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Friday, July 23, 2021

William Tyler Cancels Backside 405 Set After Testing Positive For COVID-19; Steve Gunn Set Still On

Posted By on Fri, Jul 23, 2021 at 7:10 PM

  • Courtesy of William Tyler
  • William Tyler
Los Angeles-based indie-folk artist William Tyler has canceled the remainder of his shows for the next week, including this Saturday at 405 Backside in Burlington, after positive for COVID-19. Tyler is currently touring with guitarist Steve Gunn, who will perform as scheduled.

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Thursday, July 22, 2021

Don't Call it a Comeback: Vorcza, Sabouyouma, Brooklyn Circle Highlight Inaugural Maple Roots Festival

Posted By on Thu, Jul 22, 2021 at 1:29 PM

  • Jordan Adams ©️ Seven Days
  • Sabouyouma
New festival alert! The inaugural Maple Roots Festival kicks off this Saturday, July 24, featuring a talented lineup of Vermont musicians, including Vorcza, Brooklyn Circle, Dan Ryan Express, Sabouyouma and others.

The festival is the pandemic-inspired brainchild of drummer Dan Ryan (Madaila, Dan Ryan Express) and guitarist Michael-Louis Smith (Brooklyn Circle). During quarantine, the two musicians would chat over Zoom and scheme ways they could revitalize the community once live shows returned.

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Monday, July 19, 2021

Francesca Blanchard, Vermont Symphony Orchestra to Perform 'Under the Stars'

Posted By on Mon, Jul 19, 2021 at 4:32 PM

  • Courtesy of Patrick McCormack
  • Francesca Blanchard
It's a big week for Francesca Blanchard. For starters, she joins the Vermont Symphony Orchestra this weekend as part of the VSO's "Summer Under the Stars" series at Shelburne Museum. Her performances with the VSO on Saturday, July 24, and Sunday, July 25, mark the indie-pop singer-songwriter's official return to live shows since the pandemic hit last year.

"Being a featured performer with the VSO is an honor," Blanchard said about the gig. "To come back to live shows with something like this, it feels unreal. It's just such a cool kind of homecoming, I can't wait."

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Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Vermont Comedy Club to Reopen in September

Posted By on Tue, Jul 13, 2021 at 5:41 PM

  • File: Matthew Thorsen ©️ Seven Days
  • The Vermont Comedy Club
Knock knock.

Who's there?

The Vermont Comedy Club.

The downtown Burlington venue announced Tuesday that it will reopen on Thursday, September 2, with a three-night run featuring comedian Kyle Kinane performing his "So...Where Were We?" tour. The "Paradise PD" voice actor was the last comedian to headline the VCC before it closed in March 2020 due to the pandemic.

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Monday, July 12, 2021

The Flynn to Reopen in October, Announces New Shows

Posted By on Mon, Jul 12, 2021 at 12:00 PM

  • File: Margaret Grayson ©️ Seven Days
  • The Flynn marquee
It's official: The Flynn is reopening its doors on Saturday, October 23. The Burlington performing arts center has been dark since its closure in March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"The significant moment will be marked by a full evening of reunions, tributes, dancing, stories, and incredible music," read a press release on Monday morning.

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Friday, July 9, 2021

Guster Return With Shelburne Museum Show

Posted By on Fri, Jul 9, 2021 at 1:12 PM

  • Luke Awtry Photography
  • Guster
Ryan Miller, singer and guitarist of indie-rock veterans Guster, is gearing up for one memorable summer. After a gig-less year-plus because of the pandemic, he's finally taking his band to a sold-out, headlining show at Colorado's famous Red Rocks  Amphitheatre on July 25.  The only problem? The band hasn't even rehearsed in 2021 yet.

So the band booked a hell of a warm-up date at a venue Miller calls "the greatest in New England" — Shelburne Museum. Guster plays there this Saturday, July 10, as part of Ben and Jerry's Concerts on the Green series, with support from Burlington's Henry Jamison. And don't worry —  they'll have rehearsed by then.

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Friday, July 2, 2021

251: A Mini Art Gallery in Middlebury

Posted By on Fri, Jul 2, 2021 at 9:49 AM

Free Little Art Gallery at the Henry Sheldon Museum in Middlebury - SALLY POLLAK ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • Sally Pollak ©️ Seven Days
  • Free Little Art Gallery at the Henry Sheldon Museum in Middlebury
The Henry Sheldon Museum of Vermont History in Middlebury will open on July 13, marking the return of visitors to the museum after an 18-month absence. But a small annex of the museum — emphasis on small — is currently open daily from dawn to dusk. The mini delight on Park Street is a make-it, take-it gallery similar in size and feel to a free little street library.

The Free Little Art Gallery is housed in a glass case at the entrance to the Sheldon’s lovely flower garden. Its contents change as people contribute a piece of art they make or select one to take. Drawings on paper, paintings on canvas and a ceramic vessel were among the pieces on display early this week. A clutch of yellow flowers set below an abstract painting echoed a hue on the canvas.

Sheldon Museum associate director Mary Manley read about a similar gallery in Seattle and thought it would be neat to make one in Middlebury, she said.  Then, last spring, a free little gallery opened in Essex Junction.

Manley said she’s hopeful similar galleries will pop up around the state.  A June 5 article in the Washington Post describes a national trend of Free Little Art Galleries, or FLAGs.

Free Little Art Gallery in Middlebury - SALLY POLLAK ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • Sally Pollak ©️ Seven Days
  • Free Little Art Gallery in Middlebury
The Sheldon's gallery  is designed on a scale of 1:12, in which one inch is a foot in a standard gallery. It’s intended for works of art, as opposed to miniatures like doll house furniture or trinkets.  Size-appropriate canvases lean against a wall for the taking — an offering of en-
Free Little Art Gallery in Middlebury - SALLY POLLAK ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • Sally Pollak ©️ Seven Days
  • Free Little Art Gallery in Middlebury
couragement for would-be artists.  Mounting material is provided to hang art.

“People who are established artists have participated, as well as young kids,” Manley said. “It’s been really fun. We encourage the community to take part."

The tiny museum in front of the big one — the latter a repository of regional art, objects and history that opened in 1884 — can be appreciated in a matter of moments. But let it welcome you to the grounds of the Sheldon with its beautiful plantings, sculptures, and stone benches — a peaceful oasis in the center of Middlebury.

Kate Pond sculpture at the Henry Sheldon Museum in Middlebury - SALLY POLLAK ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • Sally Pollak ©️ Seven Days
  • Kate Pond sculpture at the Henry Sheldon Museum in Middlebury
These days, the garden also presents a preview of sculptor Kate Pond’s forthcoming exhibit at the Sheldon, “From the Heart: A Sculptor’s Process." Three sculptures by the Burlington-based artist are in the garden, including a maquette of  "Kiss #2," her piece in front of the Fletcher Free Library in Burlington.

How wonderful that a renowned artist's metal sculpture shares space on the grass with a child’s drawing of a rainbow.

"Come by and come often," Manley said of the people's gallery. "Because it changes."
Garden entrance to the Henry Sheldon Museum - SALLY POLLAK ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • Sally Pollak ©️ Seven Days
  • Garden entrance to the Henry Sheldon Museum

251 is a series of on-the-road stories, coming soon to a town near you.

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Thursday, July 1, 2021

Matthew Mercury Are Going Through Changes

Posted By on Thu, Jul 1, 2021 at 2:54 PM

Matthew Mercury - LUKE AWTRY
  • Luke Awtry
  • Matthew Mercury
Live music is back! The shows are coming thick and fast and tickets are flying off of the proverbial shelves.

I don't know about you, but I've booked so many shows on my calendar I'm starting to have conflicts. Higher Ground alone is dropping bomb after bomb every week. Spoon? Holy crap. St. Vincent? Parquet Courts? Are you kidding me? Courtney f-ing Barnett is coming?

Once you throw in Ben & Jerry's Concerts on the Green series at Shelburne Museum, clubs such as Nectar's and the Monkey House getting back on track, plus the festivals that are starting to pop up (more on that soon), there's just no excuse to still be sitting inside watching YouTube concerts. (Unless that's your jam! Don't let me tell you how to have a good time.)

As we retrain our brains to have, you know, actual plans, watch this space for all your live music updates. We'll steer you true, starting with this weekend and a very special Matthew Mercury show.

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Thursday, June 24, 2021

251: Tracking Elle Purrier St. Pierre in Montgomery

Posted By on Thu, Jun 24, 2021 at 7:38 PM

NIkki Woods at the Snow Shoe Lodge & Pub in Montgomery Center - SALLY POLLAK ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • Sally Pollak ©️ Seven Days
  • NIkki Woods at the Snow Shoe Lodge & Pub in Montgomery Center
For the first installment of 251, an online series of dispatches from Vermont towns, I followed the stars. That is, I went to Montgomery, the hometown of soon-to-be Olympian Elle Purrier St. Pierre.

A star runner at Richford High School and the University of New Hampshire, Purrier St. Pierre qualified for the Olympics on Monday, when she won the 1,500-meter race at the track-and-field trials in Eugene, Ore. A 26-year-old speedster who grew up on a dairy farm in Montgomery Center, Purrier St. Pierre set personal and meet records to win in 3:58.03. She triumphed in high heat, even  after getting shoved off the track at the start of the race.

With this awe-inspiring achievement in mind, I drove to Montgomery on Wednesday. The Franklin County town welcomes visitors with a sign on Route 118: "Smile, You’re in Montgomery." Walking around the village and over two covered bridges, I came across a person who happened to be Purrier St. Pierre’s middle school basketball coach. (Back then she was Elle Purrier; St. Pierre is her married name.)

John Newton was playing hide-and-seek with his pug, George, when I ran into him.

“We would do sprints and she blew everybody away,” Newton told me. He remembered telling Purrier St. Pierre’s mother that her daughter was going to be a better runner than a basketball player. “But I never dreamed she would be that good,” Newton added.
Covered bridge in Montgomery - SALLY POLLAK ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • Sally Pollak ©️ Seven Days
  • Covered bridge in Montgomery
It was a lucky surprise to bump into a former coach of Purrier St. Pierre’s, but the main purpose of my trip was to drink a Captain and Coke at the Snow Shoe Lodge & Pub in Montgomery Center. It’s Purrier St. Pierre’s local bar, and I’d read in the New York Times that’s her drink.

Bartenders Nikki Woods and Angela Wendt are northern Vermonters close in age to Purrier St. Pierre. Woods greeted me at the bar and took my order. I watched her pour a long, steady flow of rum into a 16-ounce glass before she squirted in a little Coke.

“Elle’s the child of a dairy farmer,” said Woods, 24, who grew up on a farm in Enosburg. “She already had all that muscle to begin with.”

Wendt, 25, is from “the other side of the mountain.” But she found a home in Montgomery, on the west side of Jay Peak, five years ago.

“This town is like a little patchwork quilt,” Wendt said. “A little nook where people can come and relax and be themselves.”

The early crowd at the Snow Shoe is a beer-and-whiskey bunch, big on baseball caps with sunglasses perched on the visor. A few people were talking about Purrier St. Pierre’s win, and the colorful language she used in a post-race interview to express her excitement.

“What do you expect from a farmer?” Brent Godin said. “God dang it!” (Godin said that, when he ran, he vomited.)

Marty Cota, 57,  was drinking a Coors light at the bar. He told me his best time in the mile — running in formation 35 years ago in the Air Force — was more than eight minutes. That’s more than twice the time of Purrier St. Pierre’s personal best at the trials.

“If she wasn’t running, she was running the hay truck up and down the hill,” Cota said. “She works hard all the time.”

Cota predicts she’ll “kill it” at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. He said her achievement is important for local kids.

“They have someone to look up to right now,” he said. “A hero — and Elle’s it.”

251 is a series of on-the-road stories, coming soon to a town near you.

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Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Champlain Valley Fair Announces 2021 Entertainment Lineup

Posted By on Tue, Jun 8, 2021 at 1:50 PM

The Champlain Valley Fair - FILE: JAMES BUCK ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • File: James Buck ©️ Seven Days
  • The Champlain Valley Fair
The Champlain Valley Fair announced its 2021 entertainment lineup on Tuesday. Though no major touring artists will rock the Coca-Cola Grandstand this year, a number of  tribute bands will appear, as well as several motorsport events. All six concerts are free with fair admission, but fairgoers will need to purchase tickets to the motorsport events.

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