Music: The Birdmen play tunes from the James Velvet songbook Wed., July 22, at 8 PM

Birdmen_WebThe Birdmen play Best Video Performance Space on Wednesday, July 22. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

The Birdmen are Johnny Java (bass), John Lindberg (electric guitar), Johnny Memphis (vocals/guitar/fiddle), and Dick Neal (vocals/guitar/mandolin/banjo). All four are longtime musical collaborators of James Velvet, a beloved figure on the New Haven music scene who passed away this past April. They will carry on performing music either composed by James or associated with his many musical personas.

Johnny Java and Dick Neal performed with Velvet in his bands The Mockingbirds and The Lonesome Sparrows. John Lindberg played guitar with Velvet in the Ivory Bills; Java played drums in that group. Johnny Memphis, who played guitar and fiddle in The Lonesome Sparrows, was a longtime collaborator with James Velvet.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Wednesday, July 15. JAZZ: THE ELLIGERS BROTHERS

• Thursday, July 16. STAND-UP COMEDY: RICH CYR & FRIENDS

• Friday, July 17. PIANO POP/PAINTING: POCKET VINYL

• Tuesday, July 21. ECLECTIC ACOUSTIC MUSIC: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS with SPECIAL GUESTS

• Wednesday, July 22. ACOUSTIC ROCK: THE BIRDMEN (Former members of JAMES VELVET’S groups THE LONESOME SPARROWS & THE IVORY BILLS)

• Thursday, July 23. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: SHAUN BOWEN, KEVIN MF KING

• Friday, July 24. SINGER-SONGWRITERS: ANNE MARIE MENTA, SHELLYE VALAUSKAS

• Wednesday, July 29. CARIBBEAN/FOLK: THE LUKE RODNEY BAND

• Thursday, July 30. CABARET/CROONING/SPOKEN WORD: RICH MORAN & FRANZ DOUSKEY

• Friday, July 31. SINGER-SONGWRITER: SAMUEL BASS

• Thursday, Aug. 6. INDIE ROCK: ZOO FRONT

• Friday, Aug. 7. INDIE ROCK: MERCY CHOIR

• Wednesday, Aug. 12. ELECTRONIC IMPROVISATION: DAVID ELKIN-GINNETTI & DEREK PIOTR

• Thursday, Aug. 13. INDIE FOLK: KINDRED QUEER

• Wednesday, Aug. 19. FOLK: WALKINGWOOD MANDOLIN QUARTET

• Thursday, Aug. 20. INDIE ROCK: THE LYS GUILLORN BAND

• Friday, Aug. 21. BLUEGRASS: FIDDLE FOREVER

• Tuesday, Aug. 25. BLUEGRASS: STACY PHILLIPS & HIS BLUEGRASS CHARACTERS

• Friday, Aug. 28. FILM SCREENING: “HEAD” (CT-PRODUCED LIVE PUPPET HORROR FEATURE)

• Wednesday, Sept. 16. COMEDY OPEN MIC WITH DAN CARRANO & DAN RICE

• Tuesday, Sept. 29. SINGER-SONGWRITER: HANNAH FAIR

• Wednesday, Sept. 30. SINGER-SONGWRITER: ANGELA EASTERLING

• Thursday, Oct. 8. SINGER-SONGWRITER: FRANK CRITELLI

• Friday, Oct. 23. ALT-COUNTRY: TANNERSVILLE

Music: James Velvet & the Lonesome Sparrows; Dick Neal return Fri., Dec. 5, at 8 PM

Lonesome_Sparrows_full_band_BV_041714_WebJames Velvet returns to the Best Video Performance Space with his acoustic group the Lonesome Sparrows on Friday, Dec. 5. The music starts at 8 PM and the cover is $5.

Original acoustic rootsy rock ‘n’ roll. Songwriter extraordinaire James Velvet fronts the Lonesome Sparrows. The band includes Johnny Memphis on guitar, fiddle and harmony vocals. Memphis and Velvet have been playing together since 1985. Memphis is also a long-standing member of Washboard Slim and The Blue Lights. Velvet and Memphis are joined on dobro, mandolin and banjo by DickNeal, well-known in Southern CT for his bluegrass band, Hoe. Johnny Java plays electric bass and percussion.

Johnny Java and James Velvet played original roots R&R in The MockingBirds for a dozen years (buttressed for many of those years by DickNeal’s guitar playing). The Sparrows are happiest at Coffee House/Gallery concerts (Never Ending Bookstore, John Slade Ely House, The Buttonwood Tree, Best Video Performance Space) or, in the warm weather, at  CT’s  many tasty Farm Markets. In April, 2010, the group released their 13-track CD Black Velvet Royalty.

Dick Neal will play an opening solo set of his own music. Dick 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. 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.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

• Monday, Nov. 24. FILM SCREENING: “BABETTE’S FEAST”

• Friday, Nov. 28. PSYCHO-FOLK: MILKSOP: UNSUNG

• Monday, Dec. 1. FILM SCREENING: “DOUBT”

• Thursday, Dec. 4. JAZZ: REBECCA ABBOTT

• Friday, Dec. 5. BLUEGRASS: PHANTOMS OF THE OPRY

• Monday, Dec. 8. FILM SCREENING: “THE END OF THE AFFAIR”

• Thursday, Dec. 11. BLUEGRASS: FIVE IN THE CHAMBER

• Monday, Dec. 15. FILM SCREENING: “VISION”

• Thursday, Dec. 18. POST-PUNK: ZOO FRONT, KEVIN MF KING

• Friday, Dec. 19. ALT-COUNTRY: HEATHER FAY

• Friday, Jan. 9. MUSIC FROM “TWIN PEAKS”: DR. CATERWAUL’S CADRE OF CLAIRVOYANT CLAPTRAPS

• Wednesday, Jan. 14. JAZZ: JEFF FULLER & FRIENDS