Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Twang at Twain

While at Broad Street Books last week, I noticed a poster advertising Mark Twain and "Classic Honky Tonk and Vintage Twang". The combination of two of my most favorite parts of American culture was irresistible, and enough to lead us to a wonderful twilight concert in Hartford on Tuesday.

Samuel Clemens' 1874 house on Farmington Avenue in Hartford has been restored and preserved beautifully as the The Mark Twain House and Museum. The house is on a small hill, with lawns sweeping down to a Farmington Avenue in the front, and to a well-laid out parking lot and beautiful bus stop in the back. The lawn in the back forms a natural amphitheater, a lovely spot for a summer concert, especially with a selection of cheeses and a pate' from The Fruitery.

Tuesday's band was Girl Howdy, a wonderful band fronted by three funky, dynamic women sporting western attire, performing the steel slide guitar, a honky tonk piano, and a guitar. Their music ranges from slow country ballads to striving honky-tonk, and includes covers of Webb Pierce (The King of the Honky Tonk), Connie Francis, and the two great Patsy's (Montana and Cline).

Paula Bradley, who also played the honky tonk piano, has a rich, deep alto voice that beautifully conveyed the heartache of Western ballads. Betsy-Dawn Williams played the rhythm guitar and provided the high energy for honky tonk dancing, and Rose Sinclair's steel guitar provided enough twang to satisfy even the most home-sick Westerner up from Middletown.

The next Twain at Twilight concert will feature Carolyn Adams and her cool Caribbean sounds, July 28th, at 6PM. Concerts are free.

1 comment:

Richard Kamins said...

Rose Sinclair also performs with Planet Zydeco, who (weather permitting) graces the Music at the Mansion series next Wednesday (7/22) - that's the Wadsworth Mansion at the Long Hill Estate. Rose plays (mostly) accordion with PZ.