Music: Frog Hollow plays bluegrass & blues Fri., Oct. 4, at 7:30 PM

Frog Hollow plays Best Video Performance Space on Friday, Oct. 4. The show starts at 7:30 PM and the cover is $15.

Frog Hollow is Phil Rosenthal, Chris Wuerth, Peter Menta and Bobo Lavorgna, local bluegrass and blues musicians. They played together for the first time recently on Phil’s monthly radio show on ICRV Radio. They had such a good time, they decided to form a band. The music is classic bluegrass, rhythm and blues, and some original songs.

Phil Rosenthal was lead singer and guitarist in the seminal bluegrass band the Seldom Scene. His compositions have been recorded by Johnny Cash, Bill Monroe, Nick Cave and others. Peter Menta is the longtime leader of Washboard Slim & the Blue Lights. Bassist David “Bobo” Lavorgna has played bass for some well known regional acts such as Jake & The Family Jewels, Stormin’ Normin and Suzy, Blake Street Gut Band, 1917 Jazz Band, Swingin Jazz, Robert Silverman, Mike Cappezone, Tony Mason and the list goes on, and on and on. Chris Wuerth has played with the bluegrass ensembles Ragweed and the East Rock Ramblers and is well known for helming the popular GuitarTownCT concert series.

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Music: Fernando Pinto Presents the Nordic folk of SVER, Americana by local duo Kat Wallace & David Sasso Sat., Sept. 21, at 7:30 PM

SVER.

Promoter Fernando Pinto presents the Norwegian/Swedish Nordic folk act SVER at Best Video Performance Space on Saturday, Sept. 21. Doors are at 7:30 PM and the show starts at 8 PM. Local Americana duo Kat Wallace & David Sasso open. Advance tickets are $20 and tickets are $25 the day of the show.

SVER play epic Nordic folk music with relentless energy and seductive spark taking you on a fantastic musical journey guaranteed to excite you. Ranging from fiddle-driven tunes from Norway and Sweden and melds them with wild, lonesome songs from old Scandinavia and the Appalachians and fiery, inventive force of SVER’s fiddles, accordion, guitar and drums, to a swinging, pounding and sweaty madness – you are invited to the party, greeted by a welcoming primal force that pulls you into the dance. Since the group’s inception, SVER has gone from strength to strength, playing extensively throughout Europe and the US, gaining a reputation as one of the most acclaimed live acts in the Nordic folk scene.

SVER has often been described as “sounding electric without electricity”, and their flexible musicianship has also made them an attractive backing band for some of Scandinavia’s leading singers in different genres. That has lead to them playing on TV-shows, at large festivals, as well as securing positions on radio charts with the music ranging from folk to reggae/dancehall and rap. Their imaginative soundscapes, grooves, and melodies will take you on a journey over the Norwegian fjords and mountains, into the lively pubs and back out into the deep forest of their musicality.

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 its story. Their debut album, Stuff of Stars, is set to release in August 2019.

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Children’s Music: Liz McNicholl plays Saturday morning, Sept. 14, at 10:30 AM

Join Liz McNicholl for her fun and interactive “Drum and Sing Jamboree family concert” at Best Video Film & Cultural Center on Saturday, Sept.14, at 10:30. Suggested donation is $5-10 per family but nobody will be turned away for lack of funds.

During this fun interactive concert, Liz leads the audience in drumming & singing and also intertwines her wide range of musical instruments including guitar, ukulele, banjo, and even a traditional Irish drum called a Bódhran. Audiences will sing, jam along on drums & other instruments and are such an integral part of this fun show! Great for all ages.

Liz McNicholl, originally from Co. Meath Ireland, immigrated to the United States in 1985. She is a well known performer in CT and around the United States. Liz has owned Musical Folk, offering the Music Together program, in New Haven County since 2008 with thousands of families sharing the joy of music over the years.

Liz believes that we all have music within us and that making music makes you feel better, gives you confidence and engages your brain like no other activity. Liz loves to have the audience take on the role of the performer by engaging them and encouraging them to bring out their inner musician by singing along, drumming and interacting with other instruments and movement.

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Music: Jug band tunes from The Howling Hound Dogs Fri., Sept. 6

The Howling Hound Dogs play Best Video Performance Space on Friday, Sept. 6. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you can in that range).

The Howling Hound Dogs are a fun, upbeat washboard trio who play swing standards from the 20’s to the 50’s as well as folk and blues tunes, modern arrangements and funny originals. Their shows include ukulele, guitar, kazoo, harmonica, mandolin, banjo, washboard, jug and even spoons!

As a band and as soloists they’ve appeared at festivals, town concerts, senior facilities, libraries, the New Haven Festival of Arts and Ideas, Nashville’s Bluebird Café and on TV and radio. Thew members of The Howling Hound Dogs are Peter Magrane, Lou Manzi and Tom McVerry.

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[UPDATE: Moved to Wed., Sept. 4, 5:30 PM ] Music: September kicks off with Sunday afternoon bluegrass jam, Sept. 1, 2-5 PM

UPDATE: This jam has been rescheduled to Wednesday, Sept. 4, starting at 5:30 PM. There will be no Sunday afternoon jam on Sept. 1 this month.

The “First Sunday” Hamden Bluegrass Jam—hosted by GuitarTown CT Productions—takes place on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 1, 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: GuitarTownCT evening bluegrass jam on Mon., Aug. 19, at 6 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. August’s jam is on Monday, Aug. 19, from 6-9 PM.

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

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Music: On the Trail, new bluegrass quartet, plays Wed., Aug. 7

On the Trail plays Best Video Performance Space on Wednesday, Aug. 7. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

Featuring four musicians from four very different backgrounds, On The Trail is a modern acoustic quartet that explores everything from bluegrass to contemporary pop, from stunning instrumentals to beautiful traditional songs. The band bonded from their love of bluegrass and the band Punch Brothers, and has already gained recognition and praise for their exploration and strong execution of the challenging music, as well as for their new original music. On The Trail also features Austin Scelzo-fiddle and vocals, Tom Polizzi-mandolin and vocals, and Charlie Widmer-guitar and vocals.

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Music: Last Fair Deal offers American roots music Fri., July 19

Last Fair Deal play Best Video Performance Space on Friday, July 19. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you can in that range).

Last Fair Deal continues to redraw the map of American roots music with fluid energy and creativity. Performing as a trio, guitarist Paul Howard, fiddler Tom Hagymasi and banjo/mandolinist Phil Zimmerman fan the flame that has kept this band relevant since the 70’s. They’re enjoyment of performing together is palpable and captivating!

Their live performances, with stellar vocals and unique acoustic synergy draw from an eclectic repertoire of old-time string-band, bluegrass, swing, and popular music. The band’s shows feature originals from their current and previous three albums and they also put their own spin on tunes by John Hartford, Gillian Welch, Dan Hicks, Lennon/McCartney, John Hiatt, The Band and Bob Dylan.

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Music: Evening bluegrass jam hosted by GuitarTownCT on Mon., July 15, at 6 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. July’s jam is on Monday, July 15, from 6-9 PM.

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

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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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