For Downtown Danbury to make a full comeback as a true dining and entertainment destination for the surrounding towns, it's going to take the hard work and ambition of many different kinds of people.

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As someone who lives Downtown, I can tell you that those people are coming back to the center of the Hat City, as was the case on Friday night (8/27/21). I was taking my evening stroll down Main Street with my wife and daughter when we saw a familiar face waving us down, it was Tim Moore.

Tim is the owner of the Blue Haus Group. Blue Haus is an economic development and real estate group that Danbury has partnered with to bolster foot traffic on Main Street. I met Tim at the Friday night pop up table tennis events that the city was running all summer.

On Friday, he was way more excited than I'd seen him before, (in fairness I've usually seen him chasing errant ping pong balls in extreme heat) but he was definitely fired up about something.

When we made our way to Tim, he directed us inside a vacant space on Main Street that was last a nail salon known as Meraki Nails and Beauty. Inside there was live music. That's right, remember live music downtown? It used to happen all the time, but now, here before my eyes, it was happening again.

Tim told me that the event was a pop up and was intended to take place outside on the Bardo Walkway but due to weather, they had to move it inside. In a last minute pinch, local property owner Joe DaSilva was kind enough to offer one of his spaces to allow the event to go on. Moore told me that DaSilva has made it clear he'll continue to help in that way in the future.

Inside, I saw some familiar faces but first my attention went to the stage where Mark Grossman was performing his original song  "Nothing But Traces" and I grabbed the camera to capture it for you to see.

I got to speak to Mark afterwards who told me he lives in Brookfield and has been playing, writing and recording original music for 32 years. I was familiar with his name but had never met him before. He was great on stage, his performance reminded me of something that has been right in front of our face all along. The Greater Danbury area is loaded with men and women just like Mark Grossman.

There are talented performers all throughout our area that have taken their acts out of town for many years now. They did that because there was no performance or music scene in Danbury.

Lou Milano
Lou Milano

I told both Mark and Tim we need more of this and they said it's coming. Just then, another friendly face popped up from the back of the room, John Fazio Jr. John is an old friend and colleague of mine who smiles way too much for my liking but I don't hold that against him.

Aside from being a former co-worker of mine at I-95, John is a singer/songwriter and the owner of that quickly and easily connects bars/restaurants with live and local performers.

John told me he met Tim Moore back in June and they got on the same page right away, and that is how Friday night's event was born. The show was called "Danbury's Singer/Songwriter Showcase."

I asked Fazio what inspired the showcase, he replied:

"It was inspired by events put on by Greg Jacquin over in Westchester County, NY. He's managed to build an amazing group of musicians that have been a huge motivator for me and I've gained lifelong friends from, I'm trying to bring that kind of energy to Danbury. There is a unique brand when it comes to Singer/Songwriters, we listen to words, we appreciate talent, we can unite without the fear of competition because most of us our doing it out of just the love of making original music."

Lou Milano
Lou Milano

My wife and I had plans so we could not stay for the entire event but Fazio told me the rest of the evening's performances were great.

Now, the big question is will there be more? The answer is yes. Fazio said:

"We plan to do more on a possible monthly basis. Both me and Tim love the unique vacant spaces, basically he can get the space, hand it over to me and I can go in there and make it usable for music."

I believe the arts coming back to Danbury is one of the most important things to drive business and establish a long overdue unity in Danbury. The music needs to be first, it needs to be a priority because all of the rest will follow. What do we need to do to have a music scene? Insist upon it. If you are a musician, writer, stage manager, if you are a fan, contact John, contact Tim or call City Center and ask what you can do and when.

I'll keep doing my part, wandering the streets of Danbury looking for these stories and the people that are going to make this happen.

You know the event is a smash success when Tom Arnold comes to check things out.

Lou Milano
Lou Milano

Don't feel bad sir, people tell me I look like Danny Bonnaduce and nothing is more hurtful.

If you are curious about Mark Grossman's "Nothing But Traces," he explained what is behind the song, saying:

"It's about wrestling with a relationship with someone who has become emotionally disconnected. It captures the thought cycles someone might have in that situation, including exploring the idea of trying to force ourselves to be emotionally disconnected as a means of (unhealthy) self-preservation. Ultimately, the character in the song knows that the healthy response would be leaving the relationship, but whether he actually has the confidence to make the break is left up in the air in the song. The lines in the chorus express the character's desire, but his identity is so wrapped up in the other person that he's not really sure who he is on his own anymore, and that complicates things."

Here is a performance from John Fazio Jr. on the Ethan and Lou Show from last year.

If this showcase does continue, I'd like to request that the following performers are booked:

Pete Herger

Andy Atkinson

Christopher Robin

Matt Ranaudo

Ethan James

Sacred Oath - That would be sick!

Lou Milano
Lou Milano

Music + Danbury = Everyone wins

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