Friday, September 26, 2008

Vermont's Best Live Music Venue - for 10 years

It doesn't matter what area of Vermont you live in, Higher Ground owns the live music circuit in Vermont. It is every local band's dream to play there (and fill the room) and anyone who enjoys live music in Vermont needs to check out a show there. I think lots of folks, especially those older than myself, seem to think it's just for kids or something. There is no type that goes to Higher Ground. It is a live music venue, meaning you don't go there for a night at the bars - you go there to enjoy live music. The crowd depicts what music is playing. From bouncy hippie music to two-steppin' country - um, vastly different audiences at those shows. From intelligent folk music to rap - more vastly different audiences.

Ok, I have done enough bossing around to have people check out Higher Ground. What I really wanted to write about was three coolio areas/aspects of Higher Ground (besides that they have music for everyone, unless of course you belong to the lame group of people who say you don't like music).

1.) They have really stepped it up from their old venue in Winooski.
While I still have nostalgic memories of my times at the old Higher Ground, especially it being the first place in Vermont I actually would go out by myself because I had too many of the "lame type" of associates in my early 20's. It was also one of the first places I actually ran into an ex with a better looking dude - that rocked. And of course my days of drooling over some of the bouncers...

The new venue off Williston Road - it is just top notch. First of all the bathrooms are always clean and never sketchy and that rocks. It's easy to get to and easy to park. The sound is incredible and there are two different venues in one. More than anything though is how close you can actually get to the music if you so choose. I love seeing nationally touring bands and being able to actually get up close and see (even if it is crowded up there). Personally I prefer the "back bar" where I get rowdy with all of my fabulous friends I have made over the years - all due to our love of music - and get served great drinks by my most favorite bartender from any bar.

2.) The owners actually care about the people. And that rocks. They are accessible, pleasant, and generous. For instance, right now until October 1, you can get five tickets for $50. I usually spend an average of $50 for two tickets! And the list of participating bands is impressive - check out the Higher Ground link for how to purchase.

3.) They are hip and do neat things, like their partnership with JDK, the uber-cool design shop in Burlington. The partnership creates art worthy posters. As stated in the new design book the partnership just published, "Poster design announces an art form that is neither the sole province of the museum nor the rarefied art collector - it belongs to the masses." Certain shows have fantastic posters made and are sold to patrons to keep the music alive in their own spaces. Many of these posters make up the decor of our music room in the farmhouse!

While I sit here romanticizing about Higher Ground, I realize I have tickets to a show tonight and want nothing more than to get off the computer and out the door, so here I go!

And you go - to!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Contact Oops

I just saw that my post has my email wrong below (well, had, I just fixed it). My email is

I am also realizing my farmhouse, VT PR business life is leaving less and less room to get out and see the music I used to see and less time to be able to research to write! Yikes! I'd like to keep this blog going and have heard it's a helpful resource for many.

Sooooo, I am looking for a few writers. No, there is certainly not any pay, but if you are a Vermont musicians or Vermont music lover, this may be a cool way to share your thoughts on Vermont music with others. The only "rules" are the music has to be made by Vermonters and music news and activities in Vermont. This is NOT a place to promote out of state bands coming through Vermont.

Please email me - I'll change the blog up to reflect the writers!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Vermont Music Blog Needs Your Help!

I need more submissions from Vermont musicians! I am glad those of you I have written about send me info, but I am looking for new bands and folks I haven't written about to get in touch and let me know about you! I am happy to list any Vermont musician or band with an active website on the blog as well as Vermont music venues and other Vermont music related websites and blogs. The best email to us is as that is where I manage my music activities.

The Mitch is also now reviewing bands! If you have a CD you would like him to review, please sent to:
Mitch Pauley
564 Garen Road, Suite 4
Charlotte, VT 05445

We also want to get the Farmhouse Improvisational Series going and are looking for musicians who would like to come play old Americana, blues, and jazz standards and see what interesting Vermont twists we can create. We plan to hold the Farmhouse Improvisational Series on Monday evenings from 6:30/7 - 9:30-10 in our Farmhouse Music Room in Charlotte. Please email me at or The Mitch at to sign up!

Look forward to hearing from folks!

Friday, September 5, 2008


I will only write a pre-entry for this and will then turn over to my now FIANCE, The Mitch. F-ing Trey.

Of course with Trey playing his first show in part time home state Vermont in over two years, everyone is talking about it so I guess I will jump on the bandwagon too. Not because I want to be on the bandwagon, but because I am letting all you Phish-hooligans out there know if you want tickets you better show up at Higher Ground next Friday, Sept. 12 in the am to get in line for when tickets go on sale at 11. Bring your peeps and chill because it's only 2 tickets per person. See you there - F-ing Trey.

I for one, am PUMPED!!! After the hiatus of Phish, I was still needing to get some some traveling out of my system. I ended up following the original TAB around for some time, and I sure had a blast. My highlight of TAB was 10/31/02 in Asheville, NC where they opened with a thirty minute Night Speaks. It was definitely a face melting moment. Of coarse for that show the incredible horn section was helping Trey explore a new line up of amazing musicians. As a drummer, I instantly was drawn to the metronomic style of Russ Lawton. Turns out, a few years later in Burlington, I ended taking lessons from him!! He was an awesome teacher and became a really good friend. Ok, enough digressing!!! Seriously though, TAB has meant something special to me, and I know for some of you out there as well. If is not your cup of tea, it is understandable, but this is Vermont, and our musicians kick some serious ass!!! Peace, the Mitch

TAB is a cheesy drink. The Shwilly Spunions WILL NOT have a gig - they are for moe. and Umphrey's only. And maybe in Phish lot in '09...