Becky Kessler (VIOLENT MAE) / Xavier Serrano

May 26, 2023 @ 8:00PM — 10:00PM Eastern Time (US & Canada)

The Buttonwood Tree Performing Arts Center: 605 Main Street Middletown, CT 06457 Get Directions

Becky Kessler (VIOLENT MAE) / Xavier Serrano image

Becky Kessler, songwriter, singer and guitarist for the band VIOLENT MAE, moved to Connecticut from North Carolina to live and work on a friend’s organic farm. Kessler came from a musical family and discovered her passion for songwriting through the guitar. She won best singer-songwriter in the first annual CT music awards and with multi-instrumentalist and producer, Floyd Kellogg, has since received praise from Paste, Mother Jones, Sub Pop, and NPR. VIOLENT MAE was never intended to be a band. Becky asked Floyd to record and produce her first solo album, and as soon as they hit the studio, chemistry, and dynamics between the two sparked the evolution of an artistic partnership. Their full-length debut record was released at the end of 2013. Paste listed VIOLENT MAE as one of 10 Connecticut bands you should listen to now and The Deli Magazine named the duo one of New England’s Top Ten Emerging Artists.

The band has toured nationally, playing alongside acts such as Nels Cline, Courtney Barnett, Jessica Lea Mayfield, Cymbals Eat Guitars, and Big Thief. Violent Mae recorded and produced two LPs, a self-titled debut and the second, Kid, funded through Kickstarter. Their music is featured on multiple TV series and extreme sports videos including, Shrill, Nancy Drew, Wynonna Earp, and Olympic Skier, Sarah Hoefflin's Monster ad. Violent Mae has toured and performed at CMJ, NXNE, Mustang Music Festival, Daytrotter, and Converse Rubber Tracks. Violent Mae is currently working on recording a third record featuring Jason Sirianni on keys and synth.

“Gifted with great range, Kessler’s voice is both smoky and tender, a silver tongue savoring every syllable that escapes the resistance of her pensive lips. And so the songs can be built around that and her distinctive guitar playing, in some kinship to how Buckley’s songs were just a full band’s extensions of him.” - Coke Machine Glow

"If you’re a fan of Cat Power, St. Vincent, Jeff Buckley, or the Broken Social Scene songs with Leslie Feist singing, there’s a good chance that you’ll like this." - This is That Song

“From the bluesy slow-burn of "IOU," where she proclaims herself a "bad actress," to the thrilling jitters of "In the Sun," to the footstomping "Murdered Bird," the twosome's second album is a sizzling triumph.” Mother Jones

Links: Facebook | Bandcamp | YouTube | Instagram | Soundcloud


Influenced by artists like The Pentangle, Bert Jansch and Nick Drake, Xavier Serrano fuses traditional melodic styles with forward-thinking and unconventional forms. His songwriting spins stories of reawakening, self-growth, and the contemplations of life utilizing on the discordant chords of jazz, folk, and alternative rock.

Links: Website | Bandcamp