I had been down to Radio Bean three times and it was almost 4pm and I knew Swale would be coming on soon, so I hustled downtown (again) and arrived at 4:10pm. The DuPont Brothers were onstage playing acoustic guitars and sounding ridiculously good, but when they finished their song, that was the end of their set. Lee Anderson hopped onto the stage and had everyone go out front for a community photo. We did. Kevin Bloom climbed a ladder that was partially in the road and quickly took a few pictures.
Everyone moved back inside and the music resumed.
Swale took the stage and launched into Waiting For You. I love how upbeat and happy that song is. They followed with another mellow song, Beaten Down, then kicked up the volume. Jack Sharp rocked hard, then they closed the set with a rousing Everyone Likes To. It’s so fun to sing along to that one.
Next up. Lowell Thompson took the stage. This time he was singing and playing guitar, like he usually does. He was joined by Kirk Flanagan on bass, Bill Mullins on guitar and Steve Hadeka on drums. They are all masters of their instruments and it was cool to listen to them jam out three country rock songs. Bill’s lead playing was understated and very cool.
At 4pm they had opened the Light Club Lamp Shop and I think Kat Wright and Brett Hughes played there at some point, according to the schedule, but even though I peeked in a couple of times, I just missed them.
After Lowell, I headed to the Lamp Shop and two women were on stage playing acoustic guitar. I’m pretty sure one was Annie Battipaglia but did not catch the other. The song I walked in on was nice enough, then they went into a cover of Stand By Me. The audience enjoyed it but I was worried I might be missing something and went back to the Bean.
Brittney Langdon was onstage playing an electric guitar and had an enchanting ethereal sound. I really enjoyed the song and a half that I saw her do on guitar. For her last song she just used a pedal to trigger a lush full sound and sang delightfully over it. I really enjoyed her celestial set!
Just looking around the Bean and seeing some dramatically dressed people was a clue that I should stay put. The Toes came on next and played a hell of a show. They played as a four-piece with guitar, bass, drums and the stunning Pam Ant on vocals. OK, the guitar player sang some too, but Pam can contort her voice into something almost unreal, and does so often. Their sound is a bit like the B-52’s playing a Ramones song and they rocked hard. They rocked out three of the most delightful songs possible and Pam’s voice was almost more intense than the plugged in electric guitar. They never disappoint.
I hung out at the Bean as Sarah Stickle played acoustic guitar and sang. Her voice is really nice and her playing is solid. I really liked her first song (a cover, maybe called Sad Eyes), but was a bit distracted as I could hear a full rock band playing at the Lamp Shop. After her first one I ducked over, but the band did not grab me immediately, so I went back and listened to her second song, which was one of her own. It was quite good, and it’s quite rare for me to want to hear a solo singer instead of a band. Well done Sarah.
I headed over to the Lamp shop to see what was going on. Sean Hood was set up to sing and play acoustic guitar and was joined by another acoustic guitar player. It took them a moment or two to get ready. I popped back to the Bean and Andrew Stearns was on stage and playing banjo. He sounded nice but did not grab me so I headed back and enjoyed the mellow gorgeous sounds that Sean played. They played three songs. The second was a George Strait song, something about Amarillo. The last one was one Sean wrote about Springsteen’s song Backstreets. It was pretty cool, and Sean plays well and has a pleasant voice. I liked their set.
I headed back to the Bean and the tunic clad Binger hit the stage. I just love their rock sound that features a calypso guitar, Shakir Stephen‘s rapping, and the way they take such elements and just turn them into rock songs. They are super good. The began with If I knew and let it flow into Resurrection. Neither are on their album so hopefully they will be releasing new music soon. Towards the end of the second song they got into a long jam and brought it out with Shakir chanting Vote Bernie for me, Vote Bernie for me, Vote Bernie for me, Vote Bernie for me, then it changed into Bernie, Bernie, Bernie, Bernie, Bernie. I loved every note of the music and every sentiment they sang, even the non Bernie parts. Funny note, in the afternoon and evening I was dressed in the classic Tim style, but in the morning for the Dino Bravo VT set when I had moments to get myself together, I threw on the U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders for President t-shirt.
I zipped back to the Lamp Shop, since I was sure I was missing one of the acts I most wanted to see. Sure enough Ver Sacrum was on stage. The band is just Matt Hastings and the sound was a mix of exactly what I expected and not at all what I expected. I’d been meaning to catch him, since I love his guitar work in Vedora. I thought he would be playing some soundscaping on electric guitar but he was playing a bluesy rock song on acoustic. The sound was filled with flowing effects and created a great atmosphere, and the song just drifted into the universe. I only caught part of one song, but it was a long one and I was enchanted by his singing and guitar playing for every note. I must check out a full set sometime!
I took a quick breather outside in the cool but not cold air, then went back to the Lamp Shop for the Shane Hardiman trio. Shane played keys, Robinson Morse played stand up bass and I missed the name of the drummer. They played jazz, which is not my favorite, but each musician was truly stunning and I loved every note. I was enchanted and could not leave until the last note.
I zipped back to the Bean just as Milton Busker left the stage and packed up his guitar. Rats!!! I love his songs, and really wish I had seen some or all of them.
Three women, clad in black took the stage. The two on either side wore veils and accentuated the words with their movements while the one in the middle read poems and talked about Radio Bean turning 15 and how the place had finally become a grown woman.
I ducked back to the Lamp shop and there was a guitar bass drums instrumental band rocking. From the band list I’m guessing they were Usually Wednesday. Their songs rocked nicely and I had a good time checking them out, especially the very insistent drumming.
I went back to the Bean and caught Loveful Heights. They featured a woman named Maggie singing some lovely high parts, a lovely woman named Kat Wright singing the low parts and a guy named Bob Wagner playing some subtly beautiful guitar, and adding some vocals. They played Make The Magic Last, a delta bluesish When The River Sings Your Song, a cheery song called I’ve Left Him. They closed the set by getting the audience to sing along to Every Little Cell. That was a delightful set, and the last song has to be one of the highlights of the day.
I bopped back to the Lamp Shop to hear Michael Chorney sing and play acoustic guitar. He was joined by Robinson Morse on stand up bass and they sounded lovely together. Chorney is a great singer and player and his quiet songs were delightful. I did not want to miss the next act at the Bean so I ducked back over, but nothing was happening yet so I got to catch another one by Michael.
After that one, I went back to the Bean and settled in until Caroline Marie had her rig set and started to play. I did not recognize either of the two songs she played, but both had a nice dramatic feel with her strong and sultry voice over the top. I loved both of them. I chatted with her after and found out one was very new and one was older, but she had never played out. I can’t wait for her new album!!
I popped back to the Lamp shop to see a woman singing and a guy on accordion. They called themselves Jennifer “Oh Lord” & The Riders of the Apocalypse and the first song had a Parisian jazz feel. The second song reinforced that since it was called My Clothes Are Made In China But The Label Is In French. It was a fun set.
I slipped through the double doors, walked through !Duino! (Duende), and back into the Bean in time for Joe Adler & The Rangers Of Danger. I did not recognize the drummer or bass player but Joe Adler played guitar and sang and Samara Lark Brown threw her vocals at the songs. I did not know any of the three songs, and instead of the usual high energy classic rock Joe usually plays, all three songs were quite punk. The second was something about Gotta Find A Way, A Better Way. Despite being clueless about what songs they played, I loved every note and the huge intensity they unleashed. That was just a great set!!!!!
I ducked back to the Lamp Shop and Maryse Smith was on stage and just started to play. She skipped her more famous songs and enchanted the quiet as a mouse audience with some deep cuts. Much like the last time I saw her play the Lamp Shop, you could hear every nuance of ever note she played on her acoustic guitar and every nuance of every note she sang. She closed her three song set with the one that begins Winter Is Coming. That is quickly becoming one of my favorites.
I was completely exhausted at that point, but there was an artist on at the Bean that I was curious about. I went back and caught a couple of songs by Eric George. He got the audience to sing along with one that was pretty cool and closed with Drifting (?). He had a nice voice and played well.
I was done, but headed back through the Lamp Shop and caught the tail end of the last song by the legendary Tom Banjo. Listening to him sing his songs of old is like being transported back a century in time. He’s really solid and has put his mark on our town for decades.
After that, I slipped out the door and took the very familiar walk home. There was a lot of music left to come, and a couple of bands I really wanted to see, but was literally exhausted. OK, time to rest up and be ready to do it again next year.
Happy 15th Birthday Radio Bean.