Helium Brothers plays Lilly’s Pad Sunday
The Helium Brothers, led by Andy “A.J.” Gundell of Wilton, will perform Sunday, April 24, 7 p.m.,at Lilly’s Pad, the back room at Toad’s Place. The band will pay tribute to the recent passing of original band mate and fiddle player Michael Platt.
“Mike was on stage with us 40 years ago when we did our first gig at Toad’s Place,” Gundell said. “Notable area musicians and longtime friends will join us to sit in and help us celebrate Mike's exceptional life and work.
Forged in the coming-of-age heyday of the baby boomer college era, the Helium sound is an eclectic blend of traditional and avant-garde bluegrass, jazzy country swing, and the California acoustic/singer-songwriter pop-rock of the 70s. The Helium Brothers was 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.
The band is slated to appear once a month for a steady Sunday gig at Lilly’s Pad, with another performance on May 15.
Lilly’s Pad is at 300 York Street, New Haven. Tickets are $10. Ages 18 and over. Information: 203-624-8623, toadsplace.com.