Boy, am I psyched! I’ve held off on planting much of my garden (tomatoes, peppers, etc.) due to the fact that the weather has not quite broken yet. But a few weeks ago I planted beans, peas, spinach and a wide variety of greens, and they all came up! Now I just have to manage to keep the woodchucks and deer out of the beds (which has proven to be an annual challenge). I’m sure many of you will be gardening this weekend, but after a long day in the dirt, what better way to blow off steam than by going to see live music? I can’t think of one, so here are some options.
We’ll start off at Sweet Melissa’s, where you’ll find options for early-evening and late-night music. Tonight, you can catch pianist Dave Langevin in the early slot at 6 p.m. Later on at 8 p.m., The Shanty Rats will bring their swashbuckling, seafaring rabblerousing to the corner of Elm and Langdon here in the capital. I wanted to include a photo of them, but their website only contains photos of historical pirates, old ships and wrecks at sea.
On Friday night, Groove Philter brings its assumed Phish-inspired sound to the black box stage in the shadow of the golden dome starting at 9 p.m. On Saturday, it’s sure to be Mel’s biggest night of the week, with Michael T. Jermyn and the Aristocratic Peasants playing the early slot at 6 p.m., followed by uber-popular local ‘80s tribute act Duroc. The band plays a great repertoire of tunes from the Reagan era, and seems to have a knack for picking many of the good ones as opposed to the more cheesy stuff. The theme of the night is neon (how appropriate for the ‘80s), and folks are encouraged to sport the obnoxious shades for a visual spectacle via black light. This will be a party, starting at 9:30 p.m. Expect a nominal door charge at Mel’s for weekend shows, but live band karaoke, which happens every Sunday at 8:30 p.m. with The Butcher Blocks, is always free.
Hopping over to Barre, there is a special benefit event for a longtime local musician taking place at the majestic Barre Opera House on Friday night. Pitz Quattrone, who plays the Australian aboriginal instrument the didgeridoo and also hosts a radio show on Goddard’s WGDR, recently underwent a heart-valve replacement via emergency surgery. Incidentally, Mick Jagger had the same surgery a day later. The big difference in these two musicians’ situations is obvious: Pitz doesn’t have the resources Mr. Jagger has, and hence the benefit concert. Artists performing include Chad Hollister, Dave Keller, Chris Robertson, Shrimp and others. Tickets are $15 with all proceeds going to Pitz and his family. There will also be raffles of unique items and craft beer available for purchase. The event starts at 7 p.m.
For the past few years, local good ol’ boy Danny Coane has been hosting a bi-weekly bluegrass brunch on Sundays at The Skinny Pancake in Burlington. This summer, he and locals Dan and Willy Linder are staying closer to home when their band The Vermont Bluegrass Pioneers starts up a residency this Sunday on the patio at the Cake’s capital location. Danny promises some different incarnations along the way in the next few months, but the Pioneers will hold down the fort for the brunt of the gigs, which start at 11 a.m. on the patio, weather permitting.
If you can’t make it to the early show at Mel’s on Saturday, you have another chance tonight to catch Michael T. Jermyn’s band during the Montpelier Artwalk. You can check them out at Salaam starting at 6 p.m.
Finally, I’ve got a highly recommended out-of-town show for you. A few weeks ago, I highlighted local musician Kelly Ravin‘s latest project, Cowboys and Angels. The brilliantly named duo will bring their voices and original material to the diminutive stage at The Den at Harry’s Hardware, in the heart of the village of Cabot. Hearing Ravin’s excellently crafted songs with Halle Jade‘s vocal contribution should be a real treat in such an intimate space. The show starts at 7 p.m.
You may have noticed Charlie O’s is conspicuously absent from the column this week. This is mostly my fault, as they sent me the first week of June separately from the rest of the month, and I accidentally deleted it, thinking the new June calendar they sent me would be complete. Rest assured, O’s will have live music this weekend, but I can’t reach them at press time, so you’ll just have to show up to see what’s in store.
That wraps up this week. May your garden, and your interest in going to see live music, continue to grow. Cheers!
Ed DuFresne has produced concerts and events (which he prefers to call shows) in and around central and northeastern Vermont since the late ’90s. He is grateful to live in Montpelier with an exemplary Renaissance man as a housemate.