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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Don’t Let The Music Stop at Acoustic Cafe
Friday, November 30, 2012

When discussing Bridgeport, CT’s Acoustic Cafe with local musicians one word always seems to come up - home.

“Acoustic Cafe is home,” states emcee Sketch The Cataclysm. “When I venture off to other locales and remove my shoes and get comfortable on stage I am trying to conjure the feeling I get from being there. I’ve had public breakups and breakdowns there, met girlfriends there, and shared smiles and cries with many friends and family there.”

Talking to Walls’ frontman Brian Kelly seconds this, saying “they have been a partner as we grow our career, so it is a special place for us. We play around the country, and Acoustic Cafe is Talking to Walls’ home. Personally speaking, it’s been my public living room since (it opened in) 1999.”

This place so many artists, spanning nearly every genre of music, call home has recently found itself up against a wall. Six months ago William Vega (pictured above, on the right), who is part of the current ownership group that also includes Larissa DeLorenzo, and Russ and Amy Nagy, found out that when the group (which had one other investor at the time) purchased the Cafe back in January of 2009 they also inherited some significant tax debt to the tune of $5,000. Being that this is the Acoustic Cafe they’ve decided to try to fix this issue by doing what they do best - throwing a show.

“We appealed to the city,” Vega explains, “that whole process took a little while, digging up exactly what this is, and when the city was like this is, unfortunately, your debt, is when we thought of doing the benefit (show).”

The benefit show will happen on Sunday, December 9th, with doors opening at 3pm, and music starting at 4pm and going until close. The lineup includes a host of artists who have been favorites at the Acoustic Cafe over the years, including Darian Cunning, Rick Reyes, various members of The Stepkids and Kung Fu, and many more. Vega describes the lineup as “a lot of old friends of the Cafe,” adding “we’ve been really blessed to be surrounded by excellent performers and musicians. Luckily there are a lot of people that love the place and are willing to play.” In addition to short individual sets, Vega says to expect some once in a lifetime monster jam sessions, as well.

The price for admission will be $10, with the option to donate more and take home items such as t-shirts and stickers.

Before purchasing the Cafe, Vega played there as an artist in bands such as Ten Times The Fall, The Button Down Mafia, and as a member of Sketch Tha Cataclysm's musical ensemble. He also spent time behind the boards at the Cafe as a sound engineer. Currently, Vega is the guitarist, and a vocalist, for the band Big Moon, and still works with Sketch. This makes the Acoustic Cafe a place that is literally for musicians, by musicians, which has helped a great deal in adding to the “home” vibe it has for so many.

According to the artists who have played there, and continue to play there, the idea of the Cafe closing is traumatic. Sketch views that possible outcome as “catastrophic to Fairfield County’s (music) scene,” and Kelly adds “if they were to close it would be a huge gap.” Vega has a number of reasons to be positive about the Cafe’s future, though, saying, “I’ve already heard a lot of people express interest in doing whatever they can.”

It only makes sense so many are willing to lend a helping hand, as for a plethora of musicians this about more than making sure a venue stays open, it’s about saving their home.

The Benefit to Save the Cafe will be on December 9th at 3pm at Acoustic Cafe (2926 Fairfield Ave, Bridgeport, CT). Admission is $10 with the option to donate more.


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:30 AM  
  • At 7:42 AM, Blogger Adam Bernard said…

    Update: The benefit was a HUGE success as the Acoustic raised all the money they needed to stay open and keep great live music alive in the area.

    It's pretty awesome how an entire music community came together to make this happen. Makes me proud to be a part of it.

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