Our 2017 line-up!
Click on artist name for website link.
Radio Free Honduras-Sunday July 9th 7pm
Charlie Baran has lived a life of music. Before moving the the United States he was a founding member of the legendary Honduran musical group Banda Blanca, who’s song “Sopa de Caracol” became the #1 Billboard Top Latin Songs hit in 1992. Now a maintenance man at a Catholic grade school by day, Charlie has kept his musical flame glowing largely through acoustic solo performances around the Chicago for the past ten years.
Charlie Baran is a true virtuoso. No one sees him perform without recognizing the presence of a true master – an heir to a rich tradition of Honduran music, as well as a guitar slinging showman and a gifted songwriter whose skill transcends all genres. But throughout most of his career he has existed in the shadows – until the formation of Radio Free Honduras.
Radio Free Honduras is a diverse collective of Chicago musicians, all united under one goal – supporting the artistry of Charlie Baran and bringing this tremendous talent into the spotlight where it belongs. Founded by Dan Abu-Absi, longtime guitarist for JT and the Clouds and Birds of Chicago, Radio Free Honduras plays mostly Baran originals, but their live shows often feature a wide variety of reimagined cover songs. This band provides Charlie with the wide musical pallet his talent (and songs) deserve. Abu-Absi has gathered a large, revolving collective of some of Chicago’s most talented musicians; lively percussion, eclectic instrumentation, and rich harmonies all provide the backdrop, allowing Charlie to do what he does best – stunning guitar work, tapping into what seems a limitless supply of energy and enthusiasm for music.
Charlie Baran has lived a long and storied musical life – but very few are familiar with his side of the story. Radio Free Honduras has made it their mission to change that.
“Our festival audience loved the Gipsy Kings-meets-Los Lobos sound of Radio Free Honduras.” (Rico Neller, Midwest LatinoFest)
“Traditional Honduran music with Rhumbas, Los Lobos inspired rock, and south of the border soul. Baran has made a record that feels right at home as a summer sound-track for Chicago’s eclectic Latin neighborhoods.” (Illinois Entertainer)
Robert and Gigi Monday July 10th Noon Brown Bag
Longtime Middlebury Festival on the Green favorites Robert Resnik and Gigi Weisman have been playing music together for nearly twenty years! They are overjoyed to be performing again this summer, and especially love silly singalong songs for kids and their families. A Little Bit Jumbled & Jivey and Sweet Potatoes and Home Grown Tomatoes, the CDs that they have recorded to accompany their popular music programs at the Fletcher Free Library in Burlington, have introduced generations of youngsters to the joys of music. Please come prepared to quack, moo, and sing along!
The Sea the Sea Monday July 10th 7 pm
an Upstate New York based indie folk-pop duo-band featuring what Huffington Post calls, “Two of the loveliest male-female voices you might ever hear this or any other year.” Their 2014 debut release, Love We Are We Love, received praise from NPR, American Songwriter, and No Depression, among others, gathering nearly 10 million streams on Spotify. The animated video for their song "Waiting" sparked viral interest including Buzzfeed, Pitchfork, and inclusion at the international TED 2015 conference. Mountain Stage host Larry Groce calls them "ready to take their place among the best young male/female duos now performing." Their 2016 release, the six-song EP In the Altogether, recently earned features by Apple Music including Best of the Week and A-List Singer/Songwriter.
Mollie O'Brien & Rich Moore-Monday July 10th 8:30 pm
Mollie O'Brien and her husband, guitarist Rich Moore, have for nearly 30 years quietly made it their mission to find, mine and reinvent other artists' songs. They are geniuses at the craft of interpretation in the way that great singers, since the beginning of popular American music, have made the songs of their era their own. As songwriters they add their own tunes to the canon of American roots music they inhabit and show us they’re completely at home with their musical selves.
Grammy winner Mollie has long been known as a singer who doesn’t recognize a lot of musical boundaries, and audiences love her fluid ability to make herself at home in any genre while never sacrificing the essence of the song she tackles. She is a singer at the very top of her game who’s not afraid to take risks both vocally and in the material she chooses.
Rich, while known to produce some of the funniest onstage running commentary, is also a powerhouse guitar player who can keep up with O’Brien’s twists and turns from blues to traditional folk to jazz to rock and roll. He creates a band with just his guitar and, as a result, theirs is an equal partnership.
“Mollie O’Brien and Rich Moore are two national musical treasures. Combining blues and bluegrass (and everything in-between) with their soulful voices and stunning instrumental chops, Mollie and Rich are a constant source of joy and inspiration to me. They are truly among the best out there keeping American music alive and vital.”
Jon Gailmor-Tuesday July 11th Noon Brown Bag
Songs to make people feel alive!. Music for humans prenatal through prehistoric, spanning the entire emotional spectrum. Humor and audience involvement are integral parts of any Jon Gailmor performance.“Jon's way with an audience is nothing short of genius. He had us in stitches and in tears, with a seamless array of humor, nostalgia, and especially wisdom. One comes away from Jon's house concert with a renewed dedication to the things we value. We are all encouraged to be a little more of who we are when we're with Jon.”
— Jean Eisele, Edmonds, WA
The Emily Braden Trio-Tuesday July 11th 7:00 pm
Big, bad beauty from Boise, Idaho, Emily Braden covers a lot of ground. Whether she’s fronting an orchestra on the west coast or leading a world-class trio in the heart of Manhattan, Braden has the innate ability to win the heart of any audience with her powerhouse vocals and striking stage presence.
Winner of New York City’s prestigious "Best of the Best" Jazzmobile Vocal Competition, Braden’s signature sound is an effortless blend of jazz and soul. Her knock-out debut album Soul Walk is composed of high-energy originals and "flipped-out" jazz standards. Producer Misha Piatigorsky says, “As a singer, Emily has no boundaries. She gives me goose bumps.” Braden has performed as a headliner at NYC venues such as the Blue Note Jazz Club (Late Night Groove Series), Nublu, Smalls Jazz Club, Zinc Bar, The Kitano and the Iridium Jazz Club as well as on international stages. She recently completed a weekly residency at Richard Bona's Club Bonafide in New York City with guitarist Richard Padrón. Braden's versatility and infectious energy make her a highly sought after collaborator and special guest. She is the lead vocalist and lyricist for the twenty plus member Sketchy Orkestra and works regularly with her band Double Bass, Double Voice, Oliver Swain's Big Machine and saxophonist Matt Parker.
In April 2014, Braden was selected by the US Embassy to travel to Burkina Faso, West Africa as part of the Arts Envoy program. The Emily Braden Quartet closed out the Jazz a Ouaga Festival with a standing ovation. This past fall she headlined a weekend of performances at Club Esse in Moscow, Russia with trumpeter Vitaly Golovnev. This past December, her love for groove and percussion led her to Cuba where she performed and studied with local musicians putting her Masters degree in Spanish to good use.
See Braden live and she’ll make you a believer. This girl is smokin’, smokin’ hot.
"BRADEN IS A MASTER VOCALIST AND MAGNETIC PERFORMER. HER MUSIC SUITS EVERY MOOD AND RANGES FROM SOULFUL TO SASSY. THIS IS THE SOUND OF THE NEW HARLEM!"- J.J. El-Far, Creative Director of the Harlem Arts Fest
"EMILY BRADEN POSSESSES ALL THE QUALITIES THAT PRECEDES THE RISING OF A NEW STAR. I'M SO PLEASED TO HAVE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO WITNESS HER TALENT AT THIS POINT ON HER PATH TO GLOBAL RECOGNITION AS A GREAT JAZZ VOCALIST." - Dr. Dee Daniels, Jazz vocalist, artistic director of the DeMiero Jazz Fest (WA), vocal clinician, mentor, composer
Upstate Rubdown-Tuesday July 11th 8:30 pm
Upstate Rubdown is an acoustic septet drawing inspiration from every corner (and decade) of America's musical heritage. Based in New York's Hudson Valley region, the band has spent years cultivating its sound, and continues to grow by the tune. The instrumentation includes Harry D'Agostino on upright bass, Ryan Chappell on mandolin, Dean Mahoney on cajón, and Christian Joao on flute and alto/baritone saxophone. The dynamic rhythm section supports a three part vocal harmony powerhouse of founding members Mary Kenney and Melanie Glenn with recent Nashville-transplant Allison Olender.
Over its five year history, the band has played in more than twenty states, from intimate house concerts to prominent festival stages, including Mountain Jam, Frendly Gathering, and Green River Festival. The band has opened for Cory Henry, Phox, The Felice Brothers, and many others.
Otis Mountain Get Down captures the heart of the matter:
"Pulling from the greatest corners of American music, this group has the power to get feet moving with or without amplification. Like fresh-farmed vegetables, their music is as organic as it is good for you. From foot-stomping bass, highlighted by the slap of a cajon, to the familiar strums of the mandolin over a wailing saxophone – there’s so much going on instrumentally that when the harmonious lead vocalists chime in, the result is nothing short of a homegrown hurricane of sound."
No Strings Marionette Company
Wednesday July 12th Noon Brown Bag Show
The creativity of puppeteers Dan Baginski and Barbara Paulson reaches into every aspect of the production from script writing and puppetry to costumes, soundtracks and set production. They perform in full view of their audience, having found that children are as interested in how the puppets work as they are in the stories unfolding before them.
The No Strings Marionette Company invites you to enjoy the wonders of traditional puppet theatre. Come join these intriguing puppets as they journey through the lavish settings and enchanting stories into a world of imagination, enlightenment and laughter. This timeless art form engages young and old alike in virtual reality the old fashioned way....LIVE! With puppets! We spare no whimsy creating one-of-a-kind puppets sparkling with spirit. Masterful manipulation of rod, string and control animates these figures, channeling thought into gesture, transforming wood into being. Given our miniature actors' proven hold on audience attention, we avail ourselves of this golden opportunity to impart social awareness, environmental consciousness, scientific curiosity, respect for self and others, as well as zany humor to tickle the funny bone.
This year they will present "The Cunning Little Vixen".
It is based on an early 20th century Czech story about Sharp Ears,
a vixen cub who is taken from her forest home by a woodsman who
thinks it will make a fine family pet.
Sharp Ears ultimately needs to decide if she wants to trade the comforts
of domesticity for the freedom of the wild in this marionette adaptation suitable
for audiences of all ages!
Pete's Posse-Wednesday July 12th 7pm
Vermont based trio Pete’s Posse is composed of acclaimed musician Pete Sutherland (fiddle, piano, banjo, melodica and vocals), his talented protégé Oliver Scanlon (fiddle, viola, mandolin, foot percussion and vocals) and the uber-dynamic Tristan Henderson (guitars, mandolin, jaw harp, foot percussion and vocals). Twin fiddles in tight, wild harmony over high-powered guitar and pounding footwork with mandolin, clawhammer banjo, jawharp and rocking keyboards adding their voices to the mix. Songs and tunes, old and new, lyrical and driving: that’s the multi-generational heart and mind of PETE’S POSSE, at work and at play.
Pete’s Posse is three generations of musicians who have come together to create their own electrifying sound they call “multi-generational roots music.” In 2013 Pete and Oliver, building on a long-time mentor/mentee partnership, asked Tristan to join them to play a contradance, and a match was struck! Gig by gig their chemistry grew, and the Posse quickly developed a reputation for being an innovative, driving, sought-after, can’t-keep-your-feet-still power trio.
Within a year of their first performance, their self-titled album was out, and days later they were off on a nine week, 48-gig, 11,000 mile U.S. tour. It was on this odyssey that they began to add more vocals to the mix in a major way, expanding not only the dance floor experience, but also their desire for concerts. Their second album, “Down to the Core” was released in July 2015, a pure distillation of their first national tour. With it they attracted the attention of festival promoters and concert series large and small, as well as finding themselves much in demand for contradance weekends in the Northeast and beyond.
The Posse continues to engage audience members of all ages with their distinct and expansive energies, and their intuitive feel for one another’s playing. Being a restlessly creative bunch of self-styled ‘rehearsal addicts’, there are always new songs, dance sets, and concert arrangement in the works! So if you’ve heard them at a house concert or danced with them until 1 AM at a festival, you know there’s always a new favorite to listen for. The steady flow of powerful uplifting energy across the age gap is the engine that drives Pete’s Posse, and it shows no sign of letting up!
“You guys were indeed my highlight of Festival Mémoire et Racines. Very impressive!”
– Andre Marchand, musician, producer and co-founder of La Bottine Souriante“One of the best trios I’ve seen in a long time!” – Éric Beaudry, musician, De Temps Antan
The Molly Tuttle Band-Wednesday July 12th 8:30 pm
A virtuoso multi-instrumentalist and award winning songwriter with a distinctive voice, Molly has turned the heads of even the most seasoned industry professionals. She began performing on stage when she was 11, and recorded her first album, The Old Apple Tree, at age 13. Since then, she’s appeared on A Prairie Home Companion and at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, was featured on the cover of Flatpicking Guitar Magazine, won first place in the prestigious Chris Austin Songwriting Competition at Merlefest, and, this fall, received a Momentum Award from the International Bluegrass Music Association in the instrumentalist category. Her lovely voice, impeccable guitar playing, and sensitive song writing make her a star on the rise. She has already received more than two million YouTube views and is currently gearing up to release her first solo EP.
Molly Tuttle, blew away the unsuspecting crowd with her rapid fire bluegrass guitar work that would put even the most talented shredders to shame. It was a marvel to see such incredible technical skill combined with a sweet voice and fun, barn-storming songwriting.-Jonah, Write to the Beat
[Molly Tuttle] sings with the gentle authority of Gillian Welch, yet plays astoundingly fleet flat-picking guitar like Chet Atkins on superdrive. Paul Zollo, American Songwriter Magazine
Stephen GrattoThursday July 13th Noon Brown BagStephen Gratto is not your typical performer. New York State School Superintendent by day, Stephen moonlights as a physical comedian and much much more. His performances are fast-paced and exciting displays of many classic vaudeville and circus skills including juggling, unicycling, rope walking, object balancing, and many other feats of daring, bravery, and side-splitting foolishness.
The high point of each performance is invariably the audience participation. Almost every portion of the Stephen Gratto Variety Show involves audience volunteers, both young and old. This continual interaction keeps everyone involved and laughing. Stephen is truly a jack of all trades and a master of many.
Stephen is now joined in his show by his three sons, Schuyler (age 17), Gabriel (age 14), and Christian (age 11). They have become a true "family circus" creating an act "of the family, by the family, and for the family".
The Jason Anick Gypsy Jazz Trio -Thursday July 13th 7pm
Talk to the abundantly gifted violinist and mandolin player Jason Anick and the phrase “jazz without borders” will invariably come up. What the axiom means to Anick is a contemporary jazz that is stylistically inclusive in nature, a jazz that brings whatever it can to the party, unwilling to cut something out of the mix for fear of it not fitting prescribed boundaries. An inviting demonstration of the maxim in action can be found on Anick’s second album as a leader, Tipping Point, which has been gaining critical acclaim with praise from the prestigious Boston Globe which stated "Jason's compositional voice is as distinctive as his virtuoso playing."
One of the youngest instructors at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, Anick is considered “a rising star in the world of jazz violin and mandolin” (Downbeat Magazine). In addition to leading his own contemporary jazz ensemble and performing with the Rhythm Future Quartet, Anick has been touring and recording with Grammy award-winning Nashville guitar virtuoso John Jorgenson since 2008 when he was recruited while still a senior at the Hartt Conservatory.
Jason will be joined by his Rhythm Future Quartet bandmates Greg Loughman on bass and West Rutland native Max O'Rourke on guitar.
Jason is easily one of the best jazz violinists and mandolinists of his generation.
- Christian Howes
Jason Anick's playing has a wonderful clarity and creativity and his compositions offer a modern jazz approach to our instrument which is truly refreshing and inspired.
- Mike Marshall
Jason Anick has taken his inspiration from the masters of gypsy jazz violin and forged his own exciting personal style. He has rapidly become a force to be reckoned with in the world of jazz violin!
- John Jorgenson
The Seamus Eagan Project-Thursday July 13th 8:30 pm
In 2017, Seamus Egan, founding member of the seminal band Solas, will be touring for the first time ever, as The Seamus Egan Project, bringing along friends and musical guests, and introducing fans to both the entirety of his immense and influential catalog of music, as well as new music he’s never recorded or performed live. Beginning with tunes from his groundbreaking album, When Juniper Sleeps, which was the impetus for the formation of Solas, through the 20 year recording career of this iconic band, along with new tunes, Egan will continue to explore the further reaches of the Irish tradition, and beyond.
It’s hard to think of an artist in traditional Irish music more influential than Seamus Egan. From his beginnings as a teen prodigy, to his groundbreaking solo work with Shanachie Records, to his founding of Irish-American powerhouse band Solas, to his current work as one of the leading composers and interpreters of the tradition, Egan has inspired multiple generations of musicians and helped define the sound of Irish music today. As a multi-instrumentalist, he’s put his mark on the sound of the Irish flute, tenor banjo, guitar, mandolin, tin whistle, and low whistle, among others. As a composer, he was behind the soundtrack for the award-winning film The Brothers McMullen, co-wrote Sarah McLachlan’s breakout hit, “Weep Not for the Memories,” and has scored numerous documentaries and indie films since. As a bandleader, Solas has been the pre-eminent Irish-American band of their generation for the past 20 years, continuously renewing Irish music with fresh ideas, including a collaboration with Rhiannon Giddens on their 2013 album, Shamrock City. As a performer, few others can make so many instruments or such wickedly complex ornaments seem so effortless. Music comes as naturally to Seamus Egan as breath, but his mastery of the tradition is only one facet of his plans to move the music forward.
Growing up under the wing of powerful elder musicians, Egan’s always paid homage to his roots, but he’s thought of these roots less as a heritage and more as a universal language to be shared. Just as classical or jazz cuts across all ethnicities and unites communities around the world, Egan saw Irish music the same way, and the ensuing decades only served to support this idea. Today, musicians play Irish music all over the world, and part of this comes from the constant evolution the tradition has seen in the past century. Certainly this idea of musical evolution has kept Egan centered through the twenty years he’s spent as founding member of Solas, but the first real inkling of this came from his groundbreaking 1996 album, When Juniper Sleeps. Here, Egan began to explore the further reaches of the Irish tradition, blazing his way at spectacular speed through Irish reels, but also bringing in rich compositions and arrangements, and crafting soundscapes to enrich the melodies. This album dropped nearly the same year as Solas’ debut, self-titled album, so it’s no surprise that Egan would reach back to this time period to create new music for new generations.
We're excited that local native songstress Moira Smiley will be part of the Seamus Eagan Project!
Magician Tom Verner- Friday July 14th Noon Brown Bag 12:00 pm
Addison County based magician Tom Verner's Magicians Without Borders performs magic shows for children in refugee camps, orphanages and hospitals around the world–often in war torn places where love, laughter and magic are desperately needed. Tom says, “I like to think that the magic brings not only laughter and surprise, but on some deeper level perhaps, magic plants seeds of hope. Hope that the impossible is possible. Hope that after years of waiting in refugee camps, the waiting will end and the people will go home again.” Since 2002, Magicians Without Borders has traveled to over thirty countries using magic to entertain, educate and empower.
The Starline Rhythm Boys Friday July 15th 7 pm
The Starline Rhythm Boys are-
Danny Coane, the rockin' pride of Vermont, just keeps rollin'. He has fronted bluegrass, country and blues bands, but the rockabilly, rock 'n roll act "The Throbulators" gained him national exposure. Danny led the "Throbs" across the country and across the border. When you talk about "the real deal", you're talking about cats like Danny. He writes and sings with relentless enthusiasm, and picks a banjo and guitar with equal ability. He is the singer and rhythmic foundation for the band he now fronts. In short, Little Danny C. is "Pepper Hot, Baby."
Billy Bratcher holds down the beat for the trio on upright bass. He toured with Texas Juke Joint King Wayne Hancock and became well known throughout the US for mastering the unique "slap bass" style. He can be heard on the title track of Hancock's "That's What Daddy Wants" CD. In addition to his high energy playing and flamboyant showmanship, Billy B. is a consummate song writer. Billy writes most of the Starline Rhythm Boys songs and their latest CD, "Honky Tonk Livin'", features 13 originals that ring like classics.
Al Lemery shines bright under any stage light. The sound that echoes out of his well-used Fender "widow maker" can be spine-tingling. Al has been banging out the beat throughout the northeast for 30 years. After stints in Albany, NY with the likes of Johnny Rabb's Jailhouse Rockers, Al made his way north to Burlington, VT. He is in his element with The Starline Rhythm Boys. When "Big Al" croons out a ballad, everybody listens. His powerful harmonies round out the trio's high lonesome and hot rockin' sound.
Dave Keller and his 9 Piece Soul Revue Friday July 14th 8:30 pm
Considered one of the finest soul and blues men of his generation, award-winning singer/guitarist Dave Keller will be making a rare appearance with his hot new 9-piece Soul Revue!
Dave Keller's Soul Revue combines the glory days of Soul music with Keller's own deep soul, funk-filled songs. Backed by his skin-tight, road-tested core band (Ira Friedman on keys, Brett Hoffman on drums, Gary Lotspeich on bass), Keller has built a show including the powerful Mo' Sax Horns (after all, who doesn't want mo' sax?), and singers Morgan Klarich (D'moja) and April Caspari (The Tender Senders).
His new CD, Right Back Atcha, featuring the members of his Soul Revue, brings together all the elements that make him unique: a voice that Blues Revue Magazine has called “stunning”; intense guitar work; and meaningful, memorable songs drawn drawn from his life.
Keller's previous CD, Soul Changes, recorded in Memphis with Al Green's original band, earned a Blues Music Award nomination for Best Soul/Blues CD of the Year. He is the 2012 winner of the Best Self-Produced CD award at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. Keller has earned the respect of the torchbearers of the blues: recording and co-writing with legendary guitarist Ronnie Earl; touring with Mississippi soul/blues master Johnny Rawls; and spending many years as the protege of the late soul/blues singer Mighty Sam McClain.
Based in Vermont, Keller has performed at such respected venues as B.B. King's (Memphis) and Biscuits and Blues (San Francisco), as well as many of the largest blues and roots festivals in the Northeast. This rare opportunity to catch Dave Keller's Soul Revue in action promises to be a truly special performance.
Vermont Jazz Ensemble Street Dance Saturday July 15th 7pm
With musicians hailing from all corners of the Green Mountain State, the 17-member Vermont Jazz Ensemble performs music in the jazz and “big band” styles, and also plays selections in rock, fusion, Latin and popular music styles. Its extensive library includes music by Count Basie, Stan Kenton, Duke Ellington, Woody Herman, Maynard Ferguson, Buddy Rich, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw and others. In 1996, VJE celebrated 20 years of jazz with several special artistic projects, including monthly performances live and on the air with Steve Young on Vermont Public Radio. Get out your dancing shoes, bring the entire family, and enjoy a special festival finale on New England’s most unique dance floor. Come right at 7 p.m. to learn a few dance steps with Jim Condon!