The Meriden Daffodil Festival has announced its 2013 line-up (to this reporter, exclusively.) The festival always takes place in the final weekend of April. This year those dates are Saturday, April 27 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, April 28 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The guy who books the fest, Rob DeRosa, has a serious love of Connecticut-based bands. Rob hosts the Homegrown local-bands radio show on Wesleyan’s WESU-FM Thursdays at 5:05 p.m. He runs the Thin Man music label, which has released lots of albums by local bands, not to mention a two-disk tribute to New Haven pop duo The Furors. He manages The Manchurians. He’s close friends with singer/songwriter/bandleader Frank Critelli, another major booster of local music in the state.
The Manchurians, The Furors, Frank Critelli, James Velvet’s band The Ivory Bills and a klatsch of Meriden-based cover bands are the only acts DeRosa usually allows to play at the festival every year. (Another onetime staple, New London’s legendary The Reducers, retired as a band after the death of their bassist Steve Kaika last year.)
The rest of the bill is always a welcome surprise. Three dozen acts in total are playing the Daffodil Festival this year, and fully half of them haven’t played there before.
Major highlights this year include;
• Kid-friendly sets by SteveSongs (a nationally known, Connecticut-based children’s entertainer) and Robert Messore
• “Fireworks” sets by The Alternate Routes, Goodnight Blue Moon and the cover band Last Licks, playing on the various festival stages while an extravagant fireworks display lights up the sky overhead.
• Intriguing jazz booking Orquestra Afinke (a salsa band) and Sparkplug (former sidemen of the late guitarist Melvin Sparks)
• WNPR and CPTV personality Ray Hardman with his ‘60s garage/punk band The Radiation, channeling songs from the Sonics to Spirit.
• Female singer/songwriters Hannah Fair and Becky Kessler.
• Bands with albums recently out, or currently in the studio, such as Little Ugly, Daphne Lee Martin and Paper Hill Casket Company
• A slew of Americana and roots band with interesting instrumentation. Expect to see musicians wielding everything from violins to banjos to ukes. Rani D’Arbo & Daisy Mayhem is known for its everything-but-the-kitchen sink percussion kit of found objects.
• Mark Mulcahy! The Furors!
The 2013 Meriden Daffodil Festival takes place Saturday, April 27 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday, April 28 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Meriden’s Hubbard Park. There are three separate stages for live bands. The dates, times and stag locations for each band will play have yet to be announced. The festival’s own website is here.
Here are various arrangements of the data. (For yet another assortment of the same info, see Christopher Arnott’s www.scribblers.us blog here.
All the Bands Playing, in Alphabetical Order:
The Alternate Routes