Infinity Hall Live
This concert series celebrates the music and energy of groundbreaking American artists. The acoustically perfect Infinity Music Hall, a historic 130-year-old venue in Norfolk, Connecticut, provides an intimate setting for engaging, authentic and heartfelt performances by an eclectic group of musicians. Candid interviews with band members provide a window into their motivations, their inspirations and their unique styles. Cameras also eavesdrop on backstage preparations, providing a glimpse into the creative process, as well as a sense of the behind-the-scenes anticipation and nervous energy at the heart of any live concert.
Buckwheat Zydeco (#110H) Duration: 57:07 STEREO TVPG
Emmy and Grammy Award-winning artist Buckwheat Zydeco and his band bring the Creole dance party to Infinity Hall. Born Stanley Joseph Dural, Jr. in 1947, Zydeco was raised in a large, musical family in Lafayette, Louisiana. "Growing up, the thing that made me happy was music," said Zydeco. "When you're listening to music or you're playing music, you got no business being sad." Zydeco's father played the accordion, but the young man originally refused to take up the instrument, dismissing the traditional zydeco music of his father's generation. He preferred playing the organ and listening to R&B. That changed in 1976, when he joined the "King of Zydeco" Clifton Chenier as a keyboard player. After learning to play the accordion, Zydeco formed his own band in 1979. For over three decades, Buckwheat Zydeco has been delighting audiences with his contemporary style of creole music. "It's based on the rhythm and blues. Whether you're playing an up-tempo song or a slow song, they always have that energy and that certain beat that go together with the music. It's always played with the washboard," says Zydeco, who plays the accordion, organ, and sings. Buckwheat Zydeco is an accomplished artist. He won an Emmy for his music in the television movie Pistol Pete: The Life And Times Of Pete Maravich and a Grammy for Best Zydeco Music Album in 2010 for Lay Your Burden Down. Zydeco also played at the closing ceremonies during the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, and performed at both inaugurations for President William Jefferson Clinton. His infectious music appeals to people of all ages. In 2010, Zydeco released his second children's album, Bayou Boogie. Zydeco keeps Louisiana tradition alive with his infectious music, encouraging the audience to boogie to the Buckwheat beat.
Dawes (#112H) Duration: 55:38 STEREO TVPG
The venue is packed as Los Angeles-based band Dawes takes the stage. Although they could have filled an even larger venue, the intimate atmosphere at Infinity Hall is welcomed by guitarist and lead vocalist Taylor Goldsmith. "I'm pretty sure venues like this are exactly what our music is meant to be played in. No bigger, no smaller. This is exactly perfect," he told the audience after opening with "That Western Skyline" and "The Way You Laugh." With his brother Griffin Goldsmith on drums and vocals, Tay Strathairn on keyboards and vocals, and Wiley Gelber on bass, the foursome's carefully crafted rhythms and tight harmonies have been compared to the Laurel Canyon sound of Crosby, Still and Nash and Neil Young. Taylor commented on Dawes' chemistry both musically and personally. "We're all extremely close," says Taylor. "I don't think this would work if we weren't. A big part of our careers and our time spent playing music is on the road." The band puts an emphasis on its live sound, even turning to traditional methods when recording albums. Strathairn points out that the band records on two-inch tape, laying down an entire track at once rather than recording each part separately. "The performance becomes paramount. We're all in a room, and they say go, and you have to do a whole take of a whole song. We're a live band essentially, and I think that captures us a bit," he says. The group tours extensively and considers its live performances to be its greatest asset. "Music being what it is today, where the value of the record isn't what it was and people could take it for free if they want, the only way to carve out a career for yourself is playing on stage and playing shows and having people come out to the shows. It's always been the best way to spread the word about the band," says Taylor. True to his word, Taylor shows his appreciation for the audience by turning his microphone stand toward the singing crowd as they belt out the chorus line during an inspirational rendition of "When My Time Comes." Dawes closes the show with "Time Spent in Los Angeles," the song they played in June 2011 while performing on The Late Show with David Letterman.