In The Moment at Red Square June 26 2016 oic by Tim Lewis
I had a good time seeing music last Sunday at Red Square. I spent all day Saturday in Montpelier seeing 19 bands at the Eat More Kale festival and arrived home at Midnight. I woke up at 8:30 Sunday morning, wrote up the Cricket Blue show from Friday then went to grab a cup of coffee. I returned quickly and started in on the kale write up. I finished all the writing and posting and tagging and picture insertions by 3:30 and had a little time free.
In The Moment had a show booked that had been on my radar for a while. I had seen Charlie Messing play guitar a couple of times at shows with multiple bands so i knew he could play. I see him out supporting other local musicians all the time and that just made me want to check out his band even more. The music was billed as minimalist improvisation, so that sounded challenging. I had friends coming over at 8:30, and the show ran from 7-11. I thought that maybe just stopping in and listening from 7-8 would be doable and at 6:45 I took the sunny walk downtown.
I arrived a hair after 7 but they had not gone on yet, so I got to say a quick hello. I got a drink, moved to the alley, and found a nice table to stand at. Charlie played electric baritone guitar and the rest of In The Moment comprised Chanon Bernstein on drums and Patrick Markley on bass. Charlie said they were going to play some space R&B and I think the first song was called SETI. The bass and drums started with a slow steady groove that felt very open and adaptable. It reminded me of the middle of a long Doors song where the band had to be ready to go anywhere. Charlie added flourishes with his guitar and the music slowly turned into a conversation. It was fun to watch the interplay between the three of them as they let the songs wander along. Charlie added fun sounding keyboard loops to the mix and the music bounced along in the advertised minimalist way. Everyone’s playing was excellent and over the hour or so that I was there Charlie seemed to try and pull out every possible sound from his guitar. His mic stand slide was done well and I enjoyed all of the string scratching. Each song meandered on with very subtle shifts to the rhythms. After each song Charlie walked up to the mic and said something that may have been the song titles. If they were, then I caught the previously mentioned SETI, Bet Your Boots, Wherever You Are There You Go, Trouble in Paradise, and Run Time.
A little ways into the last song I finished off my drink ,and since it was just after 8, I headed out the door and totally slacked about choosing one of the free books the band were giving out. The walk home was easy and relaxed and I reflected on being happy that I pushed myself to try a form of music that is outside of my comfort zone. Our town has such a wonderfully wide variety of musical options that I am eternally grateful.
The Indomitable Soul Band at Eat More Kale festival June 25 2016 pic by Tim Lewis
OK, here comes the write up for the rest of the Eat More Kale Festival. When I left off it was 7:15pm and time for Steady Betty to hit the stage. The band has a drummer, Caroline Marie on bass, Linda Bassick on guitar, a four-piece horn section and the magnificent Miriam Bernardo and Kat Wright singing the lead. The music is rock steady and has a mellow reggae vibe with a horn section about as precise as your average atomic clock. The music has a nice groove and the singers voices will melt your heart. They sang songs about getting ready to rock steady and silent rivers running deep. They sang songs about angelic delights and practicing. Linda wrote and sang a couple of the songs which only adds to their charm. The band took us to their neighborhood and made us feel good all over. A cover of Cupid was heavily enjoyed by the fairly large crowd. Linda’s song about revolution and peace within us was just great. Miriam and Kat treated us to stories about being in love and wondering how then sang about heaven being here. They wrapped the gorgeous 15 song set with a couple of songs about being in love. Their set was just tremendous.
Steady Betty at Eat More Kale festival June 25 2016 pic by Tim Lewis
After that was the first real break of the night. I hung out and chatted for a bit but after 15 or 20 minutes it was time for Kat Wright & The Indomitable Soul Band. It had been a while since I have seen them and from the very beginning I realized that was a mistake that would need correcting. The show began with the Katless band dressed in black starting a rock and roll rave up. With Bob Wagner on blistering electric guitar, bass, drums, keys and three horn players they had a huge rocking sound. As that song eased off the glorious Kat Wright took the stage and enchanted us with her sultry voice. The beginning of the set was filled with new songs that were incredible and made me feel glad I joined in their kickstarter and will get the album as soon as it is ready. They played songs about home, and putting your feet up. They played a new song called The River which had some nice bends to it. They did a great version of By My Side. They sang a song that Brett Hughes wrote for Kat about being a fool. It had a nice dancey groove until the end where it rocked hard. Throughout the night there was a lot of great guitar work and a couple of hints here and there that four members of the band played parts in a Pink Floyd cover band. They wrapped the 10 song set with another song that kept the full audience dancing. They are so powerful as a band at this point that I really need to pay a lot more attention.
Kat Wright and the Indomitable Soul Band at Eat More Kale festival June 25 2016 pic by Tim Lewis
After their set I was really getting tired but really wanted to see the next band for the first time. Dwight & Nicole were joined by the ISB drummer and played a great set of music. Nicole played bass and Dwight played a flying V guitar. They found some nice grooves and had the audience dancing from the first note. I hung out up front for a bit them moved to the back where I could sit and listen. They played a Dr John song and had the audience grooving with Hipshake. While the band sounded nice, the true treat was Nicole’s incredible voice. Her is completely amazing. They played about nine songs and had me back on my feet for the last couple.
Dwight and Nicole and the Indomitable Soul Band at Eat More Kale festival June 25 2016 pic by Tim Lewis
At this point I was exhausted, but with one band left to go, I had to put in the effort. David Tibbs had done a great job announcing the bands all day and talked up WBKM, since he does the Grateful Dead show on Friday nights. Just before the last band started they brought up Bo from Eat More Kale fame. He was gracious and appreciative of all of the people who worked so hard to make the festival happen. Gang of Thieves then rocked stage 1 hard while simultaneously funking up the festival. With two electric guitars, bass, drums, trombone and a singer who plays violin they had a happy yet aggressive sound. They jammed hard and rocked hard and were just great. I only made it for four or five songs when the exhaustion took hold. I took the long walk back to the car enjoying their lovely sound with every footstep.
Gang Of Theives at Eat More Kale festival June 25 2016 pic by Tim Lewis
Uncle Dave doinng a stage announcement at Eat More Kale festival June 25 2016 pic by Tim Lewis
Bo from Eat More Kale at Eat More Kale festival June 25 2016 pic by Tim Lewis
The ride home was uneventful and it was about midnight when I was settled. It was a lot of effort and worth every moment.
Per Peg Tassey about Steady Betty “Hi Tim Lewis, their awesome drummer is Rachel Capobianco, who was also doing sound fro the entire Festival!! She’s amazing!”
Haley Jane And The Primates at the Eat More Kale festival June 25 2016
OK, where was I? Oh right, Binger had just finished a killer set on stage 1 at the Eat More Kale Festival. I headed over to stage 2 and though it would be Mothership-SoulBrotha but it turned out to be a woman named Andriana Chobot. She sang and played keys and had a dark and very intense sound. I was captivated from the first note. She only played four songs, including Not I and Neon, but I loved what I heard so much I had to buy a CD. I’m sure you will hear her music soon on my local music radio show on Thursday nights from 9-11 on WBKM.
Andriana Chobot at the Eat More Kale festival June 25 2016
After her much too short set, I headed back to stage 1 for The Aerolites. They are a quintet with two electric guitar players, bass, drums and keys. One of the guitar players sang most of the songs but the bass player sang some too. They had a nice rocking jam sort of sound. They played about 10 songs over an hour long set and rocked hard at times. They sang songs about The Only Way, TV Is Bad and Smoking Them If You’ve Got Them. Some of the guitar work was brilliant and it was fun to watch the guitarists toss the leads to each other. One song had just a hint of Floyd to it and I really loved their set.
The Aerolites at the Eat More Kale festival June 25 2016
When they finished up I raced over to stage 2 for one of the highlights of the day. Aaron Flinn played solo on the acoustic guitar and sang with his deep yet warm voice. His guitar playing is spectacular and sometimes I’m not sure if he is really playing or just holding his hands close to the strings and willing the notes to incarnate themselves. He played eight songs including Miss Ready Blossom, Raise Your Hands, Scattered Birds and his take on Here Comes The Sun. That was especially appropriate considering that the entire day was so warm and sunny. He created and played over some fun loops. He played the guitar behind his head. In the closing fast rocker he threw his hands around the guitar in a way that makes you wonder how a person can play like that. It was a truly stunning set.
Aaron Flinn at the Eat More Kale festival June 25 2016
I headed back to stage 1 for the massively percussive set by Afri-VT. With a bass player, a regular drummer, a bongo player, a guy with three traditional looking drums and a singer/bongo player, they created some happy grooves that made your body move. The beat was infectious and delightful. I hung out for a few songs but since it was 5pm and I had been standing and rocking all day, I found a place to sit in the shade for a few minutes. I enjoyed the rest of their set from afar but could hear it clearly.
Afri-VT at the Eat More Kale festival June 25 2016
Up next on stage 2 was a band called Brickdrop. With electric guitar, bass, drums and two saxes they played some instrumental jazzy funky grooves. As they worked through the four song set the music became increasingly complex. The grooves were easy to dance to until the last song where they dared us to try. Some of the changes were exceptionally tricky and fun to try and follow. The bass player spent the set looking like he was having the time of his life and continuously bounced around as they jammed out their songs. The drummer was quiet and steady until the last song when he really took off. They were just fun.
Brickdrop at the Eat More Kale festival June 25 2016
After they wrapped up I headed back to stage 1 for what I knew was going to be another highlight of the day. Haley Jane And The Primates had a huge full sound as they rocked and jammed out their easy to love songs. They are an electric guitar, bass, drums, keys band with Haley singing and playing front woman. They were joined by a woman named Annie who had a gorgeous voice. The first song ended with an emphatic I Know That I Can Do It. The second had a great line about doing somersaults in your head. The third one was about Mother Making It Good. The next song was about powering down you engines and getting into the flow. The fifth song featured Nate from Gang Of Thieves on trombone as Haley let us know that mama’s gonna make it all alright. The next song was about a girl who may be a weasel but she has a good heart. They capped the set with a rousing Hurricane Jane. Throughout the set Haley used her body to pull every note and meaning out of the song and she is easily one of the best people to front a band that I’ve ever seen. Their show was brilliant from first note to last.
Haley Jane And The Primates at the Eat More Kale festival June 25 2016 2 pic by Tim Lewis
After that I headed back to stage 2 for the New Nile Orchestra. They had an interesting mix of jazz fusion and traditional East African music. I’m not sure what language the singer let us enjoy but it was really nice. His voice was high and pure and the electric guitar, bass, drums, keys, bongo band were super tight. I hung out for a bit then wandered around for a bit and it was nice to hear their lovely music rolling over the Vermont hills.
New Nile Orchestra at the Eat More Kale festival June 25 2016 pic by Tim Lewis
OK, that takes us to about 7:15 pm. I’ll stop here and write up the end of the night soon.
Lake Superior at the Eat More Kale Festival Montpelier VT June 25 2016 Pic by Tim Lewis
I had a great time seeing a staggering amount of music yesterday. The Eat More Kale Festival had been on my radar but when Tony Gallucci asked me to join him and David Tibbs to represent WBKM I set the plan in motion.
The drive down was pleasant despite a bout of insomnia the night before an getting a little lost in Montpelier. It didn’t matter, I stopped and asked for directions and was soon at the festival. Parking was in the field next to Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks and it was a long walk over the spongey ground to get to the festival, which was right behind the Sugarworks store.
I was a little late and could hear the band Some Hollow playing You Don’t Send Me Flowers Anymore. The band is a duo with a drummer and a singer/electric guitar player who added some harmonica to a couple of songs. They had a nice rocking sound and I enjoyed their cover of Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s gone. They played a few originals and I think I caught about five songs, including one about whiskey and one about kissing in the rain. They played well and set the stage for all of the bands that came after. The quality of the music all day long was pretty staggering.
Some Hollow at the Eat More Kale festival in Montpelier VT June 25 2016 pic by Tim Lewis
The festival had two stages and the schedule had few if any breaks in it. The moment Hollow wrapped up I headed to stage two for Christine Malcom. She sang and played acoustic guitar. She was joined by Rudy on acoustic guitar and I missed the name of the woman playing electric stand up bass. They had a folky country mellow sweet sound. They opened with the easy to sing along with Two Hearted Girl. They played a Townes Van Zandt song about going to Denver. Look At Me was the next song and it was followed by one about Jesse James. A Keb Mo song was next and they closed with a cheery song about loving my baby and telling everyone I know. Their songs were nice and their playing was good and it put me in a happy place. At the end they said they had just named the band Honey I’m Home.
Christine Malcom at the Eat More Kale festival in Montpelier VT June 25 2016 pic by Tim Lewis
I thought the next band would be back on stage 1 then read the schedule and headed back to stage 2. Rick Norcross played solo with an acoustic guitar, a nice voice and some genuinely funny comments between the songs. After opening with a song about Same Old Vermont he thanked us for the standing ovation. Granted, there were no chairs to sit on, but he would take it any way he got it. It made me laugh. He proceeded through the set playing songs about our lovely state in a mellow country style. Welcome To Our Vermont was nice. The story about spending time at the Shelburne Museum on the Ticonderoga was fascinating and the song about it was a great story. He pulled out an Asleep At The Wheel song then taught us all about Green Mountain Standard Time. He closed with an award winning song about living in Hardwick and having to go to the funeral home to purchase flowers for the prom. I stayed until the last note rang out despite hearing a loud sound from stage 1.
Rick Norcross at the Eat More Kale festival in Montpelier VT June 25 2016 pic by Tim Lewis
Lake Superior hit the stage hard with an off kilter garage rock sound. They are a guitar/singer, bass, drums trio. They were loud and fun and it was good to have a band to rock out to. They played about seven songs and one featured some nice bluesy slide guitar. They were quite enjoyable and it was great to finally see them.
Lake Superior at the Eat More Kale festival in Montpelier VT June 25 2016 pic by Tim Lewis
I raced back over to stage 2 as Boomslang began to play. They are a trio with two rappers and a DJ. Their music was bright and positive and full of enthusiasm. The kids in the slowly growing audience especially enjoyed their songs. Some choruses about We Got It Right Here, Check 1 2 3 and Lifting Off stood out. They finished the six song set with Do It Until The Floor Drops Out and fun was had by all. I wandered around the grounds a bit during their set, but the way all the stages and tents and booths were laid out, it was quite easy to hear the music from most anywhere in the festival. There were a couple of food and drink vendors, information booths about gardening and things, booths selling candles and t-shirts and even someone giving massages.
Boomslang at the Eat More Kale festival in Montpelier VT June 25 2016 pic by Tim Lewis
After Boomslang finished up I headed over to Stage 1 for Casio Bastard. Actually, they announced their name was Casio Band, since there were a lot of kids around. That was a nice touch. They are a quartet with electric guitar, bass, drums, and keyboards/vocals. I’m not sure if they play funk, jam or just plain rock, but it’s likely some lovely combination. They had a song that wondered about the world being round when it seems flat. They had a nice instrumental jam that featured some delightful keys. They had a song that flowed like a river round and round. It had a great guitar jam in the late middle. They shifted to a reggae style for a song about kale and not killing the lion. They closed with another fun jam and I really enjoyed their set too. I think that was the point when it dawned on me that the day was just going to get more and more incredible.
Casio Bastard at the Eat More Kale festival in Montpelier VT June 25 2016 pic by Tim Lewis
I headed back to stage two for another highlight of the day. American String Circus are a quintet with a singer/ukulele player, singer/acoustic guitar player, a stand up bass, a violin and a beat box, or whatever that box that drummers sometimes sit on and hit the front with their hands is called. Their sound was warm and friendly folk with a nice edge. They sang songs about forgiving you. letting your true self show, finally having your eyes open and being out where you want. One song was called Hold me and one had an alluring line about switchblade eyes. They ended the set with a cover and played a mellow folksy version of I Will Survive that was so good, it was the song playing in my head after I had completed the long drive home at the end of the evening. I just can’t say enough nice things about their band.
American String Circus at the Eat More Kale festival in Montpelier VT June 25 2016 pic by Tim Lewis
Up next was the first band of the day that I knew. I headed to stage 1 and Binger opened with a blistering version of Strings. They are a singer/electric guitar player, singer/bass player and drummer trio. The songs have a funky groove and really rock hard at times. The vocals are a mix of singing and rapping and their lyrics are quite inspirational. They ripped through the instrumental King Vice and Braden Winslow unleashed some serious lead guitar pyrotechnics throughout the set. They played a cover of Put It In My Pocket. They played the brand new Spaces In Between then a song called Check Your Pockets that sounded powerful and lovely. They wrapped the set by getting the audience to join in on the chorus of Yes You Can and fun was had by all.
Binger at the Eat More Kale festival in Montpelier VT June 25 2016 pic by Tim Lewis
OK, I’m going to stop here. This takes us up to 2:30 in the afternoon with nine hours of music to follow.
Cricket Blue in City Hall Park June 24, 2016 pic by Tim Lewis
I had a great time seeing music on Friday in City Hall Park in Burlington. I have enjoyed the music of Cricket Blue for a while but had not seen them. About quarter of noon I took the sunny walk downtown, said a quick hello to Jack Tremblay who I randomly ran into on Church St, then headed into the park. The band were on stage and playing so I found a place to sit on the edge of the sun and shade and let their gorgeous music wash over me. I’m pretty sure it was Oh My Rose that was enchanting the air when I arrived. Cricket are a duo made up of Laura Heaberlin and Taylor Smith and both play acoustic guitar and sing. It’s Laura’s voice that tends to come out the most, but it’s the way their voices weave themselves together while the guitars weave themselves together that makes their music sound like magic. The songs have a strength to them and the lyrics will go as deep as you want to follow. The first full song I caught was Forsythia and it’s cool rhythm changes made me smile. At some point someone sat next to me and it turned out to be my cousins Jessica and Caleb Pearson. The band swirled through their set with songs about milkmen, Elliot and and Ode to Billy Joe. At some point my mom happened to wander by, grabbed a chair and checked out the show. The band sounded luscious and powerful as they worked through IO with Trouble Come No More, Angela Carter, and Kentucky. I wondered how they would do the rocking part in the latter with just acoustics but they brought up the speed and volume and pulled it off nicely. Elanor followed then they closed the show with a long new song, almost a song cycle, called Corn King. It was great and bodes nicely for their future. It was the kind of show that put them on the go see them whenever you can list.
After the show the four of us went out to Vt Pub for a lovely lunch. I love it when it is so easy to see such great music, and hey, you never know who you will run into.
Cricket Blue in City Hall Park June 24, 2016 pic by Tim Lewis 2
Be Aggressive at The Monkey House June 22 2016 pic by Tim Lewis
I had a great time seeing music Wednesday Night at The Monkey House. It had been too long since I had seen BE AGGRESSIVE so just after 8pm I took the walk to Winooski to catch the 8:30 show. The band went on close to Nine and rocked hard for a half hour or so. They are a trio with Jaw Knee Bee on vocals and bass, Pete Bolduc on guitar and vocals and new guy Chris on drums. The music is fast and loud and a bit long for punk songs. The songs go through some fun changes and the vocals are dual screams from the singer. The band was super tight and so much fun to listen to. The set was not long but was really great.
USA Waste at The Monkey House June 22 2016 pic by Tim Lewis
After a fairly short Break USA Waste from Bangor Maine hit the stage. They are a guitar/singer bass/singer and drummer punk rock band. The vocals were more sang than screamed and the songs were very short and really intense. Their set was short too, about 30 minutes but every moment was blistering fun.
Days N Daze at The Monkey House June 22 2016 pic by Tim Lewis
The Monkey had been about half full all night long, which is pretty good for a Wednesday, and when Days N Daze took the stage they densely packed the front half of the room. Days are a four-piece with singer/trumpet player, singer/acoustic guitar player, washboard player and the other guy had something that looked like a turned over metal tub with a tool handle and it might be called a gutbicket. They played punk rock songs in an acoustic setting and had a hint of Violent Femmes in their sound. The songs were fun and the audience knew them all and heartily sang along. It was pretty intense.
The walk home was lovely and I was so glad I put in the effort to check out two bands that I did not know and it was great to catch up with Be Aggressive again.