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Caroline O’Connor at Radio Bean Wednesday March 30, 2016   Leave a comment

Caroline O'Connor at Radio Bean March 30, 2016 photo by Tim Lewis

Caroline O’Connor at Radio Bean March 30, 2016 photo by Tim Lewis

I had a great time seeing music at Radio Bean Wednesday night. I saw the listing for the show last week so I eagerly anticipated hearing what Caroline Marie O’Connor would play.

I ran into Samara Lark Brown as I approached the Bean, then ran into Eric Segalstad and Joe Adler. Just before Caroline went on, Christopher Larrow stopped in. With everything set to go, Caroline took the stage solo. She played guitar and sang over prerecorded bass and drums. She used lots of loops to created a lush full sound. The set was short, she only played 5 songs, but they were all really good. All of the songs were from her upcoming solo album. They have that flowing powerful sound that graced the second Vedora album, and I really enjoyed all of them. She played Into My Skin, True, one that I missed the title of, Fly and an especially transfixing song called Ritual.

Even though I really wanted to hear more of her wonderful songs, I was content to realize that the show was what it was. I hope she has a bunch more songs and that her solo album will be great. Judging from what I heard Wednesday, I think it’s a sure thing.


The High Breaks and Vultures Of Cult at Club Metronome October 5, 2015   Leave a comment

Nectar's photo by Tim Lewis

Nectar’s photo by Tim Lewis

I had a great time seeing music on Monday at Club Metronome. I had been a bit antsy all day, so after work, I thought going out would be a great idea. I knew The High Breaks were kicking off Metal Monday, so I thought I’d go check them out and see how long I could make it when the metal started for real. I grew up loving Heavy Metal, but once bands started with the cookie monster vocal, I moved away. It’s such a waste to have powerful music then to not be able to catch any lyrics, since well intertwined lyrics and music can be over the top great. It was a nice walk down to Metronome and I arrived just about at the 9:30 start time. The stage was set and I got a chance to chat with each of the HB’s. After a bit they headed to the stage, but did a sound check instead of starting right off. It took a while to get through, but when done, they hit the stage for real and rocked hard. I was not sure how a surf-rock band would go over to the metal crowd, but the music was heavy enough and the band skilled enough, that everyone had a good time. They played classics like Ankle Breaker and Banana Seat. Each original song had a story before it which added to the fun. All of the songs are instrumental and have a fun dark rocking vibe. Tood’s drumming is super strong and fast. Kevin’s bass playing drives the songs perfectly and gives plenty of space for Matt to rip it up on guitar. Their set was not long, but every note was fun. They closed with a classic surf song, but it was really the originals that made the set so fun.

I hung out for the set break, and another quick sound check, then Vultures of Cult hit the stage. They opened with a long slow building moody doom sounding piece that just built and built until it was at full metal fury. The four piece, two singer/guitar players, bass, drums, had one singer doing the doom and gloom vocal but the other one really sang and kept me glued to the stage. Their set was short, maybe four or five songs, but each one took it’s time and the molten music just filled the soul. I hung back a little, not sure if the medium sized crowd would mosh, but everyone was more just listening to the music and having a good time. I really liked all the songs, but as the last note rang out, I slipped down the stairs and took the long walk home. The antsy feeling was gone and I was left in the cool afterglow from the heavy rock music.


The Nancy Druids at Radio Bean July 6, 2015   Leave a comment

Radio Bean picture by Tim Lewis

Radio Bean picture by Tim Lewis


I had a great time seeing music a couple of Monday’s ago at Radio Bean. I twisted my ankle quite badly the Friday before, and spent much of Friday and Saturday with my leg up, not doing anything. I worked Sunday and the swelling went down a lot, and it was reasonably manageable by Monday. I worked until 8, hobbled home, then headed down to the Bean. I got a nice stool to sit on, and soon enough, The Nancy Druids hit the stage. The next hour or so was filled with John Franklin’s heavy, yet nimble, bass riffs, Ann Mindell‘s thorough pounding of the drums and Sean Toohey’s melodic, majestic and blistering rocking guitar. It was the second time I had seen them and was beginning to get to know, and really like the songs. They played a dozen songs and they were all good. December was especially cool. The fourth song, Ordinary Breakdown Day(???) really rocked. There was a song that was a bit Bealesque, maybe called I Was A fool, that was nice. There was a song maybe called Disappear that had a huge guitar workout. There was a song that had the line the “space between a secret and a lie” that was pretty great. They ended with a couple that might be Fallen and Remember Who You Were. All night long Sean was a great singer and a genial host, and now and then would pull out some over the top ripping guitar workouts. It’s tricky to get to know songs when you’ve only heard them twice, over a couple of months, but with songs like this, I will keep going back until I know them all. Thanks for a great second show!! I can’t wait for the third and fourth ….


Maryse Smith at Signal Kitchen and Questionable Company at Radio Bean June 19, 2015   Leave a comment

Signal Kitchen photo by Tim Lewis

Signal Kitchen photo by Tim Lewis


I had a great time seeing music last night. Friday’s are always hard. I never get enough sleep Thursday night, so always want to take it easy. Of course, when I have a song running through my head all day, sometimes I have to force myself.

I got out of work at 7, went home and ate a quick dinner then headed down to Signal Kitchen. I got in and settled and almost immediately Maryse Smith began to play. She was joined by Brennan Gregory Mangan, and I couldn’t tell what instrument he was playing on the first song, but he played drums on all the others. Maryse played a bunch of new songs on a green electric guitar, and it was cool to hear her songs a bit more orchestrated, since I’m used to hearing her play solo on acoustic. They opened with The Way It Is, then played a bunch of lovely songs I did not know. I’m not sure if I need to play all of her music again to see which ones they are, but really think most were brand new. Either way, it was fun to just listen close and try and follow along. She has a great voice and a super cool structure to her songs. Her lyrics get intensely personal, and sometimes remind you of thoughts and feelings deep inside yourself. They played nicely together, and the music they made had a nice sweep to it. I went in with high expectations and was completely blown away. When they finished the lovely set, she checked on time and had enough for one more, but said that is all they had worked out. After the intense concentration of playing together she unleashed a solo version of Liar that seemed to effortlessly roll out of her. I love that song and she did a killer version. I’m so glad I put in the effort.

There were two more bands playing, but I started the night tired and headed out. I wandered up Church st and headed over to Radio Bean. There was a band billed as dream pop that I thought might be fun, but my timing was off, and they were going on at 10. I hung out for a drink and caught a few songs by Questionable Company. They had a nice airy jazzy flow to them. The quartet was made up of a woman singer, a woman electric guitar player who sang also, a guy on stand up bass and a guy on a minimalist drum kit. It was easy to get into their groove and sway to the breezy songs. The vocal harmonies were quite lovely, but when they brought up another singer for one song, her voice mingled with the lead singer’s voice sounded eerily like Joe Adler‘s voice. It was kind of cool. A couple of songs later I recognized one and they did a great job with Skynyrd’s Simple Man. They played one more after that. I briefly though about staying for a bit, but weariness led me out the door for the smooth walk home through the twilight.


Radio Bean picture by Tim Lewis

Radio Bean picture by Tim Lewis


Radio Show 91 Thursday December 18, 2014 9-11pm Eastern US Time WBKM.ORG   Leave a comment



I just got back from doing my local music radio show on internet only Wbkm Dot Org. I played a lot of Christmas songs and some songs about what Christmas could mean.

Song before: Blue Light Shines – Gabrielle Douglas and the Dwellers



From our small city to the great big world, these are the Sounds Of Burlington. I’m going to play a bunch of local artists doing Christmas songs but before I get into it, earlier today I was chatting with a musician about songs having value and being worth buying. He had a new single out and offered to give me a copy but I opted to purchase it instead. This is Old Souls Of Chatham County by Jeremy Gilchrist on WBKM, and this is Burlington’s Kind Of Music.

1.) Old Souls Of Chatham County – Jeremy Gilchrist
2.) I donwannago (Surfin) – Super Music Band
3.) Beautiful Bones (live) – Lobot
4.) Christmas Sled – The Mountain Says No

Love that song by Mountain. Can’t wait to see them January 3rd at The Monkey House with Black Rabbit and Dino Bravo VT. Chris Farnsworth plays guitar with Dino and Lobot and just got me a collection of 6 leftover Lobot songs. What a great guitar player. Dino also are playing tonight at Club Metronome. Another new song from Doug McAllister‘s new band. He’s in California now but has deep Vermont roots. Great song from Jeremy, totally worth the $ 1.00 I paid. OK, let’s dive into Christmas songs.

5.) Carol Of The Bells – Gordon Stone Trio
6.) It Came Upon A Midnight Clear – Electric Halo
7.) Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – Greg Alexander
8.) Merry Christmas Baby – Sandra Wright.

Great version of the song by Sandra, who used to play all the time in town. Beautiful singing by Greg. Beautiful saw by Johnnie Day Durand on the Halo song. Love the banjo work on Bells. This next song is by a great supporter of the local music scene and great local musician.

9.) Santa Baby – Samara Lark Brown
10.) Frosty The Snowman – Construction Joe
11.) Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer – Linda Bassick
12.) The Christmas Song – Motel Brown
13.) Santa Claus Is Coming To Town – Scott Managan

Very elegant version of that song! Motel did a great version of that classic. I really like Linda’s take on Rudolph. That’s a fun instrumental version of Frosty. OK let’s step away from Christmas songs for a while. Last week I finished off the last song on Lipstick And Dynamite. It’s time to start a new album to play one song a week and go through the whole album. This next album features a great guy and a ton of great VT musicians. This is the first song from Many Things & Many Scenes.

14.) The Mime – Joe Adler
15.) Give Me All Your Love – Madaila
16.) Neighborhood – Black Rabbit
17.) Finally Found The One – When Particles Collide

That was not a Christmas song, but the idea of finding the one for you and using that to step forward into life is reminiscent of the love of family that we focus on at Christmas. Congratulations Particles on winning the award for best new band in Boston. That feeling of love can easily extend beyond your direct family to your friends in the neighborhood. Nice song about love by Madaila, and thanks to Mike Luoma for getting me a copy of the song just before i went on air. Seven Days did a nice article on some of the people behind the music scenes in VT, and showcased a lot of wonderful people who make it all happen. I think Mike is one of those, even if he, and hundreds of others, were not directly mentioned. This next song is not a Christmas song but is a song about love, and choosing love and is very much in the spirit.

18.) You Can Love If You Want To – Peg Tassey MUSIC
19.) Silent Night – Tammy Fletcher
20.) Jingle Bell Rock – Sarah Stickle

Great version of the classic by Sarah. Wow, what amazing singing by Tammy! Great song by Peg. Let’s keep the Christmas songs flowing.

21.) Winter Wonderland – Joshua Glass
22.) God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – Viperhouse
23.) Little Drummer Boy – Aaron Flinn
24.) Merry X-Mas (War Is Over) – Joshua Glass Music

Wow, it’s been so many years since John Lennon wrote that song. You’d have though humanity would have caught up by now. Apparently not, but we can any time we choose. Great song by Aaron! That was a fun acid jazz version by Viper. This next song is not a Christmas song but truly invokes the spirit of peace on earth, good will toward people. They are playing right now at Manhattan Pizza and Pub but I’m on the air. I will have to catch up with them soon.

25.) Sequoia 3 – Binger
26.) It’s Just A Ride – Bill Hicks
27.) Silver Bells – Josh Glass and Jackie Buttolph
28.) White Christmas – Giovanina Bucci

Beautiful version of the classic. Great song by Josh and Jackie. I get the feeling Bill is still hanging at the evolution bell curve waiting for humanity to catch up. Maybe some day. This next song is not a Christmas song, but is seasonally appropriate.

29.) Winter – David L. Jarvis
30.) TFAY – Elephants of Scotland

Check your list, you don’t want to forget about anyone. My brother Ken is having a birthday tomorrow, and I know he likes rocking music, so I’m sending that one out to him. This next song is for my father, your father, everyone’s father and you if you are a father.

31.) The Fathers Of The Year – I See Fish People
32.) Oh Holy Night – Cait Hoffman

Beautiful version of that song. I hope you enjoyed checking out the music of our town, let’s do it again next week, shall we?



Song after: Cliche – Fish


Better Things, For The Kid In The Band, Doom Service, Carraway and Slingshot Dakota at 242 Main November 1, 2014   Leave a comment

242 Main St

242 Main St

I had a great time seeing music last Saturday at 242 Main. I was able to get out of work a little bit early and arrived at the club close to 7. The first band had cancelled so I was just in time. Too bad, they were supposed to play covers of Dead Kennedy’s songs. At least I would have known some of those songs.
The evening began acoustically with Brad Yandow and Brian LaClair from Better Things alternating songs on acoustic guitar. Brad began with Hail Satan then played a couple of the Mountain Goats songs. I’m not sure the first two Brian songs, but his last was an excellent Frank Turner song. Both have strong guitar playing skills and solid voices. Both sounded great and the show was off to a wonderful start.
Doom Service followed with a nice heavy rocking set. I think it was mostly alt rock songs from the ’90’s, but I really don’t know that musical period very well. A couple of the songs sounded familiar, but everything was good. They rocked hard, got the crowd bouncing a bit and were pretty fun onstage.
The next band was a trio called For The Kid In The Band. They had a guitar player/singer and drummer from New York, and were were joined by Roy from Doom Service on bass. I think they played Blink 182 songs, but, as was the theme for the evening, I did not know any of them. They were pretty fun and played loud and fast. Everything rocked nicely, and I was pretty content.
After a short break, a band called Carraway hit the stage. Wearing the appropriate make-up, they announced themselves as Hipster KISS but did not play any Kiss songs, except for a short Detroit Rock City riff for a couple of seconds. I think they did not do covers and played their own songs, but I’m not sure. They were pretty tight and rocked hard. I really liked the songs and they ended the night with a vocal piece that was quite striking. I will have to check them out again soon.
After a bit, Slingshot Dakota got set up and started to play. With just a keyboard and drums, they unleashed a killer sound that rocked the club to its core. The audience was a mixture of impressed and awed as they played lots of songs from their new album Dark Heart. I did not know the album well enough so just went along for the ride and loved every note. They tossed a cover of Tyrone by Erykah Badu that had some cool funky rhythms, and closed with a killer Fugazi song. The set was pure beauty, joy and rock and roll. I’d been waiting for a long time to see them again and they were just as wonderful as ever.
When the last notes rang out, I said a quick goodbye. I took the happy walk home with a heart full of wonderful music.

The Mountain Says No and Wave Of The Future at Manhattan Pizza January 23, 2014   Leave a comment

I just got back from seeing and hearing a ton of great music. I wrapped up the radio show, ran down the street to Manhattan Pizza, and walked in as The Mountain Says No unfurled their first song. It sounded heavy and rocking from the outside and more so as I slid in the door, saw Christopher Larrow in the back, and made my way to his table. I dropped the coat, grabbed a beer and headed to the front. I had high hopes, and I don’t even know what to say. The songs worked through a lot of changes, some slow and incendiary, and some blisteringly fast. The two guitar/vocals, bass, drum band rocked in odd yet understandable ways. They created journeys that were fun to follow. Chris said he liked every song. I was thinking I loved every note. The experience was so new it was almost indescribable. I must see this band again as soon as possible!
Up next MC, Matthew Bryan Hagen and friend rapped a couple of moderately humerus tunes. It was getting late and Chris hit the road.
Wave of the Future followed with a nice heavy set. Last week was a bit more ’80’s fun, but this week was more ’90’s metal. Dressed in cold Vermont winter flannel, they lit the room with their energy. Granted, late in the set they did a fun version of Rock Lobster, but for the most part it was bouncing rockers like opener Radiate or closer One Point Twenty-One Jigga Jigga Wat. The whole set was high energy dancey rock songs or rocking dance songs, or whatever the hell it is that they play. Either way, if you find the groove when they’re playing your body is going to get a good shaking. At one point it sounded like Jeremy Gartner was playing a quick double bass drum, but he probably wasn’t, since he only had one. Yea, the band rocked that hard.
They played later this week, maybe because of the Matt thing, and I was out around 12:38. I went back to the station to grab my backpack. An Alison Krauss song was playing and it sounded like PossumHaw. I put Our Work Is Never Done in next and the mix sounded beautiful.

Hana Zara at Radio Bean November 17, 2013   Leave a comment

I had a great time seeing Hana Zara tonight at Radio Bean. I got out of work at 7, and she was set to go on at 8:30. I did a quick turnaround, and Mike Luoma was up for going too. We walked through the misty light drizzle, entered the coffee shop/performance space, and found seats at the bar.

Hana took a bit of time to set up, then lit into a beautiful set. There was a bit of crowd noise from the restaurant side, but the Bean side was pin drop silent. She played her uniquely beautiful rhythms, on her new acoustic guitar, and used her voice to viscerally articulate the stories of the songs. Oh, and the sonic effect of her voice was pretty sweet too. She played great songs from her album Tatterhood, like Santa Ana, Lithuania, Dropout Generation, and Afterlife, which you can hear her play live on The Point, Wednesday morning at 9am. She tossed in some of her enthralling new songs like The North and Science Fiction. She went back to her first album with Artist Junky, and previewed her new album with Factory Fields. That one had a bit of a different feel to it, but still the same determined wandering that keeps you moving along with her. I can’t wait to hear what she does next.

After she handed off the stage to the next band, we wandered back to the old north end. It was warm, with a misty drizzle, but just didn’t fully rain. What a great night.

Happy Birthday Radio Bean   Leave a comment

I woke up early and caught a ride with Mike Luoma down to Radio Bean to catch Dino Bravos opening set. They rocked hard and blisteringly loud, then it was over and I went to work. I worked 8 hours, stopped at home for a quick dinner then headed back to the Bean. They were running a bit behind schedule, and I walked in as Anders Parker was loading out. Rats! He’s really good, and I missed him.  Rats.

Anna Pardenik came on next and played a stunning song on electric piano. She was joined by a drummer and guitar player for the next two. She played guitar on the first and piano on the second. Her set soared and I loved every moment of her songs! They had a nice sweep to them and reached up from earth to just soar.

Next up, Mickey Western jammed some country with his band. Not my thing, but they rocked it pretty hard and were fun.

Lowell Thompson and friends followed with some tough country rock. It was cool, and great to see Steve Hadeka play drums.

They followed that by clearing the dance floor for tango sessions, where a bunch of couples danced the tango for 3 songs. It’s like a concert was happening and a dance broke out. It kind of worked.

Brett Hughes and Kat Wright came on next and played a few old style country songs with one guitar and two voices. They really sing well together. They sang a song about being on a wire, the saddest song ever, and it was stunningly beautiful. During the set, one of my roommates, Joel, and my friend Christopher Larrow walked in. What a nice surprise. And they got there just in time for Swale!

Swale came on and did a set of covers. They were joined by Kat and a guy who did a killer rap for Empire State of Mind. They followed with Let’s Have A Toast for the Douchebags, and kept the party rolling. Amanda left the keys to be frontwoman for a seriously funky C’est La Vie. They followed by asking Lee to come to the stage with an empty glass and dishrag and asked him to keep wiping it for the whole song. They asked me to sit on an amp and had someone else lean on the keyboard with a beer. They played the theme to Cheers, and it was great.

Immediately after their set Vedora hit the other stage. They unleashed a blistering Terrarium, Promises, Maria, and In the Pines with the end section of Chain. The energy was through the roof.

Next up a poet read a bit and the Eames brothers came on. We stepped outside to get a bit of air. The Eames guys sounded nice and played some bluesy rock.

Craig Mitchell and Soulmints followed with a rocking soul set. Purple Rain was especially nice. From there on it gets a bit blurry.

The Honky Tonk crew played a few and while I was not stunned, it was great to hear Marie Claire Johnson sing and play keys. Actually she co-played keys as there was someone else playing the same keyboard with her.

Shelly Shredder rocked pretty hard. I should really try and catch them again sometime.

Blue Button came on a unleashed a fury of blistering punk rock. It got pretty wild on the floor. Thanks Eric Olsen Rebekah Whitehurst and the rest for such a fun time.

Lendway came on next and were cool and wonderful as always. Kevin Lynam and the boys really know how to play! After that I headed for home. After all, it’s my Tuesday. Thanks to Radio Bean and all the wonderful performers that I caught and missed. I love you all, and you know that.