The Helium Brothers band and the Wilton Parks & Rec Department are bringing back music to Merwin Meadows with a free community concert this Sunday, Aug. 7 at 6:30 p.m..
The free concert at Merwin Meadows Park marks the return of great music to the meadows—once the site for many years of the world-class Wilton MusicFest series.
The Helium Brothers, one of Connecticut’s all-time favorite bands, was founded by Emmy-winning songwriter/composer/music supervisor/producer and 18-year Wilton resident Andy “A.J.” Gundell. Forged in the coming-of-age heyday of the baby boomer college era, the Helium sound is an eclectic and intoxicating blend of traditional and avant-garde bluegrass, jazzy country swing, and the California acoustic/singer-songwriter pop-rock of the 70’s.
The Helium Brothers were voted “Best Band” by the New Haven Advocate in 1977, and toured nationally in 1979 as the opening act for blues legend Johnny Winter. They routinely packed the most high profile nightclubs in and around New Haven and Fairfield County, and throughout Connecticut and the Northeast. Helium is about a diverse, unexpected repertoire of covers and original songs, blazing instrumental solos and jams, and memorable vocals with jazz-tinged harmonies.
They’re appearing at Merwin Meadows fresh off a series of 40th reunion shows in 2015/16, and four of the original five Helium members are still together: in addition to Gundell on guitar and vocals, there’s Oscar Hills, on banjo and guitar, and member of the legendary New Haven group, Professors of Bluegrass; Kim Oler on bass and vocals, and the recipient of the Richard Rogers award for his theater music; Paul Fargeorge on drums and vocals, former member of the Platters and Eight To The Bar. Kenny Kosek, one of the country’s great fiddle players, has recently joined the band as their permanent fifth member.
“[It’s] great to be bringing the music back to Merwin,” says Wilton resident Gundell, who also worked with the Parks Department to produce the MusicFest. “Helium mixes perfectly with the warm summer air of a beautiful park at sunset—we hope to see some old friends from the area, and make some new ones as well.”
Merwin Meadows is located on Wilton’s Lovers Lane.. The concert is free and open to the public. Picnickers are welcome, and the show will be held rain or shine. In the event of inclement weather, call 203.454.5188 for the alternate indoor location. For more general info, call 203.834.6234.