Music: Anna p.s., Meggie Czepiel perform Fri., Dec. 13

Indie folk musician Anna p.s. plays Best Video Film & Cultural Center on Friday, Dec. 13, 2019, sharing the bill with local singer-songwriter Meggie Czepiel. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you can in that range).

Michigan-based indie folk musician Anna p.s. conveys a sense of weariness throughout her simple yet resonant songs, but it’s a weariness that keeps a blanket of hope tucked up under its chin, even as the rain keeps falling outside the windows. Grace always lurks around the corner on tunes that layer delicate vulnerability over the hearty stock of this songwriters’ spirit. With technical acumen acquired during an early career as an audio engineer, and a humble but confident stage presence groomed as a founding member of indie roots rock band Shiny Shiny Black, Anna stepped out as a solo musician in 2014. She’s been on the road intermittently ever since. Her debut LP Umbrella, released in July 2016, showcases her signature sonic blend of melancholy, hope, and resilience.

In concert, Anna plays acoustic guitar, foot percussion, and—perhaps unexpectedly—the flute. She uses a looper pedal to sample her guitar and loop it back while she plays flute interludes during her songs, bringing a unique element to her concerts.

Meggie Czepiel is an emerging songwriter from the local area. Her songs display well-crafted scenes that capture the magic and emotional themes akin to an intuitive poet growing up and marveling over the oddities of time. She has been writing songs in her head for as long as she can remember and on paper since she was 13. Meggie works with Ponybird and will soon work with other young female songwriters, in the hopes of creating a supportive, inspiring community for girls like her.

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Music: Acoustic folk from The Steve Nystrup Trio, Hugh Blumenfeld Trio Fri., Dec. 6, at 7:30 PM

The Steve Nystrup Trio and the Hugh Blumenfeld Trio play Best Video Performance Space Friday, Dec. 6. The show starts at 7:30 PM and the cover is $10.

Steve Nystrup Trio is a true family affair. Steve on guitar and vocals, his son Aaron on bass guitar and wife Maureen Wasik on lead vocals “blend perfectly to make transcendent and uplifting music. Whatever they play becomes their own (not to mention their own compositions!).” The band plays a colorful mix of folk, blues, Americana and popular songs. The harmonies are tight and the interplay between father and son on guitar and bass is always compelling!

Steve is an award winning guitarist, composer and educator. His music has been featured on several “Folk Next Door” CD”s from WWUH and on many CT Classical Guitar Society recordings. Maureen has been singing all her life and is well know to audiences in NYC and along the CT shore where she has performed as a member of Acoustic Exile, Freefall, and Step Edna. Aaron has been playing bass guitar with his dad since he was 14 years old and appears on several recordings with him. He lives in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, NY and is a member of the very popular band Everest Cale.

Hugh Blumenfeld has been called “a songwriter’s songwriter,” ranging from romantic ballads to biting satire. The Boston Globe described his work as “words and music full of passion and poetry” while DJ/columnist Ed McKeon calls him “as sharp a political and social satirist as any songwriter writing today.”

Hugh has performed across the U.S. and abroad, with tours in Europe and Israel. He opened the Kerrville Folk Festival in 2000 and closed the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival with Ani DiFranco in 1996. He has played house concerts and coffeehouses as well as major clubs and theatres including NYC’s legendary Bottom Line, D.C.’s Birchmere, Philly’s Theatre of Living Arts, and the Kennedy Performance Center’s Millenium Stage series.

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Music: California art rock musician Eamon Fogarty, Drifting North play Wed., Nov. 20

Eamon Fogarty.

California-based musician and songwriter Eamon Fogarty plays Best Video Performance Space Wednesday, Nov. 20. Drifting North, an off-shot of No Line North, will open.

The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you can in that range).

Eamon Fogarty is a singer, composer, and multi-instrumentalist currently based in Santa Barbara CA.

The music blog Aquarium Drunkard featured Fogarty’s cover of Chris Bell’s “I Am the Cosmos” this past August. About Fogarty’s most recent record, “Blue Values,” they wrote:

It’s a remarkable piece of art-pop, exhibiting the low slung ease of Tim Buckley’s jazz-rock, the shambolic grace of Beck, the progressive grandeur of Scott Walker, and the mystic yearning of Talk Talk. Produced and mixed by Chris Schlarb of Psychic Temple, the album finds Fogarty joined by a cast of players contributing woodwinds, percussion, and vibraphone. It’s an album reflective of an ever-changing landscape, a set of songs emboldened by ambiguity.

Drifting North debuts as an evolutionary off-shoot of No Line North. The group features Jon Schlesinger, Michael Kiefer, Brian Slattery, and Richard Brown. Drifting North sets their compass for the woozy boundary between folky Americana and the frontiers of psychedelic inner space.

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Music: Folk sounds from Sheldon Campbell and David Coller Thurs., Oct. 24, at 7 PM

Sheldon Campbell and David Coller play Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, Oct. 24. The show starts at 7 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you can in that range).

Connecticut singer-songwriter David Coller is again playing local venues following a 14 year musical hiatus involving a wooden boat (if you’ve ever owned one you understand). He brings with him a variety of songs and styles: jazzy soon-to-be standards, new bluegrass tunes, sea-songs, a cowboy tune or two and plenty of straight-up folk performed on the guitar, banjo, and the odd bit of button accordion. If you have wide-ranging (not to say “scattered” or “aimless”) tastes in music, an appreciation for careful instrumental and vocal arrangements, and an enjoyment of polished lyrics, you’re bound to enjoy the show. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in music from USC, and before vanishing into the world of splinters, sandpaper and sail, David played for many years in duos and bands in Connecticut and southern California. He now resides in the last rural smidgeon of Hamden, Connecticut.

Sheldon Campbell performs a mix of traditional and original folk music. A student of Robert Messore for guitar and Martha King for voice for over 10 years, Sheldon has performed at St. John’s coffee house in New Haven, on WSHU’s Profiles in Folk (http://www.wshu.org/profiles/2011/pr111209.php), in classes at the Yale School of Medicine (where he’s an award-winning teacher), at national scientific meetings, and in local folk venues. He organizes a monthly folk-music House Hoot, and serves on the board of the Branford Folk Music society. He writes original songs about history, fatherhood, and even microbial disease. Look forward to an infectious evening of song from the silly to the dramatic, with plenty of opportunities to sing along.

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Music: Singer-songwriter Ginny Bales at Best Video Wed., Oct. 23

Singer-songwriter Ginny bales plays Best Video Performance Space on Wednesday, Oct. 23. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is $10.

Ginny Bales graduated from Barnard College and has taught at Southern Connecticut State University, the College of New Rochelle, and Yale. She performed as a solo singer-songwriter in coffeehouses, concerts and music festivals on the East and West coasts. She played bass and piano with Night Angels, opened for Bonnie Raitt, and has appeared on 15 albums. She wrote book, music, and lyrics for the full-length musical Stanton Women’s Chorus, which had its first Equity production in May of 1989. She was named Songwriter of the Year for 1987 by the Connecticut Songwriters Association.

She was a Fellow at the 1999 Cabaret Symposium at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She began performances of her cabaret show “I Sang at Your Wedding” (original songs and commentary based on her years of experience as a wedding singer) in 2001, her Cole Porter show in 2003, and her Rodgers and Hart show in 2005. Her songs have been featured in the Washington, DC Cabaret Network showcases in 2001 and 2004.

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Music: Acoustic songs from Gilead Road Wed., Oct. 16

Gilead Road plays Best Video Performance Space on Wednesday, Oct. 16. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you can in that range).

Gilead Road is an acoustic duo singing original songs sprinkled with contemporary and traditional favorites. Their songs tell stories of personal history and reflect on life in today’s wild world. Lizzy sings and Glenn brings his guitar, voice and songwriting. Together they spark a chemistry that is more than the sum of its parts.

Lizzy grew up singing in her church choir, in glee club and with her mother. Lizzy’s childhood friends, Annie and Barbi, taught her to hold a strong melody line while they sang harmony. They spent hours singing songs from The Judy Collins Songbook. Lizzy traveled to Appalachia in 1975 and was introduced to Hedy West and her glorious old time banjo music. Three children arrived and so did nightly lullabies and lusty singing in the car on road trips. The kids knew all the words to the Nanci Griffith and John Prine albums that were on endless repeat on the car stereo.

Lizzy continued singing in church choirs, and especially delighted in singing with the vibrant gospel choir, Salt and Pepper, and in the AME Zion Church. In 1998, she fulfilled a longtime dream of being in a band and founded the New Haven group, “The Lucky Dogs.” She loves finding solidly written stories to sing and looks at covers as a way to share in the creation of those wonderful songs.

Glenn grew up playing the classical violin and listened to truly horrible British Rock bands that have sunk deep into deserved obscurity. He was a storyteller from a very young age. He delighted his cousins with long rambling bedtime stories and often gave his mother a choice of two explanations of why he was out after curfew, one of which contained the truth. Glenn has played in several local bands, including Jazz Folks and currently plays with the award winning Heather Fay (Best Folk Artist, CT Music Awards 2015/2016) and with The Girls From Ruby Falls (Best Americana Band, CT Music Awards 2016).

Glenn writes songs that tell stories of love, home, and family lore and Lizzy loves to sing them.

Gilead Road has just released their first album. It will be available at CD Baby and through their website, GileadRoad.com. You can also pick up a copy at the Best Video concert on October 16th!

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Music: James BonTempo (from Baltimore), Christopher Bousquet, Frank Critelli Wed., Oct. 2, at 7:30 PM

Singer-songwriter James BonTempo (from Baltimore, MD) along with locals Christopher Bousquet and Frnk Critelli play Best Video Performance Space on Wednesday, Oct. 2. The show starts at 7:30 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you can in that range).

James BonTempo is an indie folk-rock singer/songwriter from Baltimore, by way of Chicago, Philadelphia, several small, southern California desert towns, and the Connecticut shoreline. He has been singing since the first family road trip he can remember, and has been writing songs almost as long. James’s music has been likened to everything from the Velvet Underground to Nick Drake, R.E.M., Pavement, Belle and Sebastien, and the Avett Brothers. These days he makes music with a rotating cast of friends, “Truth Tables.”

American Elm is the nome de guerre of Chris Bousquet, a singer-songwriter from Connecticut. He is the former leader of the internationally acclaimed High Lonesome Plains. He has performed with such luminaries as Roger McGuinn (The Byrds), Mercury Rev, Howe Gelb, Miracle Legion, John Sebastian, Asleep at the Wheel, Rhett Miller, Mark Mulcahy, The Turtles, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, J. Geils, and Susan Cowsill.

Frank Critelli writes and performs songs, talks on the radio, pours the beer, and does the dishes. But really, he’s just a gardener.

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Music: True at the Time, Alejandro Meola (from NYC) play Thurs., Sept. 12

Power pop group True at the Time makes their debut and New York City-based indie singer-songwriter Alejandro Meola opens at Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, Sept. 12. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you can in that range).

True At The Time is the creative musical project of singer/songwriter Peter Rivera. They play original music inspired by everything from Squeeze and Crowded House to 70’s radio songs of loss and redemption. Rivera was a familiar presence on the stage of New Haven’s legendary clubs The Grotto and The Moon, where he could often be seen reading his arrestingly original poetry. He was also the founder and chief editor of the independent New Haven literary journals “Apogee” and “Chipped Vision.” An acclaimed photographer, Rivera recently exhibited his photos in a one-man show at Westville’s DaSilva Gallery.

Chase Rivera currently plays drums in the emo/indie band The Inside Out, who have just released their debut album “I Want To Wake Up Where You Are.” David Rinaldi was the guitarist for the New Haven 80’s new-wave band The Wishing Years. He has released numerous albums on the Coptic Buzz label, including “Animal Afterlife,” “Waking Up Underneath A Tangerine Sun” and “The Vulture and The Lamb” with NYU Theater Professor and poet Robert Landy. David Provolo played keyboards in The Wishing Years and currently plays guitar for Elegant Primates, an original world-beat pop band that has performed at numerous festivals including New Haven’s International Festival of Arts and Ideas. Rob Nelson was the bass player and lead singer of The Wishing Years. He currently sings and plays guitar in the close-harmony duo Pigeon English. He also plays bass for Elegant Primates and keyboards for Thinman recording artists The Wyrd Brothers.

Alejandro Meola is an Argentine-American songwriter and guitarist based in New York City since 2013. Born in Miami, he grew up in Buenos Aires. His music is rooted in Rock/Blues, occasionally blending elements from a variety of other genres like Soul, Jazz, Reggae, Tango and Latin folk rhythms.

Between 2014 and 2018, Meola released two singles, one EP and one album in English. With features at Indie Shuffle and Pop Matters among other outlets, the songwriter has done numerous shows in the local New York City scene, having performed at clubs like Pianos, Arlene’s Grocery, Bowery Electric, Rockwood Music Hall, CBGB Music & Film Festival, Coney Island Baby and Union Pool, to name a few. Completing as well two tours throughout the East Coast that took him for the first time to play in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington DC, Boston, Rhode Island and Connecticut.

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Music: Particles of Light (Dave Brooks & friends), Dan Soto’s Artificial Energy play Thurs., Aug. 22, at 8 PM

Particles of Light, a new act led by Dave Brooks (formerly of The Streams), and Dan Soto’s Artificial Energy play Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, Aug. 22. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you can in that range).

Dave Brooks is a singer-songwriter best known for his band The Streams, which featured Jeff Wiederschall (Miracle Legion, Baby Huey). Spike Priggen (Hello Strangers, Dumptruck) and New Haven guitar impresario Bill Beckett. The band previously released a civil war-themed rock album: Today, I Died but has lain dormant for some time with only intermittent solo performances.

Dave’s song chest is near overflowing with story-songs and sleeping rockers aching for some percussion and embellishments so his latest manifestation is Particles of Light- primarily a duo between Dave and Jeff with add-ins and extras including Streams remnants and new particles. The particles reference is lifted from some recent song lyrics winking at physics and alchemical notions about the origin of man’s persistent and puzzling melancholy.

Dan Soto’s Artificial Energy has been described as ceaseless begging, useless prodding, and endless yearning for the truth lurking behind all nonsense. Rock & roll never really played right, but not really ever wrong either. An audition for nothing. A fun dip into a rockin’ time. Nothing intentionally too low or high. Nothing less than genuine. Just a thing that happens. Just a rogue tune rocking. Just a rocker. Featuring Dan Soto and Brendan Toller of Dust Hat but with Dust Hat bassist Soto on guitar and guitarist Toller on drums.

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Music: Kath Bloom, Powers/Rolin Duo, Austin Larkin play Sun., Aug. 4, at 7 PM

Renowned folk/singer-songwriter Kath Bloom returns to Best Video Performance Space on Sunday, Aug. 4. Joining Bloom on the bill is the Ohio-based Powers/Rolin Duo and violinist Austin Larkin. This early show starts at 7 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $7-10 (pay what you can in that range).

For fans of the song and how to feel it. Kath Bloom (USA) is some kind of legend. She comes from a special place where country, blues and folk are made beautifully translucent and emotive. She has a special gift – her voice is delicate and tender, yet retains that raw emotion and hard worn truths that allows each sung word to be felt.

The more you hear of Kath Bloom, the more you notice it’s not just the arresting voice, but the power of the songwriting. “Beautiful” is the typical response—the kind of beauty that comes from truth, musical and the deeply lyrical. There are no good comparisons, but if you like the deep well of Emmylou Harris, the more poignant lyrics of Lou Reed, the joy of Maher Shalal Hash Baz or even Joni Mitchell, you’re kinda in the right zone. In reality, she’s simply Kath Bloom: horse whisperer, vocalist, mum, songwriter and a beautiful person.

Her albums recorded with Loren Mazzacane Connors in the 70′s/80′s are rare things, full of songs that float and melt into the ether. Impossibly beautiful and hard to find on LP, but check the reissues from a few years ago. In the 90′s Kath’s music was famously featured in Richard Linklater’s film Before Sunrise. Since then she has been busy writing and recording to great acclaim. Two new albums in the last few years and she and her songs where also honoured on a tribute album featuring Bill Callahan, Scout Niblett and Mark Kozelek.

Powers/Rolin Duo are an improvisational folk drone group based in Columbus, OH. Jen Powers is a former member of Autophonia, whose Scioto Records cassette release “Nolite Te Bastardes Carborundorum” was featured by Marc Masters in his Best Experimental Music on Bandcamp article in April of 2019. Matthew J. Rolin has made a name for himself in the guitar soli community over the past three years; his third solo album is set for vinyl and digital release by Feeding Tube Records by the end of 2019. In this project, Jen plays a lightly effected hammered dulcimer and Matthew plays an acoustic 12-string guitar. Together, they create hypnotic tapestries of sound that are both meditative and emotionally dynamic. They have shared bills with Luke Stewart, Amps for Christ, Itasca, Elkhorn, Charalambides, David Nance Group, Mountain Movers, Anthony Pasquarosa, and many more, and have collaborated with Wolf Eyes, Aaron Dilloway, and others.

Austin Larkin is an artist focusing on sound. His work includes performance and composition for violin, ensembles of instruments, electronic media, environments, instances. He recently relocated to New Haven from the Seattle, WA area.

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