In Search Of The Connecticut Music Scene

I considered whether if I should write this blog. Which is not the du jour track I usually take. I open a page with fury and tap tap tap tap. I start with a notion and when I’m good, I support it. Usually with a mix of humorous the self depreciation to keep it jake: I’m not self obsessed but I play it online.

The subject of this blog is alienation.

And it started last week with the passing of a man I did not know, but nevertheless was good to me personally. He played my records on the #1 radio station in the county I grew up in. This beyond any other bit of music promotion caused old friends to touch base and make my Mom happy. And made me feel accomplished.

With his passing I saw a number of beautiful natural tributes and personal recollections posted. These days are what Facebook is for. It was truly moving.

And I felt a loss. Because I knew his name and he may have known mine, both being players in The CT Music Scene. We had mutual friends, got played on the same radio shows etc.

The image that came to mind was Noah’s ark. We didn’t elect to be CT Musicians. It’s just where we are from and what we do. We get pushed two by two into this circumstance and bon voy – fucking- age.

You have a geographic advantage, surrounded by big college towns. A culture that appreciates the arts. The whole state is two hours across. Score.

But matched with strict Yankee tenants in the personalities. The scenes around the cities are fractured and there’s no support from the crowd. The social media replaces the tradtional press and the reach gets smaller.

What sounds personify the Connecticut Sound? What defines it? I ask this as an open question begging dialog from you, the reader. What typifies the New Haven scene, New London. Does Hartford have a sound?

I have lived here my whole life. I love this state and the people in it. I love the post puritan edge of coming from the birth place of American intellect. I make music with these aesthetics. And maybe like Hendrix hitting in London, maybe it takes an alien place to appreciate our ordinary.

A dream of a possible Santa Fe, where a burgeoning swell of JpKmania awaits a new sound born of bad winters and noir-y self imaging.

I want to connect here. Home. Is it ego to consider people listening to the songs driving down the very roads the stories played out on?

The Connecticut music scene is smart and motivated. Edgy. Surely hard working. But divided by friends lists on Facebook. And the effect of this is like changing from butterfly to pupa.

We can’t control media monopoly taking down the press opps. We can’t control the many entertainment options that compete with getting to a gig. The music that is programmed to be heard from on high.

When meeting my fellow CT Musicians, at gigs, events, Stop and Shop, I don’t know how to get across the appropriate greetings that express:

‘Hey. Why don’t you get all your friends and I’ll get all my my friends and we will work to start a movement, an original plan that starts here in the roots of the Fifth state and creates a legacy future Connecticut bands will aspire to and transform in their own image.’

But Im an alien. I speak in sub text. I keep it light and filled with confidence. ‘Hey, good gig.’ is what can be expected. But I mean the long version. I wasn’t suited to start revolutions, only paint my tiny pictures in the ash.

PS: Record Store Day and it’s a beauty of one. A absolute perfect Spring day made for cruising to The Ventures with a close companion. And in entering the store, I see Ceschi Ramos CD ‘Broken Bone Ballads’ there amongst the National acts, a name I’ve heard, but I do not know personally. And I picked it up. I like it. And more so, it gave me a small thrill, a small light down an incomprehensible tunnel. Local boy done good.

A fellow traveler. A fellow animal on the Ark.

Land Ho.


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