Abbie Gardner, the fiery Dobro player with an infectious smile has been touring with Americana darlings Red Molly for the past eleven years. After gracing stages from Denver to Denmark, from Australia to Austin, the band decided to take an indefinite hiatus in 2015, so Abbie is striking out on her own! ” Her background is as varied as the songs she writes. Abbie has listened to the sweet sound of high lonesome harmonies since her first bluegrass festival at the age of three. Her father, Herb Gardner, is a swing jazz and stride pianist and dixieland trombonist. Watching him laugh as he went off to “work” every day was her first introduction to the joy of being a musician. Abbie’s first full-length recording, My Craziest Dream (2004) is an album of jazz standards featuring her father on piano. It earned her an entry in the 2009 Hal Leonard book “The Jazz Singers: The Ultimate Guide.” Abbie is quickly compiling an extensive discography of recording credits. Her own CDs include Honey on My Grave (2006), Bad Nights/Better Days (2008, with Anthony da Costa), and Hope (2011), which features three different kinds of slide guitar (dobro, lap steel and National bottleneck). Abbie has been recognized as an award-winning songwriter, with such accolades as; 2006 Rocky Mountain Folks Festival Songwriter Showcase (2nd place), 2008 Lennon Award Winner (folk) for “The Mind of a Soldier” and 2008 American Songwriter Magazine Grand Prize Lyric Winner for “I’d Rather Be.” “The Mind of a Soldier” was also featured on Lufthansa Airlines in 2010. Richard Cuccaro, publisher of Acoustic Live writes: “Abbie Gardner shows her prodigious writing chops in her album, Hope. Tales of love and loss, both gritty and sweet, ride the back of her by-now familiar, formidable slide guitar licks. She channels Lucinda and Bonnie, but remains pure Abbie.” www.abbiegardner.com
With her third album, Apartments For Lovers, Canadian Shawna Caspi taps right into her folk roots, stripping away the session musicians and elaborate arrangements of her previous records in favour of a simple, authentic sound – her solo guitar and voice. The result is a collection of songs that is close-up and honest, showcasing her warm vocals, classically trained fingerstyle guitar playing, and intimate songwriting in a genuine, powerful way. She has played festivals including the Blue Skies Music Festival, the Summerfolk Festival, the Deep Roots Music Festival, and the Ottawa Grassroots Festival. as well as the VIA Rail On Board Entertainment Program. “Shawna Caspi has the rare gift of presence that immediately invites audience engagement, from the first strum of her skilled guitar playing to the last exquisite note she sings”. – Andy Frank, co-founder of Roots Music Canada
Don Lowe lives in Sherman, Connecticut. He plays guitar and sings in a variety of venues throughout Western Connecticut and New York. Much of his material is written by himself but he also puts his own touch into the songs of a wide range of artists. Don’s background is theatre and he was a professional actor in New York City for twelve years. He currently makes a living as a freelance writer in addition to teaching and tutoring writing. For the last two years, he has taught English at Western Connecticut .State University where he recently earned his Masters degree in Creative Writing. He has written two books, one on contemporary music and another on the Revolutionary War. He also just completed his first novel, titled Late Harvest, which he is currently trying to get published. He has three children and is married to Broadway performer, Mary Ann Lamb. http://www.donlowesongs.com/
“Arriving from his native Scotland with naught but a guitar on his back, a head full of song and hands schooled in UK song avatars John Martyn and Nick Drake, Lorkin O’Reilly has made a name for himself in the Hudson valley as an emerging talent to watch” – Chronogram http://www.lorkinoreillymusic.com
Groovin’ in New Fairfield is proud to welcome back TOBY WALKER with special guest JULIE CORBALIS on Saturday, April 30 at 7:30pm, at the New Fairfield Senior Center, 33 Route 37, New Fairfield, CT. Tickets are $10 and doors open at 6:45 pm.
Internationally and nationally acclaimed Toby Walker has been hailed as a roots music fingerstyle guitar virtuoso who has toured the US, England, Wales, France, Germany, Belgium and Holland. Walker blends the styles of blues, ragtime, country, bluegrass, rock and old time jazz into his own unique style. Jorma Kaukonen of Hot Tuna and the Jefferson Airplane says “Flat out… you have to hear this great musician… I’m blown away” and has employed Walker to teach at his famous Fur Peace Ranch Guitar Camp for 6 years. In 2010 Walker won the NY Music Award for ‘Best Instrumental CD,’ sharing the honors with Mariah Carey, Rufus Wainwright and Judy Collins among many others. Walker has recently released three instructional guitar DVD’s for the world famous musicians. Carnegie Hall acknowledged his rare talents and hired him to augment and teach in their “American Roots” program aimed at honor level middle school students. www.littletobywalker.com
Julie Corbalis is a New York-based singer-songwriter who has been performing her own music as well as classic covers since 1996. Corbalis has recorded six albums to date, and counts as her musical influences the Beatles, Sheryl Crow, Eric Clapton, The Animals, and the Rolling Stones. She has also been a featured performer at The Bitter End (New York, NY), Brooklyn Bowl (Brooklyn, NY), Pete Seeger’s Clearwater Festival (Croton-On-Hudson, NY), The Towne Crier (Pawling, NY), the Pleasantville Music Festival (Pleasantville, NY), and the Some Kind of Jam 9 Festival (Schuylkill Haven, PA). She has opened for a number of well-established musical acts such as Colin Hay (Men at Work), Amy Correia, Mickey Hart, Jeffrey Gaines, Gandalf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus of Dreams, Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion.http://www.juliecorbalis.com
Due to unforeseen circumstances, we regret that Toby Walker will not be appearing at the Groovin’ in New Fairfield Coffeehouse this Saturday, January 30. While we are saddened by these turn events, we believe every cloud has a silver lining, and are thrilled to bring legendary blues guitarist Guy Davis along with special guest Lara Herscovitch to our stage! Hope to see you there! Show starts at 7:30pm, at the New Fairfield Senior Center, 33 Route 37, New Fairfield, CT. Tickets are $10 and doors open at 6:45 pm
While carrying the blues around the world, from the Equator to the Arctic Circle, Guy Davis came back with some fresh inspiration and new stories to tell. Kokomo Kidd, his first all-new album in two years, finds the blues ambassador visiting fresh territory. “It’s a new beginning for me,” he says, “The first time I’ve produced myself. What I‘m showing here is a side of me that’s deep inside. It’s needing air and light, and here it comes!”
His deft acoustic playing and well-crafted lyrics are here as always. Some songs find Davis calling on his gifts as an actor and storyteller, while others are as personal as it gets. The rollicking title track, featuring Ben Jaffe of New Orleans’ Preservation Hall Jazz Band, might be called a short story that you can dance to, featuring a rascal character who starts as a bootlegger and winds up a Republican advisor. The song’s New Orleans connection harkens back to a formative visit he made to the Crescent City in 1979, a trip that convinced him to follow his muse as a performer.
Guy Davis’ work as an actor, author, and lately teacher earmark him as a renaissance man of the blues. What music and acting have in common, he explains, “is that I don’t like people to see the hard work and the sweat that goes into what I do. I want them to hear me and be uplifted. And I want some little eight-year-old kid in the front row to have big eyes and say, ‘Hey, I want to do that!’.” www.guydavis.com
For some people, what they do and who they are two different things. Not so for Lara Herscovitch, an “extraordinarily talented” (smother.net) American songwriter, poet, singer, performer, and policy social worker. Lara’s award-winning music is “pure musical poetry” (The Courier): highly original, modern folk with shades of blues, jazz, and pop. As the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal wrote, “Singer-songwriter Lara Herscovitch doesn’t write songs just for the ears, but also for the heart and soul.”
With a voice “clear and smooth like expensive liquor,” she stands “above and beyond the pack” (Northeast Performer). Herscovitch is “a remarkable performer” (WSHU Public Radio). Former State Troubadour of Connecticut (2009-2010), Lara brings charm, authenticity, intelligence and a love of performing that immediately resonates with diverse audiences. She has appeared as a guest on A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor (American Public Media) and tours from Maine to Miami.
We’ve got an awesome line-up for you as we wrap up our Fall season of Coffee House Concerts. So take a break from raking your leaves and put off planning that Thanksgiving meal for one night, then get yourself out to the Community/Senior Center Complex on Rt. 37 for what will be a great kick-off to the upcoming holiday season.
Our featured performer will be the handsome and talented singer/songwriter Griffin Anthony. Legend has it that the 32 year old native New Yorker was riding a baseball scholarship at a Division 1 university (yes, yet another one), when a series of injuries began to make him re-think the idea that baseball might be his career path. He completed his degree (in fact, he has three of them) and continued to play his music, a passion he had continued through adolescence and college until serendipity led to a publisher, having heard him play, contacted him and asked what he thought about writing for television or film. “What….do you mean I could make a career out of this?” he asked. Anthony’s music now appears in all the Kardashian shows, America’s Funniest Home Videos and Housewife shows as well as sots on ABC, NBC and E!Entertainment.
But Griffin loves to perform and that has led to him sharing the stage with a number of luminaries: James Taylor, Aaron Neville Dr. John an Don McLean. The good news for us is that he loves to play smaller venues where he can interact with the audience. And with that in mind, while he will be playing a number of venues throughout Fairfield County, I might suggest that the New Fairfield Coffee House could be one of the best places to catch this talented singer/songwriter on his current tour
Also performing will be Steven McGrath, a Connecticut native who grew up in Cromwell listening to his parents record collection, exposing him to a wide variety of musical genre and developing a deep and natural love for it. He studied trumpet as a youth and became proficient on drums, piano and guitar…..but singing….that was where his true passion would lie. And he realizes the expression of that passion by playing local venues throughout the Nutmeg State, and beyond.
Opening our show will be the folk/pop husband and wife duo Danny and Caroline, he on guitar and she on keyboard. I have to say, hearing them for the first time caught me by surprise. Their catchy melodies, and insightful lyrics are infused with hints of jazz, bluegrass, folk and soul. Their performances are truly effervescent . And you’ve got to do a You Tube search for them and catch their videos. They are just full tilt fun! I can’t wait to have them on our stage.
As always, you can skip dinner at home and enjoy a moderately priced meal catered by Bruno’s of Heritage Plaza. There are home made desserts, and, yes….there’s coffee.
The 32-year-old New York native got his start in 1995 as the drummer of The Ripptides, whose members included children of legendary musicians Arlen Roth and Alan Menken. As a teen, Griffin worked backstage at the Newport Jazz & Folk Festivals, before emerging as a performing songwriter, debuting with his self-titled EP in 2007 and later signing with with BMI and Orange Music Publishing in 2008.
The road has been no stranger to Griffin. He’s performed at major music festivals including Wanee, SunFest, CMJ and Art Basel, while his ever-expanding catalog has garnered placements on ABC, HBO, NBC, MTV, and CBS to name a few.
Steven McGrath, a Connecticut native, grew up in Cromwell with a natural love for music. As a young child he listened to the records and music of his parents where he developed a love for many different styles of music.
He took up playing trumpet at an early age and as a teen learned to play guitar, piano and drums – but his real passion was always singing.
As an adult he perfected his love of writing both music and lyrics, and over the years he has recorded many collections of original music.
Danny and Caroline’s songs feature catchy melodies, and insightful lyrics infused with hints of jazz, bluegrass, folk and soul. With Danny on guitar and Caroline on keyboards they combine their two distinct voices in beautiful harmony, producing a sound that is recognizable but at the same time refreshingly unique and diverse.