Helium Brothers plays Toad’s Place Sunday
The Helium Brothers, led by Andy “A.J.” Gundell of Wilton, is slated to appear once a month for a steady Sunday gig at Lilly’s Pad, the back room at Toad’s Place, continuing on March 20, at 7 p.m. This may change, however, due to an impending snow storm.
Forged in the coming-of-age heyday of the baby boomer college era, the Helium sound is an eclectic and intoxicating blend of traditional and avant-garde bluegrass, jazzy country swing, and the California acoustic/singer-songwriter pop-rock of the 70s. The Helium Brothers were voted Best Band by the New Haven Advocate in 1977, and toured nationally in 1979 as the opening act for blues legend Johnny Winter. They routinely packed high-profile nightclubs in and around New Haven and Fairfield County, and throughout Connecticut and the Northeast. Helium is about a diverse, unexpected repertoire of covers and original songs, instrumental solos, and memorable vocals with jazz-tinged harmonies.
Fresh off a series of 40th reunion shows in 2015, four of the original five Helium members will return: Oscar Hills, on banjo and guitar, and member of the legendary New Haven group, Professors of Bluegrass; Kim Oler on bass and vocals, and the recipient of the Richard Rodgers award for his theater music; Paul Fargeorge on drums and vocals, former member of the Platters and Eight To The Bar; and Gundell on guitar and vocals, 13-time Emmy winning songwriter/composer/music supervisor. Renowned fiddle player Kenny Kosek, has joined the band as its permanent fifth member.
Lilly’s Pad is at 300 York Street, New Haven. Tickets are $10. Ages 18 and over. Information: 203-624-8623, toadsplace.com.