Local Bands Celebrate New Haven Music Icon

Local Bands Celebrate New Haven Music Icon

Karen Ponzio Photos“Boy, does it really feel good to be again on this room,” stated Shellye Valauskas from the stage at Cafe Nine . She and Dean Falcone had been one among 4 acts who made their means by three songs every in celebration of the Native Bands Present’s thirty fourth anniversary — and the birthday of one among its founders, native music legend James Velvet, who died in 2015.

The Local Bands Show, cohosted by Rick Allison and Velvet till Velvet’s passing, has aired on New Haven’s personal 99.1 FM WPLR weekly for the previous 34 years. Followers of native music can hear their favorites performed each Sunday night time at 10 p.m., highlighted by Allison’s legendary banter booming by the air alongside along with his cohost, singer/songwriter/MC extraordinaire Frank Critelli, who has additionally hosted the Sunday Buzz live performance collection at Cafe 9 — introduced by Cygnus Radio — since its inception.

This Sunday night, Allison’s voice was the primary to be heard through Fb Stay, set towards an empty Cafe 9 stage aglow in its signature purples and blues.

“Hey from our on-line world,” he stated through recording, welcoming viewers to the primary Sunday Buzz of the “publish pandemic period, digital however filled with hope for a brand new season.” He talked about that he was not there because of “an abundance of warning,” however that “in a world the place Frank Critelli is internet hosting, I’m hardly essential — however for to say in my greatest announcer-ly fashion, ‘on with the present’”

Critelli got here up on stage and instantly launched the primary act, Shellye Valauskas and Dean Falcone, who thanked Allison, Velvet and Critelli for all of the assist over time, dedicating their first music to them.

Their second music, the “appropriately known as” “Do Over,” was devoted to Cafe 9 proprietor Paul Mayer, who was celebrating his birthday on this present day as effectively. As Valauskas and Falcone sang ever so sweetly “decide it up and begin once more,” it felt like we may all do precisely that. The duo was joined by Brooks Barrett on accordion for the ultimate music, the Velvet-penned “Spend My Time with You.”

“James wrote it about his mother, but it surely’s taken on another which means now. It’s fairly heavy for me,” Falcone stated. The three artists melded lovingly and created an acceptable ending to a set that felt like only the start of a lot extra for the New Haven music neighborhood.

The second act to the stage was singer/songwriter Shandy Lawson, who Critelli famous had a birthday himself a few days in the past and had performed a few birthday reveals with Velvet a few years again. Lawson started his set by saying “blissful birthday, James,” after which launched his first music, “That’s It and That’s All,” as being “ironic” — about “the frustration about not with the ability to play for individuals however right here I’m enjoying for individuals.”

His subsequent music, “Weekend’s Work,” was in regards to the shenanigans he and Critelli have gotten into collectively. It garnered some laughs from these in individual. He stated it was their “theme music” and it simply captured the love, pleasure, and camaraderie the 2 exude when they’re collectively. Lawson closed with “Crown Avenue Kings,” a music for which he famous “the ink remains to be moist.” It was written “for this place and all of its inhabitants … for you and for James.” A tribute in and of itself saluting “the kings and queens of Crown” with “one other tune, one other spherical,” it was an apt ending and obtained a rousing applause.

As the following act, Calvin DeCutlass, tuned up, Critelli made it some extent to alert everybody to the Venmo handle so viewers may donate to the performers and to want blissful birthday to and sing the praises of Mayer in addition to Velvet, who he known as “not solely one of many best songwriters of all time but in addition actually nice for supporting native bands.” He additionally talked in regards to the present itself and its sponsors New England Brewing Firm and Brian’s Guitars.

DeCutlass talked about it was “nice to be again right here” earlier than starting his three-song set of James Velvet songs. First was “Corbett’s Gentle,” for which Lawson joined him on mandolin. The following two songs DeCutlass had performed with The Nortons, a band comprised of himself, Velvet, and Johnny Java. Throughout the last music, “Resort,” DeCutlass needed to cease and restart after just a few phrases.

“I type of get emotional enjoying these songs I used to play with James. Let me strive once more,” he stated. It was laborious to not get emotional proper together with him.

Earlier than the ultimate act of the day took to the stage, Critelli thanked everybody once more and talked about that the Sunday Buzz could be beginning up once more “in earnest” on April 11 and each Sunday after following. He added sternly with a glimmer in his eyes, that “solely a few of you” may attend and “don’t hug anyone.”

Critellit then launched The Birdmen as “the three males instrumental in holding the music of James Velvet alive.” These three males had been Johnny Java, Richard Neal and Johnny Memphis, who had performed with Velvet as The Mockingbirds. They started their set with “I’m Nonetheless Right here,” Memphis pointing up on the sky in acknowledgment of Velvet after the music concluded. They performed two extra songs — “A few of My Buddies” and “Vacation Weekend” — with Neal switching from mandolin to banjo for the ultimate music and the vibe constantly reenergizing itself with every observe the chums performed. Earlier than leaving the stage, they added a bit of yet one more Velvet music — “I Acquired a Shirt” — with Critelli becoming a member of them on vocals.

Neal and Critelli mimed a hug to one another from throughout the stage earlier than he ended along with his trademark pleas to “keep out of hassle, struggle the facility, be form to 1 one other, and assist native bands.” The phrases of Velvet nonetheless lingered within the air and thru the display: “That is my complete life proper right here the place we’re. That is my city.”

The livestreamed present is on the market for viewing on the Cafe 9 Fb web page. The Native Bands Present continues on 99.1 FM WPLR each Sunday night time at 10 PM and is replayed each Monday at “noonish” on CygnusRadio.com.


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