the Woods.”

She attended Cooperative Arts High School in New Haven where she studied music theory and jazz guitar. Today, she is a student at Fairfield University working towards her bachelor’s degree in music. Sabrina’s original music ranges from folk to pop. Her influences include Jewel, Joni Mitchell, Anthony Green, and Lana Del Rey.

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