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2015~2016 Season Pass


MountainFolk is again offering season tickets

for all five concerts priced at $65.


The venue’s annual sustainability is dependent on the ongoing support of our local community. Folks from Tunbridge, Royalton, Chelsea, Strafford, Sharon, Bethel, Barnard and beyond can bolster Mountain Folk’s ability to present eclectic artists from all walks of folk….blues, Americana, celtic, world, bluegrass and country. Past performers have included John Gorka, The Tannahill Weavers, Eliza Gilkyson, Ollabelle, The Honey Dewdrops, Harry Manx, Kate Campbell, Tom Russell and New Found Road. Like last year, these season passes will be deemed transferable in case you can’t make a specific show and would like a friend to go in your place. If you become a member, please let me know whether you would like your pass(es) mailed to you (include mailing address) or held at the door the night of the show. Just drop me a note via the contact form.


An Evening With

Mary Gauthier


November 12th, 7:30

Tunbridge Town Hall


$20 Advanced, $25 at the Door

In a Nashville bookstore, to the tune of steam hissing from a latte machine and laptop taps of nearby browsers, she speaks in a low voice, yet communicates urgently. Her voice never rises. Her music never rattles rafters or crashes like cymbals toward the high notes in a power chorus. Her tempos shuffle and trudge more than they dash. And her songs? They’re about as idiosyncratic as anything in the wide world of “popular music.” They’re painfully personal, especially on Trouble and Love. Yet they somehow infiltrate the souls of her listeners, no matter how different the paths they’ve followed through their lives. Those songs weren’t so much written as harvested by Gauthier. Though she lives not far from the hit-making mills of Music Row, she admits to knowing nothing about how to write on command. She says, “I have to be called to write. The call comes from somewhere I don’t understand, but I know it when I hear it.” That call first came to her a long time ago. Her life to that point had led her to extremes, plenty of negatives and a few brilliant bright spots. An adopted child, who became a teenage runaway, she found her first shelter among addicts and Drag Queens. Eventually she achieved renown as a chef even while balancing the running of her restaurant with the demands of addiction to heroin. Two more successful restaurants, an escalating addiction, and a subsequent arrest, led her into sobriety. All that was rehearsal for what to follow, when she wrote her first song in her mid-thirties. From that point, Gauthier channeled a long line of works, almost all of them eloquent in their insight, burnished by her writing technique. A core of devotees came to await each next release. Their wait ends, for now, with Trouble and Love. This time, Gauthier’s songs rise from what she describes as an especially dark period. “I started the process in a lot of grief,” she explains. “I’d lost a lot. So the first batch of songs was just too sad. It was like walking too close to the fire. I had to back off from it. The truth is that when you’re in the amount of grief I was in, it’s an altered state. Life is not that. You go through that. We human beings have this built-in healing mechanism that’s always pushing us toward life. I didn’t want to write just darkness, because that’s not the truth. I had to write through the darkness to get to the truth. Writing helped me back onto my feet again. This record is about getting to a new normal. It’s a transformation record.” The heart of that transformation, beating within Trouble and Love, is love. But it’s not the kind of love that’s celebrated on pop charts. In those tunes, love is its own end; the story stops as the giddiness sets in, with no hint of what may follow. Gauthier knows better; she has the scars to prove it. “For me, love has been a real challenge,” she admits. “Attachment has been a challenge. This record is about losing an attachment I actually made. The loss of it was devastating because I hadn’t fully attached before to anyone. The good news is that I can. The even better news is that I can, and I can lose, and live. Not only do I live, but I’ve got a strength that I never had before.” Trouble and Love would fall or rise on the question of whether it crystalizes Gauthier’s experience and conveys it to those who want to feel it, as if the poetry of her lyric can mirror and illuminate what they too have gone through. To help make this happen, she invited a small group of singers and musicians into Nashville’s Skaggs Place Studio, each one chosen because of his or her ability to find the heart of the song. No one was given a lead sheet or an advance demo or even headphones. The backup vocals were invented on the spot. The microphones were vintage, and the songs were cut live, to tape. Everyone stood together in the room, playing to what they heard in the lyric as well as from what was going on in the moment. “I took away everything that musicians lean on to feel invulnerable,” she explains. All they had to work with was a brief rundown of each song from Gauthier in the control room, right before the tape rolled. “I wanted them to feel it in real time,” she continues. “You don’t want to sound real with songs like this. You want to be real. That’s what I strive for as a writer, and that’s what we got in the playing.” Feeling their way through the process, these extraordinary participants — guitarist Guthrie Trapp, keyboardist Jimmy Wallace, bassist Viktor Krauss, drummer Lynn Williams and singers Beth Nielsen Chapman, Ashley Cleveland and Darrell Scott, Siobhan Kennedy and The McCrary Sisters — probed and then brought life to Gauthier’s compositions. In their hands, and in her fearless vocals, the songs resonate like tolling bells. We hear “a body’s but a prison when the soul’s a refugee” in Oh Soul. The last embers of affection flicker and die on When a Woman Goes Cold, (“Scorched earth cannot burn.”) “A million miles from our first kiss, how does love turn into this?” is just one of the bitter riddles posed in False From True. Irony colors the chorus of Worthy: “Worthy, worthy what a thing to claim. Worthy, worthy, ashes into flame.” This is deep and dangerous poetry, and Gauthier leads us through it with relentless candor. Yet tenderness is always near, enough to keep us engaged through the final track, “Another Train.” “I wrote that one in England during a long, long tour,” she remembers. There was a sign at a station: There’ll be another train at 14:02.’ So I started working with ‘another train.’ The song evolved. It doesn’t start the way it ends. It zigged and it zagged. I let it talk to me. It’s so interesting, because when I saw ‘another train,’ boom, that whole story was in there — but I had to go find it. I had to dig, like an archaeologist.” In the very last line of the song is the benedictory thought of the entire album. “Another Train” bathes all of what preceded it in a glimmer of hope. It a fantastically concise and powerful ending — and entirely intentional– “There’ll be another train.” “This album reflects a total human experience. Love, loss, and a life transformed.” Gauthier sums up. “It’s not a random collection of songs. This record is a story. It’s about trust and faith and believing that there’s a plan and a flow. And the flow is where the good stuff is because there’s wisdom in the flow. At the core, we’re all cut from the same cloth– the same dreams, the same brokenness, the same desire for companionship and family and home. Yeah, we all have that. And if I don’t go deep enough into that, it’s a problem. “There’s no such thing as going too deep.” Amen to that.


Mark Erelli


January 23rd, 7:30

Tunbridge Town Hall


$15 Advanced, $20 at the Door

In life, the moments when “it all comes together” sneak up on you. For singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer Mark Erelli, that moment happened one random afternoon in his basement studio. While cutting a few Bill Morrissey songs to work on his recording chops, Erelli ended up recording a profound album that encapsulates his life in music. This September he issues this creative milestone, Milltowns, a loving tribute to his late musical hero Bill Morrissey.


“There are a lot of different themes at play on this album,” Erelli says. “The student carrying on after the teacher is gone; me being the same age now that Bill was when he made my favorite albums of his; the nature of folk music being a passed down heritage; and the fact that this project weaves together my work as a solo artist, sideman and producer.”


Read More

Erelli first encountered the music of Bill Morrissey when he was a college student and spotted the famed Texas singer-songwriter Robert Earl Keen wearing a Bill Morrissey t-shirt in the liner notes of one of Keen’s records. Erelli grew up in New England, and Bill Morrissey’s music helped legitimize the budding singer-songwriter’s perspective. “Up until then, I thought all the real troubadours were from Texas,” Erelli reveals. “Bill’s songs helped me tap into my own world and experiences and see New England as valid geography for Americana music. From that point on, Bill became one of my biggest musical heroes.”

Milltowns opens with a sweetly weary version of Bill Morrissey’s classic “Birches,” and 12 songs later closes with the title track, an original Erelli penned for his mentor. Erelli says: “Milltowns chronicles the first time I met Bill and the last time I saw him.” The two songwriters’ initial meeting was celebratory, two folkies hanging out all night drinking and trading off playing everything from Mississippi John Hurt and the Beatles, to Gershwin and

the Stones. The last time the two saw each other they played on a bill together in Portland Maine. Morrissey was in bad health due to years of drinking, and Erelli accompanied him and helped him through the set. Erelli describes this painfully complex moment in “Milltowns:”


I was getting ready to go on / you said “Grasshopper, you sing ‘Birches’ / I’ve been singing it for too long” / So I sang it like I’d written it / though I wished you hadn’t asked / ‘Cause I couldn’t shake the feeling / like something was being passed


Other Milltowns highlights are an achingly beautiful “23rd Street” featuring gorgeous harmonies by Anais Mitchell, and a devastating reading of one of Bill Morrissey’s best-known ballads “These Cold Fingers,” both of which also showcase the album’s refined and bucolic production aesthetic. Recently, Erelli has been making a name for himself with his nuanced and atmospheric production style—prior to Milltowns, he produced an acclaimed album for Lori McKenna—and the album is a wonderful showcase for his stunning studio recording chops.


Erelli recorded the core of Milltowns in one marathon day-long recording session in his basement. “I had sent a batch of original songs to someone hoping he might produce my next album, and he said the songs weren’t finished,” reveals Erelli. “So I set them aside to reevaluate, and thought I would focus instead on getting better at recording at home. I had printed out a collection of all Bill Morrissey’s lyrics that someone had recently posted online, and they were sitting there on a music stand. I picked one out and pressed ‘record.’ Four weeks and 12 Bill Morrissey songs later, I realized ‘this is the new album I am supposed to make.’” Erelli layered on guitars, mandolin, harmonica, bass, drums and percussion himself, and then invited friends like Rose Cousins, Kris Delmhorst, Jeffrey Foucault, Sam Kassirer, Anais Mitchell, Peter Mulvey, Rose Polenzani, and Charlie Rose to add subtle beauty to the tracks.


“It felt right and meaningful to do this,” Erelli says reflecting back on Milltowns. “As wonderful as Bill was, people aren’t as familiar with his work as maybe they should be. He was like a lighthouse to me, and I want to give back and reflect some of that light to a new generation.”tracks.


Jim Rooney

and the

Starline Rhythm Boys


March 19th, 7:30

Tunbridge Town Hall


$15 Advanced, $20 at the Door

Jim Rooney is a folksinger. He is a leading member of the generation that came of age during the great folk music revival of the late 50s/early 60s for whom the moniker ‘folksinger’  encompassed not only performing but, like Alan Lomax, Mike Seeger, Paul Clayton, Dave Van Ronk, and others, also included folklore “scholarship” exploring related roots music.


Rooney’s career branched into many areas of bringing this heritage into the popular culture – from managing the quintessential Boston coffeehouse CLUB 47 to booking the NEWPORT FOLK FESTIVAL  to publishing songs recorded by country music megastar GARTH BROOKS to producing albums of a number of the most influential post-Dylan singer-songwriters ( Townes Van Zandt, Nanci Griffith, John Prine, Iris Dement) to authoring works documenting the history of American folk music. The latest addition  to this last category is a personal memoir, IN IT FOR THE LONG RUN (University of Illinois Press, 2014).



The Starline Rhythm Boys

Danny Coane, the rockin' pride of Vermont, just keeps rollin'. He has fronted bluegrass, country and blues bands, but the rockabilly, rock 'n roll act "The Throbulators" gained him national exposure. Danny led the "Throbs" across the country and across the border. When you talk about "the real deal", you're talking about cats like Danny. He writes and sings with relentless enthusiasm, and picks a banjo and guitar with equal ability. He is the singer and rhythmic foundation for the band he now fronts. In short, Little Danny C. is "Pepper Hot, Baby."


Billy Bratcher holds down the beat for the trio on upright bass. He toured with Texas Juke Joint King Wayne Hancock and became well known throughout the US for mastering the unique "slap bass" style. He can be heard on the title track of Hancock's "That's What Daddy Wants" CD. In addition to his high energy playing and flamboyant showmanship, Billy B. is a consummate song writer. Billy writes most of the Starline Rhythm Boys songs and their latest CD, "Honky Tonk Livin'", features 13 originals that ring like classics.


Al Lemery shines bright under any stage light. The sound that echoes out of his well-used Fender "widow maker" can be spine-tingling. Al has been banging out the beat throughout the northeast for 30 years. After stints in Albany, NY with the likes of Johnny Rabb's Jailhouse Rockers, Al made his way north to Burlington, VT. He is in his element with The Starline Rhythm Boys. When "Big Al" croons out a ballad, everybody listens. His powerful harmonies round out the trio's high lonesome and hot rockin' sound.




April 16th, 7:30

Tunbridge Town Hall


$15 Advanced, $20 at the Door

"Led by their grooves, Barika is wholly rhythmic, captivating audiences with the beautiful, hypnotic way in which they interweave melody and groove to create something that is not only danceable, but incredibly interesting to listen to. Barika creates a soundscape of funk soaked in psychedelic, West African resonance." - Performer Magazine


Two years in the making, Remember is the full-length debut from New England's Indie/West-African Psychadelic darlings, Barika. A mesmerizing blend of highly danceable polyrhythmic grooves mixed with ethereal dub-scape, Barika (pronounced body-kah) is the brain-child of Kamel N'goni player and Percussionist Craig Myers. The Kamel N'goni, a traditional West African harp from the Wassoulou region of Mali is the driving force on the album, peppered by deep horn, keyboard and bass grooves with uncompromising, sharp hitting drums.


From Burlington, Vermont, the seven-piece ensemble features Caleb Bronze (Drums), Giovanni Rovetto (Bass), Andrew Moroz (Trombone & Keyboards), Craig Myers (Kamel N'goni, Percussion), Will Andrews (Synth/Effects), and Michael Chorney (Baritone Sax)


From Hidden Track: "Over the course of Remember's ten tracks, Barika shows off their versatility. There's a shred-heavy guitar solo in Blues For Segu, synth-swirls a plenty on Grounded and the more groove-heavy Eh Baba. Yet, in most cases it all starts with a dynamic Kamel N'goni riff from Myers and builds outwards."


Think high-energy, according to Thread Magazine, in the likes of the powerfully rooted Afro-Beat music of such artists as Fela Kuti or King Sunny Ade, with the modern edge and pop of the more recent Rubblebucket and Toubab Krewe.


Performer Magazine called Barika "wholly rhythmic, captivating audiences with the beautiful, hypnotic way in which they interweave melody and groove to create something that is not only danceable, but incredibly interesting to listen to. Barika creates a soundscape of funk soaked in psychedelic, West African resonance. The outfit stands out because they are multidimensional"


Their live shows attract a wide range of fans from imporovisational music lovers, to world music aficionados, to indie and rock fans. Band leader Craig Myers has studied traditional West African music for the past 13 years, traveling through Mali, Senegal, Guinea, and the Ivory Coast and has toured extensively over the past several years with both Rubblebucket and Mike Gordon (of Phish).

Advance Tickets At

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Most Shows Are At

The Tunbridge Town Hall

7:00 Doors, 7:30 Start

(unless otherwise noted)


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