The Russell Library Courtyard Concert Series presents Just Harmony, 5 voices and musicians, makes music for a better world Thursday June 25 at 7 p.m. Composed of Amy, Steve, Sarah, and Rebecca Eppler-Epstein along with guitarist/vocalist Rick Calvert, the quintet blends guitar, keyboard, banjo, flute, quena, and plenty of percussion with their excellent voices into an uplifting program. If it rains, the concert moves indoors to the Hubbard Room. The show is free and open music-lovers of all ages.
Friday, The Buttonwood Tree welcomes The Sophisticats, a quartet from the Northeast corner of the state whose blend of jazz, blues and "gypsy-swing" is quite charming and fun. Led by guitarist Bill Liswell and his vocalist wife Lorraine, the ..Cats play a program that spans the decades of popular music, from the "swing era" to The British Invasion to country music (and beyond.) Filling out the sound is bassist Louis Chatey and drummer Steve Hodgetts. All 4 of them sing and their harmonies can be disarming. They start at 7:30. To find out more, go to www.bandlmusic.com.
Boney's Music Lounge, 106 Court Street, brings back the Liviu Pop Group for an 8:30 p.m. start on Friday. This time, the fine drummer has enlisted guitarist Burt Teague and bassist Frank Varela (who can double on guitar) for his musical mission and the trio will rock the Lounge with its energetic blend of funk, soul and a touch of blues.
Out of town, it's the weekend of the Hot Steamed Jazz Festival, held Friday through Sunday of the Essex Steam Train, directly off Exit 3 of Route 9. All the proceeds from the 4 sets of traditional, Dixieland and Swing music goes to The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, a summer experience for children with cancer or serious blood diseases. I won't list the entire lineup but returning favorites include saxophonist Dan Levinson, the great boogie-woogie pianist Bob Seeley and Connecticut's own Galvanized Jazz Band. To find out more (including all the performers and the showtimes), call 1-800-348-0003 or go to www.hotsteamedjazz.com. The shows go on rain-or-shine (2 big tents) and it's always a fun time.