Saturday, December 31, 2011

Anais Mitchell Debuts Her New Band

Anais Mitchell
Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center
Stowe VT
December 30, 2011
by Nancy Nutile-McMenemy

Anais Mitchell has done it again!
Fresh from touring to promote her critically acclaimed folk opera Hadestown Mitchell performed before an intimate audience at the Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center Friday night December 30, 2011. Originally billed as a solo show, Mitchell announced that she was debuting her "new" band that will be with her to support the February 28, 2012 release of her CD entitled "Young Man in America." This new band includes her husband Noah Hahn and friends Rachel Ries and Ben Davis.
Noah Hahn
Rachel Ries
Mitchell said they had been rehearsing the last few days at her parent's family farm and are very excited about the CD release. Although not on her tour schedule yet, Mitchell said there would be a CD release party at Higher Ground Burlington VT in late February. 

The band played for 75 minutes, with Mitchell apologizing "we only know so many songs" (so far), and closed the night with their rendition of "Auld Lang Syne." She chose this song she said in preparation for First Night; Mitchell will be performing First Nights in Burlington and St. Johnsbury VT (info below).



Setlist included "O My Star!", "Everyday a Dying Day", "1984" and "Why We Build the Wall"

More Tour Dates for Anais:
First Night Performances:

Saturday, 12/31, 5:00pm
First Congregational Church
38 S. Winooski Ave.
Burlington, VT 05401
more info: anais will be performing a solo set at first night burlington!
Saturday, 12/31, 9:00pm & 11:00pm
St. Johnsbury Academy - Fuller Hall
1000 Main St.
St. Johnsbury, VT 05819
more info: anais will be performing a solo set at first night st. johnsbury!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Galleries for Photos by Nanci

Holiday Pageant
Bethany Mennonite Church

For the Vermont Standard

Bridgewater VT December 24, 2011

Click here

Holiday Potluck
South Woodstock Volunteer Fire Station

For the Vermont Standard

S. Woodstock VT December 18, 2011

Click here

Holiday Pageant
South Woodstock Church

For the Vermont Standard

S. Woodstock VT December 18, 2011

Click here

Skate with Santa
Union Arena

For the Vermont Standard

Woodstock VT December 18, 2011

Click here

Lyle Lovett
And His Acoustic Group

Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center

Great Barrington, MA December 17, 2011

Click here

G.M.P. Final Show
Pleasant Valley Brewing

Saxton's River VT December 16, 2011

Click here

Little Cayman Beach Resort
Reef Divers

Little Cayman, BWI

December 7-14, 2011

Click here

Waldorf Winter Fair
Upper Valley Waldorf School

For the Vermont Standard

Quechee VT December 3, 2011

Click here

Breakfast with Santa
Hartland Elementary School

For the Vermont Standard

Hartland VT December 3, 2011

Click here

Troop 235 Pancakes
For the Vermont Standard

Hartland VT December 3, 2011

Click here

Sunday, November 20, 2011

America Sings Hadestown

Saturday, 11/19, 8:00pm
The Bushnell - Autorino Great Hall
166 Capitol Ave.
Hartford, CT 06106

The Bushnell Performing Arts Center in Hartford CT hosted a FREE concert of the folk opera "Hadestown" on November 19. The Autorino Great Hall was filled with folks curious about the modern day opera penned by a talented singer/songwriter from Vermont.
From Anais' Website:
Vermont folk singer Anaïs Mitchell’s remarkable folk opera Hadestown is a modern retelling of the Orpheus myth, a tale of a poet’s doomed quest to rescue his wife from the underworld.  In Mitchell’s inspired hands, the familiar saga unfolds in post-apocalyptic modern America, where poverty and hunger force people to make difficult choices in order to survive.  Mitchell will be joined by the Hadestown Orchestra featuring the Chorney Sextet.
For more information about Anaïs Mitchell and Hadestown visit

 More images from the performance: SmugMug Gallery

Videos from the Performance:

 Missed the show last night in Hartford...
you can catch it in NYC tonight!!
TONIGHT--Tickets are still available!!
Sunday, 11/20, 7:00pm
Le Poisson Rouge
158 Bleecker St.
New York, NY 10012
more info: Hadestown! featuring anais, michael chorney, and the hadestown orchestra!

Orpheus: Sean Hayes
Hades: Tim Gearan
Hermes: Ben Matchstick (original theatre production director)
Persephone: Special Guest
Fates: Paper Bird form Colorado

Anaïs Mitchell’s new album Hadestown is proof that music still has the power to surprise and delight. For starters, the guest list includes some pretty well-known names, including a certain Little Folksinger and a guy best known as Bon Iver. And it’s an honest-to-god album, the kind whose songs tell a story from beginning to end—specifically, the ancient Greek myth of the poet Orpheus and his doomed quest to rescue his wife Eurydice from the underworld. In Mitchell’s hands, the familiar saga is reimagined as unfolding in a version of the U.S. that simultaneously evokes our Depression-era past, the current financial disaster (though it was written before the stock market collapse), and a post-apocalyptic future. It’s a land where people hide behind walls in a misguided attempt to preserve their “freedom” and protect their riches. 

Future Dates for Anais:

Friday, 12/30, 8:00pm
Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center
7320 Mountain Rd.
Stowe, VT 05672
more info: anais will be performing a solo set.

Saturday, 12/31, 5:00pm
First Congregational Church
38 S. Winooski Ave.
Burlington, VT 05401
more info: anais will be performing a solo set at first night burlington!
Saturday, 12/31, 9:00pm & 11:00pm
St. Johnsbury Academy - Fuller Hall
1000 Main St.
St. Johnsbury, VT 05819
more info: anais will be performing a solo set at first night st. johnsbury!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Spiritualism in Vermont with Joe Citro

Joe Citro
Spiritualism in Vermont: Religion, Politics and the Preternatural
Presented by Joe Citro, A Vermont Humanities Council Sponsored event.
October 19, 2011 Martin Memorial Hall Ascutney VT
Hosted by the Weathersfield Proctor Library
Library Director, Amity Aldridge DeAngelis introduces Mr. Citro
On a dark and rainy Vermont evening, 25 adventurous Weathersfield souls made their way to the basement of Martin Memorial Hall in Ascutney VT to hear about the history of Spiritualism in Vermont. Spiritualism was very popular in the United States in the 19th Century. Many traveling lecturers brought the works of mediums to all corners of the urban and rural regions of the US.

In May of 1844 Samuel Morse invented Morse Code and typed out " What hath God wrought" according to Joe Citro, "Four years later, Spiritualism!" Citro explained that Spiritualism moved from being a fade to a religious movement to a religion in America on the late 19th century. This was a time of great change in the US with slavery, the Civil War, medicine coming into play. There was no formal religion, no voting for women, and science was in it's infancy.

Citro laid out the path for Spiritualism in the US, giving the audience a brief history of some key players: Emmanuel Swedenborg, who was believed to talk with angels; Anton Mesmer, know for trace like states; the Shakers, who regularly held dialogues with departed souls; Andrew Jackson Davis, who communicated with Swedenborg's spirits--he had one year of formal schooling yet wrote 800 page books.

In a small town of Hydesville NY, 30 miles east of Rochester NY, population 40 souls in 1848 in a cabin in the woods, the Fox family reported hearing strange rapping and noises at night. Margaretta and Katherine Fox the young daughters of John B and Margaret changed the world. Their house was "haunted" by Mr. Splitfoot (a name used in the 19th century for the devil). This spirit later communicated, through an alphabet of raps, that he was a 31 year old peddlar, Charles Roseman that was murdered in the house. In 1904 some human bones were found in the house basement--Roseman's or not??

To enhance communication with the spirit world, in 1855 G. P. Cobb of Woodstock VT invented the Rapping Machine. Other forms of communication included: auto-writing--when in a trance-like state the medium would write, sometimes in unknown languages to the medium; a Planchette--a precursor to the Ouija Board and a spirit trumpet.
A Spirit Trumpet
 Citro told the audience that Queen City Park in Burlington VT (behind the current KMART) was founded by spiritualists who would "summer" there during the late 19th Century.

Of the Vermont Mediums covered by Citro's extensive research, the one he believes to be the first was Achsa Sprague a young school teacher from Plymouth Notch VT, she even performed one of her trans-lectures (a lecture given in a trance like state, typically not remembered by the speaker when awoken from the trance) at the Union Church in South Reading VT.

Another was Lucy Ainsworth, was a medical clairvoyant from Calais who treated folks in Cavendish, Reading, Montpelier and Boston MA. One of her clients/patients was Mary Baker Eddy the founder of the Christian Science religion.

Then there was Mrs Blanchard, would reveal strange images through a mixutre of water and clay--when the water evaporated images would appear in the clay.

And Miss Coggswell of Middlebury who could be asked questions when in a trace and have the answers revealed in what appeared to be blood on her skin.

But, Citro explained, not all mediums were women. One very famous male medium lived in Brattleboro Vt and attended a seance as a form of entertainment and channeled Charles Dickens. Thomas Power James in 1873 allegedly was contacted by Dickens (who died in 1870) through auto-writing to complete his novel "The Mystery of Edwin Drood."

The most intriguing events took place in 1874 in Chittenden, The "Spirit Capital of the Universe"; the Eddy brothers William and Horatio were extensively investigated by Col. Henry Olcott for fraud but after 10 weeks of intense scrutiny, Olcott declared the brothers true mediums. Olcott even penned a book entitled "People From the Other World". The skeptic had become a believer.
Mr. Citro took a few questions from the audience then made his way out into the dark and rainy night to spread more tales of interesting things that have happened in this little Green Mountain state of ours.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

David Bromberg Quartet WOWS Tupelo WRJ

David Bromberg and his quartet are on the road promoting their new CD "Use Me". The crew rolled into White River Junction for a show at Tupelo Music Hall. (As one of the younger audience members, I was impressed by the turnout of the Upper Valley "experienced" music lovers.)

The follow up CD to the Grammy nominated "Try Me One More Time" was recorded in a unique manner, Bromberg recruited friends to write, produce and perform songs tailored to Bromberg's style of vocals and guitar.

From Bromberg's website: "Answering David’s call were well-known artists from the many genres comprising the amorphous “Americana” musical category. Representing contemporary rootsy singer-songwriters: John Hiatt, the first musician Bromberg approached, who penned the pensive “Ride On Out a Ways” for him; for New Orleans “fonk,” Dr. John; there’s three-guitar jam band interplay with Widespread Panic and jug band music with Levon Helm (the sprightly “Bring It With You When You Come,” produced by Grammy-winning Larry Campbell). Linda Ronstadt puts in a rare appearance on a soulful Brook Benton ballad, Los Lobos contribute a Mexican-flavored waltz, Vince Gill and Tim O’Brien take care of the country and bluegrass quotient, Keb’ Mo’ brings the blues, and the hitmaking Butcher Brothers, producers Phil and Joe Nicolo (Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Cypress Hill, Nine Inch Nails), provide the languid R&B groove for the title song, a cover of Bill Withers’ classic “Use Me.”"

Bromberg hit the stage a little after 9 pm and played until 11 pm. He opened the show with a Muscle Shoals Sound Studio song written by Carl Montgomery and Earl Green "Six Days on The Road" which ended with three of the four quartet playing fiddle. He chased that song with Memphis Slim's "If The Rabbit Had a Gun", a great blues tune that Bromberg ended by saying " Willie Nelson was right, Willie 'said there are two songs The Star Spangled Banner and Blues!"

He then told the crowd that he got a call from Obama. Bromberg asked the President how he (Bromberg) could help with the recovery; Bromberg said the President said "Bring a lot of shit to sell, CDs. DVDs, BVDs." Bromberg then added "If you love your country you'll buy as many as you possibly can!"

He spoke about the "Use Me" CD and how it came to be then played the song penned by John Hiatt "Ride on Out a Ways" (and told the crowd that some reviews are saying Hiatt shouldn't have let it get away--this reviewer has to agree!) 

Bromberg dug deep in his song list and closed with "Oh Sharon" with the Angel Band backing the quartet on vocals. 

The first encore was John Denver's  "Kissing You Goodbye" (which has been covered by such artists as Waylon Jennings, The Used, Jesse McCartney and The Pierces)

The Quartet closed the show by unplugging their instruments, leaving the stage and performing in front of the front row seats. They chose Bob Dylan's "Roll on John" and the sound and harmonies were amazing.

Angel Band opened. Their new CD is "Shoot the Moon" and to promote it they had three sling shots on stage imitating the CD cover artwork.
Their "shot" was rolled up glow-in-the-dark detailed underwear, one with gold writing. The recipient of the special gold undies (in the Willie Wonka Gold Ticket way...) won a copy of Angel Band's new CD.

In addition to Angel Band merchandise, Bromberg's wife Nancy Josephson also promotes the Haitian charity Art Creation Foundation for Children.
 Josephson brings on tour with her hand crafted paper mache birds, which are sold for $10, with all the money going back to Haiti to help educated the currently enrolled 84 children. Jospehson says she tries to visit Haiti at least three times are year to help out with various charities and humanitarian projects.

More performance images may be viewed at: Photos by Nanci SmugMug

Monday, October 10, 2011

Goodnight Irene: Flood Relief

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals performed a benefit concert last night October 9, 2011 at the historic Flynn Theatre in Burlington VT. In addition to the concert the band is hosting an online auction with some pretty awesome stuff. The auction can be accessed at  The concert was also be aired live on Vermont Public Television and was available for streaming on

The concert included guests The Logger, Rusty Dewees and Martin Sexton.
Martin Sexton
Grace and crew played two hours of kick-ass rock and roll for the sold out audience.
You can continue to donate even after the concert is in the archives, as funds will be need for a long time to help our friends and neighbors and Vermont's Farmers. The Vermont Community Foundation is a good place to put your money. You can donate directly to them DONATE. Do want you can to help out Vermont!!
More concert images can be viewed at: Photos by Nanci/SmugMug
More GPN images may be viewed at:

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Jackson Browne, Solo Acoustic Show

17 guitars, no set list and Jackson Browne on stage. 

What a wild ride it was last night in Albany NY. Browne played before a fairly full Palace Theatre Monday Night October 3. With no set list, the crowd shouted song suggestions prompting Browne to tell stories from the past that had the audience leaning forward in their seats for more information. He covered the late Warren Zevon's "Mohammed's Radio" and Steve "Little Steven" Van Zandt's "I Am A Patriot"
Early in the show, during the crowd shouts, Browne said "usually folks ask for either 'Rosie' or 'For a Dancer' should I play both?"

More Jackson Browne photos may be viewed on my archived page:

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Anais Mitchell and the Hadestown Orchestra

Anais Mitchell
Anais Mitchell and the Hadestown Orchestra performed a benefit concert for the Long Trail School in Dorset VT on October 1, 2011. The audience was treated to the folk opera in its entiretiy, played in sequence to tell the tail of The Orpheus Myth.
Michael Chorney
 Blogcritics says "It's a musical opera that's unlike any opera you've ever witnessed. It's Indie Rock mixed with Dixieland. It's Homer's Odyssey as performed by Pink Floyd." And Folk and Acoustic Music Review says, "When 98% of what passes as music today lacks even the remotest twinge of an idea, thought, emotion or worse  heart  Hadestown and Anais Mitchell deserve all the listeners and accolades we can give."

Anaïs Mitchell's Hadestown tells the story of the ancient Greek myth of the poet Orpheus and his doomed quest to rescue his love Eurydice from the Underworld. But in Mitchell's hands, the familiar saga is reimagined as unfolding in a version of the U.S. that simultaneously evokes our Depression-era past, the current financial disaster (though it was written before the stock market collapse), and a post-apocalyptic future. It's a land where people hide behind walls in a misguided attempt to preserve their "freedom" and protect their riches.

Photos from the performance:

When the Chips Are Down

Friday, September 2, 2011

Perkinsville Deals with Aftermath of TS Irene

Amsden Rte 131

 From the Valley News Sept. 2

NEWS: Perkinsville Deals With a Harrowing Sunday 

Rte 131 Amsden
Tarbell Hill near Rte 106 N toward Reading
Perkinsville -- At Downers Four Corners, a landmark intersection here, only Route 106 north through Reading is expected to be reopened to traffic today, while Route 106 south and Route 131 west and a short section to the east remain closed after Tropical Storm Irene tore out chunks of roadway.
Rte 106, 200 foot drop, still eroding.

Vermont Post TS Irene Updates

Brook RD Windsor VT
Sept 1 Update
A note from the Gov. 7 pm:
I have spent the past few days traveling the state talking to people who have lost their homes, businesses and livelihoods.  Hurricane Irene devastated many parts of Vermont with torrential rains that caused flash flooding, the likes of which haven't been seen in our small state since 1927

The storm took the lives of three Vermonters, closed 260 roads, 30 bridges and over 350 schools, left many communities isolated and over 50,000 without power.  Thanks to the hard work of Vermont officials, FEMA and the National Guard we have made great progress - gaining access to every community in Vermont, restoring power to 40,000 homes and re-opening 200 roads and over 200 schools.  As we move from rescue to recovery there is much work ahead for Vermont.  Hard work and patience will be required of everyone as we get Vermonters back on their feet. 
Reading VT Bridge Repair

There are ways that you can help now! 

We need volunteers to answer phone calls at Burlington's 211 call center. 
Please call Eric Covey at 1-802-825-6165 to volunteer for this effort! 
Donate to the Vermont Disaster Relief Fund - a fund dedicated to helping Vermonters assess their damage and receive the help they need to rebuild their lives.

Donate to the Vermont chapter of the American Red Cross. The Red Cross is providing shelter, food and other basic needs following Hurricane Irene.

Thank you for any support you can give.  Vermonters are hardworking and resilient and we will all work tirelessly to help those affected by the storm rebuild their homes, businesses and communities.

My Best,
Peter Shumlin
Governor of Vermont

From Jake Perkinson, Acting Chair, Vermont Democratic Party <>

As of last evening (Wednesday, August 31st) , assessments found that: 

  • about 120 homes have major damage or were destroyed
  • three more state roads opened today
  • 64 remain closed and Transportation crews are working into the night on those projects
  • 65 state bridges remain closed
  • four Red Cross shelters are still open
  • several local shelters are also housing people who lost housing in the storm.

After hearing of concerns related to the 211 call center being overloaded with phone calls for information and assistance, the Governor’s office worked closely with FEMA and the United Way to triple the capacity, adding 20 new lines. Additional volunteers are needed to staff the line; anyone interested in volunteering should contact the Governor’s office at 802-828-3333.

“One of our priorities was to get the 211 telephone system staffed to the appropriate level to handle this unprecedented call level,” Gov. Shumlin said. He noted that social media, including Facebook, has also enabled Vermonters to volunteer, donate cash to help victims of the storm, and stay up to speed on road closing and other issues.

Power has been restored to all but about 10,000 Vermonters statewide, down from over 50,000 outages on Monday. Bridge inspectors are coming in from other states to assist the Agency of Transportation in getting bridges reopened; truck-loads and helicopter loads of food, water and supplies have been – and will continue to be – delivered to communities statewide; law enforcement is conducting welfare checks to ensure Vermonters’ safety.

Also Thursday 9/1:
All of the 13 previously isolated communities now have vehicle access of some sort
(some require four-wheel drive access). Transportation crews worked all day on the final community – Wardsboro – and provided access just before 6 p.m.

Businesses like the Brownsville General are OPEN and need your support!
Recognizing that many Vermonters might be unable to meet the Sept. 1 filing deadlines for four programs administered by the Tax Department, the deadline for accepting those documents will be Sept. 30 (must be received by the Department for Property Tax Adjustment Claim; Homestead Declaration; Renter Rebate Claim; and Current Use Application.

The Vermont Bar Association, Vermont Legal Aid, Legal Services Law Line of Vermont and the Vermont Volunteer Lawyers Project have pro bono lawyers standing by to help victims of Tropical Storm Irene. Call 1-800-889-2047 to speak by phone with a Legal Aid or Law Line attorney, or be assigned an attorney through the Volunteer Lawyer Project. Visit for answers to frequently asked questions.

Gov. Shumlin’s office is working with state agencies to make sure that state laws and permitting requirements aren’t unreasonably slowing recovery efforts.

The Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) has allocated up to $10 million in special low-interest financing for Vermont businesses and farms who suffered direct physical damage as a result of Hurricane Irene. The Hurricane Irene Assistance Loan Program funds are available immediately.

Of the 327 Vermont public schools were closed Monday, all but 90 have reopened.

The Agency of Commerce and Community Affairs opened a call-line to report business damage from flooding : 802-828-3211.

Note: There are two sites in particular that you may want to check periodically for information on both assistance and volunteering needs:

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Brownsville VT Post Irene

Made it back to Brownsville VT and 
got a lot further than I did on Monday.

West Windsor Volunteer Fire and 
Brownsville General Store--OPEN FOR BUSINESS!!

Around Brownsville and Windsor Vermont

Bible Hill Bridge Brownsville VT parts 1, 2

Rte 44 Brownsville VT parts 1, 2, 3

Brook Road Wash Out Windsor VT

Windsor/Cornish Covered Bridge

Rte 5 Cornfield, Windsor VT

West Windsor Fire, Brownsville VT

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Agencies Here to Help Vermonters

Rte 106 N Near Downer's Four Corners
Reporting Damages
Vermonters who have property affected by the storm should report it to the state. There are several phone lines in addition to the 211 number now in operation. Please note that it is critical to acquiring recovery aid that a statewide inventory of the damage is taken. Also, if repairs are made by a property owner, it is important to take pictures of the damage, document the repairs and keep receipts for potential assistance.
  • Individuals: Individuals reporting property damage should call 211.
  • Businesses: Businesses should call the Agency of Commerce and Community Development at (ACCD) at 828-3211 to report damage which will be collated for VEM and FEMA. ACCD will also make referrals for financing and technical assistance. The information needed when businesses make the call is: name of business, location (complete address), description of damage, point of contact, date damage occurred. There are additional questions for historic properties.
  • Farms: To report damages to property including but not limited to barns, milking parlors, crops, fields, equipment, etc., call:
Emergency Flood Assistance Program for Businesses
This program, administered by VEDA, is up and running. It will provide $10 million of very low interest, no first year payment, loans to businesses which suffered losses due to flooding. Interested businesses should go to VEDA’s website ( for more information.
Rte 106 N, Black River Weathersfield VT
Storm Recovery Resources
Vermont Emergency Management Website: This site includes the latest updates and helpful information:

Rte 131 W Amsden Village VT
Vermont Emergency Management Facebook Page:
The most up to date information for VEM can be found on their Facebook page. If you “like” VEM on Facebook you will be given automatic updates on your Facebook homepage as their status changes. Includes great links to press releases and other information. Find it at:
Near Tarbell Hill RD Weathersfield VT

Returning to Your Home: For information on cleaning up your home after flooding, visit:

Fuel Tanks: If you find a fuel tank on your property or floating in flood waters, please contact the Vermont Fuel Dealers Association at 802-223-7750 or

Vermont Travel Information Services: For the latest information on road closures, call 511 or visit:
Rte 131 W Amsden Village VT
Ride Share: This site is designed for commuters to find car pools, but can be a valuable asset for individuals whose cars are damaged or destroyed:
Upper Falls Bridge looking over the Black River

Clean up has begun...