Lys Guillorn & Her Band, Elisa Flynn perform Sat., Dec. 11

Lys Guillorn and Her Band shares the bill with Elisa Flynn at Best Video Film & Cultural Center on Sat., Dec. 11. The show starts at 7 PM and the cover is $10.

This being an inside show, these are our covid protocols: attendance of 30 max, masks and proof of vaccination required.

Lys Guillorn is a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, bandleader, and discipline-hopping artist from Shelton, Connecticut. A stylistic shape-shifter, Guillorn dips her pointy boots in folk and psych-rock.

In 2018, Guillorn won CT Now’s Best of Hartford Readers Poll for Best Singer-Songwriter. She has two full-length studio records of original material, a collection of covers and compilation tracks, and a couple of EPs and singles on her own label Little Cowgirl Records. Her most recent single is called “Dolores & I,” released on the 2020 compilation Waiting on a Sunrise Vol. 1. Guillorn will be playing electric guitar, and will be joined by Lys Guillorn & Her Band’s bassist, Eric Bloomquist (also of Bronson Rock, Chica Non Grata.)

Elisa Flynn is a musical and visual artist, known for her literary, historical and supernatural references and powerful vocals. Her sound, which has evolved and changed over the years, now take indie rock and folk elements and add more electronic-based rhythms and sounds. Her use of layered vocals, guitars, electric banjo, synth loops and electronic drums create her own dark folktronica sound. Her most recent EP “Eighty-three” was released in the summer of 2020.

Richard Neal, Mark Mirando, Frank Critelli trade off songs Sat., Nov. 20

Singer-songwriters Richard Neal, Mark Mirando, and Frank Critelli take turns sharing their songs at Best Video Film & Cultural Center on Sat., Nov. 20, at 7 PM. The cover is $10.

This show is a late substitution for a show by Anne Marie Menta (with Neal and Carroll) that had to be postponed due to illness.

This being an inside show, these are our covid protocols: attendance of 30 max, masks and proof of vaccination required.

Richard Neal is a student of music, songwriting, record production, and live performance. A multi-instrumentalist (guitar, 5-string banjo, mandolin, dobro, slide), he has been privileged to make a living as a musician and to work in a wide variety of musical settings and styles.

Neal appears regularly in concert as a sideman for any number of acts, and also as a regular member of the bluegrass band HOE. As a solo artist and songwriter, he has released 2 CD’s of original music, HOE and Beacon. Several of his compositions have been recorded by other singers.

Mark Mirando started his music career in New Haven Connecticut playing in the legendary “Dogs”, a group that was well know for their originals as well as carefully chosen, well crafted covers

Mark concentrates on original music now, although he’ll pull out a Beatles gem on occasion – and he’s recorded with no less than Beatle Ringo Starr. Mark played guitar and sang backup vocals on Ringo’s releases, “Ringo-Rama”, “Choose Love”, and two of Ringo’s greatest hits CD’s, “Photograph” and “Ringo 5.1”.

He performs the east coast singer songwriter circuit working both solo and also with his band and also travels to Nashville to write, record and perform with Nashville’s top songwriters including Georgia Middleman and Connecticut’s own Gary Burr. Mirando—with Mark Hudson and Gary Burr—is also a member of the Laurel Canyon Band, an acoustic tribute to Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young.

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

UPDATE: POSTPONED Anne Marie Menta with Richard Neal, Cadence Carroll play Sat., Nov. 20, at 7 PM

UPDATE NOV. 16: Due to illness this show by Anne Marie Menta has been postponed. We will announce a new date soon.

Anne Marie Menta plays Best Video Performance Space deck on Saturday, Nov. 20, starting at 7 PM. She will be joined by Richard Neal on guitar and mandolin and Cadence Carroll on harmony vocals and percussion. 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.

Anne Marie Menta hails from New Haven, CT., where she has been a long time favorite singer/songwriter. She comes from a family of three brothers, where playing and listening to music was their great passion. Her musical credits include fronting various rock & roll, folk, and country bands as a singer/guitarist, including The Wanderers, Sugar Moon, Sky Riders, and Rodeo Radio. In the mid 90s, she decided to concentrate on her own original music, and those tunes of hers that she “snuck” into her cover band repertoire now became her main focus. But, the country, folk, and pop music that she loved continued to be an influence in her writing.

Her most recent CD, “Sky Tonight,” came out in the fall of 2019.

Rock with The Shellye Valauskas Experience Sat., Oct. 23

The Shellye Valauskas Experience plays the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck Sat., Oct. 23, 2021. The show starts at 5 PM.

Based in the New Haven area, Shellye Valauskas and Dean Falcone have been making music together for years. In addition to being Valauskas’ songwriting collaborator, bandmate & producer, Falcone has served the Connecticut music scene since the early ’80s with Jon Brion in The Excerpts, his own Dean and the Dragsters and a host of others. He has also worked on a national level collaborating with Norah Jones, Brian May (Queen), Aimee Mann, Lydia Loveless, Susannah Hoffs and Neko Case. Valauskas and Falcone’s shared love for the punchy pop of Crowded House, The Posies and Aimee Mann helped them nail a distinctive yet accessible radio-friendly sound from the start.

Valauskas and Falcone will be joined at this show by Brian Stevens (bass), Jim Balga (percussion), and Bruce Crowder (keyboards). The Shellye Valauskas Experience released their full-length LP “History of Panic” to rave reviews. Robert L. Ross at Popdose declared, “That’s the key thing – it satisfies on every level. The entire album. Listen to this and tell me you’re not instantly in love with it. It’s impossible to not be.”

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.

Kath Bloom, Steve Hartlett play Best Video Thurs., Oct. 21

Avant-folk legend Kath Bloom plays the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck with her trio on Thurs., Oct. 21. Steve Hartlett, leader of the indie rock group Ovlov, opens at 5 PM with a solo set.

“Bye Bye These Are The Days” is the latest release by luminary songwriter Kath Bloom. Born to a musical family, Kath moved through an early life absorbed and in love with the 60s/70s sea change of musical expression, into developing of her own singular voice that would age to cast a wide net of influence. Her prolific relationship with Loren Mazzacane Connors in the 80s produced a body of work held sacrosanct by generations of avant-folk luminaries. In 2007 Chapter Music released a tribute album to her songs from that time recorded by Bill Callahan, Meg Baird, Mark Kozelek and others, and her song “Come Here” was featured memorably in Richard Linklater’s 1995 film “Before Sunrise”, in a scene which Ethan Hawke claims was “my favorite scene I ever filmed.” Two would-be lovers listen to Bloom hanging on the edge of a kiss, tense and present for a moment just out of sight.

Although performing this strange and yearning body of work at the time made her nervous and withdrawn, she continued to write and perform quietly all the while. She developed happy careers in music therapy for children and horse training, learning new forms of connection that channeled back into her music and healed her relationship with performing.

In recent years she has toured regionally from her home in Connecticut and has been invited several times to tour internationally, honing her current musical partnerships with David Shapiro (guitar, vocals) and Flo Ness (percussion, vocals). While she has been encouraged to release several new records for a new generation of fans, “Bye Bye These Days” is the first to document her current band’s sound. The group interplay and daring here parallels her storied early work but carries a more palpable joy and warmth. This is the sound of a practiced life, learned in all stages of love and loss, and resolute to keep going, like a locomotive deep into the night.”

Raised in Newtown, CT, currently in New Haven, single and ready to jingle. Over the past decade, Steve Hartlett has fronted various bands such as Ovlov, Stove, and a handful of others. Since the start of quarantine there have been 5 solo releases with many more to come.

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.

Daphne Lee Martin, Brian Ember offer solo sets Fri., Oct. 15

Singer-songwriters Daphne Lee Martin and Brian Ember play the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck Fri., Oct. 15. The show starts at 5:30 PM.

For her sixth album, “The Starter Wife (Pleasure Loves Company),” singer-songwriter Daphne Lee Martin swan dives into a maelstrom of divorce and rises from the wreckage weary, wiser, and ready to take herself a whole lot less seriously. This is cinema verite in song, boldly exploring the disposability of forever after. The intimate and elegant production aesthetic of “The Starter Wife” recalls Joni Mitchell’s early-to-mid 1970s album streak.

Classically-trained composer and singer, Brian Ember, hasn’t stopped making music since singing You Are So Beautiful to his mom as a toddler in the bathtub. He loved Elton John, Michael Jackson and Xanadu in a suburban ’80s neighborhood that tried to force KISS, Mötley Crüe and Stryper down his glammy, effeminate gullet.

With a host of works for string quartet, orchestra, and choirs under his belt, Ember started the string quartet-powered rock band, The Tet Offensive in New York City, fusing his love for counterpoint and gut-string with theatrics and thrashing.

Ember left the strings in the background for his first solo endeavour, The New Chastity, a full-on baroque pop album that takes inspiration from late ’70s musicians like Pink Floyd, Leonard Cohen, Eric Carmen and Electric Light Orchestra to deliver a deeply personal record about divorce and lost love.

The follow-up EP, “Tomorrow Looked Better Yesterday” and second LP are coming soon.

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.

Jim, Willow & David; David Coller play Celtic and folk-influenced music Sat., Sept. 25

Jim, Willow, and David play the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck Sat., Sept. 25. They are joined on the bill by singer-songwriter/folk artist David Coller. The show starts at 5 PM.

Join Jim, Willow, and David for songs and tunes that draw from Irish and old-time traditions that have been vigorously preserved and passed down over generations. Because more than half of the settlers that emigrated to Appalachia came from Ireland, Scotland and Wales, the Celtic influence in the music there was strong.

The repertoire of this New Haven-based group of musical friends reflects that connection with their eclectic mix of lively Irish dance tunes and instrumentals, Celtic ballads and old-time songs. The group features Willow Sirch on 5-string fiddle and vocals; Jim Sirch on Irish flutes, whistles, bodhran, clawhammer banjo, and vocals; and David Sasso on some combination of guitar, mandolin, octave-mandolin, cittern, tenor banjo, and vocals.

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) followed by a year and a half of COVID purgatory. 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.

Before vanishing into the world of splinters, sandpaper and sail, David played for many years in duos and bands in Connecticut and before that, southern California. He now resides in the last rural smidgeon of Hamden, Connecticut.

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.

The Bargain plays the Best Video deck Fri., Sept. 24

The Bargain—a trio featuring Frank Critelli, Shandy Lawson, and Michael Rivers—play the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck on Friday, Sept. 24, starting at 5 PM.

A bargain was struck with the devil and each other to write, record, and perform the songs Frank Critelli, Muddy Rivers, and Shandy Lawson lasso while sitting around the kitchen table.

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.

Anne Marie Menta with Richard Neal and Cadence Carroll Fri., Sept. 17

Anne Marie Menta plays the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck on Friday, Sept. 17, starting at 5:30 PM. She will be joined by Richard Neal on guitar and mandolin and Cadence Carroll on harmony vocals and percussion.

Anne Marie Menta hails from New Haven, CT., where she has been a long time favorite singer/songwriter. She comes from a family of three brothers, where playing and listening to music was their great passion. Her musical credits include fronting various rock & roll, folk, and country bands as a singer/guitarist, including The Wanderers, Sugar Moon, Sky Riders, and Rodeo Radio. In the mid 90s, she decided to concentrate on her own original music, and those tunes of hers that she “snuck” into her cover band repertoire now became her main focus. But, the country, folk, and pop music that she loved continued to be an influence in her writing.

Her most recent CD, “Sky Tonight,” came out in the fall of 2019.

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.

Americana music from The Steve Nystrup Trio Fri., Sept. 10

The Steve Nystrup Trio plays the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck Fri., Sept. 10,starting at 5:30 PM.

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. It has also been on NPR radio, and in theaters, commercials and films. He was hired by Peter Asher to play with Kate Taylor in the early days when he was playing with the Ogres on Marthas Vineyard. Steve received an Emmy award as composer with the producers of “Amistad Legacy” for CPTV.

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. She was an original member in NYC of the Bartlettes with comedian Rob Bartlett touring widely in the region.

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. They just racked up over 1 million hits on Spotify for their song, “Before I Knew What Love Was”.

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.