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2019 Spring Concert Preview – CT’s Best Gigs

As always, there’s an impressive roster of musical acts coming to Connecticut this spring.  Taking a quick hiatus from Phish, his usual outfit, Trey Anastasio will play New Haven’s College Street Music Hall on April 27th with the Trey Anastasio Band.  The guitarist may have no new album to promote, but the dozen or so solo records he has in his catalogue will surely suffice.  Fans can expect to hear such jammy classics as “Cayman Review,” “Traveler,” and “Burlap Sack and Pumps.”

    The Ridgefield Playhouse is excited to host Reo Speedwagon on April 15th.  The band will no doubt be reaching into its catalogue that dates back to the early 70s when they treat fans to classic pop gem power ballads like “Can’t Fight This Feeling,” “Time For Me To Fly,” and “Keep On Loving You,” all still played regularly on FM radio.  Piano virtuoso Bruce Hornsby will be performing at the Playhouse on April 26th.  Hornsby, a Grateful Dead alum, might be known for classics like “The Valley Road,” and “The Way It Is,” yet he’s made a name for himself playing and recording in other genres such as jazz and bluegrass.  Songwriter extraordinaire Steve Earle will play with his band, the Dukes, on May 13th.  Earle, a three time Grammy Award winner, has fifteen albums under his belt and will no doubt draw from all of them, mixing his brand of outlaw country with his folkier, introspective material.  On May 30th, Sweetish guitar shredder Yngwie Malmsteen will play behind his new album, Blue Lightning, a collection of classic covers from artists such as Deep Purple, Jimi Hendrix, and the Beatles.

    Wallingford’s Oakdale Theatre will have one of its biggest shows on April 5th with five time Grammy Award winner Mariah Carey.  The pop princess’ recent album, last year’s Caution, her first in four years, will certainly feature heavily in the show, yet fans should also expect to hear older Carey classics like “Vision of Love,” “Someday,” and “Emotions.”  For Jimi Hendrix fans, their hero may be long gone, but his legacy and music are firmly intact.  On April 6th, Experience Hendrix, a supercharged tribute band expertly playing the icon’s classic songs, will take the stage at the Oakdale.  With its revolving door or axemen, from Joe Satriani to Doyle Bramhall II to Johnny Lang, the band also features Hendrix collaborator Billy Cox on bass.  Fans of early Pink Floyd will delight in Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets, who will be performing in Wallingford on April 12th.  Mason, Floyd’s original drummer, put the band together in the last couple of years to focus on an often overlooked part of the group’s catalogue: its early albums.  Fans can expect to hear spaced out early Floyd staples like “See Emily Play,” “Arnold Layne,” and “Astronomy Domine.”

    The Kate in Old Saybrook will be featuring two wonderful tribute bands this spring in the Music of Cream and Kashmir.  The former, a tribute to Cream, the late 60s power trio led by Eric Clapton, will play the Kate on March 26th.  The group, also a threesome, is an anomaly in that each member is a relative to someone in the original group.  Malcolm Bruce has taken his late father’s stead by picking up the bass, while Kofi Baker, son of mercurial drummer Ginger, will be at the drum kit, and Will Johns, Clapton’s nephew, will summon the chops to duplicate his uncle’s licks on classics like “Sunshine of Your Love,” “Crossroads,” and “Strange Brew.”  As for Kashmir, performing at the Kate on March 30th, yes, we have another Led Zeppelin tribute band!  But this group, formed in 2001, gets it right.  Playing on vintage gear and emulating the look and feel of an actual Zeppelin show, Kashmir plays spot-on versions of warhorses like “Whole Lotta Love,” “Ramble On,” “Immigrant Song,” and of course “Stairway to Heaven.”  Toning things down a bit, Americana Singer/songwriters Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams – also a happily married couple – will be playing the Kate on May 2nd.  Campbell, who’s played with everyone from Bob Dylan to Levon Helm to the Black Crowes to Paul Simon, is a musician’s musician, deftly switching from guitar to mandolin to banjo to fiddle, has fortified a solid duo with Williams.  Their music, which is a little country, a little rock, a little gospel, is a timeless throwback to artists as diverse as the Grateful Dead, Little Feat, and Hot Tuna.  For fans of brilliant jazz guitar, the Kate will welcome Pat Metheny on May 20th and 21st.  Metheny, whose last record was 2016’s The Unit Sessions, has close to fifty albums from which to draw for his setlists.  The jazz legend, who’s been named Best Jazz Guitarist time and time again by Guitar Player Magazine, is a twenty time Grammy Award winner, not to mention the only artist in history to have won in ten different categories.

Visit venue websites to confirm the dates of shows as well as ticket prices.

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