GuitartownCT presents bluegrass supergroup

HAMDEN >> GuitartownCT Productions presents Nashville bluegrass supergroup, Helen Highwater String Band, in concert. The show is Sunday, Feb. 15, at 7 p.m., at the Space, 295 Treadwell St. Hamden. Tickets are $35, available at, or by calling Chris Wuerth at 203-430-6020. Kids sixteen and under are admitted free.

Helen Highwater String Band consists of four of the top bluegrass musicians in Nashville, all good friends, who enjoy playing together so much they decided to form a band, record an album, and go on the road. The four are David Grier on acoustic guitar and vocals, Missy Raines on acoustic bass and vocals, Mike Compton on mandolin and vocals, and Shad Cobb on fiddle and vocals.

David Grier was named an Artist of the Decade in 2000 by Guitar Player Magazine. He has received the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Guitar Player of the Year award 3 times, and has played on 4 Grammy award-winning albums. He has appeared twice at Guitartown as a solo performer.

Missy Raines is a 7-time IBMA Bass Player of the Year and a former member of the Claire Lynch and Eddie & Martha Adcock bands. She played as an award winning duo with Jim Hurst, another Guitartown favorite. Missy also fronts her own bluegrass ensemble, The New Hip.

Mike Compton is probably the best known Bill Monroe-style mandolin player alive. He played with John Hartford, and is also a member of the renowned Nashville Bluegrass Band. Mike received Grammy awards for his work on O Brother Where Art Thou, and played on projects for Dr. Ralph Stanley and Elvis Costello.

Shad Cobb is a powerful and nuanced fiddler who draws from deep traditions and has played for the Osborne Brothers, Willie Nelson, Steve Earle, Marty Raybon, Mike Snyder, and the John Cowan Band. He has surprised many people recently, who were not aware of his strong and pure singing voice

Their music has been described as “a steel-railed groove of steam powered drive …” It is traditional hard driving bluegrass, with some country, blues and swing thrown in. They all sing, and the pleasure they get from playing together is quite obvious on stage.

The Space was the original venue developed by Hamden’s music impressario Steve Rodgers. It’s an intimate room, much appreciated by performers and audiences alike for its great acoustics. Both The Space and the Outer Space serve delicious food, and are open early for dinner. Beer and wine at served at The Outer Space, and there’s always plenty of free parking. GuitartownCT was started in 2008 to bring America’s top bluegrass artists to the area. This will be their 51st concert.