I arrived to Ball and Socket sight unseen. And let me tell you; there’s a new venue to put on your Connecticut bucket list. As you watch acts perform you may experience nostalgia for old Saturday Night Live musical guests due to the brick façade backdrop. This is no facsimile, however. Starting in 1850, this factory-turned-urban-amphitheater produced buttons for over a century. Now the new operators hope to bring art of all kinds to the people of Cheshire and The Nutmeg State-at-large.
Starting off the evening’s festivities was Stefanie Clark Harris – a former New Haven fixture who sold her all belongings, bought a trailer, and followed her heart across the country, spreading her music like apple seeds along the way. She settled in Nashville and has built quite a name for herself among the music community there. Her blend of Americana and folk paints a reflection of life of hardship and joy that everyone can relate to. If you wanna feel some feels listen to “Black Diamond”. Highly recommended.
As the dusk set in, the second act took to the stage. Depending on your age, you might know Stephen Peter Rodgers from underground alt-rock band “Mighty Purple”. Perhaps you know him as purveyor of the legendary Hamden venue “The Space” (raise your hand if he gave you your first gig). These days Stephen is an acclaimed singer, songwriter, and producer who recently released his fifth studio album “Speck On A Clover” which has received countless positive reviews. My personal favorite is the title track but “Back Into The Muddy Green River” also slaps, as the kids say.
Ball and Socket Arts early in to its history as an venue but it shows great promise. There are numerous renovations going in the buildings on the property – which I was able to get a brief glimpse of. The possibilities are endless. I hope to make it back soon for a full, detailed tour to report on future offerings.
Be sure to check out Ball and Socket Arts at ballandsocket.org/ to keep tabs on their various upcoming events.
You can find more of Ellektra Morrison’s work at www.photoellektrik.com