Sat Mar 11, 2017 8:00pm – 10:45pm

Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem return to Branford

Sponsored by: Branford Folk Music Society

With a deep repertoire that spans 200 years of American music, Rani Arbo and daisy mayhem will offer listeners sublime lead singing, great harmonies, wicked grooves and sparkling original songs when they return to the Branford Folk Music Society on Saturday, March 11 for an 8 p.m. concert in the auditorium of the First Congregational Church of Branford, 1009 Main St., on the Town Green.

Admission is $25 for non-members, $20 for members and $5 for children age 12 and under. For more information, call 203-488-7715 or access the society’s Web page at

This will be a one-of-a-kind performance of the band as a trio featuring Rani on fiddle and guitar, Anand Nayak on electric and acoustic guitars and Scott Kessel on percussion. Unfortunately, longtime band member Andrew Kinsey, who plays bass, banjo and ukulele, cannot make the gig because of a family commitment.

Now in its 15th year, Rani Arbo and daisy mayhem has performed at a wide range of venues and festival from the Newport Folk Festival to the California World Music Festival, offering up a steadfast brew of wit, camaraderie, and musicality and leaving audiences humming and hopeful with spirits renewed, a good elixir for these troubled times.

At the band’s helm is Rani “blessed with an unmistakable voice, both light and sultry, with a hint of tremolo and smoke” (Acoustic Guitar magazine) and a fiddle that is sweet and sinewy. Anand Nayak’s guitar stretches across genre lines while Scott Kessel’s homemade percussion kit — always an audience favorite — is a truly funky collection of cardboard boxes, tin cans, caulk tubes, packing-tape tambourines, bottle-cap rattles, Mongolian jaw harps, and a vinyl suitcase.

In the lineage of string bands who blur the boundaries of American roots music, Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem have always been standard-bearers, with, as one Boston Globe music reviewer aptly put it, “a grand knack for pumping new blood into old music”.

Imagine, for example, a pre-Civil War song from the Georgia Sea Islands sung over a New Orleans-style groove. Or, an old Irish fiddle tune with new lyrics, capped with a solo on a South American box drum. How about as original Unitarian funk gospel song? You begin to get the idea of what Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem is all about. And their original songs fit seamlessly aside artful re-workings of artists such as Hank Williams, Leonard Cohen and Bruce Springsteen.

The band has released six albums on Signature Sounds Records, their latest being this past fall’s release of “Wintersong”, a baker’s dozen of works that skip over the holiday canon and dig up the power, beauty and the celebration of the roots of Christmas and the turning of the year.

  The Branford Folk Music Society is a 43-year-old all-volunteer, non-profit educational group dedicated to preserving and encouraging the growth and appreciation of traditional folk music and song in southern Connecticut. Its next concert is slated for April 8 and will feature Lou and Peter Berryman, musical humorists from Wisconsin who have delighted nationwide audiences for the past 35 years.

Admission: $25, $20
First Congregational Church of Branford
1009 Main Street
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