Grooved Pavement: More Than a Road Sign


Mr. Flachsbart, Mr. James, and band members Dave and Tommy.

Tasia Courts '20, DLC Liaison

St. Luke’s has a total of 139 faculty and staff members, most of whom we see every day, but how well do we really know them and their talents? Specifically, are you aware that a great number of SLS faculty members are musicians in some way or another? While there are many extremely talented faculty and staff members that deserve recognition, this article will focus on two of St. Luke’s coffeehouse superstars, Mr. Flachsbart and Mr. James. These two English teachers are members of a band called Grooved Pavement with a few of their close friends. 

When asked what their roles are, Mr. Flachsbart, the fiddler of the group, responded, “I’m the old guy with the white hair,” and Mr. James, the lead singer, laughed, “I stand next to the old guy with the white hair. My job is to make him not look so old.” 

While everyone plays his part in the group, Mr. James described Grooved Pavement as “very egalitarian.” He said, “Everyone has an equal part in the group. The band is very improvisational, and we don’t necessarily play the songs the same way every time.”


The Origin

You may be asking yourself, “What came first: St. Luke’s or the band?” And the answer would be St. Luke’s. In 2002, Mr. James and Mr. Flachsbart met in their roles as English teachers and connected through their passion for music, specifically Grateful Dead songs. About a year and a half ago in Bethel, Mr. James met a mandolin player named Dave, with whom he played songs on his front porch. By August of 2018, Mr. James, Flachs, Dave, and Dave’s friend Tommy were performing in Dave’s backyard bar called “The Low Down.” Initially, Grooved Pavement only performed Grateful Dead songs, but they eventually expanded their repertoire to songs by Jerry Garcia, the lead singer and guitarist of the Grateful Dead, and his bands. These songs span multiple genres, including cowboy Western country, bluegrass, and rock. 


The Journey

As Grooved Pavement is less than two years old, they have proven to be much more successful than could have been imagined by the group itself. After starting in August 2018, they were able to book their first gig in October. While they were nervous and unsure of whether or not they were fully prepared, Mr. James was reassured by a friend who told him, “If you keep waiting for when you’re gonna be ready, you’re never gonna be ready.” After taking that advice, they took the leap and have been gigging steadily for over a year now, usually performing one to two times a month, mainly at the Note in Bethel. 


The Takeaway

We can learn a lot from the story of Grooved Pavement. The biggest lesson would be to turn your passions into a movement! Whether it be music, fashion, social justice, or collecting “I Heart ___” t-shirts from various tourist destinations, there will always be some way in which you can turn your passion into a platform and share it with the world. In the case of our beloved English teachers, Mr. Flachsbart and Mr. James, they took their shared passion for Grateful Dead songs and brought it to St. Luke’s coffeehouse events and the restaurants of Bethel, Connecticut. 


I leave you with these questions: what is your passion, who do you share it with, and how will you turn it into a movement at St. Luke’s and beyond?


Stay tuned for any upcoming gigs by Grooved Pavement!