350 Asylum Street
Hartford, CT 06103
From jazz quartets and soloists to an 18-piece orchestra that plays the oldies but goodies, the musical menu at Black-Eyed Sally’s in Hartford varies from night to night. This Southern-style bar with its fine BBQ and deep-fried delights has long been one of the most welcoming spots for musicians and music lovers in the state’s capital city, if not in the entire state. Sometimes, of course, their oldies nights is very Southern-oriented, as one would expect from the theme, menu, decor and vibe at a place with a name like this. Check their website for appearances by their regulars and favorites, as well as for the newcomers who bring their signature sounds to Black-Eyed Sally’s.
103 Pratt Street
Hartford, CT 06103
For the best in classic “soulful sounds” The Russell in downtown Hartford is the place to go. A fine restaurant and bar, designed to make customers feel like they are in an upscale club in the Caribbean, The Russell is known for its smooth “Love Jones” open-mike Mondays and its Tuesday DJs. Fridays and Saturdays are especially meant for the elegant crowd, with a more “proper” dress code required for diners, dancers and those who come just to enjoy the bar, the Red Room Lounge or one of the cozy spots tucked away throughout owner Hugh Russell’s romantic getaway.
The Acoustic Bar & Music Hall
2926 Fairfield Avenue
Bridgeport, CT 06605
There is a different band almost every night at The Acoustic, which as the full name notes is both a bar and a music hall. Some nights are open mike or jam nights, and there are cover bands as well as those which offer original music. There are nights for soul or funk as well as nights for oldies. Check their website for bands.
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205 State Street
New Haven, CT 06510
Saturday afternoons starting a little before 5 p.m. Cafe Nine in New Haven opens its stage to local jazz musicians, and these guys play the classics. There is live music and dancing every night at Cafe Nine, and while most nights the music is aimed at the younger crowd, there are nights when bands play classic rock. Check their website for who is playing – and what they are playing. This place is not called “The Musicians Living Room” for nothing.
Polpo Restaurant and Saloon
554 Old Post Road
Greenwich, CT 06830
The piano bar at Polpo Restaurant and Saloon in Greenwich is the ideal place for those who want to sit back and listen to some smooth jazz, some popular classics done by a trio or combo with sax and bass, or just some laid back old school piano player tickling the ivories. Every night, seven nights a week, there is live, laid back, classic music at Polpo’s, and that goes down very well after a fine meal at this excellent Italian and seafood restaurant, whose pasta, if pricey, is very good.
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Mark G. McLaughlin is a professional and prolific writer with a proven publishing record in a wide variety of fields. An historian, novelist, freelance journalist, ghost-writer, book reviewer, magazine editor, web and magazine columnist, Mark has more than 30 years of experience. His work can be found at Examiner.com.