Celebrate New Year’s Eve with Joint Venture and the Adam Ezra Group

Jeff Pevar

By Emily Edelman

The end of the year is a meaningful experience for me. The holiday season does hold its fair share of joy and positive connections, but it’s also a time when I think about the things that happened in my life in the previous year and how I might change them going forward. I become somewhat somber and sometimes I brood a little too much.

I love New Year’s Eve because it points out the fact that I have made it through another year more or less intact and reminds me that great new things are on their way. I often have a quiet New Year’s Eve at home cooking good food and planning for the year ahead but, sometimes, the past year is one I want to kick out with a flourish and a big party.

This year’s New Year’s Eve party at Infinity Hall features Joint Venture, an occasional collaboration between bluesman Kal David and guitarist Jeff Pevar; the infectious roots rock of the Adam Ezra Group; a prix fixe three-course dinner; and a champagne toast at midnight.

Here’s to a great 2014! Welcome the New Year at Infinity Hall!

The Harlem Gospel Choir

harlemgospelchoirwebcalendar2013By Emily Edelman

A favorite activity of mine when attending a live performance (aside from listening to the music, of course) is people-watching. There are so many different types of music and so many different types of people and, since most people are fans of several different genres (my own interests range from traditional Celtic to industrial to 16th century choral music), you never know whom you might meet at any given concert. And that is truly my favorite thing about music: it unites people like nothing else can.

The Harlem Gospel Choir began in 1986 as a way to take the music of the Harlem churches to other communities. Since then the Choir has traveled all over the world performing in front of people of various ethnicities and religious faiths, and has thrown its support to several children’s charities and other nonprofit organizations. The group also leads workshops in harmonics and the history of gospel music, and keeps a weekly engagement in its hometown of New York City.

I’ve never felt that gospel music is simply religious; it also speaks to me of how we relate to each other as human beings and to the world and our histories. It elicits a feeling of hope and awareness of other people and reminds me that we aren’t all so different or far away from each other. And that really is the point of all music, I think.

The Harlem Gospel Choir will perform at Infinity Hall on December 28.  Great tickets are still available!

ON SALE: Little River Band, Sarah Jarosz, CT Goes Country, Junior Watson

Littleriverbandweb2013Little River Band

Sunday, April 13th • 7:30 pm  

Little River Band is considered to be one of Australia’s most significant bands. Worldwide album and CD sales now top 30 million. They also set a record for having Top 10 hits for 6 consecutive years.  The first band to achieve that mark.  They’re back at Infinity Hall! Always a sellout, and you may love the band’s tune, “Lonesome Looser”, but you don’t want to be one, right ?  So get your tickets soon!

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sarahjaroszweb2013Sarah Jarosz

Sunday, March 9th • 7:30 pm

Sarah Jarosz is a 22- year-old, Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter and multi instrumentalist who hails from just outside Austin, TX.  The New York Times said about her, “Widely regarded as one of acoustic music’s most promising young talents: a singer- songwriter and mandolin and banjo prodigy with the taste and poise to strike that rare balance of commercial and critical success.”

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ctgoescountryweb2013CT Goes Country feat. Nicole Frechette, John Mayock & the Homesteaders and Cody Wolfe

Friday, February 7th • 8:00 pm

Infinity Hall celebrates some of Connecticut’s rising country artists with a diverse line up of Nutmeggers gone Nashville! Whether she’s belting out her lyrical original songs or breathing new life into your favorite Journey tune, Southern CT’s Nicole Frechette is an artist you don’t want to miss. CT Music Award winners for best Country Band John Mayock and the Homesteaders are a tight band with original lyrics and if you listen closely you can hear how greats like Johnny Cash and Tom Petty have influenced their styles. Having performed on music row and back, Torrington’s Cody Wolfe brings us a solo set of original songs like his single “Born on the Mississippi” among others.

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juniorwatsonweb2013Junior Watson

Sunday, February 9th • 7:30 pm

West coast guitarist extraordinaire, Junior Watson, was once one of the most sought after sidemen in the world of Blues. He was one of the founders of the Mighty Flyers with Rod Piazza, he’s been the guitarist for Canned Heat for many years and has played with just about everyone. Following his third solo release Jumpin’ Wit Junior, Junior is just getting started as leader and playing music that feels right to him getting his ideas out of his head and his heart and into your ears!

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ON SALE: The Manhattan Transfer, Eileen Ivers & Immigrant Soul, Arrival from Sweden (ABBA), The Southern Comfort Band

manhattanwebcalendar2013The Manhattan Transfer

Wednesday, April 9th • 8:00 pm

This multi Grammy Award winning vocal group with a history of nothing but rave reviews and critical acclaim comes to the Infinity stage again! We’re not exaggerating when we say their show is more exciting than a Broadway musical on steroids. No doubt you’ve seen them on TV and perhaps at the Bushnell, but you’ll now have the opportunity to see/hear them up close and personal within the “living room” atmosphere of Infinity Hall. This show will sell out so don’t wait to get your tickets.

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eileeniversandimmigransoulweb2013Eileen Ivers & Immigrant Soul

Saturday, January 31st • 8:00 pm

It is a rare and select grade of spectacular artists whose work is so boldly imaginative and clearly virtuosic that it alters the medium. It has been said that the task of respectfully exploring the traditions and progression of the Celtic fiddle is quite literally on Eileen Ivers’ shoulders.  She’s been called a “sensation” by Billboard magazine and “the Jimi Hendrix of the violin” by The New York Times.  Welcome her and Immigrant Soul to Infinity!

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arrivalfromswedenweb2013Arrival from Sweden – The Music of ABBA

Sunday, April 6th • 2:00 pm

Comprised of original ABBA musicians, the band has toured over 50 nations and appeared in several TV and radio shows all over the world.  Arrival From Sweden in the worlds greatest ABBA tribute show “THE MUSIC OF ABBA” tours the world together.  This production is the closest you ever will get to see ABBA!

southerncomfortweb2013The Southern Comfort Band
Thursday, January 23rd • 8:00 pm

The Southern Comfort Band was formed with one goal in mind: To bring true American Southern Rock music back to the people who love it.  The band prides itself on its authentic reproductions of classic Southern Rock anthems from bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Allman Brothers Band, The Marshall Tucker Band, The Outlaws, Molly Hatchet, and others.  Audiences are awed by The Southern Comfort Band’s dead on musicianship and stage show.

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Jeffrey Gaines

jeffreygaineswebcalendar2013By Emily Edelman

I’m familiar with a number of tunes by singer/songwriter Jeffrey Gaines and, when I did some research in preparation for this blog entry, I discovered that his best-known track is his 2001 cover of Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes.”

I am very annoyed by this, and here’s the reason: I can’t remember it. I was an avid radio listener when the song was released and was absorbing music left and right so I have no idea how I missed it. The song was quite successful, stayed on the charts for a very long time, and is just what I require in a good cover–it’s fully recognizable for the song it is, yet is uniquely arranged so as to fit its covering artist. It’s a beautiful and personal track anyway, but Jeffrey Gaines adds another layer of sensitivity to it with a stripped-down performance.

Jeffrey Gaines’ performances and lyrics connect with audiences on an emotional level, and he very often plays solo concerts that serve to emphasize this. His December 19 performance at Infinity Hall will be a full-band show, however, and I am very curious as to what the dynamic will be like. I suppose there’s only one way to find out, and perhaps attending the show will remind me of other songs I ought not to have misplaced.  Tickets are still available!

Johnny Cash — The Life — by Robert Hilburn

Little, Brown and Company  — 679 pages  —    2013

Review by David C. ParksJohnny Cash a Life


      Most music personality biographies, unfortunately for the music personality,  follow a similar narrative:  Childhood, personal demons, early signs of talent, personal demons, struggle to make it in the music world, the inevitable drugs, booze, and divorce, and then more circling of the personal demons. The End.  It would be pleasant to read a white picket fence story about a superstar but it is not to be found.  It does not seem to exist. And any ideas that they’re just like anybody else would be a grand error.  Most of us don’t end up covered in drug caused lesions (David Crosby),  stay awake for nine days on stimulants (Keith Richards), or end up dead in a bathtub (Jim Morrison).  There is the old expression that “Art must suffer” which includes all creative pathologies, but “Music is masochistic” has a nice ring.  It is possible that these agonies actually enhance the song writing abilities of a musician.  Live the lyrics then hum a tune to go with it.  But the performance side can become a gruesome act of self immolation.   And some Phoenixes do not rise from the ashes.  They stay down in the ashtray of unfulfilled promise.  The fans hear the compelling recorded song and then witness the horrific spectacle of the burned out remnant.

      And so we now examine the life of Johnny Cash.  At his long awaited Carnegie Hall debut he is described as “just downright filthy, dirty, really nasty”. The culprit are diet pills (Dexedrine).  He had no voice and can only mouth the words.  It was in Johnny’s own words, “a nightmare”.  The personal demons had come to roost.

la-et-johnny-cash-20131011   Robert Hilburn conveys this to us in a style appropriate for the subject;  simple and unadorned. As a journalist he had more access to Johnny than anyone else.  The life of Johnny Cash needs no embellishment.  From gravel roads in childhood Dyess, Arkansas, to the Betty Ford Center in Palm Springs,  Johnny’s life trudges on.  He writes and sings ballads that sell out venues from coast to coast and Hilburn has the common sense to let the story play out like one of his heart wrenching songs.  His songs are perfect little dramas and his baritone delivery is a pared down human voice at the edge of the soul. Johnny Cash survived a devastating childhood flood and years later wrote “Five Feet High and Rising”.  The perfect example of experiencing the suffering, then re-creating the narrative,  and being blessed with the voice than can convey the distress and pain.

     This book stands out as chronicle of addiction and the life of one of America’s best loved singer/songwriters.  Read it on either level and reap the rewards.

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  Rosanne Cash and her three sisters are the children by Johnny and his first wife, Vivian.  The long suffering and abandoned family weigh heavily in the Johnny Cash biography.  Rosanne Cash and her husband, John Leventhal,  will be appearing at Infinity on Saturday, December 21, 2013.  She stands independent of her father in the music world but her history is unavoidable.  She is a very welcome performer at our hall.

ON SALE: Tower of Power (2 Shows), Peter Wolf, Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys, Soul Sound Review, Eight to the Bar

Towerofpowerwebcalendar2013Tower of Power (2 Shows)

Friday, February 14th • 6:00 pm & 9:00 pm

Back by popular demand, Tower of Power will be performing on Valentine’s Day at Infinity!  No matter whom you may be, where you live, or your taste in music, Tower of Power will find you.  And once that happens, it’s all over. You will come to believe not only that soul music is the salvation of us all, but that Tower of Power is one of those rare bands who can claim to be the real deal, 100 proof, aged-to-perfection, ground zero Soul.  These shows will sell out fast!

More Details on first show

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peterwolfweb2013Peter Wolf

Friday, February 21st • 8:00 pm

America’s answer to Mick Jagger, and you know the hits; “Love Stinks”, “Centerfold”, “Freeze Frame”, “Lookin’ For Love”…..and on and on. As the frontman, lead singer, songwriter for the J. Geils Band, Peter’s fast talking antics and larger than life on-stage persona are iconic images in the world of Rock N’ Roll.

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timthumb.phpSteve Riley and the Mamou Playboys

Thursday, February 27th • 8:00 pm

Need a Fat Tuesday warm up? We’ve got exactly what the doctor ordered. Come down to Infinity for a little bit of Mardi Gras and a lot of Louisiana tradition when Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys make their Infinity Music Hall debut!                                                                                                                                                                                                 [More Details]

soulsoundreviewweb2013Soul Sound Revue

Friday, March 7th • 8:00 pm

Soul Sound Revue, the hottest Motown show this side of Detriot, performs the greatest hits in the true “Motown Tradition”. Soul Sound Revue recreates the dynamic vocal harmonies and musical stylings of classic Motown groups of the sixties, seventies, and eighties.

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eighttothebarweb2013Eight to the Bar

Saturday, January 25th • 8:00 pm

JDrawing its musical influences from American roots music – swing, boogie woogie, rhythm & blues, soul and Motown- Eight to the Bar is known for its outstanding instrumentalists and sophisticated musical and vocal arrangements, highlighted by female vocals.

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