This podcast was a lot of fun to put together. I saw Strangefolk quite a bit between 1996 and 1998 in Vermont. In fact, some of the best live shows I have ever been to were some of these Strangefolk performances. I was at the first Garden of Eden shows and celebrated New Years Eve with the band in 1997 at the Wetlands. There were way too many other memorable shows to get into and you almost had to be there to really appreciate what it was like.
Rowdy. That is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of those shows. The energy was always really strong and the whole room would be moving. I continue to see the band today. I did miss the Jay Peak shows this summer which I was really bummed about. A lot of my friends who were there said they were pretty epic. If they play there this year, I am going to definitely make it a priority to be there.
Well, enjoy the podcast. This one was particularly personal to me and I wanted to throw together the right medley of tunes to capture them well at this point in their careers. As usual, I dug through many hours of shows and settled eventually on this playlist. I am probably going to have to do another one because I left out so many songs, but this is a good start.
Songs in this podcast are as follows:
Blues Tune 7/29/97
What Say You 1998
So Well>Funky Town>So Well 10/01/99
What Goes On 10/28/98
Sidestep Blue 1999
I Tell Myself 4/23/99
I had the opportunity to live in both the central and northern sections of the great state of Vermont for a number of years. It’s a hilly land that I think about often. One of it’s greatest attributes just may be the creative people that call it home. It’s no secret that in the valleys and hills of Vermont, live some of the most talented musicians around. During the years that I lived up in the Lamoille River Valley, I became acquainted with quite a few of the musicians who live there primarily through my photography work.
There is a friendly collaborative spirit present among those who play in this part of Vermont. I am sure it is much this way in many other parts of the world, but this just happens to be one community I was directly exposed to. It is not uncommon for groups to form for just a show or two. More often than not, live performances feature guests sitting in. The friendly music community vibe of the musicians casually flows out of the spotlight and down effortlessly to mingle with those out to listen. It truly becomes a whole creative experience for everyone involved. This is not a once and while anomaly; it is consistently the way it is there.
I got wind of a cool video recording from a talented banjo player from this part of Vermont, Luke Auriemmo, who plays with the Mud City Ramblers and Beg, Steal or Borrow. He recently sat in on banjo during the beautifully composed video recording of the song “True Hearted Girl.” This song is featured on the newly released album “Crickets, Coyotes, and the Big Yellow Moon” by Elmore, Vermont based musician Christine Malcolm.
This recording session was meant to be. It’s an honest snap shot into the warm Vermont music culture that continues to thrive and grow. In a world, so often portrayed by the media as ungrounded, disconnected and chaotic, this well crafted song, shared and composed by this eclectic group of Vermont musicians, brings home a sense of comfort and warmth that simply feels good. Take a few minutes to check this video out and check out some of the bands that the participating musicians are affiliated with. I am certain to be exploring and featuring many of these artists work over time here on Soundcentury.