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.

Anne Marie Menta with Richard Neal and Cadence Carroll Fri., Sept. 17

Anne Marie Menta plays the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck on Friday, Sept. 17, starting at 5:30 PM. She will be joined by Richard Neal on guitar and mandolin and Cadence Carroll on harmony vocals and percussion.

Anne Marie Menta hails from New Haven, CT., where she has been a long time favorite singer/songwriter. She comes from a family of three brothers, where playing and listening to music was their great passion. Her musical credits include fronting various rock & roll, folk, and country bands as a singer/guitarist, including The Wanderers, Sugar Moon, Sky Riders, and Rodeo Radio. In the mid 90s, she decided to concentrate on her own original music, and those tunes of hers that she “snuck” into her cover band repertoire now became her main focus. But, the country, folk, and pop music that she loved continued to be an influence in her writing.

Her most recent CD, “Sky Tonight,” came out in the fall of 2019.

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.

Dave Mazza & Friends jazz show this Fri., Sept. 3, at 5:30 PM

The sounds of jazz will enliven an early September evening on the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck as Dave Mazza & Friends take a tour through jazz standards. The show is this Fri., Sept. 3, starting at 5:30 PM.

(This show was scheduled to take the place of the previously scheduled Mega-Illegal Leg Farm show, which was canceled due to unforeseen circumstances.)

The group features accomplished local jazz musicians Dave Mazza on guitar, Mark Kaplan on saxophone, and Esdras Lubin on bass. (Mazza and Kaplan are both members of The Dave Mazza Group, formerly known as Badslax.)

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.

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.

Five ‘N Change play bluegrass Thurs., Sept. 9

Bluegrass quintet Five ‘N Change play the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck Thurs., Sept. 9. The show starts at 5:30 PM.

Five ‘n Change 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 American roots music which both reinterprets and redefines the bluegrass songbook.

Formed in 2011, the band has spent the last several years building a catalog of music that showcases 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 followed up with a self titled EP release. (Both CD’s are available in the MUSIC section of this website).

The group is Ken McEwen (guitar & vocals), Pete Kaufman (banjo), Dave Casali (bass), David Sasso (mandolin) with Ryan Mooney (dobro, guitar).

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.

Frog Hollow brings roots & blues music to Best Video Sat., Sept. 4

Frog Hollow returns to Best Video Film & Cultural Center for an outdoors show on Sat., Sept. 4. It starts at 5 PM.

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, and this is their first gig. The music is classic bluegrass, rhythm and blues, and some original songs.

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.

Children’s music from Stefanie Clark Harris Sat., Sept. 4, at 10:30 AM

Stefanie Clark Harris plays a morning set of children’s music on the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck Sat., Sept. 4. The show is at 10:30 AM.

Stefanie Clark Harris has been a preschool teacher/ music coordinator at Calvin Hill Daycare in New Haven for 13 years. She has also taught for Music Together and is a beloved local Singer Songwriter. Her selection of songs and style encourage crowd participation, authentic connection, and most definitely will spark joy!

Suggested donation is $5-10 per family but nobody will be turned away for lack of funds.

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.

Parking available behind Best Video and on Thornton Street.

Indie rock from Arms Like Roses, Evelyn Gray Thurs., Sept. 2

Arms Like Roses plays the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck Thurs., Sept. 2. The show starts at 5:30 PM with a set by Evelyn Gray.

Arms Like Roses is an outfit that sprung up out of Connecticut’s DIY scene taking a true punk approach by self-recording demos, making their own merch by hand, playing any basement or bar they could, and placing a strong emphasis on charity and meaningful activism. With a sound rooted in the late 90s/early 00s second-wave emo scene akin to acts like Rainer Maria, Mineral, and Benton Falls, the band add a unique modern edge and youthful energy to the style that makes them fit right in alongside current punk and alternative rock acts like Mannequin Pussy and Hop Along.

After existing for a couple years (and a pandemic that caused endless delays to their progress), the band’s hard work is finally on display with their debut EP “Get Some Sleep”, and they plan to take things to the next level with a larger-budget LP to be recorded in the summer of 2021.

Evelyn Gray spent 25 years living someone else’s life. Now, she’s making up for lost time.

With an uncanny sense of gratefulness, Evelyn Gray weaves together the emotional history of her first year transitioning. Her debut album, “Let the Flower Grow,” explores vulnerability, visibility, authenticity, and self-acceptance. Her work on the Self through music has dispelled the feeling of being misplaced, of wondering why she was alive and what she was doing here – “here” being not just on this planet, but in this body. Her music provides a calmness and encourages space to be held for those needing to feel seen, heard, and accepted. Speaking on her live sound, the New Haven Independent shares:

“Each song began tenderly, inviting you to come in and be comforted, reassuring you that you were safe and understood, and then allowing you to release whatever ailed you as [she] brought each song to it’s climax, guitar swung back, hands raised with voice and spirit elevated. The crowd was held captive.”

Gray’s visibility work is not just for her sake, but for her community at large (or, as she puts it, “for anyone who has ever been made to feel like there was something wrong with them”). For all those who are still afraid to be themselves, for anyone who feels like they don’t have a voice, for anyone searching for representation, Gray is here to speak up. “Let the Flower Grow” is a message that you are seen, you are valid, and you are enough.

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.

Nu Haven Kapelye plays klezmer Wed., Aug. 25

Nu Haven Kapelye plays the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck Wed., Aug. 25. The show starts at 4:30 PM.

The Nu Haven Kapelye is Southern New England’s largest Klezmer ensemble, numbering anywhere from 12-30 musicians. A cross between a big band and a Klezmer orchestra, the Kapelye plays innovative arrangements of Klezmer and Yiddish music from Romania, Hungary, Bessarabia, and other Eastern European locales. It isn’t just the size of this group that makes it so exciting it’s the energy of their performances and the commitment of the musicians that comes across in their music.

The group is intergenerational with players ranging in age from 12-86. The group recorded and released their first CD, What’s Nu, in 2016. During the pandemic the group recorded and released several quarantine videos including “Mazel”, which has been accepted to 6 film festivals and recently won “Best Music Video” at the 2021 LA Sun Film Fest.

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.

Thursday, Aug. 12, traditional jazz show canceled

Due to a complaint from the Louis Armstrong Foundation, Thursday’s concert of traditional jazz has been canceled.

We hope to have Nick Di Maria, Brian Slattery, and Mike Pireano here to play in that style in the future sans any references to the man renowned for the song “Wonderful World” among other classics.

Our apologies to the Foundation for the unauthorized use of Armstrong’s nickname and image in the promotion.