Anne's Show Picks of the Week (May 8)

By Anne Castellano

On Friday night, The Hoolios will be playing an acoustic show at Steak Loft in Mystic. The acoustic Hoolios band is quite similar to the electric band, but slide guitarist Bill Light and drummer Ron Lewis won't be playing, (it's a small stage and a quiet room). Head Hoolio Jim Carpenter will share the stage with his son Jake, who plays cajon and does a mini-set of his own material during the evening. Mike Derry sings and plays keyboards and accordion, Sandy "Sandman" Allen is on mandolin and vocals, and Mike Palazzolo plays bass and contributes backing vocals as well. I love a band that can harmonize, and these guys are all good singers (in fact, all six members of the Hoolios sing). Jim Carpenter tells some great stories with his songs, and when he starts telling stories in between songs you'll hear some really interesting tales. The best one I've ever heard involved a chicken, a child, and a clothesline, if I remember correctly. This band has a huge repertoire, so I never get tired of seeing them live. Subject matter may include family, the Gulf Coast, travel, religion, murder, and/or insanity, and you can dance to it too. Sometimes special guests even drop by to sit in, such as the amazing MacLean Sisters and their dad Roy Dunn MacLean. The music starts at 7 pm and the band usually plays two sets, ending by 10 pm. There is no cover, and since it's a restaurant, all ages are welcome.

Also on Friday, there will be not one, but TWO shows at 33 Golden Street in New London. Craig Edwards & the Root Farmers will be doing the early show, from 7 to 9 pm. I've never seen the Root Farmers, but anyone who has seen Craig Edwards play in any band or venue would agree that this is going to be a good show. Craig is an extremely accomplished player of anything with strings, (and without), including, (but not limited to), fiddle, banjo, mandolin, and guitar. He has been a regular for many years at old-time jams and festivals, both local and not so local. What I'm trying to say is that you should get to this show. Following the Root Farmers there will be a second show, with three hard rock/metal bands: Stikpin, We Own Land, and Julius J. Wood and Co. Stikpin is a four piece guitar/bass/drums/vocals band from Middletown. We Own Land has been described as punk-influenced hard rock, and they are based in Newport. And Julius J. Wood and Co. will tie the early show and the late show together really well. He's described as a "one-man Americana jam band" who uses traditional acoustic instruments with a looper setup. I don't actually know the order of bands, but it would make sense for him to play after the Root Farmers. Either way, it looks like there will be something for just about everyone at 33 on Friday. Cover is $5.


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