Monday, October 29, 2007

Advance Music

I feel as if I am slacking on the Vermont Music front! The fall brings so much music to Vermont and I find myself every fall at Higher Ground more than ever with the fabulous influx of music that comes our way. I think it's a mixture of students being back and the (hopeful) promise of snow that keeps people away from nightly excursions and keeping them close to the slopes. This makes fall a prime time to see live music, but much of the music I have see lately is not that of Vermont origin!

I have had a recent re-uniting with Advance Music however, that is certainly worth noting. Advance Music is Vermont's premier music store and as the ads on 102.7, The Album Station state, you've got to go inside to really see how vast this place is. I had my first experiences with Advance Music while searching for the sheet music to obscure wedding songs as the resident "wedding singer" for various friends. In my visits, I saw a posting once (that I did not see in Seven Days classifieds, another good place to look for musicians - wanted) looking for a female singer to add harmonies to an existing band. I responded and this was the band, Ekis, I sang with for a little over a year several years back. I also returned to Advance to inquire about and purchase my Shure 58 microphone, mike stand, and cords. I remember the service to be helpful and was quite satisfied with my own personal microphone, which still works, though seldom used.

And now, over the past month, I have found Advance Music once again to be extremely helpful as I was to be "the wedding singer" at my awesomely Phishy friend's wedding last week. Being my Phish friends, the chosen song for my pipes was Waste, the wedding song amongst many Phishheads over the past several years (many Phishheads are now at marrying age believe it or not). Waste is a song whose guitar chords are readily available on the internet, but not available in sheet music. I was able to find all the sheet music the bride and groom chose for the ceremony, a collection of classic and modern rock and was super pumped that it was available within a day or ordering, an Advance attribute which made the organist very happy. But, no Waste music for the organist meant no playing of the song Waste. As it so happens (and often is the case in Vermont), Advance Music owner, Mike Trombley (the cheery voice on the Album Station's ads) was also friends of the bride and groom and offered only a few days before the wedding to learn the guitar chords to Waste, in the key I was singing, and played the song at the ceremony so I could sing about wasting time with the love of your life for the rest of your life! Happy, happy ending to the "wedding singer" drama!!!

In chatting with Mike, I was able to easily see why he is so enthusiastic in his ads, which are some of the best ad copy this Vermont publicist has heard. Because they're true! Mike loves that store and without a doubt his actions echo the words that come across the air to fellow Vermonters. I also learned Mike plays guitar in long standing Vermont rock band, Quadra, who I have even seen play on past Lake Champlain boat cruises. How's that for Vermont connecting!

If you are a musician or if you are interested in music, stop by this Burlington, Vermont landmark of the music scene. It's fun just to watch musicians at play in their own personal wonderland. And, as holiday season approaches, if you are buying for a musician, geez - get 'em a gift certificate - they will be stoked, psyched, and most of all, thankful.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Mike Gordon Gets Bonzed in Mud City

Sometimes I have to laugh at myself and reading this title after I typed it was certainly worth a chuckle. But its true!!! As most reading this should know, Mike Gordon was the bass player for the heartbreaking jam band, Phish. I will say no more about Phish because they are in the past and there's a reason things in your past don't make it into your present. Mike Gordon is the present.

As I've several times mentioned Honky Tonk Tuesdays at Radio Bean in previous posts, many would know Mike Gordon is a regular sit-in bass and piano player at these rambunctious and fun musical sessions. Along with his many side projects and being a regular dude about town at this point, it seems like Mike is spreading the love and recently played with the Mud City Ramblers at Bonz Smokehouse and Grill in Morrisville, a place I have yet to get to and keep meaning to drag my Burlington arse to sooner rather than later.

I hear great things about Bonz and love the whole Route 15 area of Vermont in general (Mud City Ramblers are from Johnson). I think it's time to follow my own advice and get out of Burlington to a show in a fun Vermont town. Anyone up for a road trip?

My great friend Shiva who lives up that way is the master taper and photographer for many-o-bands in the Route 15 vicinity and has so awesomely provided me with streaming audio of the show and a picture!

Mud City Ramblers
2007-09-05 Bonz Smokehouse, Morrisville, VT

Audio Stream

And thanks Mike Gordon for being a cool dude and keeping the spirit of randomness alive (and thanks for playing with my sweet drummer luvah a few weeks ago as well!)

Love and Light All!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Traditional Medicinals

Blue Grass. Green Mountains.

That's the tagline for the band, Traditional Medicinals. My guess is besides having some great musicians, these dudes have some guys in marketing in their band. Oh, not a guess - they do for a fact!

Secret Tip: It is a good idea to have someone in the band who works in marketing.

The Traditional Medicinals are fun to tap your foot to, fun to listen to, and super fun to watch. Their music is bluegrass and not all stylized out, but traditional - hence the use of the word in their name. And they are one of my favorite local bands to watch. Instead of just playing to an audience with a secret code of communication so many bands use, they actually look at each other, sometimes play facing each other, and genuinely make their shows an intimate experience - like you were just peaking in a window at their rehearsal. Oh, and they're nice - which I would expect a bluegrass band to be. I mean, I couldn't imagine a bluegrass band to be mean, could you? Does anyone know of any mean bluegrass bands?

Back to Blue Grass, Green Mountains. Check out the Traditional Medicinals next Friday, October 19th at Radio Bean and be on the look out for them throughout the year. I am hoping to run into them on some of my Vermont Vibes adventures - then I can really enjoy the Blue Grass in the Green Mountains.

Friday, October 5, 2007

The Healthy Hippie

I have a new gal pal in town named Taraleigh, otherwise known as The Healthy Hippie. She has a website -, a weekly newsletter you can subscribe to on that site, and recently moved to Burlington, Vermont to launch her new magazine - The Healthy Hippie. Taraleigh has an incredible background in dance, movement, nutrition, music, counseling, wellness, and probably a bunch of other things I am missing. And, in the true entrepreneurial spirit of a women, has combined her talents into a varied career reaching audiences in all of her backgrounds. I think the best way to see what she does is to visit her at The Healthy Hippie website. But I did want to let folks know some of the awesome and fun work Taraleigh does!

~ Designs health, nutritional and movement regimens for individuals or groups and consultation information is at her website.

~ Provides fabulous news about bands, recipes, healthy eating and energy tips, and tips for being healthy at shows and festivals.

~ Offers a cool line of clothing made with recycled clothes for children and adults.

~ In Vermont, currently teaches a dance class at The Movement Center and a wellness class at On Track Gym.

~ Writes columns for Groovelink Magazine and Relevant Times.

~ Teaches dance, movement, and wellness classes/workshops at music festivals such as Gathering of the Vibes, Phanphest, Wormtown, Camp Creek, Baconfest, JamCruise, and may be teaching a class at Nectars in the near future!

So, VermontMusic readers - check her out, subscribe to her newsletter, and help spread the word!!

Love and Light All!