Greetings dear readers and happy Beltane.! I don’t often cover events outside of central Vermont proper. Chittenden County and the Burlington area in general get more coverage than anywhere in the state, so I prefer to focus mostly on our unsung little neck of the woods. There are always exceptions, however, and this weekend is one of them.
Over the past few years, Waking Windows has established itself as an urban weekend festival of epic proportions. Featuring mostly under-the-radar talent both local and regional, and showing a bent for indie-style variety, the fest truly should feature something for everyone. Nearly every usable venue in the Onion City will be utilized for the event, with mostly short sets from a multitude of artists starting Friday night at 5 p.m. Saturday’s and Sunday’s festivities start at noon and go until the wee hours. If you are into checking out new music, I’d highly recommend grabbing a weekend pass and venue hopping around town to check out as much as possible; the scope of WW is truly astounding. As someone who has organized large musical events, I can attest to the fact that the folks putting this festival together have done an amazing job amassing a huge amount of talent for the weekend. For tickets and more information on this truly remarkable event, visit www.wakingwindows.com.
Back here in the capital city, there is live music this weekend as well, though due to the way the calendar fell I don’t have as many details as I’d like to provide you. I did get this tidbit from Dustin Byerly of Boomslang about a show going on at Positive Pie Friday night that does not appear on its website. King Mas, a reggae-dancehall artist based in Boston will perform backed by local roots and culture outfit Satta Sounds. This should be a good one for fans of the genre, and an irie time for anyone in attendance. No word on the cover at press time. The show starts at 10 p.m.
Montpelier has a festival of its own this weekend as well. It’s hard to believe The Three Penny Taproom, the capital’s (and one of the country’s) premier craft beer destinations) is already a decade old, but here we are at the 10th annual Montbeerlier, which will take place Saturday starting at 3 p.m. Besides the vast array of craft beer offerings both rare and popular, the event features live music adjacent to the beer garden out back of the venerable bar and resto.
Headlining will be Soule Monde, the instrumental prog-funk-jazz power duo featuring Ray Paczkowski on keys and Russ Lawton on drums. That’s some guaranteed musical pyrotechnics right there. Locals Yestrogen, Valentino and others provide support. Come on out Saturday and help celebrate 10 years for what has become an institution in the city of the golden dome.
Charlie O’s on Main Street in the heart of the capital has a full schedule of music this weekend, starting tonight with a brand spankin’ new act. The People This Year is the brainchild of local musician Ezra Oklan, who is a longtime collaborator with Abby Jenne who also plays with highly touted Americana duo Dwight and Nicole. Check out their original rock ‘n’ roll starting at 9 p.m.
On Friday night, my pick of the week happens at O’s when Portsmouth, New Hampshire-based People Like You returns to the back of the barroom. “Some bands can be easily pigeonholed. Others can’t. Portsmouth, New Hampshire’s own People Like You fall into the latter category, possessing a sound that, at times, can be best described as folk. People Like You buck trends and reject classification,” wrote Chris Harris in Take Magazine. Their brand of folk is dark, freewheeling and a tad messy, which is just the way I like it. Highly recommended starting at 9 p.m. On Saturday night, Some Hollow closes out the weekend, once again at 9 p.m.
At Sweet Melissa’s on the corner of Elm and Langdon Streets, there’s live music every night except Monday (when they are closed). Their calendar was not out at press time, which is understandable as proprietress Melissa is virtually a one-woman show over there.
I did get wind of an event on Sunday, however. The Savoy Theater on Main Street will screen a documentary on “Queen of the Blues” Koko Taylor. Thereafter starting at 3:30 p.m. Sweets hosts a woman blues singers jam, with established local blues and soul guy Dave Keller providing the backing band. As our area loves it some female singers, I expect this early-afternoon event to be well-attended.
Later on that evening, it’s the usually well-attended live band karaoke with The Blucher Blocks starting at 8:30 p.m. As for tonight through Saturday, you’ll just have to pop into Mel’s and see what they have in store.
That wraps up this week. Exercise your multitude of options this weekend, and go see live music.