Live Music, Education, Jams, and CD Review March Newsletter

LIVE MUSIC

On the Trail in Bethel Wednesday, April 5

On the Trail is a modern acoustic band that explores everything from bluegrass to contemporary, jazz and old chestnuts.

Indoor Seating Chart

Doors open at 6:00pm. Try to be seated by 6:30pm to have your dinner order taken. Showtime begins at 7:45pm when we transform the space into a theater.

Very Limited Occupancy. Tables seating 2, 4, 5 guests, with tables for 6, 8, 12 available upon request. Single, general admission tickets are also available. See The Attached Seating Chart. Admission Is $15.00 – $20.00 Per Person, Ticket prices may be higher for special performances. Tables Of Two = $35., Four = $75., Five = &87.50 Six = $105., Eight = $130, Twelve = $210. Have problems with the ticketing system? Call 203-247-4273

Get your Tickets here

Grass Routes in Pomphret CT Saturday April 1

Grass Routes is performing Saturday night, April 1st from 7:00 to 9:00 PM at The Vanilla Bean Café, 450 Deerfield Road, Pomfret Center, CT 06259. Admission price is $20. For information phone 860-928-1562.

Damn Tall Buildings in Westport on April 1

Voices Café is thrilled to bring Damn Tall Buildings to our music-loving audience for a lively evening with one of the country’s hottest bluegrass/indie/Americana bands, on Saturday, April 1 st at 8pm.

On the Trail in Ridgefield Saturday, April 1

Nod Hill Brewery will host On the Trail on April 1st from 6:30-9. This will occur in the backroom which is reserved for parties and live music.

Nickel Creek – April 18

College Street Music Hall – New Haven CT – Check out the reunion of this beloved eclectic band!

Get your Tickets here or go to NickelCreek.com

Education

Bluegrass Jam Class Saturday, April 1 Norwalk CT

Temple Shalom 259 Richards Avenue, Norwalk

Register now for Austin’s class!

  • All bluegrass instruments welcome
  • No jamming experience necessary
  • You will be jamming in the first class!
  • Friendly, encouraging, knowledgeable teaching
  • Hands-on learning in large and small groups
  • Gentle tempos! Mistakes expected!
  • Music/tab reading not needed or used
  • Singing not required, but encouraged and taught
  • Soloing not required! “Faking” solos taught

Do you qualify? It’s easier than you may think!
If you play guitar, mandolin, banjo, fiddle, bass, or dobro… you can be part of a bluegrass jam. Only requirements – be able to:

  • Tune your instrument and
  • Change smoothly between G, C, D, and A (or the notes that work on bass and fiddle)

Bluegrass Jam Class Saturday, April 8 in Cumberland RI

April 8, 2023

Saturday Jam Class

Blackstone River Theatre 549 Broad Street, Cumberland

Register now for Austin’s class!

  • All bluegrass instruments welcome
  • No jamming experience necessary
  • You will be jamming in the first class!
  • Friendly, encouraging, knowledgeable teaching
  • Hands-on learning in large and small groups
  • Gentle tempos! Mistakes expected!
  • Music/tab reading not needed or used
  • Singing not required, but encouraged and taught
  • Soloing not required! “Faking” solos taught

Do you qualify? It’s easier than you may think!
If you play guitar, mandolin, banjo, fiddle, bass, or dobro… you can be part of a bluegrass jam. Only requirements – be able to:

  • Tune your instrument and
  • Change smoothly between G, C, D, and A (or the notes that work on bass and fiddle)

Possible Jam Weekend NYC April 14-16

If interested, contact Austin@AustinScelzo.com

Mandolin Camp North with Guitar and Fiddle Classes, April 21-23

Mandolin Camp North is a fun-packed weekend for mandolin, guitar, and fiddle players. Here’s what to love about Mandolin Camp North:

  • Classes and workshops on a wide variety of topics for all skill levels, from novice to advanced players on mandolin, fiddle, and guitar
  • Most classes and workshops are hands-on, while a few are lectures or demonstrations.
  • A variety of acoustic genres is covered, including traditional and progressive bluegrass, blues, and jazz.
  • Guided and informal jams are held throughout the weekend, in various genres and for all skill levels.
  • Faculty concerts on Friday and Saturday after dinner and before evening jams.
  • Lots of informal opportunities to “pick” with faculty and other students.
  • Camaraderie with other people who share your passion for the mandolin.
  • A luthier on duty at a vendor table to help you with your instrument. CDs and DVDs by the faculty will be available for sale.
  • Comfortable housing, and good food at tables shared by students and faculty.

Two versions of our (preliminary) class schedule in PDF format. Click the version you prefer. These will open in a new tab.

Read More about Mandolin Camp North Here

Fiddle Hell Online

April 13-16, 2023, FHO will have 170 live workshops to learn from, 30 live concerts to enjoy, and 30 live jam sessions to join on Zoom, for fiddle, mandolin, cello, guitar, banjo, & singing. All sessions can be replayed (and slowed down) for the next 4 months. 90 instructors — experienced & supportive teachers, and wonderful & inspiring players — will cover Bluegrass, Blues, Cajun, Cape Breton, East European, Electric, Irish, Jazz, Jazz Manouche, Klezmer, Latin, Mexican, New Acoustic, New England, Old-Time Southern, Québécois, Scandinavian, Scottish, and Swing styles. Historical and technical workshops are also on the program. Workshops and jams are designed for Beginners, Low Intermediates, High Intermediates, and Advanced players, although you can attend any sessions you like.

These inspiring and incredible sessions are a great value for players and listeners, with discounts for seniors and young musicians, and further discounts and giveaways for early bird signups.  Partial and full scholarships are available, too. Go to https://fiddlehell.org/Register for Registration (discounts for seniors & young musicians), https://fiddlehell.org/Schedule to see the Schedule, https://fiddlehell.org/Staff for Instructors, and https://fiddlehell.org/info/Racial-Justice for the FH Racial Justice Statement.  You can also sign up for the Mailing List at https://fiddlehell.org/Contact, join the FH Facebook Group at https://Facebook.com/groups/FiddleHellMassachusetts, visit the Facebook event at https://www.facebook.com/events/527995509282742, and subscribe to the FH YouTube channel at https://YouTube.com/FiddleHell. to replay & slow down jams for free.

Visit https://fiddlehell.org to see the 4 teaching levels, the common tune list, repertoire CDs, jamming guidelines, links to online resources, and more. The Fiddle Hell Online event software from Whova, accessed from your web browser or tablet or phone once you’re registered, helps you browse the agenda, ask questions, chat with the FHO community, easily attend live Zoom sessions, replay sessions once they’ve happened, and visit the virtual exhibitors.

I hope you’ll register now and join me at this amazing event!

It’s amazing how enjoyable and useful replays can be for you. If we count 8 hours to the day, the April 13-16 FHO will deliver you 4 full days of concert replays, 4 days of jam replays, and 21 days of workshop replays, during the 4 months after the live sessions are finished. And there will be more than 100 handouts you can download. That’s a lot of fun listening, jamming, and chances to improve your repertoire, technique, and knowledge – even after the live 4 days are over. 


Larry Sparks CD Review “It’s Just Me”
Rebel-CD-1880
by Dick Bowden

Larry Sparks, now in the 7 th decade of his musical career, has released a very warm and
comfortable recording of just his guitar and voice (with some bass fiddle provided by his son
“Dee” Sparks). The last bluegrass artist known for this type of performance was Mac
Wiseman. After I listened to the CD, I was moved to write a review because it reminded me
so much of my father, the late Paul Bowden, and his festival late-night solo guitar and voice.

The CD packaging includes photos that appear to be Larry “at home”. One in particular I
really enjoyed; Larry in flannel shirt and jeans, sitting on the couch playing his old Martin
guitar for his granddaughter (great-granddaughter?). A lot of us who grew up in musical
families will like that photo.


The ten-song list is a mix of new tunes and some of his Loneseome Ramblers band “hits”
performed anew as solos. A couple of familiars are “Don’t Neglect the Rose” and “Great High
Mountain”. Larry really pours it on vocally; and as Ralph Stanley used to put it, he really
“worries” some of his notes. Sparks’ version of George Jones’ “She Thinks I Still Care” gives
the ol’ Possum a run for his money for vocal flourishes. Lefty Frizzell’s “Mom and Dad’s
Waltz” is equally impressive.


Of course Larry takes all the breaks, usually short and simple, on his guitar. Yes the guitar’s
pickguard still matches Larry’s hairline. Larry continues to thump that guitar with authority.
His style is instantly recognizable and easy to appreciate.


This CD is very relaxing to listen to. Larry’s baritone voice has none of the stereotypical nasal
tension of high lonesome or driving bluegrass. The recording is luxurious and sort of wraps
all around you aurally.


If you enjoy a bluegrass stalwart who just keeps getting better in his senior years (you can’t
say that about many bluegrassers!) get “It’s Just Me” by Larry Sparks at your first opportunity.
You’ll be reminded that bluegrass is primarily a vocal music, not just hot picking. And that
Larry Sparks remains a vital force in our music.

Bluegrass and Old Time Jams

Wethersfield

Pitkin Community Center in Wethersfield. 30 Greenfield Street. Room S-3 

First and third Tuesday of each month in Wethersfield. There is a $3.00 suggested donation to cover the cost of the room. All levels are welcome. Acoustic instruments only. Wernick jamming etiquette is followed (announce your song with key, etc).

New Haven

Thursday, April 27 (Fourth Thursday)

Hamden

Sunday, April 2 from 1:00-4:00 pm, at Best Video, Hamden.  Please join us, come to pick, or come to listen.

Burlington/Bloomfield, CT

Yankee Bluegrass Jammers, every Wednesday from 7 to 10 p.m. Location is either Elton Tavern, 781 George Washington Turnpike, Burlington, CT 06013 or Auer Farm, 158 Auer Farm Rd, Bloomfield, CT 06002. To learn where the jam will be held, contact either Carl Salsedo (carl.salsedo@uconn.edu) or Andy Szpekman (andy@ahscommunications.com).

East Hampton,

Monthly on the third Sunday Dexter’s Tune, Tales, & Ales, Sunday, 1:00 – 4:00pm

Easton

Second Thursday 7:30 – 10:00pm 59 Church Road Easton

East Haven

Tuesday April 4-East Haven (First Tuesday of the month) Shore Line Trolley Museum 17 River St, East Haven, CT 06512

Katonah, NY

Sunday, April 23 1-4PM – Select Sundays Katonah Library

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