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For the Love of Bluegrass: GuitartownCT Productions

By Elisha Neubauer

Connecticut - it's not the first place that springs to mind when you think of authentic Bluegrass music, but that's exactly what Chris Wuerth set out to change when he launched GuitartownCT Productions. A family-run music promotion business, GuitartownCT Productions painstakingly procures, organizes, and promotes concerts featuring some of America's best bluegrass artists.

"I always loved bluegrass music," explains Wuerth. "There was no one presenting nationally known bluegrass artists in the New Haven area. It seemed like a good way for me to meet my musical heroes, and at the same time bring this great underexposed music to Connecticut." Wuerth cites the tight harmonies, driving rhythm, instrumental virtuosity, and traditional connections as part of the reason behind his fascination.

Rhonda Vincent

But GuitartownCT Productions doesn't just cover Bluegrass. According to Wuerth, the performances cover the span between traditional, authentic Bluegrass and the newly coined genre, Americana. Joining the two music types in common, however, is their acoustic-only trait.

GuitartownCT Productions kicked off its first concert in May of 2008. Nationally recognized artists like Tony Rice, Tim O'Brien, Del McCoury and Chris Thile - considered to be some of Nashville's very best - have joined their schedules over the years.

Concerts take place at The Ballroom at The Outer Space at 295 Treadwell Street and the Unitarian Society Hall at 700 Hartford Turnpike. Both spaces provide an intimate setting with great acoustics and comfortable seating. The Outer Space location includes a full bar and pizza options, and the Unitarian Society provides coffee, tea, water, and cookies.

David Grier at The Outer Space

In addition to the dedication and perseverance from this family-run business, the company is joined in the support of Bluegrass by the Neighborhood Music School of New Haven. "Neighborhood Music School helps with some of the production costs of the concerts at the Unitarian Society," states Wuerth. "In exchange, we mention NMS in all our promotional material." This partnership allows GuitartownCT Productions to offer tickets to anyone aged fourteen or younger for free, in an effort to foster the love of Bluegrass in younger generations.

Wuerth also says that they often cross-promote with some larger music venues in the Connecticut area.

A Bluegrass guitarist himself, it is no surprise that Wuerth prides himself on presenting the very best of his beloved musical genre to his fellow 'New Haveners.' Each and every concert bleeds his dedication and fascination with the music - making it one of the most popular ways to experience this not-quite-mainstream variety. As Wuerth will tell you himself, "This is my passion; I do it for the fun of it."

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About The Author

Elisha Neubauer is a freelance editor, ghostwriter, book reviewer, and author. She is...

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