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.

Music: Illinois fiddler Georgia Rae returns, Angry O’Haras play Fri., Nov. 15, at 7:30 PM

Illinois-based fiddle artist and Connecticut’s own bluegrass combo The Angry O’Haras play Best Video Performance Space on Friday, Nov. 15. The show starts at 7:30 PM and the cover is $10.

Fiddle champ Georgia Rae has discovered the magic of the loop pedal and opened a treasure trove of original material and a one-man show. Quirky and catchy, these songs will invade your life if you let them. Watch her build and give flight to song right before your eyes. Inspired by contemporary artists from the Avett Brothers to Mungo Jerry, and a jazzy feel to her bow, with her loop or her band, Georgia Rae’s music and love for life will follow you out the door and into the next day.

Angry O’Haras use bluegrass as their compass to navigate many musical regions while employing fiddle, guitar, banjo and bass as the instrumental foundation for three- and four-part harmonies. The majority of their songs are reinventions of traditional folk, favorites you may have grown up with, plus lots of new music with an added twist. And it seems their music often makes people want to move their body parts around.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Music: GuitarTownCT presents Joe Walsh & Grant Gordy Fri., Nov. 8, at 7:30 PM

GuitartownCT presents mandolinist Joe Walsh and guitarist Grant Gordy in concert at Best Video Performance Space on Friday, Nov. 8, at 7:30 PM. Advance tickets are $25 and are available through GuitarTownCT.

Grant Gordy is best known for his six years as guitarist for the legendary David Grisman Quintet, a spot previously held by notables like Tony Rice, Mark O’Connor, Frank Vignola and Mike Marshall. Joe Walsh, after four award-winning years as mandolinist with bluegrass stars the Gibson Brothers, splits his time between an inventive string band called Mr. Sun. featuring Darol Anger, Grant Gordy and Aidan O’Donnell, his duo with Grant Gordy, his own band Sweet Loam, and a full load of teaching at Berklee College of Music.

Guitarist Gordy and mandolinist Walsh are prominent voices in acoustic music, coming from the great tradition of guitar and mandolin duets. They draw heavily from bluegrass, but incorporate influences as varied as Jerry Garcia, Bill Frisell, David Grisman, and Django Reinhardt. Their music is an exciting romp through many acoustic styles. Fretboard Journal calls them, “one of the best acoustic duos performing today.”

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Music: The Bluegrass Characters play Tues., Oct. 29, at 7:30 PM

The Bluegrass Characters will play Best Video Performance Space on Tuesday, Oct. 29. 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), Pete Kaufman (banjo), Andy Bromage (guitar), and Kat Wallace (fiddle). Three chords and the truth, sung from the heart and through the nose.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.