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Fall ’19 Concert Preview – CT’s Best Gigs

Summer may be winding down, but that doesn’t mean Connecticut’s music scene is as well.  On the contrary. This fall will see some wonderful live acts playing throughout the state.  From guitar slingers to harmony singers and everything in between, there’s something for any and all music fans.

     The Ridgefield Playhouse has a stacked roster this season.  Check out the legendary Mavis Staples on Saturday, September 7th.  Staples, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Blues Hall of Fame inductee, is touring behind her most recent album, We Get By, a collection of eleven songs written by musician and Staples disciple Ben Harper.  Doors guitarist Robby Krieger will be joined by Leslie West of Mountain on Wednesday, September 18th.  The guitar icons will no doubt trade licks and delight fans with hits and rarities from their respective bands as well as solo projects.  Rick Springfield, playing what’s dubbed his “Stripped Down” tour, will play TRP on Sunday, September 22nd. Two days later, on Tuesday, September 24th, Graham Nash continues his late career run with “An Intimate Evening of Stories and Songs.”  The following month, on Tuesday, October 1st, 90’s hit makers Collective Soul will be performing. The band, known for tunes like “Shine” and “Gel,” will be touring behind their tenth album, this year’s Blood.  Acoustic duo, America – its third member Dan Peek passed away in 2011 – will be playing TRP on Saturday, October 12th.  Approaching their fiftieth year together, the band is still going strong thanks to hits like “Horse With No Name,” “Ventura Highway,” and “Lonely People.”  Fans of bluesy swamp rock in the vein of CCR can catch Florida Native JJ Gray on Saturday, October 19th. Canadian songster Gordon Lightfoot, with 70’s classics like “Sundown” and “Carefree Highway” under his belt, will play Ridgefield on Thursday, October 24th.  Boz Scaggs, enjoying a late career resurgence as a bluesman, is still touring behind last year’s Out of the Blues, plays on Wednesday, November 6th.  On Saturday, November 9th, Cowboy Junkies fans can see the group at TRP.  With well over a dozen studio albums to their credit, the band is still best known for its beloved 1988 collection The Trinity Sessions.  Selections from that record – “Sweet Jane” and “Misguided Angel” – are sure to be part of their set.

     Wallingford’s Oakdale Theatre will be hosting the Avett Brothers on Thursday, October 3rd.  Touring behind their yet to be released Closer Than Together album, the brothers’ tenth studio effort, the rootsy duo will likely mix new material alongside fan favorites like “I and Love and You” and “Another is Waiting.”  The Head and the Heart will be playing Oakdale on Friday, October 11th. The band, who have recently made some sonic leaps with their last couple of records by adding additional instrumentation, will be touring behind their latest album, this year’s Living Mirage.  Fans of good timey southern rock can enjoy the Charlie Daniels Band on Friday, November 15th.  The indestructible Daniels – he’ll be eighty-three this fall – is as prolific as ever with his touring and recording.  “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” may be his only big hit, but Daniels has dozens of albums of southern rock, bluegrass, and country from which to draw on for his sets.

     Old Saybrook’s The Kate welcomes legendary singer/songwriter and progenitor of the 12-string guitar, Roger McGuinn, on Tuesday, September 10th.  Known mostly for his work with The Byrds, McGuinn also has a generous helping of solo records and side projects from which to build his setlists.  Pure Prairie League, known for its monster hit “Amie,” played by every bar band from Connecticut to California, will play The Kate on Wednesday, September 11th.  Blues maestro Ronnie Earl takes the stage at The Kate on Saturday, September 14th. With his masterful electric guitar playing, Earl, who proselytizes his sobriety as much as he does his love of the blues, will be playing hits and deep cuts from his dozens of studio albums.  Fans of Eric Clapton can see Journeyman: A Tribute to Eric Clapton on Thursday, September 26th. Covering all facets of Clapton’s career – Cream, Derek and the Dominoes, his solo work – the group will span decades of classic tunes like “Sunshine of Your Love,” “Layla,” and “Wonderful Tonight.”

     The Fairfield Theatre Company invites fans of Jonny Lang on Tuesday, September 10th.  The Grammy Award winning blues guitarist may be known for his nineties hit “Lie to Me,” but he’s recorded half a dozen fine blues records since those nascent days.  Dweezil Zappa, son of the late great Frank Zappa, plays the following day on Wednesday, September 11th. The guitarist will likely play selections from his own catalogue as well as that of his father’s.  Rickie Lee Jones will play the FTC on Wednesday, October 16th. Jones, known mostly for her 70’s hits like “Chuck E.’s in Love,” is touring behind her brand new covers collection, this year’s Kicks, which has recently been dubbed an “Amazon Choice” album.  Singer/songwriter Martin Sexton is playing back-to-back dates on Friday and Saturday, November 29th and 30th.  The indie artist has handfuls of acoustic-heavy records like Black Sheet, The American, and Solo from which to create his setlists and please fans.

     To confirm dates and times, as well as get additional information on artists and ticket prices, visit the websites of the aforementioned venues.

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