Washboard Slim & The Blue Lights presents four Connecticut roots music divas—Lauren Agnelli, Jilian Grey, Sandy Connolly and Lynn Malavolti—at Best Video Performance Space on Saturday, Apr. 21. The show starts at 7:15 PM and the cover is $10.
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 and blues tunes, their music is by turns playful and haunted. It’s no wonder legendary blues/folk artist, Eric Von Schmidt described Washboard Slim and the Bluelights as “traditional music on overdrive.”
The members of Washboard Slim & the Blue Lights are Peter Menta (aka Washboard Slim, drums, harmonica, kazoo, washboard, vocals), Brooks Barnett (accordion, banjo, drums, guitar, mandolin, piano, vocals), Howie Horn (banjo, jug, washtub bass, vocals), Mat Kastner (banjo, guitar, National steel guitar), Johnny Pendergast (guitar, fiddle, mandolin, vocals),and Lauren Agnelli (guitar, ukelele, kazoo, vocals).
Lauren Agnelli is a prolific songwriter, singer, guitarist, ukelele and kazoo player, She started out as rock writer (for the Village Voice & Creem, mainly) in the ‘70’s and then switched into primarily making music onstage and in the studio. She joined the ranks of the “new wavers” from the CBGBs/Max’s scene in the ’70’s — with a band called Nervus Rex, who recorded an album in 1979 with “Commander” Mike Chapman. After an 18-month sojourn in England, she co-founded and played in the Washington Squares in the ’80’s. In the early ‘90’s, Lauren joined forces with Texas band Brave Combo to record the disc Kiss of Fire. Lauren and Brave Combo toured to support the album and appeared at South by Southwest to a packed crowd of hundreds. In 2003 Lauren married and moved to CT, to a small town called Chester. Lauren started to return to her folkie/Americana roots. As luck always has it, opportunity knocked in late 2015. Lauren was asked to join Washboard Slim and the Blue Lights.
Sandy Connolly performs on the Connecticut Shoreline as part of her band and the Donahue’s House Band along with many other musicians in the area. As well as running open mics at the Country Tavern, Donahue’s, and RVP Studios, she runs her own music studio in Guilford, CT out of which she teaches voice, guitar, and music theory.
Since the early 1980’s Jilian Grey has appeared at notable venues from Washington, DC to South Florida. Critics along the eastern seaboard have marveled at Grey’s versatility. Under her father’s tutelage, a Metropolitan Opera alumna, she formed the basis for her style that is passionate, honest and natural. Greys first love are the American jazz classics, but she also brings her unique sound to a wide variety of contemporary music.
A “cool chick with hot licks,” singer Lynn Malavolti also plays guitar and flute and studied music at Western Connecticut State University. A favorite at Cafe Nine, Malavolti has been a soloist with area blues and rock bands. Mentors on vocals and guitar were Robert Crotty, M.Mennone, and E. Green and on flute, Mary Ludovico.
UPCOMING EVENTS (Music events start at 8 PM unless otherwise noted; screenings start at 7 PM unless otherwise noted):
• Sunday, Apr. 15. STAND UP FOR STEVE SUNDAY: ANNE MARIE MENTA, THE NICK DI MARIA QUARTET, OLIVE TIGER (solo), THE SHARP FLATS, THE WYRD BROTHERS, ME LIKE MANY, IAN BIGGS, BIG FANG, PIGEON ENGLISH (BRIAN LARNEY & ROB NELSON)
• Wednesday, Apr. 18. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ANNA MAY, PATRICK DALTON; COMEDIAN: REBECCA RUSH
• Thursday, Apr. 19. ACOUSTIC ROCK: RICHARD NEAL with THE BIRDMEN (rescheduled from Mar. 2)
• Friday, Apr. 20. BLUEGRASS: MATT FLINNER TRIO (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)
• Saturday, Apr. 21. FOLK/BLUES: WASHBOARD SLIM & THE BLUE LIGHTS PRESENTS AN EVENING WITH 4 CT BLUES/ROOTS DIVAS—LAUREN AGNELLI, SANDY CONNOLLY, JILLIAN GREY & LYNN MALAVOLTI
• Monday, Apr. 23, 6:30-9 PM. GUITARTOWNCT THIRD MONDAY BLUEGRASS JAM
• Tuesday, Apr. 24, 5-7 PM. BVFCC THE GREAT GIVE KICK-OFF HAPPY HOUR
• Tuesday, Apr. 24, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS
• Wednesday, Apr. 25. BLUES/FOLK: CODA BLUE
• Thursday, Apr. 26. INDIE ROCK: FIELD DAY, AMERICANA: LOVE LOVE
• Friday, Apr. 27. JAZZ: JEFF FULLER & FRIENDS w/ TONY PURRONE
• Saturday, Apr. 28, 7:30 PM. INDIE ROCK: BUDDIE (from Philadelphia), THE MAGNETIC
• Monday, Apr. 30, 7 PM. FILM SCREENING: SEAN KERNAN’S “THE KAMPALA BOXING CLUB”
•Tuesday, May 1, 8 AM-Wednesday, May 2, 8 PM. THE GREAT GIVE® ONLINE FUNDRAISER
• Tuesday, May 1, 5-7 PM. HAPPY HOUR FOR THE GREAT GIVE®
• Wednesday, May 2. TRIBUTE TO JONI MITCHELL’S “HEJIRA”: JACK VEES
• Thursday, May 3. BLUES ROCK: PARKER’S TANGENT
• Friday, May 4. BRAZILIAN MUSIC: THE BOSSA NOVA PROJECT feat. ISABELLA MENDES
• Wednesday, May 9, 7 PM. SECOND WEDNESDAY OPEN MIC
• Thursday, May 10, 7:30 PM. ROCK: NOTATTOO
• Friday, May 11, 7 PM. STATE OF THE NATION—PROTEST MUSIC CABARET: SETH ADAM, THAT VIRGINIA, PAUL BRYANT HUDSON, ZOO FRONT, BRET LOGAN
• Saturday, May 12. SINGER-SONGWRITER: THE ANNE MARIE MENTA BAND
• Sunday, May 13, 2-5 PM. FREE MONTHLY SUNDAY GUITARTOWNCT BLUEGRASS JAM
• Thursday, May 17. INDIE ROCK: HOUSE SPARROW (MA), PROCEDURE CLUB, PERENNIAL
• Friday, May 18. JAZZ: BADSLAX
• Sunday, May 20, 2-4 PM. FREE OPEN IRISH MUSIC JAM
• Sunday, May 20, 6 PM. INDIE ROCK: FUTURE TEENS, SPIT-TAKE, MINEVA, ALL RIOT
• Monday, May 21, 6:30-9 PM. GUITARTOWNCT THIRD MONDAY BLUEGRASS JAM
• Tuesday, May 22. 7 PM. “AGAINST FORGETTING—READINGS FROM THE PETRY OF WITNESS”: READING BY DAISY C. ABREU & STEPHEN VINCENT KOBASA
• Wednesday, May 23. JAZZ: BOTTOMLEY/SOUZA/MORRISON
• Thursday, May. 24. BLUES ROCK: JOE MILLER & THE HIPSHAKERS
• Friday, May 25. ACOUSTIC OLD-TIMEY/SWING: THE RED HOTS; AMERICANA: PAT STONE
• Tuesday, May 29, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS
• Sunday, June 3, 2-5 PM. FREE MONTHLY SUNDAY GUITARTOWNCT BLUEGRASS JAM
• Wednesday, June 6. AVANT-GARDE: ERNESTO CÁRCAMO CAVAZOS, HUMAN FLOURISHING
• Friday, June 8, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: THE PAGE TURNERS (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)
• Friday, June 15, 7:30 PM. ALT-COUNTRY: PAT STONE & THE DIRTY BOOTS; ROCK: HAPPY ENDING
• Sunday, June 17, 2-4 PM. FREE OPEN IRISH MUSIC JAM
• Wednesday, June 27. ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: THE BUTTONDOWNS, DR. MARTINO
• Thursday, June 28, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: JACOB JOHNSON (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)
• Sunday, July 1, 2-5 PM. FREE MONTHLY SUNDAY GUITARTOWNCT BLUEGRASS JAM
• Sunday, July 15, 2-4 PM. FREE OPEN IRISH MUSIC JAM
• Wednesday, July 25, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: TOWN MOUNTAIN (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)
• Tuesday, July 31, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS
• Friday, Aug. 31, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: DALE ANN BRADLEY (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)
• Friday, Nov. 9, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: KENNY & AMANDA SMITH (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)
• Friday, Dec. 7, 7:30 PM. BLUEGRASS: HONEY DEWDROPS (A GUITARTOWNCT CONCERT)