Zippy and I went to a concert last night at the East Hartford Community Cultural Center (EHCCC). Aztec Two-Step, who I have not seen in many years. Mad Agnes, a perennial favorite in this household, opening up. Add it all up - a delightful evening.
First the venue. EHCCC is a former school (by the looks of it) located a few blocks from downtown. Nice parking, nicely restored, with a wonderful auditorium. (Comfy chairs, good acoustics). The sound was a tad reverb laden as Mad Agnes started, probably because their crystal clear voices and precise music do not really need reverb, but the soundpersons pulled it back a few songs in. They do a lot of diverse concerts there (Zippy and MP see celtic shows there now and then) and so I suspect we will be back. A very nice venue for live music, to add to the other folkish places we frequent: Cheney Hall, Univ of Hartford (Wilde and Milliard), Roaring Brook, Audubon Center in Glastonbury, etc.
As a bonus, East Hartford's own Ten-Penny Ale (and Dirty Penny as well) on tap, along with a few varieties of wine.
Mad Agnes was in good voice and spirits, as Zippy commented, they are so adorable. Indeed they are. Margo broke a string on the opening number but that did not seem to slow them down much (they always have a stage full of instruments). I may have noticed that Mark was left handed, and also played the group's right handed bass (which they all take a turn at) left handed before, but it impressed me again last night (as a part time bass player, it's all I can do to play a right handed one as it was intended!)
And Aztec Two-Step. I saw them maybe 15 years back, at the Common Ground (a slimey little bar on Rte. 6 in Bristol, long since closed, that featured acoustic music on Sunday nights and a folk open mike on Mondays). I saw them again a few years back at Univ of Hartford, although I think they shared the stage with friends or family, and it was not an official Aztec Two-Step show. This one was, and it was wonderful. Amusingly, the one album I own and really know, 1993's "Of Age", did not get too much stage time, but their music is so pervasive in the folkie world and college radio stations we listen to that it was all familiar.
Rex is completely amusing and lovable, Neil completely reminds me of my friend Jon on guitar. (Jon's a big Aztec Two-Step fan, so I suspect he has consciously or unconsciously adopted Neil's style). Emusic.com has a few of their CD's available for download, and I'll add them to my queue, and I might invest in their first CD and/or their "See It Was Like This" compilation from 1989. Just because....