Anne's Show Picks of the Week (May 1)

By Anne Castellano

It's going to be a quiet weekend, but I do have a couple of show recommendations. On Friday night, The Village Jammers will be playing at Steak Loft in Mystic. If you aren't familiar with the band, the Village Jammers have been around for more than thirty years. They got their start as the house band at the Village Pub in Stonington Borough (don't look for it, it's not there anymore). The Village Jammers play a mix of bluegrass, country, and folk, with Curtiss Thompson on mandolin and vocals, Dan Ravenelle on guitar and vocals, and Geoff Corkhill on guitar and vocals. The last couple of times I saw them they did not have a permanent bass player, but they usually do have someone on bass. Curtiss Thompson (brother of local roots/country artist Vince Thompson and uncle of singer/pianist Anna Thompson) is the main songwriter, and the songs are wonderfully melodic with a dark feel at times. These guys are great players, and definitely not your typical bluegrass band. You're bound to hear some good stories too. The band released their first and only album, 'Til It Happens To You, in 2013. They have said in recent conversations that they were recording a follow-up, but it's been in the works for such a long time that I am getting skeptical. Time to start bugging them about it again! Since Steak Loft is a restaurant, all ages are welcome. There is no cover. The band plays from 7-10 pm.

On Saturday night, Josi Davis & Hot Damn! will be playing at Sneekers Cafe in Groton. The band includes John Van Ness on drums, Dan Solomons on bass, and Max Kelly (from Matzah Cigar) on guitar. Josi is an award winning vocalist and songwriter who also plays guitar and keyboards. Last year she released an album called The Evolution of Love, a collection of songs from her nouveau cabaret show, which was recorded live at Carl Franklin's PWOP Studios in New London. Josi has also released several other EPs in addition to a jazz collaboration. She's even opened for Bill Cosby. The show starts at 9 pm and there is no cover.

On Sunday, there's a very cool out of town show happening at the Space in Hamden. Branford R&B rockers The Manchurians will be opening for Little Barrie, from the U.K. Guitarist/vocalist Barrie Cadogan has also played with Primal Scream, Edwyn Collins, and Paul Weller, to name a few. The band released their third and most recent album, King of the Waves, in 2011. They also have a new album called Shadow coming out in a few weeks. The Manchurians are well known to music fans in CT, having recently played the Daffodil Festival and making frequent live appearances in New London and New Haven (they'll be in NL again on May 17). Their most recent release, the EP Big Rhythm, came out last year. CT indie band Saint Cobra is also on the bill. The show is all ages and doors open at 8 pm.




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