Grassy Strip Music Series June 27 – August 29

The Grassy Strip Music Series at Madison Beach Hotel returns for the 2024 summer season with free, live outdoor shows beginning Thursday, June 27 and runs each Thursday for nine weeks – with the exception of Thursday, July 4. 

“This summer’s line-up is incredible,” said General Manager John Mathers. “The weekly summer experience at Madison Beach Hotel has truly become a time-honored tradition on the shores of Long Island Sound.”  This year’s series opens with the legendary Beehive Queen, Christine Ohlman.  

Free and open to the public, The Grassy Strip Concerts are 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. and begin with The Pledge of Allegiance. Summertime food and beverages will be available for sale.

2024 Summer Line-up:

  • June 27 Christine Ohlman and Rebel Montez  
  • July 11 John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band
  • July 18 Psychedelic Beatles, featuring Dave Lefkin
  • July 25 Peter, Jim and Brendan Mayer
  • August 1 Masters of the Telecaster, featuring G.E. Smith and Jim Weider with special guest Jake Kulak
  • August 8 Jeff Pitchell and Texas Flood
  • August 15 Brothers Doobie, Tribute to the Doobie Brothers
  • August 22 Panorama, Performing The Music of The Cars
  • August 29 Cliff Goodwin’s Rhythm and Blues Union, featuring Mitch Chakour and Ric Cunningham

*Show Line-Up Subject to change without notice.

About the Bands

Christine Ohlman and Rebel Montez

Christine Ohlman is a singer, songwriter, and musician with a deep love for rock & roll. Her career spans decades, from early bands like The Scratch Band to her current work with Christine Ohlman & Rebel Montez. She’s a long-time vocalist for Saturday Night Live’s band and has collaborated with legendary artists like Elvis Costello, Dion, and Bonnie Raitt. Known for her powerful vocals and signature beehive hairstyle, she’s not just a performer but also a passionate advocate for keeping the soul alive in rock & roll, evident in her songwriting and her dedication to music history through writing and musicology work.

John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown Band

The legendary multi-platinum “East Coast Rock’n’Roll” group John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band began their career in 1972 and achieved mainstream success in the 1980s with the “Eddie & The Cruisers – Motion Picture Soundtrack”.  The hit single “On the Dark Side” held the “Number-One” position on the Billboard Rock charts and the MTV video charts for “five” consecutive weeks.  The album sold over 3 million copies and was certified triple Platinum by the RIAA. Today John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band continue to tour and bring their exciting live shows to fans around the world.  In 2012 they were inducted into the Rhode Island Music Hall Of Fame.

Psychedelic Beatles, featuring Dave Lefkin

Bringing their own improvisational style to classic Beatles’ music, Psychedelic Beatles reimagines the iconic band’s storied catalogue and presents it as the Beatles themselves might have if they’d have stayed on the road. This group features an all-star lineup of musicians including guitarist Tim Palmieri (Lotus, Kung Fu), keyboardist Dave Lefkin (Foxtrotter), drummer Adrian Tramontano (Twiddle, Kung Fu), and bassist Ron Spears (The Breakfast). While Psychedelic Beatles’ stays true to the complex musical arrangements and vocal harmonies of the Beatles, they also stretch the songs to new heights in a truly one-of-a-kind psychedelic experience! 

Peter, Jim & Brendan Mayer

Peter Mayer is a guitarist, vocalist and songwriter. He has been with Jimmy Buffett’s Coral Reefer Band for over three decades and has also released 20 live and studio albums. Jim Mayer, Peter’s brother, is an American guitarist, singer, songwriter, producer, entrepreneur and children’s advocate. He is also a longtime bassist for Jimmy Buffett’s Coral Reefer Band. Brendan Mayer, son of Peter, is a guitarist, vocalist and songwriter. He has been building a following and released his first album, the “Getaway Car” EP, on Jimmy Buffett’s Mailboat Records.All three musicians performing together for this show.

Masters of the Telecaster, featuring G.E. Smith and Jim Weider

G.E. Smith was the music director for the Saturday Night Live band; he is a guitarist who has played with a variety of artists, including Daryl Hall & John Oates, Roger Waters. Smith has recorded and performed with many acclaimed artists, including David Bowie, Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan, Roger Waters, Tina Turner, Tracy Chapman, Tom Waits and Dan Hartman.[2] He was the initial lead guitarist in Bob Dylan’s Never Ending Tour band from 1988 to 1990

Jim Weider was lead guitarist for The Band for fifteen years, following the departure of original guitarist Robbie Robertson. He also played with Levon Helm Band. A master of classic telecaster guitar, Weider is renowned for his rock and blues-based signature sound. He is among a select group of musicians with an endorsement from Fender and, for the past three decades, he’s earned enormous respect from fellow musicians and music fans throughout the world.

They join forces for this concert to celebrate their mutual love for the Telecaster guitar and play music from blues, rock and roll, and roots genres with special guest Connecticut’s own Jake Kulak.

Jeff Pitchell and Texas Flood

Blues Hall of Fame award winning guitarist Jeff Pitchell’s style blends B.B. King and Duane Allman, which was endorsed by Gregg Allman. His diverse songwriting catalog recalls the variety of Eric Clapton’s classics and his vocal delivery, which ranges from smooth tenderness to Billy Gibbons ZZ Top-like power, received high praise from J. Geils. His songwriting award winning “An Eye for an Eye” was recorded by British blues legend John Mayall. Over the years Jeff Pitchell has shared the stage with J. Geils, Gregg Allman, Dickey Betts, Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks, Jaimoe, B.B. King, and so many more.

The Brothers Doobie, Tribute to the Doobie Brothers

Celebrating the music of one of rock and roll’s greatest 70’s act, the Doobie Brothers, with amazing musicianship and spot on harmonies. Always delivering an accurate and high-energy show, THE BROTHERS DOOBIE – Tribute To The Doobie Brothers perform the full range of The Doobie Brothers top hits, including some of the most complex and challenging songs performed for live audiences.

Panorama, Performing The Music of The Cars

Panorama – Five talented musicians from the Boston metro area dedicated to reliving the Magic of The CARS LIVE! They skillfully recreate the arrangements with passion and accuracy transporting the audience back to the time when spinning LP’s ruled the airwaves and new wave music shook the concert halls with excitement. The band features Gary Agresti, Darren Muise, Darin Ames, Jeff Ares, Ken Marchione. ​

Cliff Goodwin’s Rhythm & Blues Union featuring Mitch Chakour and Ric Cunningham

Guitar and Vocals Cliff Goodwin was an original member of the American Standard Band and in 1977, he was instrumental in Joe Cocker choosing ASB to be the band that would help bring Joe back to being one of contemporary music‘s greatest voices. He recorded with Joe on many albums including “Luxury You Can Afford” with the hit single “Funtime”. Cocker including “Shelter Me” and “You Can Leave Your Hat On” as well as other albums including Robert Palmer’s “Secrets” LP which contains the hit “Bad Case Of Loving You”. He also scored three billboard charting tunes with The New City Rockers. Cliff performed with many of rocks legends including Matt “Guitar” Murphy, John Mayall, James Cotton, Etta James, Steve Miller & The immortal Santana. When Eric Clapton performed “You Are So Beautiful” with Joe, he decided to use Cliff’s arrangement. When asked about the guitar solo and if he would change it, his answer was “No! Why would you change perfection”. Cliff, still with an intense passion for playing. He’s a founding member of Mad Dogs Unchained and has been touring America & Europe. Cliff’s most resent accomplishment is the release of his first solo record Rhythm and Blues Union! A rich tapestry of wonderful songs and incredible guitar work.

Mitch Chakour is a keyboardist, guitarist, vocalist, song-writer and arranger who is a musicians’ musician. Mitch was Joe Cocker’s music director, keyboardist and vocalist in the 70’s and 80’s. He has toured with The J. Geils Band singing with Peter Wolf, opening the House of Blues and performing at Fenway Park in Boston along with Aerosmith. He played in the house band for Joe’s Place in Boston early in his career, where he played with the best of the blues: Howling Wolf, Big Momma Thornton, Hubert Sumlin, Koko Taylor, Muddy Waters, Freddie King and many other blues’ greats.

Ric Cunningham was raised in a musical home. He attended Berklee College of Music to concentrate on Jazz and Contemporary Music and to study sax under the guidance of world renowned woodwind instructor, Joe Viola. After graduating he remained in the Boston area for several years playing with various Latin, Funk and Jazz Bands and also recording with several well know local artists: Bill Chinnock, Jonathan Edwards, Mat ‘Guitar’ Murphy(Blues Brothers) and Joe Perry(Aerosmith). In 1983 Ric moved out to Los Angeles and worked with many artists before starting his 2 year stint with legendary R&B singer, Joe Cocker. After several World Tours and recording sessions, Ric left the band to relocate back on the East Coast(N.Y.C.), where he set up his recording studio/production house/record label, Music41, which specialized in background music for TV, Film and Commercials.


Frequently Asked Questions:

How can I or my company become a sponsor of a concert? For sponsorship opportunities, please complete this form. Deadline June 14, 2024. 

Where can I park? Parking is extremely limited on the West Wharf. Hotel Valet Parking is available for hotel overnight guests and guests who have dinner reservations in The Wharf. Otherwise, continuous shuttle service will be available from the Scranton Gazebo (Stop & Shop Parking Lot) and the Surf Club Parking Lot (13 Surf Club Road) beginning at 6 p.m.

What time does the show start? The show begins with the Pledge of Allegiance and announcements at 7 p.m.; music begins at 7:30 p.m.

Should I bring my own chairs? Yes, the lawn will be open for guests to sit and enjoy the music and the sunset on the shoreline. Please bring your own chairs and blankets.

Will food & beverage be available for sale? Yes, food and beverage concessions will be available for sale on our lawn.

May I bring my own food and beverage? Outside food and beverage is not permitted. Alcoholic beverages and soft drinks will be available for sale, and consumption is permitted in designated areas.

How can I make a reservation for The Wharf Restaurant?  For restaurant reservations, click here.

Madison Beach Hotel is located at 94 West Wharf Road, Madison, Connecticut.

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