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EC-CHAP Presents: "A Concert & A Movie" - Blues Artist Eric Sommer & Film Screening - "Fred Rogers: America's Favorite Neighbor"

  • The Packing House 156 River Road Willington, CT, 06279 United States (map)

EC-CHAP End-of Season Event - "A Concert and A Movie" - Blues Artist Eric  Sommer in Concert followed by Free Film Screening - "Fred Rogers: America's Favorite Neighbor"


Special Note: EC-CHAP Acoustic Artist Series" meets "EC-CHAP Friday Night Film Series" to bring you this Special Event: "A Concert and A Movie" as a close to our 2017-2018 Performance Season!  We are honored to have Boston-based blues artist Eric Sommer join us for this extraordinary evening of music and film. Eric's 2-set concert will be followed by a free screening of the film documentary, "Fred Rogers: America's Favorite Neighbor", narrated by Michael Keaton. We expect an overwhelming response to this event - please arrive early as doors will close to the public at 8:00pm.

Very Special Note:

The program began as a local and live television visit with children called The Children’s Corner in 1954 with host Josie Carey and Fred Rogers behind the scenes as puppeteer. In 1968, Fred Rogers’ company, Family Communications, Inc., produced Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood for airing nationally on what was to become PBS.  The program aired for more than 30 years until its last episode in 2001.(WQED).


"Engage the senses!" EC-CHAP Board


Blues Artist Eric Sommer


Singer/songwriter Eric Sommer is an unbelievable intersection of improbable influences and experiences channeled into an amazingly diverse catalog and a résumé that reads more like a musical adventure novel than a series of career bullet points.

Sommer emerged from the Boston music scene in the ’80s with a vengeance, a Folk guitarist with a percussive, open-tuning style adapted from the likes of David Bromberg, Steve Howe, Townes Van Zandt and Brit Folk legend Davy Graham. But Boston was also a hotbed of New Wave, Power Pop and Punk at that point, and Sommer absorbed those influences as well, creating a Byrdsian jangle sound that earned him opening slots for national touring acts and regular bookings at the renowned Paradise Theatre.

Sommer eventually relocated to Europe where he scored tours with Bram Tchaikovsky,
Wreckless Eric and Nick Lowe, calling Denmark and the Netherlands home for awhile. After honing his personal songwriting style and playing every conceivable club on the European circuit, Sommer returned to Boston homeless and broke.

Living on the streets and in abandoned squats, Sommer played every available open mic and picked up guitar tips from David Landau and Gary Burton/Steve Howe sideman Mick
Goodrick, which led to the formation of a trio called The Atomics, which offered up an
American version of Elvis Costello, Joe Jackson and Nick Lowe during its run. While The Atomics opened for the Dead Kennedys and Gang of Four and became one of Boston’s best local New Wave outfits, Sommer was finding constant inspiration in the works of Jeff Beck, Pat Martino, Joe Pass and Charlie Christian.


With The Atomics’ dissolution, Sommer’s wanderlust took him to New York, Atlanta and
finally the suburbs of Washington, D.C., where he founded the Georgetown Film Festival and embarked on a phase of independent film scoring. Since then, Sommer has been a troubadour with no fixed address, playing well over 250 gigs a year and slowing down just long enough to record a handful of brilliant albums, including Rainy Day Karma with his band, Solar Flares, and his latest solo effort, Brooklyn Bolero.

If there’s any lingering doubt about Sommer’s supernatural versatility, consider that he’s opened for Old 97’s, Nickel Creek’s Sara Watkins, Bluegrass icon Jerry Douglas, Mates of State, Dr. John, Leon Redbone and Built to Spill, to name a few - and Dead Kennedy’s, Mission to Burma, Gang of Four, and Elvis Costello, Wreckless Eric and Brahm Tchaikovsky...

Whether in band or one-man form (which nakedly showcases his amazing acoustic Blues guitar stylings), Sommer is a living history of contemporary music and a musical force of nature.

Free Film Screening: "Fred Rogers: America's Favorite Neighbor"

A Surprise Film - Take a risk! 

Fred Rogers has been America's favorite neighbor for more than 30 years on PBS... delighting, enlightening, and reassuring children with his unique television programs. Now, his life and legacy are celebrated in this commemorative program full of treasured memories, rare vintage clips and behind-the-scenes footage from his 50 years in television. Fred Rogers: America's Favorite Neighbor is hosted by actor (and former Mister Rogers' Neighborhood crew member) Michael Keaton. 

This 3 minute opening to the documentary, "Fred Rogers: America's Favorite Neighbor", includes a small introduction by James E. Rohr and Michael Keaton. Originally published by Ryan Yang


"A Concert and A Movie" represents a Special End-Of-Season Event combining the EC-CHAP Acoustic Artist Series with the EC-CHAP Friday Night Film Series. This event is presented by the Eastern Connecticut Center for History, Art, and Performance (EC-CHAP), a 501.3.c non-profit membership-based cultural organization. To learn more and how you can become a member, visit

Doors 6:30pm / Show 7:00pm. Soft drinks and snacks available. "BYOB&F" - Bring Your Own Beverage & Food (Wine & Beer Only - I.D. Required). You can also bring your paid ticket to Willington Pizza House (or WP Too) for eat-in or take-out the night of the show and receive 15% off your meal purchase. Ask for "The Packing House" pizza! Click here for secret recipe. 

For information and table reservations, please call 518-791-9474.

The Packing House  |  156 River Road, Suite 1301Willington, Connecticut 06279  |  (518)791-9474