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The Bluegrass Characters
August 24 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm$15
Grammy-winning dobro and violin player, Stacy Phillips, has led an all-star group of acoustic musicians for much of his life. His Bluegrass Characters play bluegrass the deep, traditional way, adding tunes from the fountain of old time music of the USA. Not many would guess that he wrote books on music! Or that he’d spent decades studying the intricacies of musical genres ranging from Hawaiian to hillbilly, klezmer to gospel, from Ukrainian to Middle Eastern. Additionally, he was considered a master of the Dobro guitar, on top of playing a mean fiddle.
It is with a heavy heart that we announce our old friend has passed away. He’d just finished doing, what else, playing a gig. This was at West Hartford’s Emanuel synagogue Sunday, June 3rd, alongside the Afro-Semitic Experience, a group he and Chevan co-founded with pianist Warren Byrd and other musicians. He was hurrying to a bluegrass gig in Old Lyme with Nick Anderson and Shady Creek when he pulled over his car “and had a massive heart attack.” Rushed to St. Francis, he was put into an induced coma.
Three days later, he passed away in his sleep.
To commemorate and celebrate this musical genius, his Bluegrass Characters (Connecticut’s premier purveyors of American roots music) return to the hippest venue in Middletown! When you hear this group you will understand why bluegrass is a world-wide phenomenon. Phil Zimmerman (Last Fair Deal) and Betsy Rome (Too Blue) share vocal duties and take care of mandolin and guitar, respectively. Pete Kelly (Michael Cleveland band) is on bass and Pepe Lemeris (Grass Routes) holds down the banjo position.
Their performance is in honor of Stacy and all the lives his music has touched. These seasoned players will be rhythmically precise, their tunes hard-driving with bluesy vocals. There will be no costume changes or big production numbers.
Just . . . real . . . music. And bad jokes.