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.

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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.

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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.

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Music: Kat Wallace & David Sasso Duo play Americana Sat., Feb. 8, at 7:30 PM

Kat Wallace and David Sasso play Best Video Performance Space on Saturday, Feb. 8. The show starts at 7:30 PM and the cover is $10.

Come hear songs from their album, Stuff of Stars, released August 2019, along with plenty of new material. They’re thrilled to be joined for the evening by Miriam Liske-Doorandish on cello.

Kat Wallace and David Sasso met playing hard and fast bluegrass with New Haven string band Five ‘n Change (formerly 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.

With fiddle and a variety of mandolin-family instruments, 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, was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Dan Cardinal at Dimension Sound Studios in Boston and produced by acclaimed multi-genre cellist Mike Block.

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Music: Fernando Pinto Presents Ramblin’ Dan Stevens & Opey Chris D’Amato, Mark Crofutt & Peter Menta Sun., Jan. 5, at 6:30 PM

Ramblin’ Dan Stevens and Opey Chris D’Amato.

Fernando Pinto Presents Ramblin’ Dan Stevens and Opey Chris D’Amato with Mark Crofutt and Peter Menta opening Sunday, Jan. 5, at Best Video Film & Cultural Center. Tickets are $15 in advance through BrownPaperTickets.com and $20 at the door. Doors are at 6 PM and the show starts at 6:30 PM.

Ramblin’ Dan Stevens and Chris D’Amato perform an eclectic mix of traditional blues, Americana and originals and are noted for their intricate guitar arrangements Dan has entertained audiences throughout the US, Germany, UK, Canada and Virgin Islands and Chris (aka Smokin’ Opey) has been a fixture in the New Haven music scene for over 30 years and has toured nationally. The duo were finalists at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis TN representing the CT Blues Society.

Mark Crofutt and Peter Menta (aka Washboard Slim) play hot kickin’ Americana seasoned with strains of jug band music, blues, and folk.

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Music: Five In the Chamber revs up their high energy bluegrass for last show under that name Sat., Dec. 14, at 7:30 PM

Bluegrass quintet Five in the Chamber play Best Video Performance Space on Saturday, Dec. 14. The show starts at 7:30 PM and the cover is $10.

Five in the Chamber is a New Haven, Connecticut based bluegrass band that drives hard and carries a big pick. They respect the tradition. They respect the trailblazers. And they respect the renegade outlaws. Our final product is an eclectic balance of unique music which both reinterprets and redefines the bluegrass songbook.

Formed in 2011, the band has spent the last several years building a catalog of original catalog that showcase the group’s strong vocals, musicianship, and passion for genre busting. The band released their debut album in the Fall of 2013 entitled Live in the Chamber to rave reviews and is currently working on a new EP.

Five in the Chamber is Ken McEwen (Guitar, Vocals), Pete Kaufman (Banjo), Kat Wallace (Fiddle, Vocals), Dave Casali (Bass, Vocals) and David Sasso (Mandolin, Vocals).

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Music: GuitarTownCT presents Evan Murphy Sun., Dec. 8, at 7 PM; Sofia Chiarandini opens

Evan Murphy plays Best Video Performance Space on Sunday, Dec. 8. Fiddler Sofia Chiarandini opens. The show starts at 7 PM and advance tickets are available from GuitarTownCT.com for $25.
Evan Murphy, known best for his work as singer/guitarist and a founding member of the groundbreaking bluegrass group Mile Twelve, is touring his debut solo project in the northeast. His new music showcases his songwriting in a new and raw way, focusing on deeply personal topics such as religion, home and family. Evan is backed by Nate Sabat on bass and Sean Trischka on drums. Not bluegrass, but in the tradition of singer/songwriters from that genre.
Sofía Chiarandini is a musician based out of New England. She has been playing violin since age five, and at age fourteen decided to dive into the world of bluegrass. Sofía began studying with Grammy award winning fiddle and dobro player and notable author Stacy Phillips, who was her mentor and main source of inspiration in the non-classical world. As a teenager she studied voice with jazz vocalist Sarah Tolar, and classical violin with Juliet Kurtzman. Sofía has been playing double bass since she was nine, and has studied with Domenick Fiore, who inspired Sofía to diversify and study jazz as well.

Music: California art rock musician Eamon Fogarty, Drifting North play Wed., Nov. 20

Eamon Fogarty.

California-based musician and songwriter Eamon Fogarty plays Best Video Performance Space Wednesday, Nov. 20. Drifting North, an off-shot of No Line North, will open.

The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you can in that range).

Eamon Fogarty is a singer, composer, and multi-instrumentalist currently based in Santa Barbara CA.

The music blog Aquarium Drunkard featured Fogarty’s cover of Chris Bell’s “I Am the Cosmos” this past August. About Fogarty’s most recent record, “Blue Values,” they wrote:

It’s a remarkable piece of art-pop, exhibiting the low slung ease of Tim Buckley’s jazz-rock, the shambolic grace of Beck, the progressive grandeur of Scott Walker, and the mystic yearning of Talk Talk. Produced and mixed by Chris Schlarb of Psychic Temple, the album finds Fogarty joined by a cast of players contributing woodwinds, percussion, and vibraphone. It’s an album reflective of an ever-changing landscape, a set of songs emboldened by ambiguity.

Drifting North debuts as an evolutionary off-shoot of No Line North. The group features Jon Schlesinger, Michael Kiefer, Brian Slattery, and Richard Brown. Drifting North sets their compass for the woozy boundary between folky Americana and the frontiers of psychedelic inner space.

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Music: Fernando Pinto Presents Yves Lambert Trio, River Run Fri., Oct. 18, at 8 PM

Fernando Pinto Presents the Yves Lambert Trio and River Run at Best Video Performance Space on Friday, Oct. 18. The show starts at 8 PM. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available through BrownPaperTickets.com.

Yves Lambert is a back country musician with a kamikaze style, whose 40 year career has been full of risks, adventures, and challenges. Over time, Yves Lambert has become a veritable patriarch of the revival of Quebec’s musical roots. His very personal manner of linking the relevance of his words with anecdotes and his concerns contribute to his great propensity for interpretation.

Lambert can sing it all, from Boisson d’avril with Groovy Aardvark (a hard rock Quebecois band), to children’s songs such as Gilles Vigneault’s Un trésor dans mon jardin, or by going blues on Petite fleur by Sidney Béchet. He also passionately supports the songs of poet Gaston Miron, all while maintaining his traditional music leadership role in La Bottine Souriante and his Bébert Orchestra. In fact, some Quebec critics portray Yves Lambert as a beacon in the aesthetics of Quebec’s cultural heritage.

It was in 1976 that the singer and multi-instrumentalist founded what became the legendary group La Bottine Souriante, with partners Mario Forest and André Marchand. Mr. Lambert’s natural talent and charisma, together with this growing group, has had a strong impact on the evolution of Quebec’s musical heritage as well as the revival of traditional music.

Throughout his 26 years as a member of La Bottine Souriante, Yves Lambert was the link between the various incarnations of the group and was their heart and soul. From 1976 to January 2003, he contributed to the group’s rise by participating in numerous shows, tours, and television programs in Quebec as well as around the world. The Bottine experience led him to share various awards with the group, including 3 Junos, 8 Félix Awards for Traditional Album of the Year, and 1 BBC Award for Traditional Album and Group of the Year, as well as Félix nominations in the following categories: Show of the Year, Group of the Year, and Most Successful Artist Outside Quebec

Lambert, Rondeau, and Gauthier experimented with the trio concept during their 23-concert summer circuit tour in Eastern Quebec in 2010. Strongly encouraged by charmed audiences and by the pleasure of the musical challenge, in fall 2012, the trio delivered an album where the “sound” achieved extraordinary mastery and affirmed the trio’s distinctive personality. The trio brilliantly demonstrates how traditional local music continually reinvents itself within a modern context.

Despite there being only three musicians, nothing of the sound is lost. The three multi-instrumentalists multiply the decibels as though there were many more than three members. Studio wizardry? Absolutely not! With a simple modification to his guitar, Olivier Rondeau added depth by expanding the instrument’s dynamic range. This process enables a new way of playing guitar and bass simultaneously. What we hear on the album can be 95% reproduced live on stage.

River Run is not your typical Americana family band. Based in New Haven, CT, their sound is rooted firmly in guitarist Bill’s classic rock influences, earthy vocals from lead singer Sam, and Kat’s intuitive and sonorous fiddle interludes. With soaring sibling harmony and original song writing, they create an undeniably enchanting musical experience.

Brian Slattery in The New Haven Independent:

Sam’s powerful voice made it clear why she took lead vocals, and yet her voice and Kat’s blended as only siblings’ voices can. Bill’s guitar provided the solid foundation for them both. The final element in the band’s sound was Kat’s fiddle playing, at which she excelled.

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Music: Hans Bilger, Amber Anchor play Mon., Oct. 14, at 8 PM

Indie folk artist Hans Bilger and Americana duo Amber Anchor play Best Video Performance Space on Monday, Oct. 14. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you can in that range).

Hans Bilger is a bassist, singer, songwriter and composer from Brooklyn, NY. After an early diet of country and bluegrass music provided by his family band, the Charismatic Megafauna, he pursued formal training in improvised and classical music. His mentors include the bassists Greg Cohen (Ornette Coleman, Tom Waits), Samuel Suggs (Concert Artists Guild), Paul Kowert (Punch Brothers), J.A. Granelli (Mr. Lucky), Axel Scherka (Staatskapelle Berlin), Kurt Muroki (Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center), and others.

Bilger moved to Austin, TX in 2016, where he quickly became a sought-after sideman and session bassist. Recent projects include recordings with Eli Greenhoe, Odell Fox, R.O. Shapiro, Jenner Fox, Micah Motenko, and Will Taylor. Last year, he was commissioned to compose the score for Cora Dance’s gifts, a site-specific work choreographed by Shannon Hummel. The work premiered in Brooklyn in January 2019. Meridian, Bilger’s first album as a leader, will be released this September by Good Child Music.

Bilger is also fascinated by the natural world. While studying evolutionary biology at Yale University, he co-authored a study on musical structure in birdsong with the ornithologist Dr. Richard Prum and wrote Aviary, a piece that uses songbird songs as raw material for a series of improvisatory and through-composed movements. Last fall, he joined the labs of Drs. Julia Clarke and Michael Ryan at UT Austin to start a PhD on the evolution of vocal communication in birds, bats and frogs. His scientific work is supported by fellowships from the National Science Foundation, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), and UT Austin. He is currently at work on Austin Menagerie (working title), a series of musical sketches based on Texas fauna.

Bilger currently lives in Berlin, Germany, where he splits his time between writing, performing, and CT-scanning bat larynges at the Museum für Naturkunde.

Hometown Easton-based favorite, Amber Anchor, builds upon the great tradition of American folk. Dan Tressler and Jeff Smith are revered for both their vocal harmonies, and their ability to seamlessly swap between guitar, fiddle, mandolin, and banjo. The duo often performs at the Tressler Barn, a timeless space filled with antique furniture, cozy fires, potluck feasts, and a spirit of camaraderie and authenticity.

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