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Roaring Brook Nature Center Continues to Provide an Intimate Listening Room

April 6, 2016 Arts and Entertainment No Comments

By John Fitts

When Roaring Brook Nature Center began producing concerts some three dozen years ago, it was one of just a few area stops on the folk circuit.

Today there are more options, including newer venues with larger stages, more sophisticated equipment, stiff drinks and full dinner choices.

But what Roaring Brook might lack in amenities it more than makes up for in character. Renowned performers still come to play among the natural wooden walls that Eric Anderson once famously likened to “playing inside a Martin guitar.”

“It’s a very intimate, all wooden room and a friendly, small venue,” said Stan Sullivan, volunteer booking agent and concert manager for the series. “You’re in close proximity to the artist. You’re almost part of the band.”

This is year 36 for the concert series and it’s featured a mix of regional, national and international artists.

Next up, on Saturday April 9, is Teddy Thompson, who will make his Roaring Brook debut with fellow singer-songwriter Kelly Jones. Thompson has a direct link to music royalty – being the son of Richard and Linda Thompson. But Sullivan said the Teddy is an excellent musician in his own right, as a guitar player, producer and singer on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. His latest project explores country roots.

“He has an amazing voice,” Sullivan said. “It’s going to be really something at Roaring Brook on Saturday evening.”

Sullivan, an excellent singer-songwriter and guitarist himself, will open the show on Saturday.

Bill Staines comes to Roaring Brook at 7 p.m. on On Sunday, April 17. It is a show that was rescheduled due to inclement weather earlier this year – the reason it takes place a half hour earlier and day later than most shows in the series.

On Saturday, April 30, the venue will welcome a very known folk duo and husband and wife team Harvey Reid and Joyce Andersen.

Capping the series on May 7 is multi-Grammy nominated singer-songwriter Eliza Gilkyson with special guest Jim Henry, a multi instrumentalist.

In addition to bring great music to the area, proceeds from the show benefit the nature center and its programming.

Jay Kaplan, director of Roaring Brook, estimates that in its 36 years the concert series has probably raised close to $150,000 for the center.

Additionally, the music has been a great fit, he said, with many performers being strong advocates for the environment. Many concert goers also become nature center visitors and supporters. In turn, those who use the center’s trails and appreciate its programming, education and wildlife rehabilitation, often support the series.

“It’s been a nice combination,” Kaplan said. “It draws additional people to the facility. It’s been a win, win situation for us.”

Tickets are generally between $18 and $30 depending on the show and whether they are purchased in advance or at the door.

See more at http://www.roaringbrook.org/concerts/concerts.html. For advanced tickets, call (860) 693-0263 between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday or from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

The center is located at 70 Gracey Road in Canton, CT.

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