Anne's Show Picks of the Week (June 19)

By Anne Castellano

On Friday night, Music in the Meadow returns with another show at the Connecticut College Arboretum in New London. The bands will be The Rivergods, The 3-Pack, and The Meadows Brothers. They made their debut at the Hygienic Art Park for a recent Live Lunch Break show, but this will only be the second show for the Rivergods' new 6-piece lineup. Core members Ben and Nancy Parent are joined by Dana Takaki on violin, Craig Johnson on bass, Chris DeBiasi on drums, and Bill Groth on keyboards and backing vocals. The band won "Best Country Rock Act" at the recent Whalie Awards, and they have a busy summer full of shows planned. Their most recent EP, Never Grow Old, was released in January. The only show to date that the 3-Pack have played was back in the fall, at the now-defunct Six String Cafe. You will  remember Hugh, Peter, and Tom from the Reducers, but Peter is now playing bass and they have been working on all new material for quite some time. Expect a mix of new originals with a few really cool covers to round things out. I shouldn't have to tell you that they will sound great. The Meadows Brothers are teenage brothers Ian and Dustin Meadows, talented  roots/bluegrass/country duo from the lower CT River valley. These guys have been playing in bands together since they were in middle school, and they released their self-titled debut album in 2012. The Meadows Brothers have toured extensively and have even opened for Don McLean. Bring an blanket, bug spray, a picnic supper, and a cooler. If you'd rather someone else do the cooking, Munchies Food Truck will also be at the Arboretum entrance. Gates open at 6 pm, and tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children. The Arboretum is located on Williams Street, directly across from the back entrance to Connecticut College.

On Saturday night, the Stan Martin Band will return to Sneekers Cafe in Groton. Stan Martin is a great songwriter and guitar player, originally from Boston. He just released a brand new album (his fifth) called Whiskey Morning, which was recorded in Nashville with Dave Roe, who worked with Johnny Cash and Dwight Yoakam. I saw these guys the last time they were in town and can strongly recommend this show if you are a fan of good guitar playing and country/Americana music. This is a great band, and Stan is the real deal. The show starts at 8:30 pm and there is no cover.

Also on Saturday night, the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center (The Kate) in Old Saybrook has a special show with Brother Sun and The Boxcar Lilies. The Boxcar Lilies are a trio of female folk/Americana singer/songwriters from western Massachusetts who specialize in three part harmonies. They first got together in 2009 and released their first album the following year. The follow-up, Sugar Shack, was released in 2013 and was highlighted by CMJ in their roundup of exciting new releases. Brother Sun is also a trio (with three part harmonies), and the band members originate from Boston, Chicago, and New York. They also have two full length CDs out, and members Joe Jenks, Greg Greenway, and Pat Wictor all have solo albums as well. Both bands have done a lot of touring, playing festivals and other shows, and have earned great reviews from critics and media people as well as fans. The bands will each play one short set, and will then combine to form a “giant folk super-group”. Perhaps six part harmonies? You never know. Tickets are $25 and the show starts at 8 pm.


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