Vinegar Creek Constituency, Blue Pontiac
250 State Street
New Haven, CT, 06511
This event is 21 and over
Vinegar Creek Constituency
American songs are full of deranged old ghosts howling at the moon. Vinegar Creek Constituency, an eclectic, incendiary string band out of the PA Dutch Country, channels these venerable old ghosts of the American folk tradition through imaginative, emotive original songs delivered with rock n roll intensity. Full of shouting, floorboard-stomping soul, their live performances are uplifting, high-energy events with fans dancing in the aisles and clapping, stomping, and singing along.
Like their folksong forerunners that took root around campfires and on back porches across America, the songs call out from the crossroads of light and darkness. They are dreams of Heaven alongside visions of Hell; songs in praise of love alongside tales of murder and the madness of lovers betrayed; songs that ride the rails, wander the countryside, rise from the grave, and cackle in the face of impending doom.
The musicians of Vinegar Creek Constituency come from diverse musical backgrounds that range from formal Classical performance to experimental garage Rock to traditional Old Time Appalachian string band music to Gypsy Jazz. Consequently, the band’s sound encompasses elements of many styles, including super-charged bluegrass, early rockabilly, swing, vaudeville, outlaw country, and ragtime. Singer/ songwriter/ guitarist Leonardo DiSanto says of the band's style, "I really hear our music as a form of primitive rock n roll played with a bluegrass instrumentation. From the age of 9 I've been a huge Elvis fan. If you listen to Elvis' legendary earliest recordings on the Sun label, it was really just a 3-man string band lineup: acoustic guitar for rhythm, double bass on the bottom, and electric guitar phrases for embellishment. Elvis was recording Bill Monroe songs back then, Bluegrass songs like "Blue Moon of Kentucky," and charging them up with the energy that would come to characterize rock n roll music. I think those records are ancestors of what our group does."
Blue Pontiac is a Pontiac, Michigan based independent band. Three multi-instrumentalists form the heart of the combo: Graham Cassano (resonator guitar, chromatic dulcimer), Ros Hartigan (vocals, bass), and Mike Kenyon (cello, ukulele).
With influences that include the Velvet Underground, Blind Willie Johnson, and Loretta Lynn, Blue Pontiac plays original music from an indefinable musical region somewhere between acoustic punk, 1970s rock, and alternative country, a style the band calls “neo-billy.”