• Foliage brings the music to Vermont
    October 03,2012

    By Ed DuFresne
    Capital Sounds

    I must say the colors are awesome this year. Rode down from the Kingdom on Sunday afternoon and, despite the gloomy weather, the hills were ablaze, bearing an uncanny resemblance to Fruity Pebbles. A number of colorful events are taking place in the coming days as well, including what may well be the last outdoor music festival of the season — the scoop is below!

    If you want to start your weekend (and evening) early, tonight’s your chance as The Black Door hosts its monthly old-time night,

    “Dare to be Square.” This month’s version features longtime locals The Damn Yankee String Band, with Jennifer Steckler calling the squares. Be there AND be square starting at 6 p.m.

    Then, on Friday night, the Door welcomes acoustic roots duo Herb and Hanson as it make its third floor debut. The high-energy

    Brooklyn-based twosome has been making waves up and down the East Coast with their non-stop touring, playing everything from ragtime to blues to bluegrass. They are barnstorming our little state this week, so if you can’t catch ‘em at the Door on Friday, they’ll be at Piecasso in Stowe Saturday night, and back in ol’ Montpeculiar outside The Skinny Pancake Sunday at 6 p.m. If it’s from Brooklyn, rest assured it’s pretty darn good. If you can make it there, you’ll make it anywhere!

    Finally, on Saturday night The Black Door welcomes back Ethiopian inspired Afro-pop group The New Nile Orchestra for a night of high-energy, danceable tunes. Featuring a kinetic front man and some wicked African drumming, this band is made for dancing, and dance you will! All shows at The Black Door are $5 and start at 9:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted, with 100 percent of the cover going to the artists.

    Just down the street at Charlie O’s there’s a pair of great bands playing this weekend as well — one familiar, and one not-so-familiar. On Friday night The Starline Rhythm Boys bring their ultra-authentic roadhouse honky-tonk sound back to the back of the barroom for your swinging pleasure, starting at 10 p.m.

    Then, on Saturday night, a great act from Kentucky rolls into town when Bloodroots Barter returns for its second go-around in the ol’ World Famous. Described as “its own brand of dirty, raw, passionate, desperate, intricate, moonshine-driven American roots music,” they were very impressive their first time through, and pack a lot of energy for an acoustic act. This one gets my pick of the week, starting at 10 p.m. As always at O’s, there’s never a cover, but they did raise the price of a PBR by 75 cents, so be prepared for that!

    To wrap up the action in Montpelier, Positive Pie II on State Street is hosting a local hip hop showcase on Saturday night featuring

    Young Thayer, Bar None the Best, Young Trey, Beeps, Luopo and DJ Bay 6. The fun starts at 10:30 p.m. for a nominal cover at the door. No word on their website whether the show is 21-plus or not.

    Over in the Granite City, the Barre Opera House is continuing its excellent fall schedule this week, starting Friday night with New England’s most notable comedian, Bob Marley, starting at 8 p.m. It’s already funny he’s not the deceased king of reggae!

    Then, on Saturday, the circus comes to town when Ruckus: A Cirque Spectacular brings “an internationally renowned cast of award-winning trapezists, jugglers, contortionists, and more” to the Opera House stage starting at 7 p.m.

    Finally, iconic Americana singer-songwriter John Hiatt brings his Combo to the historic Barre performance venue on Tuesday, Oct. 9, starting at 7:30 p.m. Don’t miss the artist hailed by the L.A. Times as “one of rock’s most astute singer-songwriters of the last 40 years.” For tickets and more information on The BOH’s excellent fall lineup, visit www.barreoperahouse.org.

    Now what about that festival? It takes place on a Monday, but it’s a Monday that’s technically a holiday celebrating Christopher Columbus’ “discovery” of the Americas. The Blueberry Jam IV takes place on Blueberry Lake in Warren starting at 3 p.m.

    Headlining the bill will be Boston-based funky reggae purveyors Spiritual Rez. They’ll be joined by Vermont-based hip-hoppers

    Linguistic Civilians, widely recognized as one of the state’s finest in the genre. Also on the bill are hip hop/soul act Memoranda, ska/folkie Louie Brown, acoustic folk band Last October and rock/jazz outfit The Holter Brothers. For $15, you also get a commemorative CD, “Goodnight Irene,” with proceeds benefitting local flood recovery efforts. Ten dollars gets you in without the

    CD, and a complimentary buffet dinner is served at 5 p.m. This one sounds like a bargain, and is benefiting a good cause at the same time. So if you’re free Monday, it should be a great, foliage-laden good time!

    Finally, the Rusty Nail in Stowe has a pair of shows this weekend, starting Friday night with Dr. Yes and the No No’s, a jam/folk/funk act based out of the mountain town itself. On Saturday night, Burlington’s gospel/soul/funk juggernaut Funkwagon bring their horns and harmonies to the big room on the Mountain Road for $5 at the door. Both shows start at 9 p.m. and are 21-plus.

    That about does it for this week. Enjoy the fall colors, and go see live music!

    Ed DuFresne currently books The Black Door, occasionally produces concerts, and books at various venues in the area on a freelance basis. He lives in Montpelier with a lovely Polish anarchist and a human version of the Lorax.

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