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.”

GuitarTownCT presents Jake Blount & Friends Fri., Nov. 19, at 6 PM

GuitarTownCT Productions presents Jake Blount & Friends at Best Video Performance Space Fri., Nov. 19. The show starts at 6 PM and tickets are now sold out.

For this show, our covid protocols are maximum 40 attendance, proof of vaccination required at the door, and masks are required inside.

Jake Blount is an award-winning banjoist, fiddler, singer and scholar based in Providence, RI. He is a 2020 recipient of the Steve Martin Banjo Prize.

Blount specializes in the music of Black communities in the southeastern United States, weaving blues, bluegrass and spirituals into the old-time string band tradition he belongs to. He tours domestically and internationally as a solo performer, with his duo Tui, and with his band. His first full-length solo album, Spider Tales, debuted at #2 on the Billboard Bluegrass Chart, and received rave reviews from NPR, Rolling Stone, and Billboard. It was The Guardian’s Folk Album of The Month, and was on “Best of 2020” lists from NPR, Bandcamp, The New Yorker, The Guardian, and more. This is his first GuitartownCT appearance.

Blount will be accompanied by Isa Burke f(iddle and vocals, from Lula Wiles), Gus Tritsch (guitar), and Nelson Williams (bass).

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Five ‘N Change play show Sun., Sept. 26, 5:30 PM

Bluegrass quintet Five ’N Change play Sun., Sept. 26, at 5:30 PM. (This show was rescheduled from Sept. 9 due to rain.)

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).

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.

UPDATE—Rescheduled to Aug. 4: On the Trail plays bluegrass at Best Video

UPDATE July 2: Due to the rainy weather, this show is being rescheduled to Wed., Aug. 4, at 5:30 PM.

On the Trail plays Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck on Fri., July 2, starting at 5:30 PM.

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).

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.

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.

Bluegrass, swing, and more from Too Blue Thurs., June 17

Too Blue plays the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck Thurs., June 17, starting at 5 PM.

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 Best Video cafe will be open from 4-7 PM, serving coffee drinks, beer, and wine.
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 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 donation vase set out for Best Video.

Parking available behind Best Video and on Thornton Street.

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.