At Café 9 on Crown Street, I sat down with the members of Goodnight Blue Moon during the peak of their weekend tour of shows in Boston, New York, and New Haven. While still making time for their day jobs, members of the seven piece band are busy promoting their new project, A Girl I’ve Never Met. The EP will be available on Jan. 17 and is the follow up to the group’s 2012 record, How Long.
There are not many pop bands playing bars in New Haven with a sound like Goodnight Blue Moon, whose roster includes singer and mandolin player Mathew Crowley, Nancy Elligers on cello and banjo, Sean Elligers on trumpet and vocals, Carl Testa on upright bass, and lead vocalist and guitarist Erik Elligers. The band enhanced its sound with the help of Vicki Wepler on violin and Nick D’Errico on drums. Tightly packed together on the Café 9 stage, the band performed new and old music to an energetic audience of friends and fans.
Though folk-pop music has become the band’s claim to local fame, everything from jazz and bluegrass helped shape its signature sound. Drummer Nick D’Errico has experimented with hip-hop while Erik Elligers got his start playing saxophone with the electronic band Pencilgrass. When asked what inspires their music, answers ranged from early Motown to the Avett Brothers and classic folk harmonies.
The new record is already generating buzz thanks to the fantastic music video for the single “Captain’s Church,” a song influenced by an anonymous poem written in 1869 after a hurricane destroyed the First Church of Fair Haven. The dreamlike video was directed by Jimi Patterson and filmed in the band’s favorite neighborhood.
“We all live in Fair Haven,” Nancy Elligers says. “The EP is very Fair Haven specific.”
This comes as no surprise to me as I run into Nancy and Erik Elligers every time I am having brunch at the Boat House Café on the Quinnipiac River. If you look closely at the video you’ll notice the café makes a cameo.
After our chat the band enjoyed a few rounds of Pabst Blue Ribbon before hitting the stage. They opened with an a capella performance that was followed by a loud cheer from the audience, who then began to dance to the band’s upbeat melodies and lyrics. The Connecticut Music Award-winning band proved they are ready for a bigger stage.
Get familiar with Goodnight Blue Moon’s folk-pop soundtrack to Fair Haven by visiting their band site at GoodnightBlueMoon.com and don’t miss this album release party this Friday at Cafe 9.
Article by Stephen Grant, Communications Manager for Arts Council of Greater New Haven