Join us on Friday, March 6th at 7pm for our next show!

Nothing brings community together or cuts through the noise of the day like a song sung well!

We’re stoked for our first “official” Olde Church Acoustic concert on Friday, March 6th! We appreciate the warm welcome extended by Pastor Bruce Miller and the First Church family as they have offered this majestic, yet intimate, meeting place as a unique venue to promote the lively and diverse spirit of Connecticut’s best singer/songwriters. (And the food is great too!)

Our debut in February was a tremendous success, attributed first and foremost to the outpouring of support from over 25 talented artists who gave their time to pay homage to our founder, Mike Wilcox. In so doing, they helped keep the music series Mike created moving forward.

And for Friday night’s show, Frank Critelli is back as emcee to bring you an incredible line up of new musicians and some old friends.

Sixteen year old Brooke Dougan has been crafting fine songs for several years and sharing them with audiences at CJ Sparrow in Cheshire, Best Video in Hamden, the State House in Hartford and a variety of coffee shops in the region.  We are excited to have her open up our first “official” show!

Bandshes is a trio from Hartford, CT and describe their sound as “reminiscent of Doris Day, if she had been born in the 90s, listened to a lot of Regina Spektor, and then wrote music with her best friends.”  Come enjoy their harmonies and the Series debut of the Old Church’s Steinway piano!

Closing out the evening will be an exciting new songwriter collaboration, “The Bargain”.  In January 2019, Mike “Muddy” Rivers showed up at the home of Frank Critelli with a bottle of whiskey and a guitar. Shandy Lawson arrived soon after. The three made a bargain with the Devil – and each other – to write down, record, and perform the songs they lassoed while sitting around the kitchen table.  No better venue than the oldest church in Meriden to show off songs written by these talented storytellers!

Dinner is available for purchase starting at 6pm in Smith Hall at the back of the church.

  • Main Dish – $10
    • Corned Beef with carrots, potatoes, cabbage and Irish soda bread
  • Lighter Meals
    • $3 Bowl of Irish white bean chili (vegetarian & gluten free)
      • $5 with Irish soda bread (regular and gluten free)
    • $2 Hot Dogs
  • Bagged snacks (chips, etc) – $1
  • Assorted Desserts – $2

Our First Show in Meriden!

While in the thick of planning the Meriden debut of the Old Church Concert Series, we could not have imagined a better outcome. Friday, February 7, 2020 was a spectacular night of music and community spirit with a veritable “who’s who” of CT’s finest singer/songwriters joining fans old and new to christen the new venue and honor Mike Wilcox, who created this unique series four years ago. We are so thankful he has trusted us with his “baby”.

Mike Wilcox

Please bear with us – we have so many to thank! HUGE gratitude to Frank Critelli for handling the challenging emcee duties like the pro he is. Meriden is incredibly fortunate to have this man of music in its midst!

First Church of Meriden

Pastor Bruce Miller and the First Church of Meriden enthusiastically opened their doors to us and have been tremendously supportive. The First Church’s amazing “kitchen krew” received rave reviews for the great food. Our crack operations team handled the million details and should be acknowledged as well — Bruce Burchsted, for not only his printing and signage skills but his wisdom as well. Pat Coffey and Steve Bradley embraced the setup and soundboard for 24 acts which is no small feat! Kathy Matula brought great ideas and greeted everyone with a smile at the door. Kate Garrahy coordinated the collectable T-shirts as a special treat for Mike and the team. Thanks also to the city’s Howard Weissberg and CTRail for bringing creative solutions to the mix.

Check out photos from Connor Gagne Photography here, and video from Hollywood East Productions.

We ask everyone to please support our many generous sponsors: Telefunken ElektroakustikGallery 53; the City of Meriden, CT; Midstate Chamber of Commerce; Prentis Printing Solutions; The L. Suzio York Hill Companies; The Downtown Coffee Shop; Kingship Recording CompanyIlliano’s Ristorante & Pizzeria Meriden; Hunter’s Ambulance Service; Meriden YMCA; La Poblanita Restaurant; Sudor Taino Group Fitness; CaroVail, Inc.; The Local Pizzaria; Making Meriden Business CenterMeriden Parks & Recreation Department; and Joseph F Feest. Big thanks for continuing support from the Acoustic Blender – WESU FM, Middletown CTHomegrown-The Connecticut Connected Music Show on WESU FM; WWUH; WHUS Radio; CYGNUS RADIO; iCRV Radio; WPLR’s Local Band Show; WPKN Independent Community Radio, and CONNECTICUT ROCKS! Radio as well. Be sure to check out their broadcasts.

Mike Wilcox with the evening’s musicians (photo by Zoo Front)

Of course, this event would not have succeeded without the generosity of CT’s singer/songwriter community who volunteered their valuable time and amazing talent to honor Mike and help us kickoff the Series in Meriden. Please support these great artists whenever possible: No Line NorthCanyon.Chris Bousquet – American ElmElana ZabariSay LoveShannon Mulready Music PageJeff Burnham & the InsidersSeth AdamGilead Road; MeggieZoo FrontSeat Of Our PantsStill RiversPigeon EnglishKat Wallace and David SassoShannon McMahonThe Moon Shells; Lys GuillornAmong The AcresNick Depuy Music and Barbie Tatum; the “Professor” Richard Neal; and Frank Critelli. Of course, huge thanks to the beautiful crowd who attended and please mark your calendars for Friday, March 6 when we will be back to the standard three-artist format!

With sincere gratitude to all,
David Emmett Cooley & Denise Jones