Saturday, January 10, 2009

Vermont Music Blog Farewell

I hate to do this, I really do. But, in looking at life and goals and those things that hold us back, I must make this decision. As my primary job is running a public relations firm that works with Vermont businesses and organizations, my biggest challenge is finding enough time to meet everyone's demands and needs - both in my professional and personal lives, which are often intertwined.

I started this blog along with two others - a positive energy and travel in Vermont blog: and a PR tips and commentary blog: I created these blogs around my three key interests (Vermont, PR, music) and as an experiment in blogging, new media marketing, and acting in a direct editorial role. Since starting the blogs (which happened soon after I started my Vermont PR business) I have moved from the Vermont hub of Burlington to a farmhouse in Charlotte, I have gotten engaged, I have brought to fruition my gardening passions and skills, and I have been successful in my business. This is all wonderful and I am blessed and humbled by these life developments. But with these changes, I now have gone from seeing live music two or three times a week to two or three times a month. This is not something I am sad about as I fully believe in quality over quantity and while live music is still a huge part of my life, the magnitude of it has been replaced with new and evolving interests and activities.

And besides all of this, the music I am most passionate about are the jam bands I follow. For a while moe. and Umphrey's McGee have led the pack and as neither are based in Vermont, they were not honest candidates for exploration in the Vermont Music Blog. And now with the reemergence of The Dead and Phish, my music "phun" and "deadication" will be very centered on making time and money to be able to experience the sanctity of all of the live music that stirs my soul and revitalizes my spirit. Of course I will still enjoy and support the talents of Vermont musicians, venues, and events, but I do not feel it is enough to write and support the Vermont Music Blog.

The Mitch - my best friend, soul mate, and heart-throb - while a hot drummer is also a teacher and in gradate school and in no way can be responsible for this blog. I will continue to keep it live and do hope to continue to update the listings as I know they have been useful to so many interested and supportive of Vermont music.

I close with a New England Cable News clip which starts in the Music Room at our farmhouse and I think wraps up one phase of music in my life, for another to begin again...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Mitch Rocks the Radio

Happy Holidays! Hi all, it’s The Mitch here! I hope everyone is enjoying a safe and happy holiday season so far. We have certainly been blessed with an abundance of holiday weather and cheer thus far. And do you know what makes it all come together……..Holiday Music!! I know, holiday music can be cheesy and sometimes annoying, but come one, who doesn’t mind hearing Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree or Carol of the Bells either at home, in the office, or in your car? I have to admit, it does put me in that special spirit!

So you want a dose of holiday music, where do you find it? Sure you can go to a store and buy Cd after Cd to find that right holiday mix, but why not tune into a local radio station that plays nothing but holiday music 24-7! My personal favorite is Star 92.9 - WEZF. They play all of the classics, as well as, some contemporary versions of our favorite tunes. One aspect of listening to the radio that is cool is 92.9 gives a dose of history throughout the day regarding particular songs. For instance, did you know that the inspiration for Silent Night was a mouse? That’s right, in 1817, in a German church; a hungry little mouse chewed a hole in the bellows of a pipe organ. This naturally put the organ out of commission, and inspired two men to write and arrange the most popular Christmas song ever! Thanks Star 92.9!! Anyway, if you think of it, turn that clock radio, car stereo, or home audio system on and let some holiday cheer pump through the radio waves!

Peace, Joy, and a Wonderful Holiday to All, The Mitch!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Cody Michaels - Winter Suite

Last weekend The Mitch and I had the privilege of seeing the most beautiful piano music I have ever seen live due to an inclination to seek out some form of live music during the holidays at the Vergennes Opera House and Cody Michaels was it! I actually took notes while watching, making this much more of an actual review than much of what I usually write:

"Wow. The music is so gentle, it absolutely touched my soul. It made me think of the times in high school I would listen to piano tapes by Danny Wright (only piano music I had) to calm me and bring out my more introspective side. I would hear a melodic rift and wish it would continue. Cody Michaels has continued that rift for me. I think of the beautiful times Page is featured in Phish and how my heart soars in my body and is lifted like a dance - this is how lovely it was. Sitting in the small, quaint Vergennes Opera House reminded me of the stage and hall at my magnificent church growing up and the joy of making Advent wreaths with my mother on a Sunday night. Pure, tremendous joy - how I love the piano. I was watching magic - magic on the baby grand and magic in the minds of those who came to watch, listen, and feel."

Those were the notes I wrote on the program while listening to Cody Michael's solo piano "Winter Suite." The first set was a collection of late fall and winter inspired songs, several on other albums - one of which I bought at intermission. His music is created from his experiences and feelings in different outdoor environments which is most certainly why it struck such a chord. In fact, it very well may be the new theme music of Vermont Vibes. The second set was the actual Winter Site with songs called "On The Shortest Day," "Winter Light," "Out In The Snow," "Below Zero," "Aurora Borealis," and "Boreal Wind." If you have any sort of wood nymph imagination and a love of winter, the music invokes the feeling you think it should just by reading those titles.

Cody Michael's website is and he is actually performing tonight in Morrisville, on the 20th in Groton, and on First Night in St. Johnsbury. For the benefit of your soul, please check out a performance or purchase a CD - you will cherish it.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Mitch Rocks Out and Wears His Shoes Out

Hello Vermont music lovers! I recently went to a traditional Vermont night out - a delicious venison dinner and local Vermont music. This was a dinner that incorporated all of what makes Vermont such a special place. There was amazing venison pie, a wonderful venue, and as always, live music. The Old Lantern in Charlotte, VT was where this awesome night was held and the entertainment was provided by Girl Howdy, followed by the Starline Rhythm Boys. After eating (food cooked up by owner Chef Roland), it was time to get down to some good old fashioned honky tonk. Girl Howdy started off with some traditional honky tonk music which was mixed with a few of their originals. I have to say that the most amazing aspect to these gals, were their vocals. They embodied that honky tonk sound and set the tone right. Rachel liked their outfits.

Girl Howdy finished their set and I had a chance to cool off and mingle with some great folks including Old Lantern LIVE promoter and friend, Robin Reid (also publisher of Rural Route Today). Next came the main attraction, the Starline Rhythm Boys! These guys absolutely rocked the Old Lantern. They played two sets and each one brought the house down! They provided that old time feel that gave everyone’s dancing shoes a workout. The highlight of their performance to me was their version of “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash. That was the moment where I felt like the floor of the Old Lantern was acting like a trampoline!! The best aspect of the evening was that both Girl Howdy and the Starline Rhythm Boys were able to bring Vermonters of all generations together and enjoy a night of traditional music and culture. Way to do it right you guys, I can’t wait to do it again! I wish you all out there an amazing holiday season! Peace, the Mitch

For more information on The Old Lantern, visit and be sure to check out what they're cookin' up for New Year's Eve!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

It's Winter - Time for some Muddy Boots

I have recently been informed that the Burlington Farmer's Market will be holding a Saturday Farmer's Market once a month starting with this coming Saturday - just in time for Thanksgiving! This is great news as everyone works their hardest to be a part of a sustainable, localvore Vermont economy. And in tune with supporting other Vermonters, local band Muddy Boots will be performing from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm in Memorial Auditorium while shoppers peruse the goods (some of whom I am sure will be wearing muddy boots!).

Consisting of two fiddles, guitar, bass, and mandolin, Muddy Boots is a sweet, pure sound combining traditional Irish music with folk, American, and bluegrass. Check out their sound on their My Space. In additional to checking them out Saturday at the Farmer's Market, Muddy Boots is playing Saturday, December 13th at The Skinny Pancake. One of Muddy Boots' fiddlers, Katrina Gibson, also writes a cool music blog called Fiddle Talk that provides a deeper insight to the world of fiddling. And be sure to visit the Muddy Boots website -

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Burlington Underground

I am constantly trying to expand this blog to include more information from other areas of Vermont, not just the Northwest, but considering the Greater Chittenden County area is the most populated and the most music seems to be coming out of this area combined with the fact that most materials I get are pitched to me, well - that's why I haven't expanded as much as I'd like. This is also a side project for me which is why I am always looking for guest writers to write about music going on and profiles of musicians and bands in all areas of Vermont.

Recently I was enlightened to a new music scene connection - Burlington Underground. Looks like another attempt to organize Burlington's music scene - a website listing all music in the Burlington area. It seems like they plan to take it one step further than Seven Days and include much more of the underground music scene (hence the name). This is all a good thing as the more ways there are to promote local live music, hopefully the more people we can all get away from their computers and TVs and out to support and enjoy musicians from their own communities. Of course this only works when people pay for the music which is so necessary to be able to keep musicians going (equipment, practice space, etc.) - I have a growing pet peeve for people who find anyway they can to avoid paying for music.

Anyway, check out and be sure to bookmark as from what my sources tell me, this site should be growing to include much more on the Burlington music scene - let's hope that happens!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Red Hen Baking Up...Music???

Yes they are - or looking to! Most Vermonters have heard of the Red Hen Baking Company - all that heady, yummy artisan bread made mostly with Vermont grains. (And don't even start about the not all Vermont grains - if you paid attention to the news you would know there is not enough grain produced in VT - time for some grain farmers!)

Some Vermonters probably know that Red Hen Baking Company recently moved from their Route 100 Duxbury location (between Waterbury and Waitsfield) to the center of the little village of Middlesex on Route 2 between Waterbury and Montpelier. With this expanded space comes a larger bakery, cafe, and the opportunity for (you guessed it) live music!!!

And the live music they are looking for is in the daytime - so perfect for the many Vermont musicians looking for a softer, gentler gig opportunity away from the rat race that is the limited bar scene. The hours they are looking for are from 10 am to 2 pm. May this be a great alternative to the On the Rise in Richmond lunch scene comprised of the irritating mama nipple crowd that has taken over that place. Ah yes, there is also potential for live music on Friday evenings at Red Hen as well - depending on how the lunch music scene develops.

So, if you are a Vermont musician - grasp this chance and get in touch with Liza at Red Hen Baking Company - Please note this is NOT an open mike opportunity, but a chance for established Vermont musicians to play for other Vermonters. Payment is in trade for now, but who can complain about that when the trade is with Red Hen Baking Company artisan breads? Check out the website at