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Fall 2018 Concert Preview – Connecticut’s Best Gigs

There’s no better way to bid farewell to summer than by checking out some great live music in Connecticut this fall.  From stripped down Americana, to guitar wielding axemen, to classic rock behemoths, there’s plenty to offer even the most fastidious music fan.

    New Haven’s College Street Music Hall, fast becoming one of the state’s most beloved venues, has some top notch artists on its roster.  September 18th sees Los Angeles natives, Dawes, take the stage. The four piece melody machine, who have kept the 70’s Laurel Canyon sound alive and well, are touring behind their latest album, 2018’s Passwords.  Fans will hear new tunes alongside older classics such as “Love Is All I Am” and “Somewhere Along the Way.”  The following month, on October 8th, Ray Lamontagne will be supporting his ethereal 2018 release, Part of the Light.  Owing as much to Pink Floyd’s spacey catalogue as it does to Crosby, Stills, & Nash’s acoustic textures, the new record continues the trend of unpredictability for the artist who is known for his aloofness as well as rarely granting interviews.  November boasts more singer/songwriter fare in the Wood Brothers who play CSMH on the 7th. The acoustic trio will be playing behind their excellent 2018 album, One Drop of Truth.  Grammy winner Lucinda Williams, considered by many to be in the same company as Neil Young or Tom Waits, plays with her touring band on 11/9.  With no new album to support, Williams will likely be relying on old standards such as “Car Wheels on a Gravel Road” and “Passionate Kisses.”

    Guitar geeks will be thrilled to learn that Leo Kottke will be playing Old Saybrook’s the Kate on October 3rd.  Kottke, revered for his multi-genre approach on the acoustic, is perhaps best known for his beloved 6 and 12 String Guitar album, can be mentioned in the same breath as other afficiandoes such as Doc Watson, Tony Rice, and John Fahey.  Fans can look forward to an evening of the artist’s wry humor and virtuosic picking. For fans wanting a bit more electricity, Sonny Landreth will be playing the Kate on October 23rd.  Landreth, a slide guitarist on par with Derek Trucks and Robert Randolph, is perhaps best known for his backing work with singer/songwriter John Hiatt, yet has a solo catalogue that is just as impressive.  Employing his zydeco influences in his fretwork, Landreth has built a reputation as an explosive live performer whose inimitable style relies on a sophisticated slapping technique few guitarists even attempt.

    Wallingford’s The Oakdale is proud to open its doors to some of classic rock’s most lauded performers such as Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band. Playing not only solo cuts and Beatles hits such as “Octopus’ Garden,” but selections from Starr’s 19th studio album, 2017’s Give More Love.  Chicago, approaching its 50th year as an American institution, will be playing from their vast catalogue of hits such as “25 or 6 to 4” and “If You Leave Me Now” on September 20th.  Other acts who will playing the Oakdale are Elvis Costello & the Imposters, November 9th, playing behind Look Now, their first new album in ten years, and John Fogerty, playing on November 29th, and no doubt treating fans to the Creedence Clearwater Revival hits he was forbade to play for so many years due to a recently settled lawsuit.

    Fans of blues and jazz will rejoice over The Ridgefield Playhouse’s musical guests this fall.  Blues legend Buddy Guy, 82, will play assorted hits and cuts from his latest album, 2018’s The Blues Is Alive and Well on September 25th.  Two days later, Pat Metheny will grace audiences with his trademark progressive guitar work.  The following month, on October 16th, acclaimed picker Eric Johnson, most famous for his instrumental “Cliffs of Dover,” will continue touring behind last year’s Collage record.

    For fans of the big spectacle rock show, Hartford’s XL Center is the place to be this fall.  Elton John, supposedly packing it in after what he’s calling his Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour, will play from his peerless catalogue of hits and rarities on September 19th.  The Eagles, rejuvenated after their lineup has been augmented with country star Vince Gill, as well as the son of Glenn Frey, who sadly passed away back in 2016, continue their status as indefatigable road warriors when they play the theatre on October 6th.

Check out the websites for each venue to confirm date and ticket prices.

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