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Collinsville String Band to Play Back-to-Back Shows This Weekend

March 23, 2016 Arts and Entertainment, Photos No Comments

By John Fitts

COLLINSVILLE — The Collinsville String Band does play outside of the village but band members have no problem with the fact that many of their shows, including two this coming weekend, take place right here.

“If you’re going to build up a fan base, Collinsville is a great place to do it,” said Steve English, a guitarist and vocalist in the band.

On Friday night, the band returns to the Crown and Hammer. The following night comes its debut at Bridge Street Live, for which the group will share the stage with Switch Factory, a string band from Litchfield County.

“We look forward to playing a venue that has a good sound system and the crowd listens and watches,” said English, a Canton resident. “We hope to make an impression on them that allows us back to open for national acts in the Bluegrass/country/roots music genre.”

In addition to English, Collinsville String Band members include John Turner on bass and vocals, Seth Hagymasi on vocals, guitar and mandolin and Aaron Shaw, on vocals, mandolin and guitar.

The band has also announced that banjo player Dave Connelly, a long-time collaborator with Shaw, will play this weekend’s shows.

As a child, Hagymasi learned a little fiddle, an instrument played by his father Tom, a member of Last Fair Deal, a very popular Connecticut based string band. And while he didn’t stick with the fiddle, the younger Hagymasi took up guitar in high school and later – the mandolin. Shaw, a Southington native, didn’t pick up an instrument until his mid 20s. He and Hagymasi have collaborated for several years.

For most of his life, Turner has played electric bass in rock, punk and indie bands. But while he never played bluegrass prior to this band, the love of the music goes back further.

The Collinsville String Band. Photo by John Fitts

The Collinsville String Band.
Photo by John Fitts

“I got the plum job in my high school, which was to work in a record store,” he said. “I got into bluegrass back then but I never played in a bluegrass band, although I always wanted to.”

When Collinsville String Band formed, Turner finally found the time to pick up an upright bass that had belonged to his dad and was at the family home in Florida.

Over the years, English has played in numerous bands of varying styles, often as a drummer. For the last several years, he has especially developed a love for bluegrass and roots music.

“I’m really into it right now and I’m learning so much from these guys,” English said. “They sing so well – the three-part harmony. That’s one of the strongest parts of the band is how well they sing.”

Collinsville String Band has been together for approximately two years. While the band doesn’t consider themselves purely bluegrass, it’s where their roots lie.

“It’s a string band that focuses a lot on the bluegrass genre,” English said.

The band also plays classic rock songs and sprinkles in a few originals.

“We try to build the bluegrass feel into it,” Hagymasi said of any song chosen by the band.

The band plays the Crown and Hammer, 3 Depot Street, Collinsville at 9 p.m. on Friday, March 25.

At Bridge Street Live, 41 Bridge Street, Collinsville, Collinsville String Band plays the first set in a show with Switch Factory. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $10 and $20. See more at http://www.41bridgestreet.com/calendar/index.php?id=563

Learn more about the band at https://www.facebook.com/collinsvillestringband/info/



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