UPDATE: Postponed! Washboard Slim & The Blue Lights play roots & jug band music Sat., May 7, at 6:30 PM

UPDATE 5/4/22: Due to a positive covid test, Washboard Slim & The Bluelights will not perform this Saturday, May 7. We hope to announce a rescheduled date soon.

Washboard Slim & The Bluelights play Best Video Film & Cultural Center on Sat., May 7, starting at 6:30 PM. The cover is $15.

This is an indoor show so proof of vaccination is required to enter and masks are required.

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.

Shawn Taylor, Brian Dolzani play Best Video Fri., Apr. 29

Singer-songwriters Shawn Taylor and Brian Dolzani play sets at Best Video Film & Cultural Center Fri., Apr. 29. The show starts at 7 PM and the cover is $10.

This is an indoor show so proof of vaccination is required to enter and masks are required.

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.

Brian Dolzani is a classic troubadour in the lineage of Dylan, Petty, Browne, and Young, and he has put his years of songwriting experience into his latest record, “A Place That I Can Feel.” With his split of Northern-bred and Southern-heart, Brian is consistently on the road, from New England, up and down the east coast, to Nashville, the Midwest, and Texas, hitting many prime Americana venues, listening rooms, and record store in-stores along the way, widening the reach of his highly personal songs and engaging live performances.

UPDATE SAT., MAR. 12—POSTPONED Too Blue plays Best Video Sat., Mar. 12

Update, Sat., Mar. 12. Due to the inclement weather & the long distance one of the band members needs to travel, this show is being postponed. We hope to announce a new date soon.

Too Blue plays Best Video Film & Cultural Center Sat., Mar. 12, starting at 7 PM. The cover is $10.

This is an indoor show so attendance is 30 max. Proof of vaccination is required to enter and masks are required.

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 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.