Radio Bean picture by Tim Lewis
I took an interesting walk through the Burlington music scene tonight. I’d been pretty wiped out lately and today was my Saturday. I got a deep enough sleep last night to finally hit dream stage, had a quiet day, then caught an intense dreamy nap this evening. I woke up at 8, got myself together and headed downtown at quarter of 9. I walked into Radio Bean at 9 and acoustic Barbacoa were on stage. Really? Acoustic surf rock? The band sounded tremendous as I was walking towards the club, and sounded better as I walked in and quickly got a drink. It was Kirk Flanagan playing acoustic guitar bass like rhythms, Lowell Thompson playing acoustic rhythm and lead and Bill Mullins Jr playing electric lead. Kirk and Lowell set up a huge sound and Bill worked his way through the fabric they created. About 3 seconds in I realized i should have gotten there at the beginning of the set. They sounded great and Bill sang a bunch of cover songs that sounded familiar but I have no idea what they were. OK, I did recognize the Tracy Ulman cover of They Don’t know, after they were into it for a bit, and it helped that Bill introduced it. Bill could have easily used the music of the other two to launch some rock ‘n roll fireworks, but instead let his leads slip into the songs creating a dramatic edge to what initially seems to be a strong acoustic set. I’m sure I’m not doing it justice, but they sounded freaking over the top amazing and great. Really, I should have gotten there earlier.
WBKM by Tim Lewis
They wrapped up at 9:30 and there were two bands I wanted to check out at 10. I headed over to WBKM.org, and since no one was there, took the opportunity to load in a bunch of the music I have received in the last week. Hint, tonight’s local music radio show will contain a lot of music I’ve never played before, and heck, I might totally cheat and play a non-local song by Kimberly White Project just because it rocks.
Nectar’s photo by Tim Lewis
After loading music into my work file, I walked a couple of dozen steps to Nectar’s to check out the Bob Wagner recommended Yonrico Scott show. I got in, got a drink, looked at the stage, and knew they were not starting soon. I contemplated my options, and took a chance on leaving, especially after Bob said it might be closer to 10:30.
I headed back to Radio Bean to check out Sammich, since I appreciate Dalton Muzzy‘s drumming with Binger, anything with Joshua Glass Music, and assumed whomever they are working with would be cool. They started in with a jam band groove that turned into Ophelia and were off. They played another classic then got into a Floydy Bluesy groove. This turned into The Story Of The Ghost, and was pretty cool though the Floydy ending was even cooler. Josh took the lead on the next one, and truly his keyboard playing had been powerful and lovely, but the clock on the wall made me pry myself out and head back to Nectar’s.
The band were on when I walked in and it was obviously serious music. Everyone was right on and Yonrico got enough notes out of his drums in the first minute or so, that I had to count how many he was playing with. Four. Really? Wow!! Bob, Josh Weinstein,, Shane Hardiman, and the guitar player who’s name I missed, were super tight with a tendency to build the songs into epics. They played some Neville Brothers and The Wind Cries Mary and had a hard funky jam sound brewing. A friend of Yonrico ‘s goes to UVM, so they brought her to the stage to play trumpet for a song. All of the songs had a bit of space in them and each player had a time to shine. Yonrico and Josh had a ripping bass drum thing going on for a while. The guitar player up front on the Les Paul had a smoking solo. Shane’s keys tickled the songs all through the set. Bob played a ton of smoking leads and it was wonderful to be in the room feeling it. They had said something about special guests, so I assumed Kat Wright would sing a few. She joined them for the last two songs of the first set and the band grooved beautifully. Usually, she sings with a smooth even elegant style, but tonight she was kind of belting them out. After that, they wrapped up the set.
Feeling bad about walking out of Sammich, I took the short walk back to Radio Bean to catch the last 20 minutes of their set. A cool sounding song wrapped up and they said it was a Josh Glass original. Rats! Two minutes earlier would have been so much nicer. Either way, they sounded great for the last couple of songs, including the jammed out instrumental ending. After the last note, I skipped out the door and headed home. There is so much great music in our town, and I miss so much, right Swale?, but I’m so lucky to be able to catch what I can.
Radio Bean picture by Tim Lewis
I just got back from seeing Jeremy Gilchrist play some lovely and thoughtful music at Radio Bean. It was an oddly stressful workday and once home, I really did not want to go out. At the last minute, I pried myself off the couch and took the quick walk to the show.
I walked in and the stage was set and several people were standing around the bar. It looked like there had just been a rush of people as there were lots of glasses on the bar and two people cleaning quickly. After a bit the bartender started taking orders as the singer took the stage with his acoustic guitar. I grabbed a seat at the bar beside the bagels and waited my turn as Jeremy lit into his set. I was a bit distracted, but really appreciated his gentle playing and strong voice. As the set progressed he played several songs from the Causality album, plus a couple of new songs like Threaded and the unfortunately right on The Endless War. Sadly, I did not have my A game going, and was not listening as deeply as I would have liked. I kept looking over to see if it was my turn to order a drink, but the bartender just looked away every time, and despite being seated at the bar, was never asked if I would like a drink. The plan was to have two or three, and to tip the bartender well, but you can’t tip if you don’t get served. In the grand scheme it was fine. I was reasonably hydrated and not especially in need of liquid, but I like having a couple of drinks now and then and like paying the bar when a band I like is on.
I settled down a bit around 2/3 of the way in, knowing there was no chance of getting served, and really started to focus on the music. Clocks On The Wall sounded great, and closer The Great Escape put me in a happy place. Jeremy is the kind of singer songwriter where if you casually listen, you will be in a nice place. If you listen closely and deeply his songs will ask really cool questions of your brain and push you a bit. I highly recommend checking him out any time you get a chance. I’m assuming the Bean thing was a fluke, because I usually get excellent service, and really love the place, despite the off night.
I just got back from my local music radio show on internet only WBKM.org. It touched on several styles of the great music we have in our town.
Songs before: Sisters – The Church Band
Wuthering Heights – Kate Bush
From our small city to the great big world, these are the Sounds Of Burlington. I want to thank Eric and Tony for giving me this chance to show off how great of a music scene we have. Thanks for the megaphone.
1.) Megaphone – Joshua Glass Music
2.) One From Two – Linda Bassick
3.) 1.21 Jigawatts – Wave of the Future
Last Saturday was the Girls Rock Vermont showcase at Higher Ground. I missed the show but love the energy that gets put into helping girls learn to form bands and learn about the music business. People like Samara Lark Brown, who sings with Wave, and Linda Bassick are among the many people who make it happen every year. Josh’s daughter was one of the performers. Also, I caught a couple of songs by Linda and her other band, Steady Betty, yesterday. They sounded great at the packed restaurant on the water. OK, this next set is just for fun. It’s dedicated to all of the working people out there.
4.) I Got A Job – Maryse Smith
5.) I Need A Raise – Cave Bees
6.) Rejected – Black Rabbit
7.) I Quit – Blotto
Wow, that flowed nicely. Circle of the job life. OMG it’s so hot out. It’s been ’90’s for the last four days. Let’s go to the beach.
8.) Beach Song – Mr. Ray Fork
9.) Unveiled – Pours
10.) Ghost Train – Jerichovox (Dom Jerichovox)
Yesterday I stopped at Breakwaters for one beer with Steady Betty, went and saw Noodle and No Son Of Mine (metal bands) at Twofourtwo Main, then went over to Radio Bean and caught a lovely set by Jericho. That Pours song sounds so liquid it feels like you are in the water. OK, let’s play the next song from JV, the brilliant album from The Mountain Says No.
11.) Hard Times White Winds – The Mountain Says No
12.) Sober – Vedora
13.) Into The Light – Great Western
Western played a pretty smoking show at Manhattan Pizza and Pub last Saturday. Any chance that song they closed with will be recorded in time for my Halloween show later this year? After Western’s set, this next band followed with a killer show of their own.
14.) Burn Burn Burn – Phil Yates & The Affiliates
15.) Sexy Flowers – Peg Tassey MUSIC
16.) L.S. Dee – Dee Claw and Al Hotchkiss
Cool song from La Dee of Persian Claws fame. There are sexy flowers all over Burlington right now. OK, let’s jump back a bit for some classing Burlington.
17.) Gentle Rain – Jennifer Hartswick
18.) The Slow One – Ellen Powell
19.) Moxie & Gin – Pine Island.
Hmm, interesting mixture. All three are local legends. This next band should be one soon.
20.) Calypskango – Binger
21.) By My Side – Kat Wright & The Indomitable Soul Band
22.) WalkingInCircles – Raq
That song just wants to make me bounce around and smile. Killer super cool song from Kat and the band. She sounded great singing with Steady Betty yesterday. If I’d had a bit more energy yesterday, after Jerichovox at the Bean I would have gone to Nectar’s to see Binger. OK, let’s rock. Here is the song I meant to play last week.
23.) Ornan’s Song – Dirty Blondes
24.) MSP2 – ROUGH FRANCIS
25.) Green Peaks Dark Valleys – Get A Grip
26.) Weapons Factory – The Wards with the Dirty Blondes
Oh yes, Burlington can really rock. Well, I hope you enjoyed checking out the music of our town. Let’s do it again next week, shall we? Oh, wait, I have a couple of minutes left. Sayonara.
27.) Sayonara – Black Rabbit
Songs after: So Fellini – Fish
Speed Of Light – Iron Maiden
Radio Bean picture by Tim Lewis
I was pretty tired last night and crashed around 9. I had this weird dream that I took a chance on seeing a Psychedelic Progressive Rock band, called The Edd, at Radio Bean. They were all early Floydy and Hawkwindy with notes of Yes (official) and The Dead, and a little Phish in the singing, which they hardly ever did. Just before they started Lisa Lavigne Tejeda showed up and we chatted in between songs, and were both impressed about the quality of music one finds in Burlington just by dropping into a coffee shop. After the band had played a couple of hours, and they wrapped up, she gave me a ride home in her hybrid. It all seems so real, but must have just been a crazy dream.
I think I had a good time seeing music last Saturday, but it was a bit of a blur. I had worked nine days in a row and had a rare Saturday and Sunday off. I woke up way to early on Saturday, for no reason, and missed my early afternoon plan by sleeping through it. I was a bit more with it in the afternoon and early evening and thought I could make a 10pm show. I waited and waited and around 9 jumped into the shower then headed out.
I arrived at Manhattan Pizza and Pub just about 10pm. I got a beer while Great Western finished setting up, and listened happily to the sound check from the guitar, bass, drums three-piece.. Half way into the blues jam they played, they locked in and started to sound great. They lit into the actual set but as soon as the vocals kicked in there was a huge distorted ring. Raph Worrick started working the sound board and the band played a long instrumental blues jam. After that, they tried the vocals and they worked. The set began in earnest and they played a couple of nice rock songs with some killer Ryan Osswald guitar shredding. They slowed things up with a cool country tune that got a couple of girls dancing, then followed with a funky song that kept the party going. A third mellow song followed and I was starting to get worried, but the chorus had a bit of rock to it, and the whole end section went way over the top. I was elated. As the song ground to a feedback drone ending, Ryan re-tuned and the band slid into The Devil Knows Your Name. It rocked magnificently and ended the set on a high note. It took them some time to get there, but once they did, they were great.
After a short set break, Phil Yates & The Affiliates took the stage and played some wonderfully quirky well written pop songs. They opened with Burn Burn Burn and played a chunk of both Oh So Sour and the new album No Need To Beg. The set was pretty long for them, around 90 minutes, so they added in a few tasty covers. One song by the db’s was pretty cool, but I’ve forgotten the others that they played. All the songs were good, and the full crowd that kept filling and emptying and filling the room seemed appreciative. As they wound towards the conclusion, they played a killer Burn It Down Bernadette, Might As Well Settle, Little French Earthquakes and Ninjas VS Zombies. They all rocked hard and I was blissful. They sent us on our merry drunken way with a song from The Replacements, as only they can do, and that was that. It seemed like it took so much more of an effort than it should for me to get there, and then started a bit rough, but I’m so glad I put in the effort.
Neil Young at Essex Fairgrounds July 19 2015 Picture by Kim Tuure Faris
I had a great time seeing music Sunday night at the Fairgrounds in Essex Junction. I’ve seen a lot of great artists over the years, but had never caught up with Neil Young. His new album is about love of our planet and fears about what companies like Monsanto are doing to our food and food system. Vermont just enacted a law saying products with GMO’s in them need to be labeled and Neil came to our state to voice his support, and play a killer rock show. I was not sure if I was going to make it but on Friday Mike Luoma said he got tickets and asked if I wanted to go. I did. I got out of work around 4:30 and had time to grab some food and relax and we headed out about 6:30. There was a lot of traffic trying to get into the venue, but we took it slow and steady and arrived just after 7:30. The weather for the outdoor show looked iffy, and the black cloud over us on the way in spit a few drops or rain, but that was it. As we approached the parking spot a couple of close lightning bolts lit up the sky, but the cloud steadily moved away. We made our way to the will call and picked up the tickets. There was a small packed bar in the grandstand area, but no obvious beer garden. We guessed there would be one inside, so in we went. There was not. There was an open standing area in front of the stage, then rows of seats. Ours were 4 rows behind the standing area and dead center. Aside from the lack of beer, it was perfect.
Puss n Boots were on stage when we found out seats. They played some Americana songs, that would not feel out of place on the Oh Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack. They played some nice songs, but didn’t really grab me. I listened intently for the 20 minutes or so until their set ended, and was in a happy place.
A long set break followed, but as the sun began to set, the lights dimmed and two farmers wandered onto the stage. With large hats to keep away the sun, and large bags of seed hung on their shoulders, they broadcast seeds all over the stage, and stopped now and then to water their flowers. This went on for several minutes until Neil walked out on the left side of the stage, sat at the piano and began singing After The Gold Rush. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up as I let the gorgeous sounds and words fill me. The image of the farmers followed by the line “Look at Mother Nature on the run in the 21st century perfectly set up the whole show. I knew he had a band, so opening solo acoustic said the show was going to be his classic style of starting slow and rocking hard at the end. Changing the line about Mother Nature set the stage for many songs about being stewards of the earth, which is heavily reflected in his new album The Monsanto Years. He switched to acoustic guitar for Heart Of Gold, Long May You Run, and Old Man and the audience was enchanted. He moved over to the pump organ for one of the many songs I would not recognize by title, but knew from the first note. Mother Earth (Natural Anthem) was beautiful and the line, “Respect Mother Earth and her giving ways Or trade away our children’s days” drove home the point of the whole show.
As Neil donned the acoustic, and the roadies rolled the organ off the stage, several men in chemical contamination suits, with gas masks and oxygen tanks, doused the stage in an ominous fog. As they blasted the flowers with an unknown substance, the point was not subtle. They left the stage and the Promise Of The Real settled into their instruments, and the show went on. Lucas and Michah Nelson each took a guitar, and the rest of the band was a bass player, a drummer and a percussionist who was set up in the back by the drums. They followed with a couple of classics that I did not know by name, Out for The Weekend and Unknown Legend, then lit up the audience with Only Love Can Break Your Heart. They followed with From Hank To Hendrix, which I’ve always really liked, then let loose a gorgeous Harvest Moon. The band sounded great and Neil was still playing acoustic when they followed with the first new song of the night, Wolf Moon. It really sounded nice, but then things got a bit more intense
Neil strapped on the electric guitar and kicked off one of those riffs that were instantly recognizable and off we ran through Words (Between The Lines Of Age). Looking For A Love followed, and was great fun. A special surprise followed when Neil introduced Lucas Nelson, who sat down at the piano and the band played a beautiful version of Moonlight In Vermont. It went over exactly as you would expect. Until this point Neil had not chatted with the audience much if at all, but at this point he firmly stated “Strong Vermont. Standing up when other states sit down”. He started off a run of songs from the Monsanto Years with A Rock Star Bucks A Coffee Shop. The Vermont references in the song charged the crowd and the band went from the whistling chorus into a spot where they rocked hard and brought it back to the whistling with a beautiful precision. They followed with a couple more Monsanto songs, People Want To Hear About Love, and A New Day For Love. I forget which one, but one of them rocked so hard that I thought even if he did not play some classics, such as Like A Hurricane, it would not matter since he played some blisteringly intense leads in that one. They pulled out another Crazy Horse classic , Country Home, then came the highlight of the night. Down By The River was epic with huge guitar solos and completely wicked playing. It must have run 15 minutes or so and was face-meltingly fantastic. After that he said curfew was at 11 and he was not going to waste any time. There was no encore break, they just kept going. They played two more Monsanto songs, Workin’ Man and Monsanto Years, which were quite nice. They closed with Love And Only Love, which again had some epic guitar work wrapped in and around the easy to sing verses. As the song ground to a conclusion Neil hit another note on the guitar, then another, then the band went back into the crashing ending until the music began to fade. Neil hit another note, then another note and another epic end jam happened. They ran the final jamming right until 11 and said good night. This was my first time seeing him, and the show was everything I could have hoped for. I loved every note and did not even mind the long slow wait to get out of the parking lot.