Thursday, May 31, 2012

Road Trip! The Green Mountain State

Morning, how are you all this morning?  Ready to head west to Vermont?  Good, let's get moving.  Today we're visiting a few musicians but our first stop is with a non-musician.  Helen Hartness Flanders was a collector of ballads and folk songs and today her Flanders Ballad Collection at Middlebury College includes nearly 4500 pieces and you can find out more about it here and here.

Margaret MacArthur was originally from Chicago but moved to Vermont in the 1940s and was so renowned for her performances of New England folk music (including works from the Flanders Ballad Collection) that she's known as The Vermont Songcatcher.  She's the subject of a loving documentary, Margaret's Waltz produced by Vermont folk singer Rebecca Padula, but I could find just one of her performances on YouTube.


We can't stop by Vermont and not say hi to Phish, who are more than the inspiration for my favorite Ben & Jerry's flavor.  When they took a break in the mid-oughties their followers (who frequently toured with them the way Deadheads did) stayed loyal and now that they've reconvened the groove has gotten groovy again.  My favorite of their songs is this one from the early 90s.

Phish drummer Jon Fishman worked with another Vermont band that is so cool I'm pinching myself.  The Jazz Mandolin Project is the brainchild of mandolinist Jamie Masefield.  He brings in new people every so often (Fishman first appeared on Tour de Flux in 1999) and while they're not strictly jazz they're my favorite discovery so far on this trip. 

Okay, rest up because tomorrow we're heading to Boston and remember that three act limit?  Yeah, I don't think we'll be sticking to that in this case.  Have a great day!


  1. I love the dulcimer and the mandolin! Phish really does make n=me reminiscent of my Deadhead days :)

    1. My little brother was one of their followers for a couple of tours, or I guess on one endless tour.


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