The Moon Shells play Americana on the Best Video deck Sat., Sept. 18

The Moon Shells play the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck Sat., Sept. 18. The show starts at 5:30 PM.

The Moon Shells draw from the traditional music of Appalachia, Louisiana, West Africa and elsewhere to try to make something new. Whether performing as an acoustic stringband, a stripped-down trio, or a five-piece making modern sounds on traditional instruments at clubs and festivals, the Moon Shells move hearts and feet.

In 2019 they released two albums—Seaside Asylum, an album of original songs and tunes, and Screech Plank, an album of more traditional fiddle tunes. The Hartford Courant named Seaside Asylum one of its favorite regional albums of 2019. Their next album of original songs, House of Air, came out in 2020 to similar acclaim. Both albums have gotten radio airplay throughout New England. The band is currently finishing its next two albums for release later in the year and this gig will be one of the band’s first chances to play new songs for an audience.

ABOUT OUR SHOWS:

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.

Ramblin’ Dan Stevens plays fingerstyle blues and Americana Wed., Sept. 15

George Haling Photo

Ramblin’ Dan Stevens plays the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck Wed., Sept. 15. The show starts at 5 PM. (It was rescheduled from July 29 due to rain.)

“Ramblin” Dan Stevens performs an eclectic mix of traditional fingerstyle blues, popular songs and originals and has entertained audiences throughout the US, Germany, UK, Canada and Virgin Islands. Of special interest is his unique style of “bottleneck” slide playing popularized by early Mississippi delta bluesmen including his use of a homemade, three stringed “Cigar Box Guitar” and one stringed “Diddly Bow”, both primitive blues instruments.

As a finalist in the International Blues Challenge ’08 on Beale St. in Memphis TN and protege of the legendary Dave Van Ronk, Dan has been lauded for his ability as a raconteur and for the authenticity of his approach gained by many years on the road as a traveling blues musician.

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.

For a full list of upcoming events, click here.

Jug band music from Washboard Slim & the Bluelights Sat., Sept. 11

Washboard Slim & The Bluelights play the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck on Sat., Sept. 11, starting at 5 PM.

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, blues, country and early rock n’ roll, their music is by turns playful, haunted and uplifting.

The band for this show is Peter Menta (aka Washboard Slim), Howie Horn, John Pendergast, Brooks Barnett, and Mat Kastner.

ABOUT OUR SHOWS

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.

Americana music from The Steve Nystrup Trio Fri., Sept. 10

The Steve Nystrup Trio plays the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck Fri., Sept. 10,starting at 5:30 PM.

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. It has also been on NPR radio, and in theaters, commercials and films. He was hired by Peter Asher to play with Kate Taylor in the early days when he was playing with the Ogres on Marthas Vineyard. Steve received an Emmy award as composer with the producers of “Amistad Legacy” for CPTV.

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. She was an original member in NYC of the Bartlettes with comedian Rob Bartlett touring widely in the region.

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. They just racked up over 1 million hits on Spotify for their song, “Before I Knew What Love Was”.

ABOUT OUR SHOWS

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.

UPDATE—RESCHEDULED: Pat Stone & The Dirty Boots, Stefanie Clark Harris perform Sat., July 18

UPDATE JULY 1: Due to the rain, this show has been rescheduled to Sun., July 18. The start time remains 5 PM.

Pat Stone & the Dirty Boots and singer-songwriter Stefanie Clark Harris share the bill on the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck on Thurs., July 1  Sun., July 18. The show starts at 5 PM.

Pat Stone & The Dirty Boots is an eclectic mix of Americana/Vintage-Rock thinly veiled by some (dare we say?) Punk-Rock undertones.

The band has been active in Connecticut and beyond for close to seven years now and its evolution can be observed over the course of two full length albums and their latest six song EP, “New England Roots”. All three releases are available over iTunes, Spotify, and wherever else you stream your music.

The most current incarnation of the band operates as a power-trio ranging from a full on rock band to a stripped down format complete with acoustic guitar, mandolin and percussion.

Chip McCabe aka The Metal Dad wrote about Stefanie Clark Harris: “Harris’ music waxes and wanes between pure country twang and more accessible forms of Americana, often channeling another famous country Harris in the process. To say this EP [“Black Diamond”] was worth the wait would be a drastic understatement. It would also not be an understatement from where I’m sitting to say that this EP has cemented Harris as one of the best Americana songwriters not only in the state but in the whole of New England.”

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.

For a full list of upcoming events, click here.

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.

Seth Adam on the Best Video deck Fri., May 7, at 5 PM

Singer-songwriter Seth Adam plays a solo show on the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck on Friday, May 7, starting at 5:00 PM.

A responsibly organized, socially distanced, outside event (weather permitting), featuring Seth’s catalog originals.

Singer/songwriter Seth Adam writes compelling, genuine songs with honest lyrics. The alt-country, Americana rocker draws comparisons to Counting Crows, Tom Petty, Ryan Adams, and Jason Isbell.

2016 was a turning point in his career as he wrote and recorded songs out of a hobbled together, home studio space. Playing all of the instruments, engineering, producing, and everything else-ing on his own resulted in an EP called East Rock. The experience inspired him to continue to do much of the same for the foreseeable future, foregoing using the formal recording studios. In January 2018, he released a single (and video) called ‘Anytown,’ written in response to the events in Charlottesville VA the summer before.

Currently, he is writing and recording songs for a full-length album as well as wrapping up an all-acoustic version of his 2007 release, Where You Come From, celebrating the 10 year anniversary of the original.

We ask respect for social distancing, please, and masks are mandatory. (Yes, you can lower them to take a drink but please raise them up again.)

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 3/12: Postponed Music: Pigeon English, Jeff Burnham play Thurs., Mar. 12

UPDATE 3/12: Due to concerns raised by COVID-19, tonight’s show at Best Video Film & Cultural Center is being postponed to a later date. Our apologies to all who were looking forward to the show, but the musicians and the staff of Best Video Film & Cultural Center think it is prudent to err on the side of caution. We look forward to rescheduling this event when circumstances allow.

Pigeon English, the harmony pop duo comprised of Rob Nelson and Brian Larney, play Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, Mar. 12. Singer-songwriter Jeff Burnham opens. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you can in that range).

Pigeon English is a collaboration between songwriters Brian Larney (of Lines West) and Rob Nelson (of Elegant Primates), exploring close harmony vocals and the mysterious paths of melody. Drawing inspiration from The Everly Brothers and The Beatles, Larney and Nelson craft songs about love and misunderstanding.

When Pigeon English released their 6-song debut EP “Coo” in January, Rick Allison of Cygnus Radio called it “one of the new treasures of 2019.” Brian Slattery of the New Haven Independent wrote that Pigeon English “melodies, chords, and lyrics consistently make clever turns that feel both unexpected, satisfying — and emotionally complicated…thanks to songwriting this fun and sharp, complicated, agonizing relationship troubles have rarely been so catchy.”

In July, the band released its first full-length album, “Places, Everyone!” featuring 10 new songs.

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. After several years writing for and performing with his band Tuesday Saints, Jeff has reoriented his sound with heartland rock elements, as a solo project called Jeff Burnham and the Insiders.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Music: Roots, bluegrass & Americana from Last Fair Deal Fri., Mar. 6, at 7:30 PM

Last Fair Deal play Best Video Performance Space on Friday, Mar. 6. The show starts at 7:30 PM and the cover is $10.

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.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Music: Tiny Ocean plays Thurs., Feb. 20

Tiny Ocean plays Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, Feb. 20. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you can in that range).

Tiny Ocean is dreamy indie Americana. Front woman and songwriter, Kierstin Sieser’s songs are beautiful and strangely haunting dioramas that somehow feel familiar. They released their first album “Sometimes You’re Right” at the beginning of September. The group is Kierstin Joy Sieser, Jeremy Coster on guitar, Jon Morse on drums and Keith Newman on bass.

In a New Haven Independent report on a May, 2018 show, arts editor Brian Slattery wrote:

Coster, Neuman, and Morse together proved to be a subtle and supple band, always keeping the rhythm breathing. They sounded relaxed and confident, musicians making exactly the sound they wanted to hear. But the real hook was Seiser’s songwriting, an evocative Americana that was somehow frank and elusive, bitter and funny, all at the same time. She could take the vibe from dreamy to gritty in the space of a song or two, sometimes within a beat or two, the band always moving with her.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.