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: The Elm City Ramblers play quarterly Best Video show Tues., Feb. 18, at 7:30 PM

The Elm City Ramblers, led by Phil Rosenthal, play Best Video Performance Space on Tuesday, Feb. 18. The music starts at 7:30 PM and the cover is $5.

The Elm City Ramblers are a talented group of bluegrass/folk musicians, led by local bluegrass legend Phil Rosenthal, playing an assortment of classic, contemporary and original songs. They meet weekly at the Neighborhood Music School, but make occasional appearances in the area, and are delighted to bring their music to Best Video! The group includes Mike Milano on banjo; Lenore Hammers on fiddle; Barbara Dobay Ljungstrom on autoharp; Bill Kaplan, Thom Peters, Rich Walser and Phil on guitar; Brian Funaro, Estelle Baik, Ruth Lively and Matt Light on mandolin; and John Jarvis on bass.

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. He was selected Connecticut State Troubadour in 1994, and has been called “a roots master” by Billboard Magazine and “one of the most expressive singers in traditional country music” by the Washington Post.

He has performed with Jerry Douglas, Bill Monroe, Emmylou Harris, Jonathan Edwards and many others in his career in folk and bluegrass music.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Music: GuitarTownCT presents Mile Twelve Thurs., Feb. 6, at 7:30 PM

GuitarTownCT Concerts present the Boston-based bluegrass group Mile Twelve at Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, Feb. 6. The show starts at 7:30. Advance tickets are $30 and are still available at TicketLeap. (Their two previous shows at Best Video sold out.)

This young Boston bluegrass band has been rising fast in the acoustic music world. Winners of multiple IBMA bluegrass awards, their sound is rooted in traditional bluegrass. Their new album, City on a Hill, was produced by Nashville guitar whiz and noted producer Bryan Sutton. It was written and arranged by the all the band members, resulting in a project that feels contemporary, thoughtfully crafted, and relevant.

Tim O’Brien said, “Serious players who have serious fun, Mile Twelve is a group to watch in the coming decade.” Banjo legend Tony Trischka noted, “Mile Twelve’s instrumental skills reflect natural abilities enhanced by serious study of bluegrass tradition and a fearless desire to create fresh pathways.”

They beautifully walk the line between original and traditional bluegrass. Fast gaining recognition for their outstanding performances in bluegrass and folk circles, Evan Murphy, Bronwyn Keith-Hynes, Nate Sabat, BB Bowness and David Benedict write captivating songs and daring instrumental pieces from diverse influences.

The quintet is comprised of Evan Murphy (guitar), David Benedict (mandolin), Bronwyn Keith-Hynes (fiddle), Nate Sabat (bass), and BB Bowness (banjo).

Since their formation in the fall of 2014, Mile Twelve has quickly been on the rise. They released their debut 6-track self titled EP, and performed extensively throughout the U.S., Ireland and Canada, including several major festivals; Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, FreshGrass Festival, Wind Gap Bluegrass Festival and Joe Val Bluegrass Festival. A track from their debut EP was featured on Sirius XM Bluegrass Junction’s “Hand Picked with Del McCoury”, while another track was featured on Spotify’s “Fresh Bluegrass” 2015 playlist. That same year, they were selected as formal showcase artists at the North East Folk Alliance. The summer of 2016 held more milestones for this young group: opening for Tim O’Brien at the Station Inn in Nashville, winning the Podunk Bluegrass Festival Band Contest and being nominated for a Momentum Award by the International Bluegrass Music Association and adding a fifth band member: mandolin player David Benedict.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Music: GuitarTownCT bluegrass jam Sun., Feb. 2, 1:30-4:30 PM

The “First Sunday” Hamden Bluegrass Jam—hosted by GuitarTown CT Productions takes place Sunday, Feb. 2, from 1:30-4:30 PM. (It starts an half-hour earlier than usual to accommodate the evening’s show featuring Claudia Schmidt presented by Fernando Pinto.)

There is no cover—although donations to support Best Video Film & Cultural Center are gratefully accepted—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.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Music: The Bluegrass Characters play Tues., Jan. 28, at 7:30 PM

The Bluegrass Characters will play Best Video Performance Space on Tuesday, Jan. 28. The show starts at 7:30 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you can in that range).

Formerly led by the great Stacy Phillips—who tragically passed away last year—The Bluegrass Characters are a local bluegrass super-group who play the great straight-ahead, hard-driving bluegrass from the 50s and 60s.

The group features a rotating cast of acoustic roots music virtuosos. This month’s line-up features Phil Zimmerman (mandolin), Pete Kelly (bass), Peter Kaufman (banjo), Andy Bromage (guitar), and Tom Hagymasi (fiddle). Three chords and the truth, sung from the heart and through the nose.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Music: Fernando Pinto presents The Dirty Grass Players Sun., Jan. 26, at 6:30 PM

Fernando Pinto presents The Dirty Grass Players at Best Video Performance Space on Sunday, Jan. 26. The show starts at 6:30 PM. The cover is $15 in advance and $20 the day of the show. Advance tickets are available at BrownPaperTickets.com.

Hailing from Baltimore, Md The Dirty Grass Players have established themselves with one toe-tappin foot in traditional bluegrass and blazing musicianship that pushes boundaries. Comprised of Mikey Sallemi on Bass, Alex Berman on Banjo, Ben Kolakowski with the guitar, and Ryan Rogers on mandolin, this four piece is successfully bringing their growing fan base a down, dirty and heated performance. Their ability to seamlessly transition from down home bluegrass to spirited improvisation makes each performance unique. Throw in some Allman Brothers, Pink Floyd or a dash of southern rock and youll quickly understand what they mean by Dirty Grass. Their self-titled debut CD The Dirty Grass Players captures this energy and as 2017 winner of Charm City Bluegrass & Folk Festival Band Competition clearly indicates, this is just the beginning. Successfully touring the Mid-Atlantic and festival appearances, this year finds the group expanding along the East Coast and building on this momentum. For anyone that enjoys a musical throw down by skilled musicians its time to get your grass dirty.

The last 2 years have consisted of a busy touring schedule that has kept The Dirty Grass Players from releasing new music, but in 2019 they are excited to get new tunes out into the world. Their first single Grand Voyager – released in April of 2019 – is a fast-pickin tune that pays homage to their humble beginnings. Reminding their fan base why they love them, this tune will also help any non-bluegrass-lover transition into becoming an appreciative consumer of bluegrass music, or should we say Dirty Grass. Stay tuned for the full album dropping in the fall.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Music: Too Blue plays eclectic blend of bluegrass, swing, & more Sat., Jan. 11, at 7:30 PM

Acoustic group Too Blue plays Best Video Performance Space on Saturday, Jan. 11. The show starts at 7:30 PM and there is a $10 cover.

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.”

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

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).

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

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: On the Trail returns to play bluegrass Wed., Dec. 5, at 7:30 PM

On the Trail plays Best Video Performance Space on Wednesday, Dec. 4. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is $10.

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 features Austin Scelzo (fiddle and vocals), Tom Polizzi (mandolin and vocals), Charlie Widmer (guitar and vocals), and Chet Duke (banjo).

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.