James Cotton

I had the amazing pleasure of interviewing James “Superharp” Cotton in the midst of this nasty stretch of rain we’ve been having. I’m psyched to see James this Thursday, April 1st!

James, you have influenced so many musicians. Who is your greatest influence?
My greatest influence has been Muddy (Waters) because I played with him for 12 years, really learned how to go down the road, learned more about life from him, and, of course, I know he’s smiling down on me right now.

It is a beautiful day outside, you’re on your porch, you pick up the your harp… what is the first note you play? First song?

The song is “Mojo!”

Excluding your own, what are some of your favorite tunes to play?
“Don’t Start Me Talking” by Sonny Boy Williamson, Howlin’ Wolf’s “How Many More Years,” and Jimmy Reed’s “Take OutSome Insurance.”

When typically are your moments of greatest inspiration?
That’s a two-part answer. The first is when I see my audiences on their feet enjoying my show. These are the people that I love and have spent my life with around the world sharing my music with them. The second is when I hear the younger musicians who are playing the blues. They are carrying it on and it makes me feel so good in my heart to know they care about the blues. We are all in this together!

“Regarding Infinity Hall – I’m looking forward to playing for everyone on Thursday evening – see you all there!”
-James Cotton

–GET YOUR TICKETS HERE–

The McLovins In Norfolk!

I just got a chance to chat it up with The Mclovins. Long story short, these guys are a lot of fun and they can really rock it out!!

You just got done with a show up in Killington, VT! How was it?
1. Snoe. Down is Moe.’s winter music festival in Killington, Vermont. It was incredible! It was one of those gigs that gave us goose bumps and really made us remember why we play. The people there were warm and friendly and simply loved music. The crowd just was really digging it and we just kept playing off each other’s energy. It was like last summer’s Gathering of the Vibes Festival in Bridgeport. It was a really big milestone for the band. We definitely felt that as a band we played with some of the most energy we’ve ever had and some of the best crowd connection. In all of the excitement, a fan actually reached up at the end of our last song to strum Jeff’s guitar. Truly a show we will always remember!

Where did you grow up in CT? How did you all meet?
Jason actually grew up in Switzerland and moved to Connecticut in middle school. Jeff was born in NYC and moved to Connecticut at a young age. Jake was born and raised in Connecticut. Jason is from Simsbury, Jeff is from Canton and Jake is from West Granby. So it is no surprise that we met at camps in Simsbury and Avon. Jake met Jason at Martocchio’s Jazz Camp the summer of 2009 and a week later met Jeff at Paul Howard’s Rock Camp in Avon. We are 15 (Jeff), 16 (Jason) and 17 (Jason).

What are your favorite Primus, Phish, Police, and Oysterhead tunes?
-Those Damned Blue-Collar Tweekers – Contact – Bring on The Night – Little Faces – Jerry was a Racecar Driver – Stash – Murder by Numbers – Rubberneck Lions – Tommy the Cat – Ghost – Spirits in the Material World – Oz is Ever Floating –

Have you seen a show at Infinity Hall yet? Psyched for your show?
Max Creek, Spyro Gyra, Al Di Meola World Sinfonia, Alan Holdsworth, and Rubblebucket Orchestra! YES!! The sound is absolutely amazing! Each time we’ve gone the band has been on fire, and we think the venue has a lot to do with it. There is always a great crowd. Infinity Hall creates an atmosphere that is perfect for music to be made in. It is a place where the band is close with the crowd, so it is a very intimate setting. And being a jam band that thrives off of the energy of the crowd, that is important. So needless to say, we ARE PUMPED!! We have some very special surprises planned, and we think it will be one of the best shows yet.

If you could combine two animals into one, for one super-pet… what two animals would they be, and what would you call it?
Jake: I would combine a squirrel and a turtle and call it Squirtle.
Jeff: I would combine a butterfly with a snail and call it a Buttersnail.
Jason: I would combine a penguin with a really big bird, just cause I know how much those penguins want to fly.

Poor penguins 😥 — Guys, you rock. We can’t wait to have you at the Hall on Friday, May 7th! And… for all you McLovin fans, buy your tickets before April 30th and receive a Signed Collector’s Edition McLovin’s Infinity Hall Poster!! –TICKETS–

Roomful of Blues

There is no room I’d rather fill with the Blues than Infinity Music Hall. I think Roomful of Blues understands this because they are on their way back for their 3rd Infinity appearance this Friday, April 2nd!! –Tickets–

Even though Roomful of Blues’ lineup has changed over the years, the band has always been one of the tightest, most joyful blues ensembles in the world. Currently an eight-piece unit led by guitarist Chris Vachon, the band has never sounded fresher or stronger. In 2007, singer Dave Howard took over the vocal duties, bringing his gritty and soulful vocals and adding another bright new dimension to the jazzy, jump-blues musical roots. Their winning combination of jump, swing, blues, R&B and soul remains their calling card, as does their ability to fill the dance floor.

Love Is Alive

Girls in silk robes banging on cowbells, dueling keytars, bodysuits… I can’t figure out what I like more!? Neither could Gary Wright apparently, so he put them all in one amazing video performance of “Love Is Alive” (below)

I hear some of Gary Wright’s approach to music, being heavy on keys and synth, influencing some of the upcoming electro-pop that is going around. He was one of the first people to take the Keytar mainstream along with Edgar Winter, Spyro Gyra’s Tom Schuman, and Devo. For that, I salute you Gary Wright!

See you for Gary Wright @Infinity Hall on Friday, April 16th! –Tickets–

Kevin May of Guggenheim Grotto

Emily of WHDD (AM1020 & 91.9FM) did a great interview with Kevin May of Guggenheim Grotto. They play the Hall this Thursday with Caravan of Thieves. This is sure to be an amazing show.

Click here to listen to the interview!! You can also listen to the interview live Tuesday or Wednesday morning on WHDD!

Stretching the parameters of acoustic swing, Caravan of Thieves has been winning immediate praise for their new and unique brand of gypsy flavored song writing and their high intensity show. The vocal harmonizing, acoustic guitar spanking husband and wife duo Fuzz and Carrie have extended their family to include fiery violinist Ben Dean and double bass madman, Brian Anderson to complete their colorful vision. Seeking inspiration from beyond the great divide, the quartet produces layers of Beatlesque vocals, driving rhythms, satirical, dramatic song writing and an overall circus of sound.

Happy The Man

Long story short, I fell in love with Guggenheim Grotto‘s latest album “Happy The Man”. The sounds are soothing from the rhythmic concepts to the timbre of Kevin & Mick’s voice.

The album starts with an innocent, youthful sound. Then it spirals into a state of confusion and distress about a loved one. Towards the end they wrap it up with some very concluding sounds, it makes you feel as though you are about to enter a sleep state. Now, I’m not sure if they meant it to be a concept album, but I feel the tunes were woven together as such.

The duo also gives off this hopeful vibe that everyone needs and can relate to, and it comes from a very real place. See them live, they are at Infinity Hall this Thursday 3/25! –Tickets–

Playing with Guggenheim Grotto will be the amazing, CT’s own “Caravan of Thieves”!!

New Music for Old Souls

The Philadelphia based band Hoots & Hellmouth continue to barnstorm America, uniting communities with a fierce and fiery alchemy. Outfitted with three-part harmonies, acoustic guitars, mandolin, upright bass and foot stomps, the band will enliven your spirit through the blend of Americana style and punk rock attitude. Hoots & Hellmouth perform here at Infinity Hall on Thursday April 8th! –Tickets–

I had the pleasure of asking Sean (singer/guitarist) of Hoots & Hellmouth a few questions today!

Who are your biggest influences?
As far as influences, they are honestly all over the place. Artists such as Otis Redding and older stuff like that. There is something about soul music that really transcends. I feel like it comes from such an organic and personal place. The band and I mainly draw on early American folk music, at least in respect to our instrumentation. The three of us come from so many different places musically; we leave our influences behind and attack the music for the soul of it.

I’m intrigued by your album title “The Holy Open Secret”, what does it mean?
Technically speaking it is a line from a work by Goethe. Not one of his more celebrated works, but he did a whole bunch of natural science writing, which took the spiritual approach to science. The line basically refers to the mysteries around us, mysteries you can see but not grasp. The secret everyone sees but no one can figure out. Sciences can tell us a lot about the world about us, but we still can’t crack the small “nuts”… You are a part of it, but yet you never understand it all, it really ads to the aspiration of life and it really can be baffling. A wonderful baffling.

How did you meet your bandmates?
Rob, Andrew and myself have known each other for a long while. We found each other in the town of Westchester, PA… we were all very involved in the scene down there. It was a real organic sort of process. It started with Andrew and myself doing open-mics, and then shortly thereafter Rob joined in the mix.

You played here before with The Duhks! Are you excited for your return to Infinity Hall?
Yeah we had a wonderful time, the room is beautiful. We love playing rooms where the art of our music is complimented by the art and beauty of the room. It felt very natural playing at Infinity. The tones that we coax from our instruments; they really resonate! I think of it as wood calling to wood.