Archive for the ‘The Wee Folkestra’ Tag

The Wee Folkestra and Vermont Suzuki Violins at Summervale in the Intervale in Burlington Vermont July 21, 2016   Leave a comment

The Wee Folkestra at Summervale July 21 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

The Wee Folkestra at Summervale July 21 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

 

I had a great time seeing music yesterday in the Intervale. On Thursdays throughout the summer they have a family oriented festival called Summervale in Burlington’s Old North End. It is very close to the farms that grow much of the city’s food. There are food vendors, arts and crafts, and or course, music. It was a beautiful day as I took the walk down the hill to the festival that is a couple of feet away from my amazing employer Gardener’s Supply Company. Comfortable with the layout of the gathering, I wandered in, found a strawberry thyme basil soda to drink and took a seat on the ground close to the band. At 6pm The Wee Folkestra filled the stage. They play a mix of acoustic and electric instruments, have four great singers and play folk versions of pop songs from the ages. They began the set with Samara Lark Brown belting out Sitting On the Dock Of The Bay. Of course she sang most of the lead but was joined by the other singers for the harmonies Aya Inoue lead the next song about Jackson then the band played a song about being sick of that same old love. I think that was the one where I really appreciated the dynamic between lead guitarist Eric Segalstad, bassist Eric Daniels, and drummer Houston Illo. They had something pretty cool going on. The kids in the audience began to dance a bit at the end of that one and really let go as Joe Adler lead A Good Man Is Hard To Find. The played a song about a moonlight mile on down the road that Jackie Buttolph lead, and closed the first set with Don’t Dream It’s Over.

They took a break as several Vermont Suzuki Violin students played in front of the stage. They played together quite tightly and sounded great for such young kids. They played five songs and left to a solid applause.

The Wee Folkestra returned to the stage with I’ll Fly Away and followed it with Roar. They pulled out a little CCR with Have You Ever Seen The Rain, always a daring song to play when you are outside, then did a great version of Bonnie Raitt’s Home. Throughout the entire show Johnnie Day Durand added a magical touch with her musical saw. There is so much talent in the band and yet her playing just makes the whole sound better. They continued through the set with songs like Gillian Welch’s One Little Song, the Stones This Could Be The Last Time and Dylan’s One More Cup Of Coffee. They pulled out the spiritual Old Mary then played a gorgeous version of Ghost In This House. At that point the clock said 7:30 and that was my cut off point so I could get downtown to do my radio show at 9. I enjoyed hearing the song about raising up your hands as I took the long walk up the hill. It sounded nice for a long time until it finally faded away.

 

Wee Folkestra at Bread & Butter Farm, DJ Kanganade, Andrew Stearns, Forest Gray, Self Portrait, and Doom Service at Foundation June 17, 2016   Leave a comment

The Wee Folkestra at Bread & Butter Farm in Shelburne VT June 17, 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

The Wee Folkestra at Bread & Butter Farm in Shelburne VT June 17, 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

 

I had a great time seeing lots of music yesterday despite an emotionally rocky beginning. Father’s Day is coming up soon and this will be the first one since my dad passed away, and it was a couple of weeks after the anniversary of the death of my uncle. On Thursday I realized I had not spoken with mom for a week or so. I called but missed her. I called again Friday and we spoke for a while. She told me about all the kitchen renovations that happened this week and said I had to see them. I said I was thinking of going to a show in Shelburne, where I grew up and she still lives, that night, and it turns out she had heard of Burger Night and had wanted to check it out. Since the band I wanted to see were not too intense, we set a plan.

We met at the house around 4 and I got to see the garden and the new raised beds and the kitchen. We headed over to Bread & Butter Farm on Barstow road, found the parking area and headed in. Since it was so last minute she didn’t have any cash, so I got to treat her to a burger and a couple of salads and a raspberry lemonade. The food was fantastic and filled with delightful and strong flavors. It really is worth going just for the food.

Of course, I did not go just because of the food, but made sure I was hungry when I arrived. I really went to see The Wee Folkestra. The farm has a small sheltered seating area with a large lawn and a small stage. The band shoehorned themselves into place and began with the instantly recognizable I’ll Fly Away. They followed with Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay and that set the tone for a lovely afternoon. As is often the case, the audience was set up in a semi-circle a ways back from the stage. I broke through and found a place to sit reasonably close to the stage. I though mom might just hang out in the back but she came up close for the show. Soon, a few of the many kids started walking and running and spinning and twirling around and everyone was having fun. The eight-piece band has a folk sound but with three guitars, a saw, a bass, and drums and two more singers the music has a full, almost orchestrated feel. Their name describes them quite well. Set one featured songs like I’m So Sick Of That Same Old Love, Atlantic City, and the Tom Waits classic A Good Man is Hard To Find. Jackie Buttolph mostly sang harmonies but nicely took the lead now and then. Aya Inoue and Samara Lark Brown each got plenty of lead vocals and sounded great in harmony. Aya Inoue played a strong acoustic guitar for most of the songs. Joe Adler‘s deep voice added an extra dimension to the music and his card deck guitar playing rocked. Eric Segalstad’s electric guitar playing added a nice edge, with some sweet solos, and his (Lesser Paul) mandolin playing further enhanced the whole sound. Eric Daniels bass kept the rhythm together while Houston Illo’s drumming was steady and true. Johnnie Day Durand‘s musical saw found and bent some of the most beautiful notes and gave an ethereal sound to the music. They sounded great and played a beautiful 10 song set.

During the set break Mr Chris entertained the kids with Puff The Magic Dragon, a song about jumping, and a few others. It made me think this would be a great gig for Linda Bassick. Mr Chris organized the kids, and some parents, into line and they paraded around the picnic area. It was nice to see so many people having such a good time.

After the parade we returned to the stage as the Folkestra began set two. Folky versions of Billie Jean and The Way You Make Me feel began the more rocking of the sets. It was great to sit back in the sunshine with a ton of kids running everywhere. The second set was 10 songs also and featured One More Cup Of Coffee For The Road and the classic Old Mary. They wrapped the set with Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This). It was a great time and we even got to watch the farmers create hay rolls on the walk back to the car.

We went back to mom’s house in Shelbune and I grabbed the car and headed back to Burlington. I made a brief stop at home and headed downtown. I had just crossed North st. When I heard a shout from the car that was stopped at the intersection. It was Samara Lark Brown with Jackie and Eric D. What timing.

 

The Wee Folkestra at Bread & Butter Farm in Shelburne VT June 17, 2016 pic by Tim Lewis 2

The Wee Folkestra at Bread & Butter Farm in Shelburne VT June 17, 2016 pic by Tim Lewis 2

 

I had originally though of heading to 242 Main for the punk show, but it started at 7 and the other show that caught my eye was at 8:30 and it was 8:40 when I arrived downtown. I headed over to Drink and found the door that leads down to Foundation, the club below. Hint, it’s the Exit door in back.

Foundation is a long skinny club with seats lining the walls, a cut out area where the bands play and a small bar in the back. It tuned out that I was quite early and likely should have swung by 242. Oh well,

I hung out for a bit then DJ Kanganade got up for a set. He did some serious scratching and song altering and it was pretty fun. What he did with Arthur Brown’s Fire had to be heard to be believed.

 

DJ Kanganade at Foundation June 17, 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

DJ Kanganade at Foundation June 17, 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

 

First up was Andrew Stearns. It was just him playing banjo, and occasionally acoustic guitar, and singing with a pure strong voice that just filled the room. Several of the songs were his and several were traditional songs from early America. He played songs like June Apple and Let Me Feel. He referred to Greasy Coat as possibly the first straight edge song. Closer Than My Troubles was a cool original as was the instrumental Dog And Ball. Mole In The Ground was fun with him choosing which of the many verses he wanted to sing, since so many have been created over the years. A three song banjo medley followed and his picking was perfect. Red Leaves Snowy Peaks was an ideal Vermont song and Honey In My Coffee was just nice. He closed the night with a guitar song dedicated to all of those who had passed, and he brought out the lovely idea of being able to sing with deceased loved ones in an Angel Band. I really enjoyed his whole set.

 

Andrew Stearns at Foundation June 17, 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

Andrew Stearns at Foundation June 17, 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

 

Forest Gray quickly followed by playing a few keyboard riffs and looping them and singing over them. He had a very indie feel to his songs and playing and expressed a quirkiness that made for a very enjoyable show. He alternated the keyboard songs with acoustic guitar songs and the one about the aliens and the closing song about the selfie that saved the world were great. I bought his disc after the show and he kindly gave me a second newer one. Yea, more music for my local music radio show on WBKM.

 

Forest Gray at Foundation June 17, 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

Forest Gray at Foundation June 17, 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

 

DJ Kanganade followed with a set then was joined by the two rappers known as Self Portrait. Their set was very intense and their voices sounded nice on their own and wonderful together. At one point James Lockridge wandered in, went to the bar came back and kindly handed me a Heady Topper. I was a bit blown away and we just sat and listed to songs like Nasty and a cool one about living in Vermont. I’m not a huge hip hop or rap fan but those guys were really good and I’m happy I got to experience their furor.

 

Self Portrait at Foundation June 17, 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

Self Portrait at Foundation June 17, 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

 

I chatted with Jim a little bit during the set break but it was not long until Doom Service hit the stage and rocked hard. Jeff Foran sang and played electric, Ben was a monster on the drums, Matt played guitar and sang backing vocals and Tyler Daniel Bean played bass. That was especially cool since I’ve seen him play drums and guitar at other shows. It’s great to see his versatility. They played a blisteringly loud 10 song set featuring covers like Black Hole In My Head and originals like 1.21 Gigawatts/Great Scott, Black Oil and Monsters Are Due. I had waited all day to rock this hard and was deliriously delighted for the full set.

 

Doom Service at Foundation June 17, 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

Doom Service at Foundation June 17, 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

 

When they wrapped up I chatted a bit more with Jim and said some goodbyes. I bought a T-Shirt on the way out, because you have got to support your local musicians, and it’s a pretty cool shirt.

The walk home was lovely and it was nice to spend some time thinking about how strong and diverse our local music scene is. I’m so lucky to live in this town.

 

 

Osage Orange and Swale at Light Club Lamp Shop and the Wee Folkestra at Radio Bean February 13, 2016   Leave a comment

Light Club Lamp Shop photo by Tim Lewis

Light Club Lamp Shop photo by Tim Lewis

I had a great time seeing music last night at Light Club Lamp Shop and Radio Bean. I worked until 5:30 then went home, had dinner, and pondered the news about the passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. I got myself out the door around 8:30 and arrived at the Lamp Shop about quarter of 9. Osage Orange were on stage and started soon after I settled in. They are a trio with guitar, bass, drums. The guitar player sings most of the songs and the bass player sings a few. Their sound started as lo-fi indie rock with a sparse sound but some catchy riffs and lyrics. The one with the lyric about Take Your Own Medicine was familiar and easy to sing along with. As the show went on the songs took on more flesh with some deeper and darker tones. One song in the late middle of the show almost sounded like a song by The Church (Territorial Baby?). The show was not long, but was really good. I seem to catch up with Osage every couple of years and always enjoy it when I do. I should try and catch them more often.

After a bit of a set break, and some tricky instrument placement on the small stage, Swale began with an upbeat version of Beaten Down. It seemed an odd opening choice, but for the bar full of Saturday night party people, and some Swale fans, it proved a great way to get the show going. A soothing and searing Armadillo followed. They kept the line between mellow and intense balanced with a great version of Soul Piggy Bank, then played one of the louder versions of Soft Fireworks that I’ve ever heard. It needed a bit more muscle to keep the chattering crowd in the background. They dropped Fireworks into a fun version of Dimedrop, then pulled out a stunning version of We Could All Be That Way. I love the way that one builds and builds and builds. A fun version of Waiting For You followed then they played a song I’ve heard a couple of times, maybe called Loser. It’s pretty catchy and fun. They followed with a couple that I did not know, maybe Bright Lights Tonight and Lay It All Down On Tonight. Both were quite good. They followed with Good Medicine which started slow but builds into a stunning Eric Olsen guitar solo. They said they read the news today and pulled out a blistering version of War Pigs. After, they dedicated it to the man in the long black coat. They wrapped the night with a gorgeous version of If You Get Lost and that was that. What a great show.

I immediately ducked out the door and ducked into Radio Bean and caught the last few songs from the Wee Folkestra. They are super talented and always fun. They played the song about having your Hands Up. They played One More Cup Of Coffee For The Road. They played one I did not know then ended the night with Oh Mary Don’t You Weep. Thoroughly sated, I took the quick and frigid walk home, but my heart was super warm from the great music.

Note:  Per Tyler Bolles from Swale “Glad you made it out, Tim! I Want to say that Bright Lights Tonight is a Richard and Linda Thompson song off the album of the same name. Funny, we were totally expecting a different vibe on blisteringly cold night at the Lamp Shop. I guess it was date night, and BTV music lovers aren’t afraid of a few digits below zero!

 

The Wee Folkestra at The Monkey House January 2, 2016   Leave a comment

The Monkey House photo by Tim Lewis

The Monkey House photo by Tim Lewis

 

I had a great time seeing music last night at The Monkey House. I worked until 6:30, stopped at home for a bit of dinner and around 8:30 took the long walk to Winooski. I arrived just before 9, got settled in, and said a couple of hellos. Quickly, The Wee Folkestra took the stage and the music began to flow. With three guitars, a bass player, a musical saw, and four singers, they created a nice huge sound. The lack of a drummer kept it from rocking too hard, and added a folky edge, but when everyone was going at full tilt, they sounded like a mini orchestra. Most of the rhythms were done on guitar, with Joe Adler and Aya Inoue playing acoustic and Eric Segalstad playing electric. This left Eric Daniels a little room to explore on bass. Joe sang lead on some songs, Aya sang lead on some, Jackie Buttolph sang lead on one and Samara Lark Brown lead a couple too. Most songs had a lot of vocal harmonies and were sweet and powerful. Their hour long set was nicely received by the fairly full audience. The sound mix was great and Johnnie Day Durand‘s musical saw could easily be heard all the way through, and she got to play most of the lead parts. I really like Eric’s lead guitar playing, so having him do mostly rhythm on guitar and mandolin was a bit different, but the songs are really more about collaboration than just standing out on one’s own. Most, if not all, of the set was cover songs. I did not know, but thoroughly enjoyed, the first song. Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of These) followed and featured the saw playing the keyboard part. Ghost In This House was as achingly beautiful as always. Atlantic City was a fun singalong. Jackie belted out a strong version of Michael Jackson’s The Way You Make Me Feel. Joe did his best Tom Waits on A Good Man Is Hard To Find. Ween’s Baby Bitch was fun, and featured a little bit of Eric playing lead guitar. They followed with a couple more that I did not know, but really enjoyed. They wrapped the night with O Mary Don’t You Weep which featured a nice full ending that kept easing its way down until it swept back into the full song for a bit, then really ended. Shortly after the show, I said a couple of quick goodbyes and took the long walk home. It always amazes me how much talent we have in this town and it’s so cool to see so many great musicians wonderfully combine in different bands. Thanks everyone!