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19th July

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Feature: Essential Prayers

25th September

Published in Berkshires Week on September 24, 2014
Original article:

Starting this Friday evening, a group of young musicians will be returning to Bennington College, their alma mater, for a weekend of harmony, prayer, and just a little bit of rock.

The weekend centers around a collaboration between Bennington College composition professor Kitty Brazelton and Trevor Wilson, a former student of Brazelton’s who now fronts the New York-based vocal group Anawan, who have joined forces to present renditions of various prayers sung a cappella. The project, titled “Essential Prayers,” is designed as a digital experience — the recordings will be uploaded to the internet for free streaming when the project launches in spring 2015.

In advance of the launch, Brazelton, Wilson, and the other members of the eight-piece chorus recruited to sing the prayers will be performing the project live on Saturday, Sept. 27, …

Feature: BCCS’ Cailin Manson

25th September

Published in Berkshires Week on September 25, 2014
Original article:

BENNINGTON — After 38 years under the direction of Edwin Lawrence, who recently retired, the Bennington County Choral Society has begun a new season of song and community with some fresh faces in its ranks, most notably its new director, Cailin Marcel Manson.

An accomplished singer in his own right, Manson started his music career at Temple University in Philadelphia, his home town, where he went on to found the Germantown Institute for the Vocal Arts and the Germantown Concert Chorus. He also earned a master’s degree in opera and orchestral conducting at Universitat Mozarteum Salzburg, one of Europe’s most prestigious music universities, in Salzburg, Austria — the hometown of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Manson has also toured the world as an operatic soloist, performing across Asia and Europe in hallowed venues like Notre …

Interview: Sam Amidon

25th September

Published in Berkshires Week on September 3, 2014
Original article:

NORTH ADAMS — After performing at Wilco’s most recent Solid Sound festival in 2013, Brattleboro native Sam Amidon returns to Mass MoCA this Sunday to perform at FreshGrass, the museum’s yearly bluegrass and roots music festival. A confident fiddler, banjo player, guitarist and singer, Amidon will release his sixth solo album, “Lily-O,” on Sept. 30. Like his earlier albums, the songs on “Lily-O” are largely original re-imaginings of traditional American folk songs.

JPM: How do you think your music fits in the surroundings of Mass MoCA?
Sam Amidon: It’s right in the middle of beautiful New England, and many of the songs I sing — especially the shape note songs — come from that. It has all the weird, beautiful old brick, and the crazy modern art.

JPM: Alison Brown, another FreshGrass artist, said that modern art is …

Feature: Robert Frost in Bennington

24th September

Published in Berkshires Week on September 3, 2014
Original article:

SHAFTSBURY — Bennington County is well known for its Revolutionary War history, but it holds a significant place in literary history as well. This area is the former home of Robert Frost, as well as his permanent resting place.

In 1920, having already published his famous collection, “North of Boston” and immortal poems like “Mending Wall” and “The Road Not Taken,” Robert Frost moved with his family to a small cape house in Shaftsbury, now known as the Robert Frost Stone House Museum. Although he would eventually move to his summer home in Ripton, much of his family remained here, and after his death in 1963 Frost returned to be interred in his family plot behind the Old First Church in Old Bennington, which he bought during his time in Shaftsbury.

“He didn’t go to …

Preview: Garlic Fest

24th September

Published in Berkshires Week on August 27, 2014
Original article:

BENNINGTON — Garlic ice cream? Garlic cupcakes? Garlic peanuts? Unexpected flavors will tempt the crowds this weekend when the annual Southern Vermont Garlic and Herb Festival returns to Camelot Village on Route 9 west just outside of downtown.

Along with music, kids entertainment, drinks and food, more than 100 vendors will sell their garlic, garlic-related products, herbs and crafts at the festival. Many of these foods and items will be made especially for the festival and hard to find elsewhere, so garlic lovers and local food enthusiasts alike can stock up now for the winter.

Here’s a quick preview of some of the rare and unusual garlic goodies to look for at this year’s Garlic Fest.

Garlic peanuts, spices, sauces and pottery from Bald Mountain Garlic Farm

In nearby Salem, N.Y., owner Bob Nopper at Bald …

Feature: Sculptor Lauren Ewing

17th September

Published in Berkshires Week on September 17, 2014
Original article:

BENNINGTON — The cooler temperatures and changing leaves mark the return to classes for local students, teachers and professors, as well as the return of Bennington College’s visual arts lecture series, which brings esteemed artists from around the country to Bennington for free, open-to-the-public talks on their work and career.

Sculptor and artist Lauren Ewing will give this year’s first talk. Best known for her public sculpture installations, Ewing is also a respected teacher and former member of the Williams College faculty, said Bennington professor Jon Isherwood, making this visit a homecoming of sorts.

Besides her connection to Williams, Ewing’s relationship with this area has lasted decades. In 1980, she was one of several artists invited to spend the summer creating a site-specific sculpture installation on the Bennington campus.

“I built a piece, which has …

Interview: William Jakubowski, Bennington Car Show

10th September

Published in Berkshires Week on September 10, 2014
Original article:

BENNINGTON — This weekend at Willow Park the Chamber of Commerce and local Rotary and Lions Clubs will host the 48th annual Bennington Car Show, drawing hundred of vendors, classic car owners and enthusiasts.

As the proud owner of a 1952 Ford F1 pickup truck and a member of the Norshaft Lions, William Jakubowski is one of the key figures behind the show, and it’s his job to get all the cars lined up and organized into their correct classes. We talked to Jakubowski about his truck and his expectations for this weekend’s show.

BWSV: How much work have you done on your truck?

WJ: I’ve had it for 17 years. It was painted when I first got it, and I had to put in a new pickup bed, the wood and the rails. And …

Feature: Northern Borders

10th September

Published in Berkshires Week on September 10, 2014
Original article:

BENNINGTON — The cast of Jay Craven’s film “Northern Borders” brings in veteran actors — but Craven staffed his crew with a team of 34 students from 15 liberal arts colleges.

Set in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom and based on Howard Mosher’s 1994 novel, “Northern Borders” brings together Academy Award-nominated actors Bruce Dern and Geneviève Bujold, who play the grandparents of the film’s young protagonist, Austen Kittredge, played by Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick.

The film will return to the Bennington Museum for an encore screening at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 12.

Craven chose his crew as part of a project, “Movies from Marlboro,” which offers undergraduates the opportunity to spend a semester gaining hands-on film production experience.

“It’s based on the John Dewey concept of intensive learning that enlarges meaning through the shared experience of joint action,” Craven said. …

Feature Obituary: Rick Burgess

5th September

Published in Berkshires Week on September 5, 2014
Original article:

BENNINGTON — In all parts of his life, as a family man, caretaker, musician and friend, Rick Burgess was known for giving everything he had.

After a short illness, Burgess passed away peacefully on Tuesday, surrounded by family. Shocked by the loss, members of the local community have responded with an outpouring of love and affection, remembering Burgess’ selflessness, kindness and heart.

“He was there for anybody, at any time, for anything,” said Ken Pallman, Burgess’ close friend and bandmate in the local band Blues Sanctuary. “Regardless of what was going on in his personal life or in his business life, he was there for the people that he loved. And frankly, he was there for just about anybody. He gave so many things to this town.”

Born in Bennington in 1950, Eric “Rick” Burgess attended …

Feature: Hoosick Barn Quilts

3rd September

Published in Berkshires Week on September 3, 2014
Original article:

HOOSICK, N.Y. — Taking a new approach to a traditional art form, members of the community have worked all summer to create a most unconventional quilt — one that covers the entire town.

Starting the project in June, teams of painters and designers have created 31 wooden quilt squares, most measuring 8 feet wide by 8 feet tall, and mounted them on barns, houses and buildings throughout Hoosick Falls, Eagle Bridge, Buskirk, Petersburg Junction and other parts of the town, dotting the rural landscape with unique, handmade pieces of folk art.

“When you see the countryside and you see the farms — it’s just beautiful, and nobody knows it’s here except us,” said Deborah Alter, who organized the project as creative director of the Hoosick Armory Youth Center and Community Coalition, better known as HAYC3.

Although …

Feature: Bennington Baroque

20th August

Published in Berkshires Week on August 20, 2014
Original article:

NORTH BENNINGTON — This Saturday evening, Bennington Baroque will take its audience back in time to an era of musical history that predates modern instruments, notation, tuning standards and playing techniques.

Using historically accurate period instruments and plenty of their own creativity, the quartet will awaken pieces of music written in the baroque era, which lasted from roughly 1600 to 1750, performing works by French composers François Couperin (1668-1733), Michel Pignolet de Monteclair (1667-1737) and Marin Marais (1656-1728), as well as and several pieces by Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767) of Germany.

While classical music enthusiasts will notice a variety of differences between baroque music and modern or mainstream classical music, harpsichordist Sandra Mangsen and baroque violinist Kevin Bushee explained that baroque music is unique in its definition of virtuosity and rooted in a specific …

Feature: Blues Sanctuary

13th August

Published in Berkshires Week on August 13, 2014
Original article:

BENNINGTON — Active members of the local music scene since the late ‘60s, the musicians of Blues Sanctuary have watched the music world change before their eyes, and they’re still going strong.

“We’re like the bees,” said drummer Ken Pallman. “Radiation has hit, and we’re still living. Everybody comes and goes, and we’re still here.” Soon to be inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame through the Albany chapter, Blues Sanctuary formed in early 2002 as a trio with Rick Burgess on guitar and vocals, Pallman on drums and Jeff Bentley on bass, and has since expanded to a quintet with Bruce Mariani taking over on bass, Joe Candal playing keyboards and John O’Rourke adding a second guitar to the band.

Although the core of the band has been playing together for over a …

Feature: Painter Renée Bouchard

13th August

Published in Berkshires Week on August 13, 2014
Original article:

For Bennington artist Renée Bouchard, painting is all about communication, embracing the unexplainable and just making marks.

Although she was formally trained in watercolor painting at Maine College of Art in Portland, many of Bouchard’s recent works are inspired by her interest in self-taught or outsider art, a term for artwork produced outside the jurisdiction of any established artistic community. She is also inspired by artists who technically aren’t old enough to do anything at all professionally, such as her 20-month-old son, Ensor, and other young children. These unique influences combine with her own sophisticated artistic abilities and original ideas to form engaging, hypnotic and deeply personal paintings that have recently been featured in several exhibits around Southern Vermont and the Berkshires.

Last fall, Southern Vermont College hosted a solo show of Bouchard’s works, …

Feature: Bennington’s Dairy Bars

8th August

Published in Berkshires Week on August 8, 2014
Original article:

BENNINGTON, Vt. — All across America, dairy bars are a timeless summertime tradition that bring together all the best feelings of the season, from the sunny, comfortable weather to childhood memories of summers off from school. Everyone’s a teenager when they’re at their favorite dairy bar — the stresses of daily life briefly melt away, bad moods are cured and, most importantly, the calories don’t count.

The dairy bars of Southern Vermont remain some of the longest-running businesses in the area, allowing local residents to keep their warm weather traditions alive summer after summer. After dinner or in the afternoons, local favorites like Tastee Freez and Billy T’s Northside Dairy Bar in Bennington, are crowded with families, Little League baseball teams and all varieties of ice cream lovers waiting for their cones, sundaes, …

Preview: The Cherry Orchard at Park McCullough

5th August

Published in Berkshires Week on August 5, 2014
Original article:

NORTH BENNINGTON — With many of his best-loved writings, especially his plays, set on country estates and in summer houses, Anton Chekhov’s masterworks feel at home in a setting like Park-McCullough House.

Since 2012, Randolyn Zinn and Allen McCullough’s professional theater group, Living Room Theatre, has presented a site-specific production of a Chekhov play on the grounds of the house, starting with “The Seagull” in 2012 and then returning to perform “Uncle Vanya” last summer. This year they turn their attention to “The Cherry Orchard,” Chekhov’s final play and one of his best-known writings.

While accurate, “site-specific” does not wholly describe the Living Room Theatre’s production of “The Cherry Orchard.” Most site-specific plays adapt the show to fit the performance space, but the situation seems to be reversed here — it’s as if the …

Preview: Norman Rockwell Models Reunion

30th July

Published in Berkshires Week on July 30, 2014
Original article:

ARLINGTON — Decades after he painted their young faces into lasting symbols of blissful innocence and post-war American prosperity, Norman Rockwell’s models — the local people who posed for him during his time in Arlington — will reunite this weekend at Bennington Museum to celebrate Rockwell’s legacy and share their stories of working with the celebrated artist.

Rockwell lived in Arlington from 1939 to 1953, when he moved to Stockbridge.

Starting at 10 a.m. Saturday and continuing into the early afternoon, the reunion will have presentations with slides and stories from Bennington Museum curator Jamie Franklin and a few of the 30 Rockwell models who are expected to attend, including Donald Hubert, who modeled for Rockwell’s painting “Saying Grace,” which sold for $46 million in an auction this December.

Deana Mallory, the museum’s director of …

Preview: Bennington gears up for Arts Weekend

30th July

Published in Berkshires Week on July 30, 2014
Original article:

BENNINGTON — The Southern Vermont Art and Craft Festival returns this weekend for its second year in Bennington, and the arts organizations in town will come together to celebrate the occasion with Bennington’s first Arts Weekend, an organized effort to showcase local culture with performances, activities and exhibits from Friday to Sunday.

Organized by Craftproducers, an art and craft show host based in Charlotte, this year’s Art and Craft festival will feature 150 exhibitors spread around Camelot Village on Route 9 West, about 1.5 miles from downtown Bennington. The festival drew 125 exhibitors to Camelot Village last year, debuting in Bennington after relocating from Manchester.

All exhibitors at the show make their own products by hand, but the range of products is vast — just about anything handmade — artwork, clothing, pottery, jewelry, blown …

Feature: Parsonsfield

22nd July

Published in Berkshires Week on July 22, 2014
Original article:

BENNINGTON — There’s a good chance that your next favorite band is playing at the Vermont Arts Exchange this weekend.

With one album released each, Parsonsfield and Phox are two young bands who are starting to turn heads in the worlds of folk and indie music, and they will both take the stage as part of the VAE’s Basement Music series this weekend, Phox on Friday and Parsonsfield on Saturday.

The VAE will present both concerts in partnership with the small-scale promotion outfit Billsville House Concerts of Williamstown and will offer unique fare from the Phantom Food Truck.

Before Phox brings their elegant vocal pop sound to the Basement stage on Saturday, Parsonsfield will kick off the weekend with their passionate 21st century brand of American roots music on Friday, sharing the stage (and a …

Feature: North Bennington Outdoor Sculpture Show

16th July

Published in Berkshires Week on July 16, 2014
Original article:

NORTH BENNINGTON — Route 67A in the village of North Bennington will have a little more art and whimsy for the rest of the summer (and into the fall), thanks to the 30 artists participating in this year’s North Bennington Outdoor Sculpture Show, returning for it’s 17th year.

Open through Oct. 25, the show officially opened last Saturday with a community barbecue boasting hot dogs, burgers and live music from local musicians including Joe Chirchirillo, the show’s organizer and curator.

Fund for North Bennington trustee Joe McGovern said the annual show began when local artist Anthony Cafritz approached him about installing sculptures on land owned by the Sage City Syndicate, a land preservation group based in North Bennington.

“It was kind of a lark at first. He was thumbing his nose at the wine-and-cheese art …

Feature: Summer Sonatina

16th July

Published in Berkshires Week on July 16, 2014
Original article:

BENNINGTON — With accommodations for 42 campers and a staggering total of 30 pianos placed strategically in bedrooms, hallways, closets and even the laundry room, Polly van der Linde’s home on Catamount Lane invites the students of her Summer Sonatina piano camp to completely immerse themselves in music for up to five weeks at a time.

Now celebrating their 45th summer, the van der Linde family started Summer Sonatina in 1969 at their home in North Bennington when they couldn’t find a piano camp elsewhere for their own children. In 1978 the family relocated the camp (and their home) to Old Bennington, taking over a 42-room former convent and packing it with as many pianos and bunk beds as it can fit, along with a professional kitchen to feed all the hungry pianists …

Theater Preview: 4000 Miles at Oldcastle

9th July

Published in Berkshires Week on July 9, 2014
Original article:

BENNINGTON — “The best American plays are about families,” says Eric Peterson, producing artistic director at Bennington’s Oldcastle Theatre and director of Oldcastle’s new play “4000 Miles,” which opens July 11 and will run through July 27.

“‘Death of a Salesman,’ ‘A Streetcar Named Desire,’ Eugene O’Neill’s great plays about the American Family, Sam Shepard’s best plays — each playwright has their version of family,” he said. “And we all come from families, so we can all identify with family things.”

Written by young playwright Amy Herzog and first staged Off-Broadway in 2011, “4000 Miles” tells the story of 21-year-old Leo Joseph-Connell, played by Andrew Krug, and 91-year-old grandmother Vera, played by Janis Young. After tragedy interrupts his cross-country bicycle trip, the show begins with Leo arriving unannounced at Vera’s Manhattan apartment in the …

Feature: Music from Salem

9th July

Published in Berkshires Week on July 9, 2014
Original article:

CAMBRIDGE, N.Y. — Cue the fanfares.

This Sunday, July 13, at 2 p.m. Music from Salem will present their second concert of the summer at Hubbard Hall — “Dynamic and Noble,” a program highlighting the French Horn. John Craig Hubbard will playing the concert’s instrument and include famous pieces of chamber music with deep historical and musical ties to the horn.

“There isn’t a lot of chamber music with horn, piano and strings, but what there is is wonderful,” said Lila Brown, the director of Music from Salem, who will also perform in this concert on Viola. The concert will center on Mozart’s 1782 Horn Quintet and Schumann’s Adagio and Allegro for horn and piano, composed in 1849. The group will also perform works by 20th-century Greek composer Nikos Skalkottas and a piece by …

Festival Review: Frendly Gathering 2014

2nd July

Published in the Bennington Banner on July 2, 2014
Original article:

WINDHAM — “There ain’t no ‘I’ in Frends” sang Twiddle’s Mihali Savoulidis from his wooden platform in the Frendly Gathering’s DJ nest, about 15 feet from the forest floor. It was well after 4 a.m. on Sunday morning, and Twiddle had just come back for an encore at the end of their festival-closing set. In a moment of smiling convergence, Savoulidis and his band started their encore with “Frends Theme,” a song that the band wrote specifically for the group of snowboarding best fr(i)ends that initially conceived and now personally organize the festival every summer, using their creatively spelled motto as the song’s central lyric.

Clinging to the last few songs of the 2014 Gathering, the crowd responded like they weren’t tired and they definitely didn’t want to go home yet.

Pro snowboarders …

Feature: Alice Neel and Erastus Salisbury Field at the Bennington Museum

2nd July

Published in Berkshires Week on July 2, 2014
Original article:

BENNINGTON — Opening this Saturday, July 5, the Bennington Museum’s major show of the summer traces almost two centuries of American portraiture history through the work of two painters with ties to Vermont: 19th-century itinerant portrait painter Erastus Salisbury Field (1805-1900) and Alice Neel (1900-1985).

Playing off the strength of the museum’s portraiture collection (which includes nine Field portraits, tracing back to the time he spent in Bennington), curator Jamie Franklin said he hopes the new exhibit will help visitors make new connections with some of the museum’s historical collections.

“What has more baggage than old paintings of people? That’s the stereotypical example of what young, hip people think is old and boring,” Franklin said. This show is “taking on that challenge, and showing that actually they can be quite interesting.”

Museum director Robert Wolterstorff …

Feature: Amelia Meath of Sylvan Esso

26th June

Published in Bennington Banner on June 26, 2014
Original article:

Four years after her graduation from Bennington College, where she even stayed over the summers to work at the library, Amelia Meath might just be Bennington’s first pop star.

Meath’s music career started in the living room of her house on Main Street in North Bennington, where she heard future bandmate Molly Erin Sarle singing her original tune “Dog Song.” Meath and Alexandra Sauser-Monnig learned the song, and soon the trio became Mountain Man. Quickly attracting attention on the internet with their tranquil, unvarnished songs and layered vocal harmonies, Mountain Man released their debut album “Made the Harbor” in the summer of 2010, earning the band critical acclaim and the chance to perform at the Newport Folk Festival, tour with Sigur Ros frontman Jonsi and temporarily join Leslie Fiest’s band as backing singers.

Now, …

Feature: The Left Bank

25th June

Published in Berkshires Week on June 25, 2014
Original article:

NORTH BENNINGTON — With historic structures like the Park-McCullough house, Powers’ Market or the North Bennington Train depot, as well as the marvels of modern architecture at Bennington College, the buildings of North Bennington have played a huge role in shaping the culture and community of the village. Now, thanks to the Fund for North Bennington and the Preservation Trust of Vermont, the village gets to return the favor and re-imagine one of the village’s most prominent buildings to fit the needs, wants and whims of the local community.

Rechristened the Left Bank, a reference to the famously artistic neighborhood in Paris as well as the business that left the building in November, the former Merchant’s Bank building at 5 Bank Street was renovated over the winter and has now re-opened as a …

Exploring Wilmington, Vermont

25th June

Published in Berkshires Week on June 25, 2014
Original article:

WILMINGTON — Sitting about halfway between Bennington and Brattleboro, at the foot of Haystack Mountain in the Deerfield Valley, Wilmington is more than a stop along Route 9 for skiers and summer tourists. Less than three years after the rising Deerfield River flooded 48 of the town’s businesses during Hurricane Irene, Wilmington has rebuilt with all of its Green Mountain charm intact.

“The whole town is coming back, actually better than it ever was. All of these buildings needed renovation, and it probably wouldn’t have been done if not for the flood,” said Lenny Chapman, owner of Chapman’s Antiques. “It’s like the whole town is getting renovated.”

Chapman and his wife Diane started their antiques business 11 years ago after renovating an abandoned barn west of downtown Wilmington.

Open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through …

Feature: Hidden Hoosick Photography Exhibit

18th June

Published in Berkshires Week on June 18, 2014
Original article:

HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. — As part of their mission to build community and promote the arts around their town, the Hoosick Armory Youth Center and Community Coalition (better known as HAYC3) has invited Hoosick and Hoosick Falls residents of all ages to join in a community exhibition of photographs taken around town, hoping to fill the walls of their 120gallery90 exhibit space with images that show all the details and facets of life in Hoosick.

Opening this Friday, June 20, at 7 p.m. with a reception that will include music from Bennington cover band Funk in the Trunk, the Hidden Hoosick exhibition will give amateur and professional Hoosick photographers the chance to display and possibly sell their framed images of the town, whether or not they have any experience with professional photography.

“This show …

Feature: Iron and Wine

18th June

Published in Berkshires Week on June 18, 2014
Original article:

NORTH ADAMS — Three years after their sold-out Mass MoCA debut in the spring of 2011, progressive folk-pop pioneers Iron and Wine will return to the museum on Sunday for an encore performance with some new songs and a simplified lineup of musicians.

Originally the solo musical project of cinematography professor Sam Beam, who recorded the intimate first Iron and Wine album on a four-track tape recorder in 2002, the band has since expanded in size and creative scope, building to the lush string arrangements and classic pop orchestration of its most recent album “Ghost on Ghost.”

While he remains the lead singer, songwriter and recognizable bearded face of Iron and Wine, Beam often performs live concerts with a hand-picked band of backing musicians, which offers him the opportunity to recreate some of his …

Feature: Oil Painters of America Juried Exhibition 2014

11th June

Published in Berkshires Week on June 11, 2014
Original article:

BENNINGTON — From now until the end of July, some of today’s leading traditional, representational oil painters will display their work right here.

Every year, the Oil Painters of America chooses a new location to hold its national juried exhibition, which gathers a small selection of the best paintings created by its 3,600 members. This year, it has partnered with the Bennington Center for the Arts for the exhibition, which opened last weekend and will run through July 27. At the opening, The Bennington hosted the organization’s exhibition opening and convention, with seminars and demonstrations for the OPA’s members and a public reception and awards ceremony on Saturday evening. Louis Escobedo won the show’s gold medal and $25,000 first prize with his impressionistic portrait, “Light Source.”

This year marks the Oil Painters of America’s …

Feature: Bill Morgan’s Civil War in New York City

11th June

Published in Berkshires Week on June 11, 2014
Original article:

BENNINGTON — “For a person who has a passion for the Civil War, if they find themselves in New York City, they’re not out of luck at all. There are a million things to see,” said Bill Morgan, author of “The Civil War Lover’s Guide to New York City.”

A 35-year New York City resident and lifelong Civil War history buff, Morgan said he slowly gathered information over the years on sites around the city that significantly influenced the war, like the birthplace of Ulysses S. Grant. At Cooper Union, Abraham Lincoln delivered a stirring speech in early 1860 that would help him secure his nomination as the Republican party’s presidential candidate later that year.

Now a Bennington resident, Morgan has compiled his research and photographs into an almost 200-page full-color guidebook tracking down …

Feature: Abstract painter Matthew Marks

28th May

Published in Berkshires Week on May 28, 2014
Original article:

BENNINGTON — For Eagle Bridge, N.Y., painter Matthew Marks, the paintings for an upcoming show at the Vermont Arts Exchange in North Benn ington were born from frustration, resourcefulness and necessity.

Looking for a space to work on his mural-sized paintings, Marks approached Matthew Perry at the VAE to try to find a studio that would suit him. Perry said they explored all the open studios in his organization’s repurposed Sage Street Mill, but they could not find a space with a blank wall large enough for Marks to tack up his large sheets of canvas, as he said he once did at his studio in Brooklyn.

“All of the walls were covered with shelves or doors or windows,” Perry said. “Then we came upstairs to the gallery, and it hit me. We didn’t …

Feature: Bennington Children’s Chorus

28th May

Published in Berkshires Week on May 28, 2014
Original article:


BENNINGTON — After 25 years, the Bennington Children’s Chorus will celebrate its silver anniversary with a concert of songs in eight languages, a world premiere and the return of some familiar faces.

The chorus will perform its eclectic program of songs from different continents and centuries at Bennington College’s Deane Carriage Barn this Sunday, June 1, at 2 p.m. Along with compositions and folk songs from Bulgaria, Israel, Russia, Japan and Italy, sung in their original languages, the chorus will also perform Renaissance pieces in English and Latin, songs by Leadbelly and Pete Seeger, and compositions by local composers from Williams College and Bennington College.

“I have a wide variety of tastes, and over these 20 years I have figured out the kinds of things that work with the kids,” said chorus director Kerry …

Feature: Bennington Artists at Mayfest 2014

21st May

Published in Berkshires Week on May 21, 2014
Original article:

BENNINGTON — This Saturday, May 24, the streets of downtown will close to traffic to make room for more than 100 vendors offering food, art, crafts, live music and entertainment.

Crafters and artisans will come in from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine and across Vermont, including several newcomers making hand-made goods in Southern Vermont.

Bennington natives Scott Freeman and Kristine McGuire founded Custom Rustic Designs three months ago to make rustic wooden furniture, plaques and home decorations with a distinctive rural Vermont character.

The couple decorates their work with custom wood burning — text, images, names and decorations. Freeman said they mostly build their custom plaques, clocks, benches and chairs from reclaimed oak and pine. They often start by planing and sanding rough-sawn pieces of lumber.

“I love being able to get barn wood, or anything I …

Feature: Guitar builder Steve Sauve

21st May

Published in Berkshires Week on May 21, 2014
Original article:

NORTH ADAMS — The guitar goes back centuries before Elvis and The Beatles, and since the birth of rock and roll it has become one of the most recognizable objects in popular culture. Today, building high-end guitars has become an art form, and artisans, like Steve Sauve at Sauve Guitars, make masterful instruments that sound as beautiful as they look.

Sauve started his guitar-building career in 1976 as an apprentice in the Union Street workshop that now bears his name. He spent five years learning the craft from master instrument builder Bill Cumpiano before taking over the business himself. Sauve said he builds his guitars using most of the same techniques he learned almost four decades ago, even as the Internet changes the way many luthiers, or instrument builders, approach their craft.

While hobbyist …

Feature: Sage City Symphony

14th May

Published in Berkshires Week on May 14, 2014
Original article:

BENNINGTON — Sage City Symphony has built a community orchestra with warmth, flexibility and friendship, and deep musical ties.

Sage City welcomes any and all local musicians to join (all they need is an instrument and a music stand), and it has amassed an extensive library of original compositions written specifically for the orchestra by local composers — including Allen Shawn’s “Concerto for Cello and Orchestra,” which Sage City will perform Sunday, May 18, at 4 p.m., in Bennington College’s Greenwall Auditorium.

The orchestra originally commissioned and performed Shawn’s concerto in 1999, and he has substantially revised it for this year’s spring concert. As she did in 1999, cellist Maxine Neuman will perform as the soloist on this piece. Shawn wrote it specifically for her and dedicated it to her.

“Maxine Neuman and I have …

Feature: MAU Quantum Leap Mosaics

14th May

Published in Berkshires Week on May 14, 2014
Original article:

BENNINGTON — Everything inside the Fiddlehead at Four Corners gallery in downtown Bennington has its own story, but none speak as loudly as the group of mosaics that have recently arrived on the gallery’s most prominent wall.

Positioned to reflect the sunlight, the mosaics fit in with the colorful paintings and glass art that surround them. But while most of the works on display in the gallery come from professional artists from around the country, the mosaics took shape down the street at Mount Anthony Union High School. Student artists made them in Danielle Crosier’s Quantum Leap program mosaics class.

A collaboration between MAU and Bennington College, the Quantum Leap program offers project-based classes for students with chaotic home lives or traumatic histories. Writing classes, the mosaics program and other courses give the students …

Feature: Angus McCullough

7th May

Published in Berkshires Week on May 7, 2014
Original article:

BENNINGTON — For the past decade, the Bennington Museum has invited Bennington-area artists to present all types of work in its Regional Artist’s Gallery, and this Saturday marks the opening of one of its most ambitious local exhibits to date: Angus McCullough’s “Humors.”

“I’m pretty ubiquitously interested in everything” McCullough said, without a hint of hyperbole. While his work reaches in many directions, Angus’ works currently on display at the South Street Cafe, and his planned exhibition at the museum, seem to focus particularly on how people construct, process and understand their everyday environment.

He’s also particularly interested in committing bits of artistic mischief, like his decision to place an exuberant sign that reads, “1 Buy 1 Get Free,” above the service counter in the cafe. After enough confusion, the cafe’s owners responded to …

Feature: Andrew Dawson

7th May

Published in Berkshires Week on May 7, 2014
Original article:

NORTH ADAMS — In 1890, legendary playwright Anton Chekhov journeyed across Russia by himself to visit and observe a penal colony on the island of Sakhalin in Siberia. He eventually spent three months interviewing each of the colony’s 10,000 prisoners and guards. Upon his return, Chekhov published his findings in “Sakhalin Island,” his only non-fiction work.

“He spent three years on this book, longer than he spent on the plays or any other work. Yet, in the canon of Chekhov’s work, no one gives a damn or has noticed it,” said theater performer Andrew Dawson, who will bring the story of Chekhov’s journey to life in his new solo piece, “The Russian Doctor,” at Mass MoCA this Friday, May 9, at 8 p.m.

Although he said he’s not otherwise a big Chekhov scholar, Dawson …

Feature: Pubs of Troy, N.Y.

30th April

Published in Berkshires Week on April 30, 2014
Original article:

TROY, N.Y. — Secret malt room? Chipotle mashed potato quesadilla?

Across the Hudson River and just north of Albany, the city of Troy offers vibrant and off-beat music and art venues, shopping, restaurants and nightlife. Troy is also 30 miles from Bennington and Williamstown or 40 miles from North Adams and Pittsfield, making it an easy destination for a day trip, afternoon visit or evening of fun.

After a concert or show around the many venues in Troy and Albany or after a day of exploring, here are some popular spots to find food or drinks near Troy’s easily accessible waterfront.

Brown’s Brewery

Before it became a popular regional brand, Brown’s Brewing Co. started out as a brew pub on River Street in Troy, and although most of its brewing operations have moved to a larger …

Feature: Molly Hatch

23rd April

Published in Berkshires Week on April 23, 2014
Original article:


BENNINGTON — Molly Hatch’s bright ceramics fill walls in prestigious museums, and through Anthropologie stores around the country, they also fill kitchen tables. Raised in Vermont, Hatch will return on Tuesday, April 29, to share her balance of art and design with a younger generation of artists at Bennington College.

Expecting to pursue a career in painting, drawing and printmaking, Hatch first discovered ceramic art as a student at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. She soon realized that her two-dimensional art skills were essential in creating unique objects with their own personality and appeal.

“When I discovered ceramics,” said Hatch, “I found there was an intimacy of being able to take the drawings off the wall, and out of a frame, and put them into your hands, and into …

Feature: North Bennington Walk

16th April

Published in Berkshires Week on April 16, 2014
Original article:

NORTH BENNINGTON — Tucked in the northwest corner of Bennington and connected to the downtown area by both Route 67A and the Walloomsac River, the village of North Bennington has an unique culture and character of its own.

Once an industrial hotspot with its own railroad station, the village is now a quiet, largely residential area with an engaged local community and a growing art scene. The campus of Bennington College sits on the border of North Bennington, and the village is a common destination for the students’ off-campus excursions.

North Bennington’s casual, welcoming atmosphere make it a great place to spend an afternoon.

Powers Market

An imposing presence on Main Street, Powers Market once held North Bennington’s post office and has acted as a company and general story for more than a century. Local legend …

Feature: One World Conservation Center

16th April

Published in Berkshires Week on March 19, 2013
Original article:

BENNINGTON — A mile south of the Four Corners in downtown Bennington, the One World Conservation Center gives nature lovers of all ages the chance to learn about Vermont’s natural ecosystem and get an up-close look at some of the state’s most interesting plant and animal species.

“A lot of what we do here is trying to connect the community to what is in their own backyards,” said Jennifer Loyd-Pain, coordinator of education at One World.

Along with the organization’s conservation center on Route 7, One World also oversees the Norman Greenberg Conservation Reserve across the road — 96 acres of meadow, wetland and wooded slopes.

With Earth Day on Tuesday, April 22, and Arbor Day on Friday, April 25, One World has several events planned to get people back outside after the long winter.

At …

Feature: Maggie Dietz

10th April

Published in Berkshires Week on March 19, 2013
Original article:

Thanks to great minds like Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Langston Hughes, one-time Shaftsbury resident Robert Frost and countless others, poetry has always been considered an important aspect of our nation’s cultural history.

While more commercial media, like television and movies, challenge their popularity, poems matter to Americans of all ages, an idea that Maggie Dietz celebrates and encourages as part of the Favorite Poems Project.

Founded by poet Robert Pinsky during his tenure as U.S. Poet Laureate in the late ‘90s, the project invites Americans of all ages and backgrounds to share their favorite poems and explain their meaning in a personal — not academic or analytical — way.

Now an assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, Dietz became the director of the program as a graduate student, overseeing a year-long open …

Feature: Calligrapher Ann Kremers

2nd April

Published in Berkshires Week on April 2, 2013
Original article:


BENNINGTON — With formal training as an artist and more than 30 years of experience in her craft, Bennington calligrapher Ann Kremers produces ornate, intricate text and images as suited for frames as they are for envelopes.

Kremers specializes in both social calligraphy — which she describes as invitations, envelopes and related materials for weddings and special gala events — and ornate “presentation pieces,” which often include elaborate illustrations, decorative elements and gilding with gold leaf. With a degree in fine arts, and a strong interest in watercolor painting, Kremers approaches her calligraphy with the spirit and eye of an artist.

“In my deepest heart of hearts I consider myself a painter,” said Kremers, “but I probably spend a lot more time doing calligraphy. I like putting the two together very much.”

Although she had …

Feature: Bennington Artists Guild

1st April

Published in Berkshires Week on April 1, 2013
Original article:

BENNINGTON — In a world where cheap, mass-produced imported goods have taken over the shelves of our local stores, many art lovers have developed a new appreciation for artwork and crafts created by hand in our own local communities.

However, lacking mainstream distribution, local artists and artisans often need to come up with creative ways to find customers for their work. For the community of artists in southwestern Vermont and nearby Massachusetts, this necessity sparked the creation of the Bennington Arts Guild and its cooperative gallery on South Street.

Floral paintings by Jackie Williams are available at the Bennington Arts Guild’s cooperative gallery on South Street. (Photo courtesy Bennington Arts Guild)

Next door to the South Street Cafe in the heart of Bennington’s Four Corners, the Arts Guild’s sunny gallery space has become a popular …

Live Preview: Deaf and Loud

1st April

Published in Berkshires Week on April 1, 2013
Original article:

BENNINGTON — Without a large deaf community in the area, Melissa Kate Adams of Mount Anthony Union High School’s Deaf Education Department says it can be hard to arrange a gathering of even five or six deaf Vermonters here. This Friday, however, Adams has organized an event with some prominent and successful members of the American deaf community, to give the Bennington community chance to learn about and experience deaf culture.

MAU and the Bennington Center for the Arts will host a panel talk with several successful deaf adults, including Luke Adams, the first deaf competitor on CBS’ “The Amazing Race,” and a concert with deaf rapper Sean Forbes and his band, Deaf and Loud.

With groups coming from Brattleboro, Burlington, Rochester, Boston and other surrounding areas, Melissa Kate Adams, who is hard of …

Live Preview: Howard Fishman

27th March

Published in Berkshires Week on March 27, 2013
Original article:

As the Vermont Arts Exchange in North Bennington celebrates its 25th year, as well as the 10th year of its popular Basement Music Series, it’s only natural that a few familiar faces have been invited back to perform, including Caravan of Thieves in February and now, exactly a month later, VAE favorite Howard Fishman.

Having played concerts at least yearly since the basement series started (and sometimes even more often than that), Fishman has cemented his place in Bennington’s cultural environment, with local music fans returning to the Sage Street Mill for each of concerts. Members of the local band Morning Breadth — who performed their own Basement Music Series concert in January — said they’ve all attended Fishman’s concerts together in the past.

Living up to his reputation for musical curiosity and genre …

Feature: Chris Knopf

25th March

Published in Berkshires Week on March 25, 2013
Original article:

BENNINGTON — After trying for 20 years to achieve his dream of publishing a novel, Chris Knopf is on a roll.

Balancing his writing with a career in advertising and public relations, Knopf published his first mystery novel, “The Last Refuge,” in 2005, and quickly expanded the book into a five-volume series centered around its protagonist, Sam Acquillo, and his adventures in mystery and crime around the Hamptons.

Knopf has also published three more books in a spin-off series set in the same world, and he’s working on a third book in a new series of globe-trotting thrillers surrounding market researcher Arthur Cathcart.

On Friday, March 28, Knopf will visit Bennington for an event to benefit the Bennington Free Library, reading from and speaking about his recent series of Arthur Cathcart books, including “Dead Anyway,” …

Feature: John Hubbard’s Photography

19th March

Published in Berkshires Week on March 19, 2014
Original article:

BENNINGTON — During his six-year tenure at the Bennington Banner in the mid-1970’s, writer and photographer John Hubbard took more than 2,000 photographs, quickly developing a striking visual style that blurred the distinction be tween art and journalism. Now, 42 years after Hubbard arrived in Vermont as a recent graduate of Colgate University, his photographs have returned to Bennington for an exhibition at the Bennington Museum, “Faces of Bennington, 1972-1978: Photo graphs by John Hubbard.”

Installed in January and on dis play through March 30, the exhibit collects a small selection of Hubbard’s vast collection of portraits, most of which show Hubbard’s friends, colleagues and fellow Bennington townspeople posing comfortably in their every-day surroundings.

Museum curator Jamie Frank lin said he chose the 28 photos on display for their “strong visual power,” and also …

Feature: Anita Doron

19th March

Published in Berkshires Week on March 19, 2013
Original article:

BENNINGTON — Anita Doron’s film-making career has taken her across the globe to Mexico, Hungary, Afghanistan, Canada’s North west Terri tories and other far-off destinations. Now, thanks to Susie Ibarra’s Cities Arts Forum, her next stop is Bennington College.

The director of feature films like 2012’s “The Lesser Blessed,” an adaptation of a novel by Richard Van Camp starring Benjamin Bratt, Doran has been artistically motivated since her childhood in Ukraine and Israel.

“From a very early age, I was very interested in creating emotions in people and making people feel things,” she said. “When I connected poetry and film making, I was gone. There was nothing else I wanted to do.

I was completely intoxicated by it.”
Over the course of her career, Doron has committed herself to exploring and advancing the art of storytelling, …

Feature: Northshire Brewery

13th March

Published in Berkshires Week on March 13, 2013
Original article:

BENNINGTON — Using the basic ingredients of water, grains, hops and yeast — along with imagination and hard work — Vermont’s brewers have earned a reputation for creating some of the country’s most inventive and delicious craft beers.

While some of the most recognizable brands come from the central and northern parts of the state, like Magic Hat in Burlington or The Alchemist (brewers of the infamous Heady Topper double IPA) in Waterbury, Bennington’s beer lovers know there are great ales and lagers brewing in town at the Northshire Brewery.

After years of experimenting with their own home brews, Chris Mayne and Earl McGoff started Northshire in 2010 — buying equipment at a brewer’s conference in Boston and finding a space to set up their tanks on County Street, across from the Holden-Leonard Mill.

For …

Preview: “Revolutionary Wizard, Ben Franklin” at Oldcastle

11th March

Published in Berkshires Week on March 11, 2013
Original article:


BENNINGTON — He may be one of our nation’s most iconic figures, but most Americans may know little about Benjamin Franklin.

“He was just an eccentric,” said Eric Peterson of the Oldcastle Theatre, who wrote the one-man play “Revolutionary Wizard, Ben Franklin,” which opens tonight. “He had a thing about ‘air baths,’ where he thought it was really healthy to sit nude in front of a window and let the air hit you for an hour or so.”

Peterson, who also serves as Oldcastle’s producing artistic director, discovered this quirk in one of the many books and biographies that he used for research. In fact, he says there’s far too much interesting information about Franklin to cover in a play of reasonable length — from his diplomacy to his scientific discoveries to his freewheeling …

Video: Band of Horses – Neighbor

8th March

I’ve been listening to Band of Horses’ new live acoustic album a lot since it came out. It’s really very good.
After listening to the remarkable vocals on “Neighbor” a bunch of times I thought about finding a video of it. The album was recorded at a concert after all, and at this point anything cool that happens at any concert is going to end up on YouTube. I found a good video but it had pretty bad audio, so I went ahead and sync’ed it with the album recording. I think it came out pretty great.


Feature: Bennington Farmer’s Market

4th March

Published in Berkshires Week on March 4, 2013
Original article: 

BENNINGTON — Even when the days are short and their farms are covered with snow, local farmers have embraced new techniques to keep the Bennington Farmers Market stocked with fresh produce all winter long.

One of the few New England farmers markets that continue running through the winter, the Bennington Farmers Market (formerly known as the Walloomsac Farmers Market) has grown so popular that last year they upgraded the monthly off-season market to run twice each month. During the summer, the market takes place every Saturday and Tuesday at the riverside park on Depot Street in Bennington, and during the winter they move indoors to the First Baptist Church at 600 Main St.

Leslie Kielson, president of the market’s board of directors and a vendor herself, said the market’s off-season expansion has been a …

Feature: Discovering architect George Guernsey

27th February

Published in Berkshires Week on Feb. 27, 2013
Original article:


BENNINGTON — If you live in Vermont, your town may look the way it does because of George H. Guernsey.

Over the course of his 32-year career as an architect, Guernsey designed churches, town halls, schools, libraries, estates and private homes in at least 23 different cities and towns around the state, helping to define Vermont’s architectural style during its formative years. However, until recently nobody really knew who George H. Guernsey was.

About 10 years ago the town of Bethel, Vt., started working to renovate its town hall and quickly discovered town records that named Guernsey as the building’s designer. Intrigued, the Bethel Historical Society started gathering information on Guernsey and his other buildings around the state. After years of detective work, they have now compiled their findings into a new 124-page book, …

Feature: Poet Lucie Brock-Broido

27th February

Published in Berkshires Week on Feb. 27, 2013
Original article:

BENNINGTON — “On the road blue thistles, barely / visible by night, and, by these, you may yet find your way home,” Lucie Brock-Broido writes in “Stay, Illusion,” her acclaimed new collection of poetry.

With Bennington College back in session for its spring term, the campus has woken up from its winter break, the students are back and the calendar is full of illuminating talks, readings and performances — many free and open to the public, like the Poetry at Bennington series.

Organized by literature faculty member Mark Wunderlich, Poetry at Bennington attracts some of the country’s greatest active poets to campus, starting next week with a visit from Brock-Broido, Columbia University’s poetry director.

On her visit to Bennington, where she briefly taught in the early ‘90s, Brock-Broido will give a reading from “Stay, Illusion” at …

Straight Outta Bennington: Sylvan Esso

12th February

I’ve been living in Bennington for five months now, and in some ways this post has been in the pipeline since my first week here back in September. When I took over the Arts desk here at the Banner, one of the first things I did was scour social networks, music blogs and other corners of the internet for any mention of my interesting new little town. I liked what I found.

As it turns out, a handful of my favorite young musicians started out at Bennington College, including Alex Bleeker of Real Estate (and his own cool projects) and the amazing women of Mountain Man.

I’ll get back to Bleeker soon I’m sure, for now I really want to talk about Mountain Man.
I heard Mountain Man for the first time at the 2011 Newport Folk Festival. Actually, I wasn’t technically at …

Link farm: Updated February 9

9th February

I spend a solid amount of time on the internet, and during that time I sometimes find things that I really like. I’m going to start keeping track of them on this post, adding new ones whenever I may.

Added February 9

Twitter: Never underestimate Mastodon

New Yorker: I will always love you Left Shark

Open Culture: I think people forget that jazz cats party the hardest.

 Added January 14

Teamteam: You may know Matt. Matt loves skiing, and now Matt has a skiing website

VPR: This is real. Bernie Sanders made an amazingly goofy album in ’80s, and it includes a reggae interpretation of “This Land Is Your Land”

Added November 7

Imgur: Unquestionably the world’s greatest headline:

Twitter: Digital advertising can be wrought with peril.

Tumblr: They’re starting to post unrelated stuff now, but the basic premise of this is amazing.

Always look on the lobstery side of life:

Added September …

Live Preview: Morning Breadth at the VAE

30th January

Published in Berkshires Week on Jan. 30, 2013
Original article:

BENNINGTON — At some point, everybody fantasizes about becoming a rock star. For four Bennington musicians, including three doctors at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, that dream will come true this weekend at the Vermont Arts Exchange.

For its second concert of the year, the VAE Basement Music Series will present Morning Breadth, a four-piece rock band that brings together local property manager Michael Saccio (aka “Satch”) on guitar, SVMC general surgeon Graham Moore on keyboard, OB-Gyn Malcolm Paine on bass, and cardiologist Steven Anisman keeping the band’s heartbeat on drums.

With a wealth of musical experience in the genres that sparked the birth of rock, like British folk music and American blues, the band describes their sound as “music for 40-year-old teenagers,” reflecting their energy and enthusiasm as a group. Anisman, the drummer, explained …

Q&A: Tim Walsh of The Stepkids

23rd January

Published in Berkshires Week on Jan. 23, 2013
Original article:

NORTH ADAMS — After years of establishing themselves in the music industry with musicians and groups like pop/soul star Alicia Keys and the beach-rock college band Zox, guitarist Jeff Gitelman, bass player Dan Edinberg and drummer Tim Walsh returned to their Connecticut roots to form The Stepkids, an adventurous new trio with a psychedelic outlook on classic soul, jazz, funk and rock conventions. In September they released their second album, “Troubadour,” following up their 2011 self-titled debut with a more polished, progressive sound.

On Saturday, The Stepkids will perform at Mass MoCA’s Club B10. Looking forward to the concert, Berkshires Week/ Shires of Vermont talked with drummer Tim Walsh about modern art, old buildings and the evolution of The Stepkids.

Jack McManus: How did the band come together?

Tim Walsh: Well basically, Connecticut is a …

Feature: Jazz Sundays at the South Street Cafe

23rd January

Published in Berkshires Week on Jan. 23, 2013
Original article:

BENNINGTON — South Street Cafe sounds different on Sundays.

Above the usual whirring and grinding of coffee beans, the bright, cozy room fills up with the spacious, loose jazz melodies of its regular Sunday trio: Gary Miller on the vibraphone, Darryl Kniffen on keyboard and Bennington’s own Dave Banulis on electric bass.

“Welcome to our laboratory,” says Miller from behind his instrument, as the combo gets ready to begin playing.

This feeling of freedom and experimentation guides the players during their standing gig, which starts most Sunday mornings at 11 and lasts until about 1 p.m.

“It’s really low-key, so we can try new, innovative ideas and be as creative as we want.” Kniffen explained. “We can do whatever we want.”

One of these interesting innovations is the absence of drums in the group, especially since Miller …

Live Review: Something with Strings at Oldcastle Theatre

16th January

BENNINGTON — Barely a day after The Lost rocked the Oldcastle Theatre on Friday night, Jan. 10, the venue re-opened for another night of music, switching to acoustic mode for a concert with Something with Strings, a contemporary bluegrass-inspired country/folk quintet from the Burlington area.

Since Something with Strings formed over six years ago they’ve been through a series of lineup changes, including some that have vastly altered their sound like eliminating drums from the band and adding harmonica player Collin Cope last summer, who adds some blues elements to their sound with his bold, raspy vocals.

Alongside Cope’s harmonica, the band includes the classic lineup of bluegrass string instruments with Adam Howard on guitar, Luke Fox on upright bass, Pete Kraus on 5-string, open-back banjo and Matt Francis on mandolin.

Currently based in Burlington and Winooski, many of the band’s members came …

Live Review: The Lost at Oldcastle Theatre

16th January

BENNINGTON — On Friday evening, Jan. 10, Oldcastle Theatre opened the doors for the first-ever rock concert at its Main Street venue, welcoming local powerhouse rock trio The Lost and their crowd of hometown fans.

Since they formed in July 2012, The Lost has been fronted by lead guitarist, vocalist and keyboard player Cody Myers alongside bass and saxophone player Jake Hill and drummer Kevin Breese. The three musicians were all born in Bennington before traveling elsewhere, and now, after touring throughout the northeast, they simply consider themselves to be based in New England.

After a year of rehearsing on their own, the band played their first concert — a benefit for an artist friend. They came out of the show with high spirits, but Myers says they “quickly found out that the local venues can be pretty sparse, especially for a …

Now Playing: Novacane – Shearwater

10th January

Now Playing is a series that features songs and words that have a particular significance to me,  for some reason.

This afternoon I locked in plans to go to the second weekend of Coachella, and I’ve been giddy about it all day. I’ve been to some great festivals over the past few summers, but I haven’t been to anything this size since Bonnaroo 2009, when I had just graduated high school. My live has changed immeasurably since then, so It’ll be interesting to see if it feels different from the last time I isolated myself from outside society with so many ridiculous people.

Beyond just the general excitement that surrounds the concept of a camping festival, Coachella promises to be an awesome experience on a few different levels.

Obviously, there’s Outkast. For music fans my age, Outkast represents the very last wave of …

Profile/Live Review: Neffy

9th January

Published in the Bennington Banner on Dec. 30, 2013
Original article:

BENNINGTON — He may not be famous yet, but it takes more than a blizzard and below-zero temperatures to stop Neffy. After all, he’s from Vermont.

On Friday night, just hours after Winter Storm Hercules dropped a thick blanket of snow on the town, the now-empty storefront at 445 Main St. unlocked its doors for one of the town’s first concerts of 2014 — a repeat performance by Brattleboro rappers Neffy and Yung Hass, who drew a big crowd to the former site of Doug’s On Main Street just a few weeks earlier on Nov. 30.

In a town of museums, art galleries and the Sage City Symphony, hip-hop might seem like a faraway art form, a music genre that exists on the radio and Internet — but not on Main Street. However, …

2013: An artistic year in review

31st December

Published in the Bennington Banner on Dec. 30, 2013
Original article:

As we spring forward to a new year of unforeseen expression through the arts, this last Arts Weekend page of 2013 looks back at the exciting artistic events, developments and changes that happened around town during the past year, as documented in the pages of the Banner by former Arts editor Andrew Roiter and myself.

Although Andrew left Bennington at the end of the summer to explore the wide world of journalism abroad, he left behind a huge collection of stories that illustrate the eclectic energy of Bennington’s art community. I have tried to keep moving in the same direction since I took over the desk three months ago, and I’m still learning a lot about the self-reliant, deep-seeded creative spirit that exists in this beautiful corner of the world.

Thanks to this …

Live review: The Sacred Shakers at the Vermont Arts Exchange

17th December

Published in the Bennington Banner on Dec. 12, 2013
Original article:

NORTH BENNINGTON — A respected songwriter in her own right, Eilen Jewell returned to the Vermont Arts Exchange’s basement on Saturday with her country-gospel project The Sacred Shakers for a night of energetic, old-fashioned spirituals.

Named not for the religious sect, as Jewell explained, but rather after the frontwoman’s trusty maraca-like rhythm instruments, the Sacred Shakers rolled into North Bennington seven strong, with the band featuring Jewell on lead vocals and guitar, Greg Glassman (of David Wax Museum) on backing vocals and acoustic guitar, Jerry Miller on electric guitar, Johnny Sciascia on double bass, Eric Royer on banjo, Daniel Kellar on violin and Jason Beek on drums.

Missing from the crowded stage was singer Daniel Fram, a regular member of the group who Jewell said was “off getting his Ph.D. or something.”

While Jewell …

Mass MoCA announces spring performance schedule

17th December

Published in the Bennington Banner on Dec. 7, 2013
Original article:

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — In one fell swoop, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (better known as Mass MoCA) has announced a full slate of live performing events for the spring, including over two dozen concerts, films, art talks, plays, dance performances, special museum events and more, running through early May.

Performances will be held in Mass MoCA’s various performance spaces, including the Hunter Center, a massive black box theatre usually used for large concerts and theatre productions, and the more intimate Club B10 for small events.

In the spirit of the museum’s progressive approach to contemporary art, the spring performance lineup includes some well-known, nationally-touring acts as well as a diverse array of experimental, forward-thinking and non-traditional events, some of which defy genre categorization entirely.

Some of the biggest names on the bill …

Book Review: “Army Flunkies and Colorado Junkies” by Jed Donavan

17th December

Published in the Bennington Banner on Nov. 21, 2013
Original article:

In his new memoir “Army Flunkies and Colorado Junkies,” local author Jed Donavan offers an honest look into an immense, formative moment in his personal history: Getting clean after years of self-destructive partying and substance abuse. Unfortunately the story is as incomplete as it is interesting — the book skips over the story’s climax, showing his long descent into addiction before snapping straight to a brief, passing snapshot of his present-day success.

The final act of “Army Flunkies” makes it clear that Donavan’s life story is one of extraordinary resolve, strength and redemption. Unfortunately, this book doesn’t seem interested in telling that story. Instead, Donavan seems preoccupied with delivering a provocative “sex, drugs, and rock & roll” story, albeit one with no sex and only occasional music references. So basically, most of …

Theater recap: “Urinetown” at MAUHS

17th December

Published in the Bennington Banner on Nov. 14, 2013
Original article:

BENNINGTON — Last weekend the Mount Anthony Union Drama Club staged their production of the hit Broadway show “Urinetown: The Musical,” bringing the satirical play to life with student talent.

Set during a 20-year drought, “Urinetown” tells the story of a struggling society where a corporation controls all toilet facilities, forcing the impoverished city-dwellers to pay a mandatory fee to use the public restrooms. While it admittedly contains a few bodily-function jokes, the play spends most of its time skewering corporate America and making fun of the musical theatre genre with witty self-conscious asides.

Some of the show’s funniest moments come from an unlikely pair of narrators: A young beggar named Little Sally, played by MAUHS senior Sarah Mattison, and a villainous police officer/corporate henchman named Officer Lockstock, played by senior Sachel Lefebvre. …

Theater review: “Grandma Moses: An American Primitive” at the Oldcastle Theatre

17th December

Published in the Bennington Banner on Nov. 9, 2013
Original article:

BENNINGTON — Local painting legend Grandma Moses lived both an ordinary and an extraordinary life, and they were both fascinating.

Before she began painting at age 76, Anna Mary Moses lived on farms in Virginia and nearby parts of New York, running the household and raising five children. Then, after being “discovered” at age 78, Moses became an international celebrity — appearing on magazine covers and showing her art worldwide. She even visited the White House, where President Harry S. Truman played piano for her. This unexpected dichotomy is central to “Grandma Moses: An American Primitive,” a new play running through Nov. 17 at the Oldcastle Theatre, 331 Main St., Bennington.

Written in the late 1980s by Stephen Pouliot, who is mostly known for his work writing television awards shows, the play toured …

Theater preview: “Grandma Moses: An American Primitive” at the Oldcastle Theatre

17th December

Published in the Bennington Banner on Oct. 31, 2013
Original post:

BENNINGTON — Starting this Friday, Nov. 1, the Oldcastle Theatre will close out its inaugural season on Main Street with a three-weekend run of “Grandma Moses: An American Primitive,” a biographical play with strong local ties.

“Grandma Moses lived very nearby, in Eagle Bridge and Cambridge and Greenwich, New York, and the Grandma Moses Schoolhouse is at the (Bennington) Museum, so it seemed ideal,” said Eric Peterson, Oldcastle’s Producing Artistic Director, who is also directing the play. “Oldcastle has always tried to do plays that have to do with our region” he continued, “we try to do things that speak directly to our audience.”

Written by television writer Stephen Pouliot, the play toured nationally four different times in the 1990s with Cloris Leachman (of the Mary Tyler Moore show and many others) …

Theater review: “Sherlock Holmes – Knight’s Gambit” at Oldcastle Theater

17th December

Published in the Bennington Banner on Oct. 10, 2013
Original article:

BENNINGTON – The game is afoot at Oldcastle! Opening last weekend and running for the next two weeks, Oldcastle Theatre Company’s theater on Main Street hosts “Sherlock Holmes–Knight’s Gambit,” a new mystery story written specifically for small theaters like Oldcastle by playwright Paul Falzone. Directed by Eric Peterson, Oldcastle’s Producing Artistic Director, the show captures all the suspense, wit and intrigue of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous stories using a single set and a small cast.

While the production itself may be relatively modest, the scale of the story is as ambitious as we’ve come to expect from the Holmes canon. Set in 1905, towards the end of the detective’s career, Falzone’s story hinges on events that take place around the city of London and elsewhere in Europe – even though his …

Feature: Bluegrass jams at the VAE

8th December

Published in the Bennington Banner on Dec. 19, 2013
Original article:

NORTH BENNINGTON — The Vermont Arts Exchange becomes a different place on the second Tuesday of each month.

During the day, the VAE is an inclusive, constructive space dedicated to creation and appreciation of almost every type of art. Fueled by the energy and passion of director Matthew Perry, the building and its staff spend their days helping Vermonters discover the fulfillment of expression.

While this mission certainly remains intact, on certain Tuesday evenings the old textile mill turns from a classroom for young artists to a clubhouse for Bennington County’s modest but dedicated band of acoustic musicians.

Originally organized after the first Lake Paran Bluegrass Festival in July 2010, the jam has welcomed a rotating lineup of guitarists, fiddle players, bass players, mandolin players, and even some accordion, banjo and dobro players. Group …

Meet the new Banner staff

23rd October

Instead of an article I wrote about something, here’s an article someone else wrote about me! I think this is the first time that has ever happened. I doubt it will catch on.

Blog Post: Newport Folk ’12 Playlist

23rd October

I completely forgot that I wrote this. I just found it and I think it’s pretty good. I remember it being fun to write, and there’s plenty of music nicely served up for you. I should revisit this post format on my own.

Album Review Links

23rd October

Relix finally updated their website, which is amazing because the old one wasn’t the most functional. It may have been competing for the least. But the new one is fantastic (it incorporates music into the site really well, and that what it’s all about right?), so I was able to find these.

Moon Taxi:

Josh Ritter:


Also didn’t get the upgrade,which I find funny. It plays into the underratedness of that site though.

Feature: Sculptor Joshua Primmer

2nd October

Published in the Bennington Banner

Click here for full article

BENNINGTON — When local sculptor Joshua Primmer was offered an artist-in residency position at the historic Medalta Potteries in Alberta, Canada, he knew it was an opportunity he couldn’t afford to pass up. Now, using popular crowd-funding website Kickstarter, Primmer is turning to the community for help bringing his dreams to life.

Primmer, a lifelong Southern Vermont native who earned his B.F.A. in ceramics at Maine College of Art, has been running a ceramics studio in his home on Gage Place for the past six years. Specializing in modern ceramic sculpture and functional wares, including free-standing and wall-mounted sculptures, his work has been exhibited throughout Vermont, Massachusetts and New York. After years of independent work, Primmer recently decided re-focus his energy on returning to graduate school and becoming a full-time ceramics professor at …

Review: FressGrass Festival 9/26/13

2nd October

Published in the Bennington Banner

Click here for full article

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — For three days last weekend, Mass MoCA in North Adams welcomed roughly 4,000 music fans for a celebration of modern and traditional American acoustic music–an art form more commonly linked to Appalachian front porches and fiddle contests than modern art museums in New England.

The Freshgrass festival, which attracted a significantly larger crowd than in the festival’s first two years, boasted an impressive lineup of bluegrass and bluegrass-inspired acts, ranging from pioneering legacy groups like the Del McCoury Band to acoustic-minded indie acts like Brooklyn’s The Lone Bellow, who won over the crowd with their energetic performance on Saturday afternoon.

With two stages offering virtually uninterrupted music, a dedicated kids’ area, workshops for musicians and impromptu bluegrass jam sessions popping up everywhere (including inside the museum’s exhibit spaces), the whole …

The Mountain Dulcimer’s Identity in 20th Century Folk Revivals

11th June

Submitted as my final project in American Studies 420: American Folk Revivals at Hamilton College, taught by Prof. Lydia Hamessely.
Click here for full essay.

On May 20, 2009, almost 30,000 Americans tuned into the season finale of American Idol to see underdog Kris Allen upset (the now far more famous) Adam Lambert to win the competition, inadvertently also witnessing a landmark moment in the 150+ year history of an unknown American musical instrument: the Appalachian or mountain dulcimer.1 Even though it only flashed on the screen a few times, viewers immediately noticed the unusual instrument that‘80s pop sensation Cyndi Lauper held on her lap while singing a duet of “Time After Time” with a previously-eliminated contestant. Some took to the internet, asking strangers on sites like Yahoo Answers to try to identify the strange instrument. Others celebrated the appearance of their …

My first crossword puzzle!

24th April

I handmade a crossword puzzle for The Spectator! It took forever and made me crazy, but it was worth it. It may not make sense/be possible to finish if you’re not from Hamilton, but try anyways. Maybe I’ll make another at some point.
Click here for full puzzle


A&E News Briefs: The Spectator, 4/18/13

18th April

Published in The Spectator
Click here for full article 


Review: Ben Williams and Sound Effect

11th April

Published in The Spectator
Click here for full article

Instead of watching Syracuse fall to Michigan in their Final Four game, a passionate crowd of Hamilton jazz fans gathered in Wellin Hall on Saturday night for an impressive display of contemporary jazz from phenom bassist Ben Williams and his group Sound Effect. Williams led the quintet through complex arrangements of his original tunes and some surprising covers, including songs by Stevie Wonder, the rap group N.E.R.D. and R&B songstress Goapele. Speaking candidly to the crowd between songs, Williams explained his philosophy of “new standards,” embracing these contemporary compositions in the same way that earlier Jazz artists like John Coltrane and Louis Armstrong adopted popular songs into their repertoires. Building on these new age attitudes, Williams and his band played an impressive, challenging set that clearly demonstrated the bright future of modern Jazz.


Review: Martin Hayes and The Masters of Tradition

7th March

Published in The Spectator
Click here for full article
In a refreshing departure from Wellin Hall’s usual choral, orchestral and jazz programming, last Saturday the community gathered to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day a few weeks early with an impressive demonstration of Ireland’s musical traditions from Martin Hayes and his touring company, the Masters of Tradition. Taking the stage in different combinations through the night, the seven-piece collective presented historic and treasured tunes in a respectful but nonetheless lively way, often drawing wild whoops of approval from the enthusiastic audience. Between songs they spoke comfortably to the crowd in their thick Irish brogues, explaining the unfamiliar tunes, styles and instruments with a healthy dose of Gaelic wit and cheer. Continued…

Album Review: Phosphorescent – Muchacho

1st March

Published in Relix Magazine
Click here for full article

Album Review: Josh Ritter – The Beast In Its Tracks

1st March

Published in Relix Magazine
Click here to read full article

Live Reaction: Jeff Mangum at Hamilton, 2/14/2013

25th February

Published in The Spectator
Click here for full article (bottom)
Songwriters like Jeff Mangum often have an interesting relationship with their songs. Especially when they’re as raw and personally reflective as “Two Headed Boy” or “King Of Carrot Flowers,” lyrics can almost feel like little pieces of your soul, bared for the world to misinterpret, ridicule, reject or just maybe relate to. Because they’re so personal, songwriters sometimes develop a sense of protectiveness or ownership over their songs, which can get awkward in a live concert situation. Knowing Mangum’s reclusive nature, I never expected him to be so open and gracious in the way he shared his songs with all of us. Continued…

Review: Josh Ritter at Hamilton College, 2/12/2013

14th February

Published in The Spectator
Click here for full story
Before the doors opened at 7:30 there were already a few dozen students in line to enter the Barn, a sure sign that excitement was running high for this week’s special Tuesday edition of Acoustic Coffeehouse with Josh Ritter. Returning to the stage after a three-month hiatus—during which he became a first-time father and announced a new album—Josh’s excitement matched the audience’s, ensuring a special night of song debuts, intimate performances and the spirit of sublime wintertime joy that FebFest embodies. Continued…

Setlist: Josh Ritter at Hamilton College, Feb. 12, 2013

13th February

Setlist from Josh Ritter’s performance at the Events Barn at Hamilton College. Trio songs included Josh, Austin Nevins on acoustic or classical guitar and Zach Hickman on upright bass. Duet songs were just Josh and Zach. The set included 8 songs from Josh’s upcoming album, The Beast In Its Tracks. The printed setlist also included “In The Dark,” “Change of Time” and a 3 song encore of “Bone of Song,” “Snow is Gone” and “To The Dogs or Whoever,” but they weren’t played because of time constraints.

lights: 9:10 PM
Idaho (s)
Monster Ballads (s)
Rumors (2)
Wolves (3)
Long Shadows (3)
Temptation of Adam (s)
Evil Eye (3) New Song
Certain Light (3) New Song
Bonfire (3) New Song
Me and Jiggs  (3)
Girl In The War (s, U/A)
Naked As A Window (s, U/A)
Rattling Locks (s, U/A)
Harrisburg (3)
Appleblossom Rag (2) New Song
Folk Bloodbath (3)
Joy To You Baby (3) New Song
New Lover …

Opinion: Is the Citrus Bowl A Relevant Hamilton Tradition?

31st January

Published in The Spectator
Click here for full article
It feels like a long time ago, but I remember my first time visiting Hamilton pretty clearly. I had an energetic tour guide that gushed over everything on the lush, sprawling campus. She had a particular fondness for Yodapez if I remember correctly, but she really caught my attention with her description the Citrus Bowl, a raucous tradition where students packed into the rink for the first Men’s Ice Hockey game and showered the opposing goaltender with oranges after Hamilton’s first goal. Coming from a sports-obsessed all-boys high school with a similar devotion to hockey and shenanigans, I was encouraged by the idea that Hamilton students shared my appreciation for sporting events as fun shared experiences, able to unite a community in support of the simple common idea that we all want our …

Live Music Preview: Spring 2013 at Hamilton

4th January

Published in The Spectator
Click for full article!
The Village of Clinton may not be a major media center, but every semester Campus organizations like CAB, IMF, WHCL, and the Music Department work tirelessly to bring exciting, talented and even world-renowned musicians to perform on our snowy campus. This semester’s concert lineup looks particularly promising, with acts like Josh Ritter, The Thermals and indie deity Jeff Mangum having performed national headlining tours within the past year and others like folk princess Anais Mitchell showing the potential to do so soon. The Spectator will be running full previews and reviews of these shows over the course of the semester, but here’s a quick look at what we’re looking forward to this semester. Of course, there could always be more shows announced later, so make sure to keep an eye out for those. Continued…

Album Review: The Stone Foxes – Small Fires

1st January

Published in Relix Magazine
Click here for full article

Album Review: El Ten Eleven – Transitions

1st January

Published in Relix Magazine
Click here for full article

Missiles and Media: International Implications of North Korea’s Satellite

12th December

Submitted April 27, 2012 as my final paper for Journalism: Reporting Conflict (AMST30100) at UCD Clinton Institute for American Studies

Since the establishment of the deceptively-named Democratic People’s Republic of Korea after World War II, the North Korean government has deliberately kept the nation hidden in a cloud of secrecy and reclusion, keeping its citizens blocked off from the outside world and often acting erratically in foreign affairs engagements. The Workers’ Party, the strict, authoritarian ruling regime of North Korea, holds tight control over the country’s borders, citizens and media; this often leaves the Western world unaware or under-aware of the political and social situation in the country.

Preview: Danny Brown at Hamilton

29th November

Published in The Spectator
Click here for full article (below the fold)
Continuing their mission to attract the most exciting up-and-coming musical acts to our snowy rural campus, the Independent Music Fund just announced rapper Danny Brown as the headliner for their first event of the year, taking place the evening of Saturday, December 8th in the rave-tested Fillius Events Barn. Hailing from Detroit, Brown’s alternative sensibilities and unconventional style have established him as a leader amongst today’s crop of blog-approved hip hop innovators, and he’s reached mass audiences recently on high-profile tours with Kendrick Lamar, Childish Gambino, A$AP Rocky, Das Racist, Schoolboy Q and many others. Chip Sinton’13 will make his Barn debut DJing as FUCK+YR+AESTHETICSII to open the show.



Faceoff: Should Celebrites Endorse Politicians? -Yes

22nd November

Published in The Spectator
Click here for full article!
I understand that this seems like the less logical side of this argument in some ways—celebrities are stupid right? Don’t they represent the rampant superficiality and misguided value system of our flawed culture? Some might, but that’s an oversimplification that robs credit from the handful of brilliant celebrity intellectuals that they really do deserve it. It’s easy to deride famous people for their socially-constructed status, but, based merely on the fact that they often have an attentive audience, these people have abilities that the vast majority of us don’t. Every time a famous person performs, records, shoots, tweets or makes an appearance they exert influence over thousands of adoring fans (sometimes known as eligible voters), an undeniably valuable asset that even the candidates themselves can’t always match. You can argue over whether or …

Road Journal: Seeking DFA1979 in Canada

8th November

Published in The Spectator
Click here for full article!
For most students (including myself), typical Monday nights at Hamilton involve homework, club meetings, maybe some football and relaxing weekend recovery. This past Monday evening had something else in store for five students: sophomore Brendon Kaufman and seniors Lucas Kang, Brendan Doherty, Pete Adelfio and myself, Jack McManus. Replacing the books in our backpacks with warm coats and passports, the five of us travelled up to Kingston, Ontario to see the dance punk duo Death From Above 1979 on a trip sponsored by Hamilton’s Independent Music Fund. Continued…

Review: Theophilus London at Hamilton College, 10/20/2012

24th October

Published in The Spectator
Click here for full article!

With midterms mostly over and the semester’s inevitably snow-covered final weeks still out of sight, the cloud of buzzing, anticipatory energy that floats over Hamilton most Friday nights felt especially thick this week. While the campus’ most wizardly students congregated across the road for Hogwarts at Hamilton in Benedict, many of their Muggle classmates filed into the wide open Annex for the Campus Activities Board’s flagship musical event of the semester: rapper Theophilus London in the headlining slot with pop princess Wynter Gordon opening up the show. Continued…


Relaunching the website.

17th October

Thanks to both hosting issues and a general desire to redo my work I’m totally rebuilding this site from the ground up. I want to make it cleaner, simpler and more useful. Also, as my other blogs have pretty much faded into gentle obscurity out of neglect, I’m going to start using this page as a forum for my writing. I’m going to try to post with some regularity about music, my life and whatever else I please. Stay tuned, and let me know if you have any suggestions for how this webspace should look, feel or function.

“The stars won’t ever wait for you to watch them fall”
-Sam Beam

Album Review: Black Prairie – A Tear In The Eye Is A Wound In The Heart

26th September

Published in Relix magazine
Click here for full article

Album Review: Scrapomatic – I’m A Stranger And I Love The Night

26th September

Published in Relix Magazine
Click here for full article.

Review: Bon Iver, Brewery Ommegang, Cooperstown, NY – 9/17/2012

21st September

Published on

Full Article:

Despite its remote setting in Upstate New York, the village of Cooperstown has long held a unique significance within American culture and history. Well known as the legendary birthplace of baseball, fabled author James Fenimore Cooper also set many of his greatest works in the village and its surrounding forests. On September 17, nearly two centuries after Cooper wrote his masterpiece The Last of the Mohicans, thousands gathered in the sloped clearing behind Cooperstown’s Brewery Ommegang to see another artist with deep connections to the wilderness, Justin Vernon and his band Bon Iver.

Report: Catskill Chill, Hancock, NY – 9/12/2012

12th September

Published on
Full Article:

With schools back in session and only a few weeks left in the summer of 2012, a few thousand hippies and music fans convened this past weekend at Camp Minglewood in Hancock, NY for the Catskill Chill Music Festival, looking to spend some of the year’s last warm days re-living old summer camp memories and catching sets by the fantastic lineup of electronic, bluegrass, funk and jam-rock acts. Despite a brief weather interruption on the second day of the festival, the Chill delighted its record-setting crowd with its impressive and eclectic selection of music, relaxed atmosphere, comfortable accommodations and beautiful scenery. Continued…

Review: ALO, Rocks Off Concert Cruise, NYC – 7/23/2012

25th July

Published on
Full Article:

Coming off a weekend of main stage appearances at All Good and Gathering of the Vibes Music Festivals, on July 23 California’s Animal Liberation Orchestra made the short drive into New York City to play a completely different type of venue: the main cabin of the _Jewel, a boat designed for tourist cruises of the East River. Organized by Rocks Off, who runs similar musical cruises throughout the summer with various acts, the evening offered an intimate concert experience, two great sets of ALO’s trademark funk-pop and some unbeatable views of New York. Continued…

Interview: Greensky Bluegrass: No Rules (and Kazoos)

14th July

Published on
Full Article:

Hailing from Kalamazoo, Michigan—the city where Orville Gibson first started building acoustic guitars and mandolins over a century ago— Greensky Bluegrass have developed a progressive style over their twelve-year career that blends contemporary musical forms with sounds that trace back to before the invention of Gibson’s Les Paul. Drawing inspiration from acoustic innovators like Béla Fleck and Sam Bush, who launched a movement with their New Grass Revival in the ‘70s and ‘80s, the band’s sound is influenced by the elder statesmen of bluegrass and jambands alike, placing them squarely on the divide between two thriving musical communities. Continued…

Report: Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, Irving Plaza – 6/19/2012

19th June

Published on
Full Article:

With their new album The Lion The Beast The Beat dropping earlier this week, Grace Potter and her mighty band The Nocturnals have spent the past few days in a promotional whirlwind that they’ve dubbed “Beast Week,” including TV Appearances, in-store signings and special shows all over the Northeast. After a livestreamed album release concert on Wednesday, June 13 in the band’s hometown of Burlington, VT, Grace and the Nocs descended upon New York City for a concert at Irving Plaza last night, offering free admission to fans with a bit of insider information about the show. Continued…

Report: Mountain Jam, Hunter, NY – 6/4/2012

4th June

Published on
Full Article:

Thousands of live music fans assembled at the base camp of Hunter Mountain this weekend for the eighth edition of Mountain Jam, the annual festival hosted by Warren Haynes of Gov’t Mule/The Allman Brothers Band. Despite sporadic rain showers throughout the weekend, this year’s festival held a special significance for both the artists and audience as everyone gathered to mourn the recent loss of The Band’s legendary drummer, and local hero, Levon Helm. Continued…

Feature: Essential Prayers

Published in Berkshires Week on September 24, 2014 Original article:

Starting this Friday evening, a group of young musicians will be returning to Bennington College, their...

Feature: BCCS’ Cailin Manson

Published in Berkshires Week on September 25, 2014 Original article:

BENNINGTON — After 38 years under the direction of Edwin Lawrence, who recently retired, the Bennington...