Music: Fernando Pinto Presents Claudia Schmidt Sun., Feb. 2, at 6:30 PM, with Cathy Kreger & Caroline Doctorow Duo

Fernando Pinto presents Claudia Schmidt at Best Video Performance Space on Sunday, Feb. 2. The show starts at 6:30 PM and the Cathy Kreger and Caroline Doctorow Duo opens. Advance tickets are $20 and tickets the day of the show are $25.

If it were the intention of the creator or creators of this universe to perfectly blend together the night sky with moon and stars, it might have been their intention as well to deliver Claudia Schmidt as their messenger of reminder. To say that Schmidt is simply a performer with a talent to entertain would be a miscarriage of understatement. Schmidt takes her audiences into her world as easily as the child who discovers the endless universes that exist in a cardboard box.

From lying on sandy beaches under an endless barrage of northern lights, to the expected anguish and frustration of spinning tires on cars stuck deep in snow, from the age-old struggle of change between adolescence and adulthood to the observation of sheer idiocy, she leaves it to the imagination of her audience to conjure their own images of her storytelling and song. No interpretation of a Claudia Schmidt song or story is wrong-she invites audiences to tie their associations to her style.

Schmidt weaves her way through her concert in much the same manner as a jester. Interwoven anecdotes, revealing her past and present, bring people to expect a relationship between themselves and memories driven deep with the passage of time. The concert is an endless display of self-realization through humor and longing, leaving audience members yearning to become an integral part of her world.
Having performed on stages across the country, Schmidt has developed the ability to remain fresh. She enjoys her talent to entertain as much as the audience enjoys being entertained.

Long-time veterans of the acoustic music scene, Cathy Kreger and Caroline Doctorow join forces to perform a seasoned set of folk. Cathy’s powerhouse blues-style vocals blends beautifully with Caroline’s delicate, more sorrow-filled soprano. Both women are excellent guitar players and can really deliver any song they choose to perform.

Armed with only an acoustic guitar and a voice as clear as cool water, Cathy Kreger delivers more pure music per minute than a bevy of roadhouse rockers. Her irresistible voice and guitar playing has earned her a place on stage opening for world-class acts, including: Bonnie Raitt, David Bromberg, The Band, Patty Larkin, Maria Muldaur, Taj Mahal and Aztec Two-Step and many others. Her musical style is a unique combination of adult contemporary and old blues, with an alternative folk flair.

Singer-songwriter Caroline Doctorow has been called a great champion of American folk music. Her most recent album, Dreaming in Vinyl, reached #2 on the national folk radio airplay charts. She has opened for The Band, Alison Krauss, and Tim O’Brien, among others. Her songs and her voice have been heard on soundtracks on the large and small screen. She is the daughter of the late world-renowned author E.L. Doctorow.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Music: Sid & Sonia, Gregory Frost play Best Video Sat., Feb. 1, at 7:30 PM

Sid & Sonia and Gregory Frost play Best Video Performance Space Sat., Feb. 1. The show starts at 7:30 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you can in that range).

Sid & Sonia blend Sonia’s sweetly powerful voice and unique styling and Sid’s musical versatility (on electric and acoustic guitar, harmonica, and piano). Their shows feature an eclectic selection of rock, folk, country, jazzy, gospel-tinged, and bluesy songs from then and now, arranged in often original and always distinctive ways. Boston-based, join them at one of their infrequent Connecticut performances.

Gregory Frost is a multi-talented musician and multi-media artist, prolific songwriter, longtime leader of the innovative bands Ghost Radio and Ice Brothers, and architect of two legendary Beatles shows at Sacred Heart University.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

 

Music: Cimiotti, Trevor Babb perform Fri., Jan. 31, at 8 PM

Guitarist Trevor Babb and ambient singer-songwriter Cimiotti play sets at Best Video Performance Space on Friday, Jan. 31. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is a $5-10 sliding scale (pay what you can in that range).

Cimiotti (chim-e-ought-e) is the ambient singer-songwriter project of Paul Collins. Since 2014, Cimiotti has been releasing small run experimental/ambient cassette tapes through his label, Cimiotti Recordings. The label has provided him and other like minded artist with an outlet for their more intimate experimental material.

With “Va Piano,” Cimiotti’s nuanced take on Ambient music is on full display. While most ambient music strives to achieve a state of bliss, Cimiotti uses it as a vehicle to explore more conflicted states of being.

Recorded in Southern Italy, and Jackson Heights, NY, “Va Piano” is varied in its musical approaches. From solo electric guitar work, to immersive synthesizer tapestries, to narcotic ballads, Cimiotti’s “Va Piano” is a record for the ambient listener who still wants to turn on Townes Van Zandt and have a good cry.

American guitarist/composer, Trevor Babb, is a versatile and adventurous musician based in New Haven, CT, primarily devoted to music by living composers. He has collaborated with the New Hampshire Music Festival Orchestra, Hartford Independent Chamber Orchestra, Caution Tape Sound Collective (Toronto), New England Chamber Players (Boston), Black House Collective (California), and Aeon Ensemble (New York City).

A passionate advocate of contemporary music, Trevor has given dozens of premiere performances of works by established and emerging composers. His debut recording on Innova Recordings, Warmth, features several premiere recordings of works by emerging composers for multiple electric guitars. Babb studied at the Eastman School of Music (BM), Yale School of Music (MM, MMA, DMA), and the Haute École de Musique de Genève in Geneva, Switzerland under the support of a Fulbright Scholarship. He is an Adjunct Artist Instructor at Vassar College.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Music: Singer-songwriters Frank Critelli, Shandy Lawson, Muddy Rivers play Thurs., Jan. 9

Singer-songwriters Frank Critelli, Shandy Lawson, and Muddy Rivers play Best Video Performance Space on Thursday, Jan. 9. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you can in that range).

Frank Critelli writes songs. He dabbles in haiku and other short poetry. Sometimes he writes other stuff too. Like postcards. His songs are available on compact disc and for download at places like CD Baby.

Frank Critelli often performs live. Sometimes he performs solo, and sometimes he is accompanied by one or more musical co-conspirators. Over the years he’s played in streets and subways, clubs and coffeehouses, barrooms and classrooms, colleges, festivals, theaters, and (most recently) in his kitchen.

Shandy Lawson, who now makes his career as an author, was a longtime fixture on the Connecticut folk and singer-songwriter scene. The New Haven-based Lawson describes his approach as “singer/songwriter, Folk, Americana, Alt-country or some such.”

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

Music: Shawn Taylor, Richard Neal kick off 2020 programming Thurs., Jan. 2

Singer-songwriters Shawn Taylor and Richard Neal play Best Video Performance Space Thursday, Jan. 2. The show starts at 8 PM and the cover is a sliding scale of $5-10 (pay what you can in that range).

With a thumping thumb, dancing fingers, wailing harp, deep, gritty, soul stirring vocals and poetic blue collar lyrics, Shawn Taylor’s songs ooze American roots; wandering roots. He’s drawn comparisons from Tom Waites to Ray Lamontagne, Bruce Springsteen to Chris Smither, but his original songs are colored by the experiences of his own working class, wandering roots. He’s been an oysterman, carpenter, hitchhiker, homeowner, familly man, Appalachian Trail ‘thru-hiker’ and a performing musician and song writer, for over twenty years.

He plays venues from New England to Nashville and has shared the stage with artists such as, Maria Muldaur, Peter Mulvey, Vance Gilbert, Garnet Rodgers and Caravan of Thieves.

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.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

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.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

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.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

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.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

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.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.

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.

Click here for the complete list of upcoming events.