Capital Sounds: Music, beer and springMay 01,2013
By Ed DuFresne
From the looks of things outside my front door, spring has definitely sprung, and we can look forward to our Green Mountains becoming green again in the coming days. Spring in Montpelier has also become a time to celebrate outdoors, and every first Saturday in May (that would be this Saturday), The Three Penny Taproom has its annual Montbeerlier festival, honoring the beer-bar and resto’s birthday.
Besides all the cask-conditioned beers and house-made sausage and grilled wild leek sandwiches, they also add music to the mix, with top-notch production to go along with it. If any of you attended last year, you’ll recall the awesome sets of tunes by Northampton, Mass.-based The Primate Fiasco. The band will be performing an encore of its unique brand of psychedelic Dixieland, perfect for dancing in the streets. In addition, the stage will feature a showcase of local talent courtesy of Montpelier’s own State and Main Records. The fun starts at 2 p.m. and goes ’til about 10, and it all happens on Langdon Street in the heart of downtown Montpelier. Happy birthday, 3PT.
There’s also lots going on at our local indoor venues, with Charlie-O’s on Main Street in the capital kicking off the weekend early tonight with its open blues jam hosted by longtime local ax-slinger Blue Fox. Bring your instrument and your best blues chops starting at 8 p.m.
Friday night, indie psych-pop duo There Is No Mountain, out of Portland, Ore., rolls through town bringing its upbeat, jangly sound to the back of the barroom. Local up and comer Dan Zuraopens the show, starting about 10 p.m.
Saturday night, our local dive for nice people switches gears to a more punky-Americana direction when it hosts the raucous and rowdy Pariah Beat, which always delivers a great time at the ol’ world famous. Violet Ultraviolet opens the show, once again at 10 p.m. Best of all, shows at O’s are always free; as the motto states, “Never a cover.” Yes!
Things are also happening over in Barre these days, with the Southside Tavern hosting live music on a weekly basis, and not just your run of the mill local-yokel stuff. Saturday night, the Southy presents Portsmouth, N.H.-based jammers Superfrog, bringing a funky, upbeat, horn-laced sound to the Granite City starting at 8 p.m. for $5 at the door. As a bonus, the tavern will even give you a ride to and from the show, with a shuttle that runs to Norwich, Montpelier, Plainfield and the like. For more info, find ’em on
Facebook, and do your part to help support live music in Barre by simply showing up.
Back in the capital, for those looking for something earlier in the evening, you can check out local folkie Colin McCaffrey tonight at Bagitos on Main Street. He’ll have some special guests along for the ride starting at 6 p.m.
Friday night, the Bag hosts bluesman Chickie Stoltz, with folk-rocker Steve Ormprey featured Saturday evening at 6. And Sunday, perhaps the most interesting show of the weekend happens during brunch when Bagitos hosts a tribute to the iconic Reverend Gary Davis with William Lee Ellis, Leda Schubert, Andy Pitt, Mark Greenberg and others starting at 11 a.m. A great option for those who want their live music during daylight hours.
Looking to get your dance on? Positive Pie II on State Street is hosting a disco party Friday night with a live DJ spinning hits from the late ’70s. Revisit the days of Studio 54 starting at 10 p.m. for a mere $3 at the door. If you want to get your dance on to a live band, the Pie has you covered Saturday night with local neo-reggae outfit Bossman, featuring the vocal and percussion stylings of longtime local frontman Brandon Klarich. Get irie starting at 10:30 p.m. for a nominal cover at the door. Ya, mon!
Looking to get out of town? You can head up Route 12 to Morrisville on Friday night to check out local indie folk-rock outfit Anachronist at Moog’s Place in the heart of downtown Mo-Vegas. The atmospheric Anders Parker and Cloud Badge co-bills.
Saturday night, Moog’s hosts Johnson-based groove-grass act Tall Grass Get Down. Moog’s hosts live music nearly every night of the week, and purportedly will be bringing a second location to Montpelier in the former Langdon Street Café space, something local live music fans are definitely looking forward to.
And finally, if you’re looking for more daytime live music, you can head down to Waitsfield on Sunday at 11 a.m. to catch Lewis Franco and the Brown Eyed Girls along with Dono Schabner playing swingin’ folk to benefit Spring Hill School. Tix are $6, with kids 2 and under free.
That about wraps up this week. Get on outside, enjoy spring, and go see live music.
Ed DuFresne is the former talent coordinator at Langdon Street Café and 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, an energetic waitress, a budding renaissance man and a calico cat named Turtle.
The Times Argus regularly reviews CDs by Vermont performers. (They must have been reviewed to be considered for December’s annual Tammie Awards.) To have your CD considered for reviewing, please send it to: Arts Editor, The Times Argus, P.O. Box 707, Barre, VT 05641.
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