Anne’s Shore & More #37 – April 25 2012

Anne’s Shore & More #37 – April 25 2012

It’s finally time for the Daffodil Festival (! I’ve been waiting for what seems like forever for it to arrive. If you have never been there, here’s what you have been missing. This two day festival takes place the last weekend of April each year at Hubbard Park in Meriden, and it is now in its 34th year. It’s free and great for all ages. There will be music, food, vendors, fireworks, amusements, and lots of fun to be had. Did I mention the MUSIC? This year the Daffodil Festival has 37 Connecticut-connected bands performing on 3 stages, brought to you by Rob DeRosa, host of WESU’s Homegrown show and Entertainment Coordinator for the festival. Buy this man a beer! It must be like herding cats, dealing with all those musicians… The complete stage-by-stage lineup, including set times, is below in the Concert Calendar or online, with links to all the bands’ websites, here: things first: I need to mention that my band, Anne Castellano and the Smoke (, will be playing our second show EVER (and it’s our first time doing a full set) on Saturday on the Welcome Stage. I was invited to play the festival last year and encouraged to put a band together for the occasion, so we settled on a lineup this past December and started practicing hard. The band played a short 4-song set at the Good Sponge CD release show a few weeks ago, and we received great feedback from the audience and our fellow musicians. The Smoke is: myself on guitar and lead vocals, my talented brother Tony Castellano on drums and vocals, famed British author Vince Tuckwood on lead guitar (and eventual vocals), and indie/goth scene veteran Dorian James on bass and vocals. We’ll be playing from 12:15 pm-1:00 pm. Get there early and beat the traffic! We promise that we’ll rock.

The Manchurians ( are playing on the Bandshell Stage on Saturday from 4:30-5:15 pm. These guys were amazing last year, and they have incredible energy and chemistry on stage, so you will definitely want to be there. The Manchurians only play a few shows per year, which is unfortunate, because they really should be seen more often. The band formed in Branford in 1999, and they have released two excellent albums and an EP. I love family bands, and this one has the father/son rhythm section of bassist/vocalist Roger Reale and drummer Mat Reale. Combine all that power with Dean Falcone’s tasty guitar playing and Bobby Orsi’s harmonica, add great songwriting, and you’ve got Maximum R&B. I know they have been recording, and last time I saw the band they played a few new songs, so hopefully there’s a new record on the way soon. Roger is a Grammy-nominated songwriter who has had songs covered by Buddy Guy, BB King, and Johnny Winter, among others. Very few bands play every year at the Daffodil Festival. Come and see for yourself why the Manchurians are one of the few.

Here are the Manchurians at last year’s Daffodil Festival, as videotaped by Local Band Review’s Michael Lawson. Fun fact: you can see me at the bottom of the screen at 9:24 as the camera pans the audience. (I hadn’t even heard of Local Band Review at the time!)



Right after the Manchurians, New London’s Rivergods ( will be playing the Bandshell Stage. They have played at the festival before, on the Food Tent stage, but the Bandshell will suit them well, as this is a big band who is often crowded onto very small stages. Their lineup is Ben Parent on guitar and vocals, Nancy Parent on pedal steel, guitar, and vocals, Mike Palazzolo on bass and vocals, Trevor  “T$” Chandonnait on drums, and Dan Spano on keyboards. Come to think of it, Dan played accordian at a recent show, but I haven’t seen him play it since then. Hopefully he will. The Rivergods’ most recent release is the single “Squeezin’” on the Good Sponge Sampler (, a compilation of local Americana/Roots acts, which Ben produced. Nancy is also working on a solo album, and other members of the band are busy with additional projects as well: Mike Palazzolo also plays in the Hoolios and the Village Jammers, and Dan Spano is now playing with the Sue Menhart Band as well.  The Rivergods have an incredibly large catalog of material. I see them as often as I can, and I always hear songs that I’ve never heard before.  Ben has always been a prolific writer, but his wife Nancy has not been far behind lately. They have some great new darker-sounding songs, like “The Curse” and (though not quite as new) “Roadrunner Blues”. Their newest album Signs came out about a year ago after a gap of eight years. Hopefully it won’t be nearly that long a wait for the next one. The Rivergods play from 5:45-6:30 pm on Saturday on the Bandshell Stage.

Here are the Rivergods performing “Squeezin” at the Hygienic Hootenanny on 1/27/12 (video by Pam Strollo):


Wed 4/25/12   - Sarah & the Tall Boys, the Bandidos at Cafe Nine in New Haven 9 pm

- Moon Hooch, the Appledaughters at BAR in New Haven  9 pm NO COVER


Thur 4/26/12  – Sandman and friends at Sneekers Cafe in Groton 7 pm

- Paper Hill Casket Company, the Raven and the Wool at Cafe Nine in New Haven 10 pm

- Ceschi Ramos, Bleubird, Sketch the Cataclysm at Elm Bar in New Haven


Fri 4/27/12      – Blue Collar Happy Hour with the JC  Hatfield Band, Roy Dunn MacLean at the Side Pocket Cafe in Groton 7pm NO COVER

- DeRobert and the Half-Truths, Magic in Threes at the Oasis Pub in New London

- Sue Menhart at Chamard Vineyards in Clinton 5:30pm

- Amalgamated Muck at the Kate in Old Saybrook 8-11 pm

- The Furiousity, the Theater Zombies, Rezin at Elm Bar in New Haven

- The Clams, North Shore Troubadours, 9th Wave, the Aquatudes at BAR in New Haven 6 pm

- Dysrhythmia, Pilgrim, Cold Snap at Cafe Nine in New Haven 9 pm

- Hilton Valentine and Skiffledog, Washboard Slim and the Blue Lights at Roots Music Hall in Hartford 9 pm


Sat 4/28/12      – Daffodil Festival at Hubbard Park in Meriden

Jeff Crooms Welcome Stage

  • 10:00-10:30         The Forresters
  • 11:00-11:45         The Tropical Hotdog Band
  • 12:15-1:00            Anne Castellano and the Smoke
  • 1:30-2:15              Bop Tweedie & the Days
  • 2:45-3:30              The Appledaughters
  • 4:00-4:45              Farewood
  • 5:15-6:00              The Guru
  • 6:30-7:15              M.T. Bearington
  • 7:45-9:00              Mates of State

Bandshell Stage

  • 12:45-1:30            The Ivory Bills
  • 2:00-2:45              Jennifer Hill & Co.
  • 3:15-4:00              Crosseyed Cat
  • 4:30-5:15              The Manchurians
  • 5:45-6:30              The Rivergods
  • 7:15-8:45              Barefoot Truth

Food Tent Stage

  • 10:30-11:30         Chico & Friends
  • 12:00-1:00            Frank Critelli
  • 1:30-2:00              Christopher Arnott & His Ukulele
  • 2:30-3:30              Mark Mirando
  • 4:00-5:00              River City Slim & The Zydeco Hogs
  • 5:30-6:30              The Swingaholics
  • 7:00-8:00              String Theorie

- Promise of Fire, Fall From Below, Bedroom Rehab Corporation at the Bank Street Cafe in New London 9 pm

- Christine Ohlman and Rebel Montez at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center in Old Saybrook 8 pm

- Hymen Holocaust, Drug Shock, Al Pist at Elm Bar in New Haven

- The Art Adams Band, Four Barrel Bill, Daphne Lee Martin at the Roots Music Hall in Hartford

- Lower Dens, Violens at the Outer Space in Hamden 9 pm

- Sarah and the Tall Boys at the Knickerbocker Cafe in Westerly 9 pm

- Black Mountain Symphony at Two Boots in Bridgeport


Sunday 4/29/12 –  Daffodil Festival at Hubbard Park in Meriden

Jeff Crooms Welcome Stage

  • 10:00-10:30         Burrito Betty
  • 11:00-11:45         Dagwood
  • 12:15-1:00            Sidewalk Dave
  • 1:30-2:15              The Grimm Generation
  • 2:45-3:30              The Big Fat Combo
  • 4:00-4:45              The D. Smith Blues Band

Bandshell Stage

  • 12:00-12:45         691
  • 1:15-2:00              Bird ‘n Boys w/Ellen Sackman
  • 2:30-3:15              Boxxcutter
  • 3:45-4:30              Riverstreet & Friends

Food Tent Stage

  • 10:00-11:00         Chuck E. Costa
  • 11:30-12:30         Amalgamated Muck
  • 1:00-2:00              Grayson Hugh
  • 2:30-3:30              The Pedro Valentin Orchestra
  • 4:00-5:00              Kelley & Sean


- Sue Menhart Band at Olde Mystic Village in Mystic 8:30am (Mystic March for Babies)

- Roots Music Stomp with Craig “Honeyboy” Edwards and friends at 33 Golden Street in New London 7 pm

- Roy Dunn MacLean (CD Release show), the MacLean Sisters, Jake Carpenter at the Side Pocket Cafe in Groton 3-6 pm

- Rachel Sage, Gregory Douglass at Cafe Nine in New Haven 7 pm

- Acid Mothers Temple, Phantom Family Halo at the Space in Hamden 7 pm


Mon 4/30/12   – Milksop:Unsung at Cafe Nine in New Haven 9 pm


Tues 5/1/12     – Quintron and Miss Pussycat, 2 Ton Bug at Cafe Nine in New Haven 8 pm

- Joe Flood at Cafe Nine in New Haven 7 pm


Wed 5/2/12     – The Jay Dempsey Band at the Knickerbocker Cafe in Westerly  NO COVER

- The Spinto Band at BAR in New Haven 9 pm NO COVER


Thur 5/3/12    – Amerouche at Cafe Nine in New Haven 8 pm

- Sean Kershaw at Cafe Nine in New Haven 10 pm

- Joe Fletcher & the Wrong Reasons at the Knickerbocker Cafe in Westerly 8-10 pm NO COVER


Fri 5/4/12        – Blue Collar Happy Hour with Girls Guns and Glory, Roy Dunn

MacLean at the Side Pocket Cafe in Groton 7 pm NO COVER

- The Franklin Brothers Band at the Garde Arts Center Oasis Room 8 pm

- Quilt, Cheerleader at Cafe Nine in New Haven 9 pm

- Shallow Ground, Progress, Living Lazer at Elm Bar in New Haven

- Eilen Jewell at the Knickerbocker Cafe in Westerly 9 pm

- Eddie Seville and the Steel Rodeo, Tracy Walton at Roots Music Hall in Hartford


Sat 5/5/12        – The Hoolios at Sneekers Cafe in Groton 7 pm

- Broken, Bloodshot Hooligans at Elm Bar in New Haven

- King Sickabilly and his Full Moon Boys at Cafe Nine in New Haven 9pm

- Girls Guns and Glory, The Meadows Brothers, Sue Mead, Vince Tuckwood at Roots Music Hall in Hartford

- Sue Menhart Band at CC O’Brien’s in Pawcatuck 9:30 pm


Sun 5/6/12      – Local Band Review’s ADA Fundraiser at Illusions Dance Club in Wolcott  (all ages) with:

  • 1-2 Graylight Campfire (Rock/Americana/Alt. Country)
  • 2-3 Mina (Classic Rock/Party Rock)
  • 3-4 Sue Menhart (Soul/R&B/Blues/Rock)
  • 4-5 Down Monday (Rock/Hard Rock/Alternative)
  • 5-6 Fret Notz (Violins like you’ve never heard)
  • 6-7 Almost Ancient (Beatles/Chicago/Classic Rock)
  • 7-8 Crosseyed Cat (Blues/Rock)
  • 8-9 Stark Raving Lulu (Part Punk, Part Rock)



Anne Castellano is a New London songwriter and musician who has played in several bands over the years (the Uninformed, the Skin Walkers, and the Cavities). She has been performing as a solo artist since 2007 but is currently rehearsing with her new band  Anne Castellano and the Smoke.

In 2010 she released a full-length self-produced CD entitled “What’s Been Going On” on the New London-based Cosmodemonic Telegraph label. She is a 30-year veteran of college radio, and is currently doing the Deranged Radio Show on alternate Tuesday evenings from 6-9pm at WCNI 90.9 FM in New London.

She grew up in New Fairfield, CT in a musical family, with a father who played guitar and listened to country artists such as Hank Williams and Patsy Cline, and a mother who loved Elvis Presley. Involvement in band and chorus in high school led to membership in the UCONN Marching Band and a two-week tour of Europe performing with the band in the early 1980s.

Anne moved to New London in 1987 because of the vibrant local music scene there. In 2005 she began putting together a concert calendar to get the word out about all the local band shows that were taking place in the area. She enjoys books, animals, hiking, and the beach, and sees as much live original music as her “day job” schedule permits.

Subscribe to Anne’s Weekly Concert updates via email by contacting her at

Listen to her music at

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