Local Musicians Send Off Molten Java on a High Note

Local Musicians Send Off Molten Java on a High Note

My Dad's Truck playing at the annual Christmas jam at Molten Java, Dec. 2011. Photo credit: Dave Bonan

Plans are underway for a musical send-off for Molten Java as they prepare to move into their new space at the end of this month. Since the last post on Bethel Buzz about the event, the organizers have arranged to auction off the comfy red couches, a Molten favorite for regulars, to the highest bidder. They are also donating a signed guitar for the new space.

Organizers and Molten musicians Dave Bonan and Michel Rae Driscoll planned the all-day musical tribute which will take place on Sunday, December 18th as a way to show support of Molten for all that it has given to them.

Dave Bonan said: “We wanted to send off Molten with a musical tribute and have to do one last shebang.” Bonan plays in two local bands; Phoenix Tree and the Karen Johnstone Band.

Michel Rae Driscoll  said: “I wanted to do this for Molten because the music here means so much to so many people.” Driscoll got her start at an Open Mic Night at Molten Java five years ago. Originally from Wisconsin, Driscoll moved to Connecticut in 1987. “Five years ago I had a mid-life crisis at the age of 39 and had this calling to sing to old people,” she said. “I wanted to do something to make people feel good but had really bad stage fright.”

Driscoll credits the supportive environment at Molten Java’s Open Mic Night as the reason she did not give up after playing her first night. “I came to Molten and had 2 songs prepared. I was shaking so hard I couldn’t play so I  stopped. I started the second song and stopped. Two regulars told me not to stop and were very supportive. After I played I thought I would never play again.”

Her soon-to-be good friend Dave Bonan approached her after her set and said: “I just wanted to tell you when I walked in here I had the worst day and when you started singing I felt my spirits lift.” Bonan’s words stuck with her to this day, she said, and she came back the following week.

Driscoll, who will be playing on Sunday, said she is excited about the musical tribute and organized it, along with Bonan, as “a show of support for all this has meant to me and so many others.  My journey was so inspired by everybody here. Musical relationships are great because friendships in real life flourish. Everyone collaborates and there are no wrong notes.”

Redding resident Leif Smith of the band My Dad’s Truck plays guitar, mandolin and harmonica. “I have known Wendy since college and have always been a big supporter. This has always been a great venue that we have always enjoyed playing in. I hope the new place will be even better.” Smith’s band will be on 91.7 FM WXCI this Sunday on “Third Stone From the Sun” from 12-3:00 p.m. and then will play at Molten’s musical send off from 6-7:00 p.m.

Another local performer, Seth Lefferts, a Bethel resident of 22 years is playing with his band Seth and the Side Effects. “I’ve been playing at Molten for over 7 years. After years of singing in chorale groups, which culminated in a performance at Carnegie Hall, I decided it was time to reinvent myself and start performing my original music,” Lefferts said.

“Molten Java is an ideal place to debut and I’ve been playing here ever since it began, every month or two . For me it’s a very comfortable,  local scene that’s very inviting, very warm and very friendly.”

Lefferts said he is extremely excited about Wendy moving down to the Victorian house located at 213 Greenwood Ave. “It’s one of the nicest buildings in downtown Bethel. With the additional rooms for the music,movie nights and meeting rooms, I think it is going to be a great gathering space– something that Bethel needs very much.”

Bonan echoed Leffert’s sentiments. “Music and the arts is the first thing to be cut from a budget. It is the first thing that gentrifies a neighborhood. Once it becomes popular, then it gets pushed out. It creates a neighborhood and when the rent gets too high it gets pushed out. It is a sick cycle of creating and destroying.”

Driscoll said the move is “a sort of molting– shedding the old skin and putting on the new.”

J.D. Hill will be doing sound and the following local musicians will be playing:

Molten Java Jazz Trio 12-1:30pm
Marc Huberman – 1:30-2pm
Mar Walker – 2-2:30pm
Joey Vee – 2:30-3pm
The Hip Replacements 3-3:45pm
Seth Lefferts and the Side Effects 4-4:45pm
Amanda Bloom 5-5:30pm
Neil Corday 5:30-6pm
My Dad’s Truck 6-7pm
Michel Rae Driscoll 7-7:30pm
Phoenix Tree 7:30-8:15pm
J.D. Hill – 8:15-8:45pm
Mr. Happy Cloud 8:45-9:15pm
Burnkit2600 9:15pm – close

The event will take place at Molten Java’s current location, 102 Greenwood Ave., Bethel on Sunday, Dec. 18 from 12:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. A $5 donation is strongly suggested and buys you any drink and 10 hours of live music. For more information click here or call 203-739-0313.

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Bethel Buzz is your go-to source for the latest news, happenings and events in Bethel. Our site is cutting edge and informative, with the mission of giving small businesses, non-profits and civic organizations in Bethel a voice and exposure online.

Posted on December 14, 2011, in Home and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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