May 19, 2017
Ponybird: Influenced by the emotional roots of country, the confessional poetry of folk, and the spatial freedom of ambient and harmonic tones, Ponybird is the solo project of Jennifer Dauphinais, an evolving artist who translates something both introspective and infinite all at once. The heart of Ponybird is derived from a central singer-songwriter focus, with a tribe of players that satellite the work.
Them Damn Hamiltons is an original quintet based in Connecticut. Through soaring melodic lines and haunting hooks, the band tells stories of devilry and damnation – often with a dose of dark humor. The band’s musical styles range from foot-stomping chanteys and head-bobbing grooves to sorrowful waltzes and intense, brooding rock. Described as “Connecticut’s masters of the new American Gothic,” Them Damn Hamiltons blends their influences to create a style all their own.
April 21, 2017
Andrea Paquin knew at a very young age that music touched her soul. After years of begging, she finally got a guitar. She taught herself “Helpless” by Crosby Stills Nash and Young, and played it over and over again until she perfected it…..this is where her musical journey began. She taught herself how to play the guitar, bass, harmonica, and how to sing. She played bass and sang harmonies in a band “The Everyday Visuals”, while at the same time writing and performing her original music. She left the band after 10 years, but continued writing and performing her music. She has to date recorded 3 albums, with the 4th album “Can You Hear Me?” currently being recorded, and due for release in early fall 2012. Her music embodies the term “Folk Rock”. Her songs tell vivid stories using clever, memorable melodies and harmonies along with captivating lyrics. And her sound has been compared to that of The Indigo Girls, Melissa Ethridge, and Joni Mitchell. Nathalie Levey of the Northeast Performer Magazine says “Paquin tugs at the heartstrings of her listeners and the rich, cozy humility of her voice goes down like red wine over good conversation.” Andrea feels fortunate to have played all over the Northeast sharing many stages with talented musicians including Melissa Ferrick, Chris Pureka, Zoe Lewis, Edie Carey, Anne Heaton, Howie Day and Blessed Union of Souls. She has performed at colleges and festivals throughout the country. She performed at Pride in North Hampton MA, Fresno CA, Boston MA, and NH. She has also performed at Raise the Roof Women’s Music Festival in Ontario. And she was a finalist in the CT Folk Festival songwriting competition 2011. In addition to her passion for music, Andrea also has a passion for serving others. She has also dedicated most of her life to working with and for people with developmental disabilities. Andrea volunteers much of her time performing at benefit concerts that help raise awareness about people with developmental disabilities. Volunteering is very important to Andrea and she continues to donate her time as often as she can. She has also done benefits for domestic violence, MADD, SADD, and Go Green Benefits. Andrea enjoys using her musical gifts in an effort to help others.
Ebin-Rose Trio: For more than two decades, southeastern Connecticut’s Ebin Parker and Rose Bengston have won a devoted audience with their soft but complex and ethereal music that finds its roots in Britain’s Pentangle, Nick Drake and John Martyn, among others. Then two years ago, Ebin-Rose became a trio with the addition of upright bass player Bobo Lavorgna. It was a musical marriage which allowed them to move their music into a more dynamic improvisational range. Now they find themselves at the Connecticut Folk Festival as one of the Audition Night choices following an appearance last month at the Podunk Bluegrass Music Festival in Hebron.
With Ebin’s fine finger-picked guitar work and Rose’s gentle and expressive voice, the ensemble offers, as one writer aptly termed it many years ago, “a flowing musical mosaic.”
Ebin put it this way in a June interview published in No Depression magazine when asked to characterize the trio’s music: “Strangely enough I think that Celtic Americana is close, even though I thought it odd at first. I guess if Richard Thompson can be acknowledged by the AMA as Americana Artist of the Year, it is a fairly wide-open field. Anglican folk rock comes to mind as a label, but I doubt there is ever going to be a drop-down box for that. Appalachian music is certainly at its heart Celtic, and how could there be Americana without Appalachian music? When people ask what our band sounds like, I sometimes say we are like Pentangle, only not from the UK, knowing most of them will not have a clue as to how Pentangle sounds.” — Steve Winters, Profiles in Folk, WSHU FM
Paul Belbusti: “Mercy Choir is the songwriting and recording project of New Haven, CT based musician Paul Belbusti. Over the past decade, Paul has produced a large quantity of critically acclaimed music ranging from abstract experiments to more traditional pop and rock and roll. Mercy Choir’s latest release is “Like a Fountain Stirred” and it is its best and most adventurous work to date.”
March 17, 2017
Julia Russo’s haunting melodies have earned her a recent nomination as Folk Artist of the Year and her first album receiving acclaim as Folk Album of the Year by the International Music and Entertainment Awards. The “just- a-girl-a-guitar-and-her-voice” songs are deep and emoting. As she tenderly sings about love lost and reflective angst soulfully, her ability to find her voice within the songs couple with the production developed to be totally refreshing. Inspiring true songwriting artistry is what Julia accomplishes through a poetic literary lens by balancing empathy and connection with a thirst for comfort, immense gravitas, and sobering truth. Julia has been gaining ground performing in Connecticut, Boston, New York City, Nashville, and London.
Podunk Throwbacks are a “throwback” to a time when songwriters did not “lure” listeners with familiar covers and slip their own works in between, but believed in their songs enough to allow them to stand on their own….& that’s exactly what they do. Their music combines lyrics of life experience with jazz, rock, country, folk & classical influences, providing a little something for everyone to relate to. Together, the Podunk Throwbacks take front-man & songwriter, Todd Skilton’s musical perceptions of life and “throw them back” with a unique sound, no “gimmicks” or formulation & an energy that keeps the audience engaged.
The Podunk Throwbacks started as a duo in 2012, and have evolved into a 5-piece band over the years. They have taken their 3 hours of originals from coffeeshops and hardware stores to the Goshen Stampede, the Elm City Folk Festival &most recently, the Podunk Bluegrass Festival Acoustic stage. They have performed in venues all over CT, MA, NY & RI, & are currently working on their first cd
Lys Guillorn is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Shelton, CT whose stylistic shape-shifting has roots in folk and psych-rock. Her most recent release is a two-song single titled “Sunny Side Down,” which draws inspiration from Nancy Sinatra and garage rock. In addition, she has two full-length studio records of original material, an oddities collection, and an EP, all available on Bandcamp. In addition to performing solo, she plays with Lys Guillorn & Her Band, and Dangbats. “So if oddly uplifting, folk, blues country-infused acoustic semi-electric psychedelic dark pop music is your thing, please say hello to Lys Guillorn, you’ll get along just fine.” – Geraint Jones, Comes With a Smile #14 (UK)
February 17, 2017
the honeycreepers are the musical fusion of classical and musical theater trained vocalist Kelsea Burch and self-taught, experimental guitarist and vocalist Matt Shea. In 2012, while living on a farm in Hawaii, the duo began by sharing stories of their adventures and misadventures through music. As time passed and the scope of subject matter broadened, a new blend of acoustic tunes began to sprout from the rich soil of American music. A splash of funk, a dollop of folk and a heaping spoonful of soul help create their savory sound. Not to be missed are the rich, soaring vocals of Kelsea, the full, rhythmic guitar playing of Matt, and the chemistry between them that is the honeycreepers.
Kierstin Sieser‘s songwriting is best described as dreamy Americana. After a hiatus following her debut album recorded at Dirt Floor Studios, Songs from the Seams, she formed the band Tiny Ocean. Their new EP is being released soon.
Seth Adam, A thirty-eight year old singer/songwriter born and raised in Connecticut. I describe my music as singer-songwriter/Americana/alt-country/folk/rock. That’s a lot of sub genres, but probably the best way to characterize it. My earliest influences were Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Kenny Rogers. My dad used to spin their records for me when I was a kid. Though I (and my parents) endured my hair-metal, progressive-rock, and grunge phases, I find the music I write now to be the most heartfelt. My biggest influence is Counting Crows (much more than a “90’s band”), with Led Zeppelin coming in at a close second place. In recent years I’ve come to nearly deify The Beatles and Son Volt. I’ve never had the success of my heroes, but I still make music because I love to.
January 20, 2017
Robert C. Fullerton Robert C Fullerton’s musical experience has been a journey through several styles of music, including folk, blues, jazz, even classical and gospel. All of these things have shaped his sound – sort of “acoustic soul”. With a recent on his skills as a songwriter, he is currently working on his third album in four years. “I grew up in a family where the radio and record player were on more than the TV.”
Richard Neal works as a producer, recording engineer, studio/performing musician, songwriter, recording artist, and teacher.
A shortlist of recording credits includes the Discovery Channel (Penn & Teller) and PBS (Roadtrip Nation). He produced Chris Berardo and the Desberardos CD “Ignoring All the Warning Signs” which reached #4 on a Sirius/XM radio Americana chart.
As a songwriter Richard has had a dozen or more of his compositions recorded by other artists, and several more have appeared in the stage acts of various singers. He released a new collection of original songs early in 2016 titled “A Step Up” produced in a collaboration with Rex Fowler of Aztec Two-Step.
In performance he has appeared on stage as a member of or an accompanist for such disparate acts as Orchestra New England, soprano Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek, and the Nutopians. His band won the 2010 Podunk Bluegrass Festival band competition and has performed at major bluegrass festivals in the Northeast.
As a staff musician on Newtown, CT’s Flagpole Radio Cafe Richard has appeared onstage as an accompanist with the likes of Peter Yarrow, Tom Chapin, Jonathan Edwards, Livingston Taylor, and others too numerous to mention. He is also honored to be a member of the bands led by youthful bluegrass virtuosi Korey Brodsky and G Rockwell.
Richard also acts as Master of Ceremonies for a variety of concert events, including the Clearwater Festival.
For 16 years he has been one of the hosts of the “Bluegrass & Beer” series which takes place at The Acoustic in the Black Rock section of Bridgeport, CT.
The Kenn Morr Band (duo) is touring in support the double-disc set “Afterimage” featuring fresh acoustic interpretations of material from eight previous releases. Kenn left his native Long Island and found in Connecticut a home. He has shared the stage with John Sebastian, Al Kooper, Eric Burdon, Aztec Two Step and John Wesley Harding.
Morr’s got a rich baritone and the kind of humor and charisma that enthralls audiences of all sizes, from coffeehouses to stages as demanding as the famed Bitter End in New York City and the International Festival of Arts and Ideas in New Haven. With airplay across the country and Europe (England, Italy, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, among other countries), “Afterimage” is set to bring the Kenn Morr sound to new listeners.
September 16, 2016
Ashley Hamel is a multi-talented performance artist. Musician, wizard rocker, event host, improv comedian, the artist knows no fear when it comes to performing. She has played libraries, coffeehouses, and venues small and large, both locally and internationally. Her soaring vocals, incredible stage presence, and spirited songwriting lend to Hamel’s unforgettable live show. A rising star in the local circuit with a devoted following, Hamel is poised to take on a heavy recording and touring schedule in 2017.
That Virginia is a mix of strange feelings, warm weather wishes, and stomach butterflies. Virginia was born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil, and she brings the tropical warmth of her nature to her performances, while often singing about the not so warm truth of emotions, humanity, and other oddities.
American Elm is Chris Bousquet, a singer-songwriter from Connecticut. He is the former leader of the internationally acclaimed High Lonesome Plains, and as well as the widely regarded Alligator Farmhouse. He has performed with such luminaries as Roger McGuinn (The Byrds), Mercury Rev, Miracle Legion, John Sebastian, Asleep at the Wheel, The Nields, Mark Mulcahy, The Turtles, Nathaniel Rateliff, Dry the River, J. Geils, and Susan Cowsill.
As American Elm, he has released several E.P.s (“Ulmus Americana” in 2008, “alonesomenoise” in 2014”) and a single “Empty Island Houses (2014). American Elm’s latest is an EP called “Into the Light Within,” released in July of 2015.
October 14, 2016
Kat Kennedy began performing around her home state of Connecticut at the age of 7. Since then she has performed at venues across the country, sparking a love of music and performance that led her to Berklee College of Music in Boston. It was there that she found her current singer/songwriter, pop folk style.
Frank Critelli writes songs. He dabbles in haiku and other short poetry. He also writes other things. Like postcards. Frank Critelli often performs live. Sometimes he performs solo, sometimes he is accompanied by one or more musical co-conspirators. Over the years he’s played in streets and subways, barrooms and classrooms, coffeehouses and colleges, theaters, festivals, and (most recently) in his kitchen.
Tuesday Saints are Jeff Burnham (vocals, guitar), Nanette Addesso (vocals, fiddle, guitar), and Dennis Cartier (bass). Their rustic harmonies, acoustic guitar, and fiddle paint an Americana landscape that Lonesome Noise calls “Down-home and soulful in their delivery.”
November 18, 2016
New Earth is a fun band of singer / songwriters, dedicated to presenting a variety of songs they’ve written. The band is professional and the music is appropriate for all ages. With decades of songwriting and performing experience New Earth has been on the road since 1999.
In 2014 Tracy Walton produced Julia Autumn Ford’s debut album at his studio On Deck Sound Studio. In essence the record is somewhat the birth of Belle of the Fall, as Tracy plays all of the instruments on the record and Julia sings. Later that year they would tour the East Coast together sharing bills playing separate solo sets, with Tracy sitting in on some of Julia’s songs.
Sometimes an idea seems too simple so it takes a while for it to come to fruition. Simply put, two is often better than one. With Belle of the Fall it was as simple as an agreement of “All in.” The summer of 2015 was the right time for two forces to collide.
Glenn Roth is not your typical commuter from Connecticut. Instead of a briefcase, he carries a gig bag. His workspace is the vaulted splendor of Grand Central Terminal or the tunnels and platforms of the New York City subway system. A literal “underground” sensation, Glenn is a licensed performer in the MTA’s “Music under New York” program, playing for the most distracted and demanding audience in the world: legions of workers rushing to jobs throughout the Big Apple. And his fingers work magic, creating a soundscape of compelling melodies that invite them to leave the city rush behind on an aural escape.
May 20, 2016
Alt-country singer, songwriter and guitarist Heather Fay chronicles her philosophies and adventures through honest songs with bright, delicate melodies and inventive lyrics. Each of her original tunes is rooted in raw emotion and unfolds a fresh plot that explores her personal perspectives on love, heartbreak, hope, endings, new beginnings and the complex human journey. Her careful work in the studio illuminates her command as a musical storyteller, sparked by the many poets and artists that have colored her world.
The Meadows Brothers
The New England based Americana roots duo, The Meadows Brothers, are best known for their close sibling harmonies, melodious, unsweetened songwriting and expressive musicality. The brothers infuse each carefully crafted song with an old soul sensibility, however spryly delivered. “Vocal harmonies that will melt your heart into mush, guitar runs that will set your hair on fire…” and supple blues-tinged harp playing make for a satisfying, meaty music encounter.
April 29, 2016
Growing up in Boxford Massachusetts, and now living in greater Hartford, Connecticut, Gracie Day has established herself as a performer up and down the New England coast. Her compelling, sultry voice transports the listener along an emotional journey by way of honest and raw lyrics in a sound that has been described as Country, Folk, and Blues-Rock.
Meredith Rose is a Connecticut-based folk pop singer/songwriter known for her captivating lyrics, innovative guitar hooks, and emotive performances. In 2014, Rose was nominated as ‘Best Singer/Songwriter’ for the Connecticut Music Awards. In 2015, she released her debut EP ‘Sow’, co-produced by local Emmy Award-winner Jim Chapdelaine, and continued to perform throughout the year in venues as far as Australia and France.
Currently hailing from Connecticut, Canyon. is a 30 year old vocal powerhouse. She is known by those that have seen her perform to be a captivating singer/songwriter with haunting and heart-wrenchingly honest songs. Performing with just an acoustic guitar, her catchy vocal melodies will immediately grab your attention while the intimate lyrics and stories she tells will keep your ears guessing. Known for performing with an intensely raw passion and conviction, her sound will cut you deep and hit a nerve.
March 18, 2016
Elaine Atwell has been a songwriter for as long as she can remember. She hails from the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, where she was raised on a diet of bluegrass and her parents’ record collections. After attending the University of North Carolina, she lived in New Orleans for five years, and immersed herself in second lines and crawfish boils. She now makes her home in New Haven, working as a writer and critic and playing music whenever she gets a chance.
“Rivers” is a husband and wife songwriting team made up of Mike & Chandra Rivers…over the past year they’ve been writing songs that will be on their upcoming debut record to be recorded early 2016. Both have played in other bands in the past but this is their first go in music together apart from singing around the house(always a regular occurrence). In addition to singing with “Rivers” Chandra plays trombone in The Hartford Hot Several and sings with Another Octave women’s chorus. Mike, formerly of the acoustic duo “Common Ground” alongside Al Raebuck and guitar player for the northwest hip hop band “The 100th Monkey” is stepping into the role of principal singer/songwriter for Rivers and couldn’t be happier to be sharing the experience with Chandra and her lovely harmonies. We’re excited to be part of The Old Church concert series!
“Singer-songwriter Andy Wakeman, a Rocky Hill native, is an old soul and that’s reflected in his writing. Thoughtfully written songs are delivered with an indie-folk bend to them. Wakeman’s songs are the type of tunes that could be performed with a full backing band, or with just the man and his guitar.”