Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Hartford HodgePodge

Hartford HodgePodge was a blast! We were blessed with great sound (thanks!) and an amazingly warm November day - and rocked out Pratt Street for 90 minutes of Guinea Pigs fun!

One more HodgePodge weekend for 2012, then stay tuned for 2013, as this new (and exciting) Hartford happening heads into it's second year.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

ICSHC Fundraiser - Flatbread Company on Oct 16, 2012

We're excited to be bringing the Guinea Pigs magic to Canton CT, at a fundraiser for the Immaculate Conception Shelter and Housing Corp. 

It's at the Flatbread Company in Canton, CT, from 5 pm - 9 pm. We're probably playing in the 5:30 - 8:30 timeframe. Directions.

Just come on down, a portion of your food and drinks will go to the shelter. And there will be some silent auctions, raffles, and other fun and games. We're excited to be helping this great cause, and excited to be bringing the Guinea Pigs west of the river!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Coventry Regional Farmer's Market

What a beautiful summer's day for the farmer's market. We had a blast, thanks to all our family, friends, and fans who turned up.
Hot, sunny day, but we had plenty of shade. Well....everyone but Steve.

Jamming to The Who's song "The Seeker". We know this because
Jude is holding her bass in homage to "The Ox", John Entwistle

A nice reverse angle, thanks to Deb for taking these shots!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Steve, Dan, Jude and Sandy at Will Laramie's Memorial Benefit
(photo by Bob Antaramian)
Dan says "We look so earnest in these photos" - judge for yourself over on Flickr: Will Laramie Memorial Benefit

Farmers Markets This Week

Two opportunities to find the Guinea Pigs this week.

Thursday the 5th, we'll be playing at the Wethersfield Farmer's Market (near the DMV) from 3 - 6 pm. Hartfordites, come on over, we're close!

Sunday, the 8th, we're tickled pink to be back at Coventry Regional Farmer's Market, 11 am - 2 pm. This is one of our favorite places to play, with large crowds, wonderful vendors, and an overall great vibe that just screams NEW ENGLAND SUMMER!

Come stock up on local produce and crafts, and listen to your favorite quartet!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Guinea Pigs Classic plus Eric on Fiddle

The GP's played a private party last night.  Drummer Steve joined us for the later sets for the full band line up.

Here is Eric, a friend of the birthday girl, sitting in on fiddle.  Eric told us that he mainly plays contra dance type events, but he fit right in here on Angel from Montgomery.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Happy in Higganum

We had a great afternoon in Higganum at the Friday Farmer's Market. Everyone - organizers, vendors, and customers - were welcoming and appreciative as we played our first farmer's market gig with Steve on drums.

We've got a private party this evening, and Will Laramie's memorial on June 17th. After that - Coventry Regional Farmer's Market (the big leagues, in the local farmer's market circuit) on Sunday, July 8. Hope to see you soon!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Music Downloads

Music downloads are now available at http://theguineapigs.bandcamp.com/

You can stream our original music (from our CD "What We Did On Our Summer Vacation") or purchase MP3 singles, or the entire album!

And, a bonus. Listen to and/or purchase Dan's solo work "Muzzy and the UULators" (circa 2000) here

Friday, May 25, 2012

Dan, Sandy and Jude
A picture from our recent gig at the Audubon "Art for Nature's Sake" event.

We're calling this line-up "Guinea Pigs Classic". All acoustic. No drums.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Art for Nature's Sake

We're excited to be kicking off our summer season this weekend at the Audubon Nature Center, Glastonbury, for their Art for Nature's Sake fund-raising event.We're playing from 12:00 noon - 1:30 pm on Sunday, May 20.

We did this last year (scroll down for some video from last year's event) and had a great time - this year we are a trio (Steve, our drummer, is unable to join us). While we miss Steve, it's fun to dial it back a notch with an acoustic set. We had a lot of fun rehearsing this week and suspect it will be a fun set!

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


May 15, 2012

Linda Piotrowicz

East Hartford music gala will support music education and bicycling/pedestrian safety

East Hartford Mayor Marcia Leclerc will help kick off a special concert at noon on Sunday, June 17, 2012, at the East Hartford Cultural Center. Musical artists from around the region will perform to remember East Hartford resident, musician, and music teacher William Laramie. Laramie was killed September 1, 2011, when the bicycle he was riding home from work along Burnside Avenue was struck by an intoxicated driver.

The event will raise money to support music education programs in the East Hartford Public School System and Bike Walk Connecticut, a bicycling and pedestrian advocacy group.

“Will often told me he was happiest when he was helping people,” said Linda Piotrowicz, Laramie's partner. “His family and I wanted to do something constructive with our grief and continue in Will's tradition of assisting others. We're happy about the opportunity to team up with these two organizations to support the excellent work they do every day to make a difference in our community.”

Attendees will enjoy a diverse assortment of musical styles, including folk, country, jazz, R&B, and rock, performed by musicians who knew and played with Laramie. Radio show host, author, and humorist Colin McEnroe will host the festivities, which run until 4:00 p.m. and also feature a silent auction.

The family-friendly event is open to all. Admission is by cash donation at the door. A tentative line-up is available on the event's website, www.WilliamLaramieMemorialConcert.org and Facebook page.


A Connecticut native, Will (also known as Bill) Laramie grew up in Tolland. At the age of six, he discovered the guitar, and soon after took up the drums. While enrolled at Tolland High, he attended the Hartt School of Music on weekends to study with Stuart Saunders Smith. He continued on to the Peabody Conservatory of Music at Johns Hopkins University, training with Fred Begun, Charles Memphis, and John Soroka, among others, and graduated with degrees in percussion and music education.

Laramie went on to play with a wide and diverse set of artists, including the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Plexus Jazz Ensemble, Pipe Dreams Wedding Group, Jazz Sultans, the Jamie Ward Blues Band, Mass-Conn Fusion, Taylor and Laramie, and, most recently, the Guinea Pigs.

Longtime friend and music collaborator Phil Palonen of Canterbury met Laramie soon after college and played with him in the Plexus Jazz Ensemble, opening for acts such as Spyro Gyra “What many people do not know is that he could play just about any instrument,” said Palonen. “Will's insight and intuition into any musical opportunity was remarkable and made him a joy to play with. Other drummers always commented on his drumming inventiveness and skill. ”

Tony Marvici, former bandmate of Laramie's in Mass-Conn Fusion, agreed. “He was a musician's musician. He played five-string banjo, jazz guitar, vibes, every style of drums, and every instrument in the orchestra. Oh yeah, he could sing too. As a drummer he could hold his own with anyone. Will played music on the drums in a way that conducted the band without it being obvious. He was a true genius.”

“He was brilliant,” emphasized Dan Thompson, guitarist for the Guinea Pigs. “He had this great technical and theoretical ability. He could look at any musical situation improve it: 'Try this chord, this note, this voicing, move it all up a half step so it fits the singer's vocal range better.'”

“So many times we'd be practicing and he'd make a comment,” Guinea Pigs' singer Sandra Johnson continued, “and his suggestion would literally make the song. It would redefine it. He was a remarkably gifted musician and we are blessed for the time we got to play with him.”

Throughout his career, Laramie taught private and group lessons, sharing his love and gift of music with people of all ages and abilities. In particular, he loved working with children.

“We all enjoyed his camaraderie, his humor, his welcoming attitude, and we really needed his unending patience,” reflected Andrea Arburr of Glastonbury, whose family took lessons from Laramie for three years. “As beginners, we all had a lot to learn, but no matter how long it took, Will was right there encouraging us. He made lessons fun, especially for my youngest, who thought Will was so cool and was captured by his magic tricks, band stories, and instruments.”

Like many musicians, Laramie worked a day job to help make ends meet. It was from his position at Star Stainless in East Hartford that he was riding his bicycle home along Burnside Avenue on September 1, 2011, when he was struck down by a car operated by an intoxicated driver. Laramie lived in town with his partner, Linda Piotrowicz, and their cat, Mojo. He was 56.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Spring Time

While the winter is usually a slower time for us, the daffodils and forsythia herald the spring time. We've been rehearsing, learning some new cover songs as well as working on some new originals. We've been tickled pink to be working with drummer Steve Dauphinais (who played on our CD); you can expect to see Steve behind the drum kit at many of our upcoming shows.

We're getting excited about the springtime, and the opening of fairs, festivals and farmer's markets. We've got a bunch of appearances scheduled; we'll keep the website updated as these come in!