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Arts Beat for Sept. 15: The Alt brings their Irish music to the THT

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Posted on October 7, 2013 |
By Greg Pahl



Art Beat for July 7: Festival to offer great music all week plus dancing

As part of the After Dark Music Series, the newly-formed Irish group The Alt will perform at 7 p.m. on Sunday in the Town Hall Theater in Middlebury. The Alt consists of John Doyle (vocals, guitar, bouzouki), Nuala Kennedy (vocals, flutes, whistles), and Eamon O’Leary (vocals, guitar, bouzouki).

Grammy nominee John Doyle returns to the After Dark Music Series and blends his powerhouse rhythmic guitar style with the raw energy and confidence of Irish singer and flute player Nuala Kennedy and the many talents of guitarist Eamon O’Leary of The Murphy Beds as The Alt. Each member of the trio is an instrumentalist and singer of the highest caliber, and together the alchemy is incomparable.

Doyle, from a musical family in Dublin, is one of the most influential and important musicians in Irish music today. A consummate performer with a buoyant personality, Kennedy’s music has been described as unique, evocative, and soul-satisfying. When he moved to New York City in the early ’90s, O’Leary immersed himself in the city’s traditional music scene and traveled widely, performing with many of the great players in Irish music.

The trio will perform their brand of traditional Irish, Scottish, English and American song with stellar singing and exquisite musicianship.

Tickets are $25 in advance, $28 at the door. The doors open at 6:30 p.m., first come, first seated. For more information or tickets call 388-0216 or visit afterdarkmusicseries.com.

CEBALLOS & WITTEN

An evening of finger-strumming, toe-tapping, good old-fashioned folk music is promised on Saturday at 7:30 p.m., when Rick Ceballos and Matt Witten perform at Brandon Music.

Together, Ceballos and Witten provide a wide range of folk music traditions. From early African banjo blues to their own modern compositions with Irish, French, Galician and whatever else moves them at the moment. Their music is played on a variety of banjos, squeezeboxes and rhythm instruments, all presented in a highly entertaining style.

Ceballos is no stranger to Vermont audiences. Born in Pennsylvania, musically raised in Maine and seasoned in Vermont, Ceballos has been entertaining audiences for over 40 years. Known mainly for his wide array of banjos and banjo styles, Ceballos is also an accomplished accordion and concertina player as well as a fine songwriter.

Witten, also known as the Champlain Troubadour, will accompany Ceballos on piano, guitar, percussion and vocals. Well known as a singer/songwriter, Witten is one half of the very popular children’s duo, the Swing Peepers.

Tickets are $15 with a pre-concert dinner available for $20. Reservations are required for dinner and recommended for the show. Venue is BYOB. Call 465-4071 or e-mail info@brandon-music.net for reservations or more information. Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Road in Brandon. For more information, visit www.brandon-music.net.

MOIRA SMILEY

Moira Smiley will be performing a solo CD release show containing songs from her latest album, “Create Laughter Out of Tears,” at 5 p.m. on Sunday at the Tourterelle Inn in New Haven.

In 2006 Smiley formed VOCO, a five-piece group of singers and players, with an improvisational — and uniquely vocal — approach to American Eastern European folk music, and Smiley’s polyphonic originals.

“Laughter Out of Tears” continues a journey Smiley began with VOCO’s three previous releases. There’s also a strong difference — this new album is far more personal — with tracks flowing from one into the next, and Smiley’s originals explicitly telling her recent journey through grief.

“My father died in 2012, I was feeling lost artistically, and communal singing was always a source of strength — a root for me,” Smiley says. “I write for choirs, and I know how powerful a gathering of voices can be.” Smiley and VOCO pulled together people from Australia, Europe and all throughout North America to become the “Choir of YOU” on the record.

Smiley works with artists as varied as Paul Hillier, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, KITKA, Tim O’Brien and Solas, and has sung everything from Stockhausen and Stravinsky to traditional folk music.

Tickets are $12. For tickets or more information, call 453-6309. The Tourterelle Inn is located at 3629 Ethan Allen Highway (Route 7) in New Haven.

TWO BROTHERS TAVERN

There will be four live musical performances this week at the Two Brothers Tavern in Middlebury.

On Wednesday, the tavern will feature Open Mike Night, beginning at 9 p.m. Hosted by Kai Stanley, the Open Mike Night follows Trivia one Wednesday per month. The stage is open to musicians and performers of all kinds on a first-come, first-served basis, and it’s free to enter. There’s no cover charge.

On Thursday, the Third Thursday Comedy Night with Ryan Kenyon begins at 7 p.m. Two Brothers is proud to present their new monthly comedy series featuring Middlebury comedy legend Ryan Kenyon, who will be hosting an open variety show where anything goes. There is no cover.

Then, at 9 p.m. on Friday, Two Brothers presents Canopy. Grounded in rock, funk and blues, with an affinity for pushing boundaries, Canopy is tight and loose in all the right ways. There is a $3 cover.

Finally, at 9 p.m. on Saturday, Binglass takes to the Tavern’s stage for the first time. Binglass is the collaboration between the band Binger and singer/songwriter Joshua Glass. There is a $3 cover. For more information, call 388-0002.

LIVE MUSIC AT 51 MAIN

There will be five live musical events this week at Middlebury’s 51 Main. At 8 p.m. on Wednesday, the 51 Main Blues Jam continues. Dennis Willmott from Left Eye Jump will provide lead guitar, bass, and drums and these guys will back you up or take a break and let you play. All musicians and blues fans are welcome. Everyone will get a chance to play.

At 7 p.m. on Thursday, Linda Draper takes to the stage. “Linda Draper’s wise, wistful, and quietly devastating folk-pop reaches new levels of refinement,” says iTunes.

At 8 p.m. also on Thursday, Hollar General, featuring guitarist and vocalist Michael Chorney, bassist Robinson Morse and drummer Geza Carr, plays a unique brand of acoustic music.

Then, at 8 p.m. on Friday, Afinque (ah-feen-keh) will perform. This is an 11-piece classic Salsa y Salsa Dura band from Burlington.

Finally, at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Mint Julep hits the stage. Mint Julep gives jazz a fresh flavor performing all the sweet and scandalous standards from the Golden Age of Swing and Jazz with a modern flair.

All ages, no cover. For additional information visit www.go51main.com or phone 388-8209.

NC DANCES VT

“NC Dances VT,” featuring work by Van Dyke Dance Group, Paul Besaw, and Christal Brown, takes place at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday in the Dance Theater of Middlebury College’s Mahaney Center for the Arts.

Professor emeritus and former chair of dance at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Jan Van Dyke knows both Besaw and Brown as former students. Now leading their respective dance programs at the University of Vermont and Middlebury College, Besaw and Brown contribute the unique artistic approaches they have developed since their Greensboro days to this rich gathering of dance.

Tickets are $12 for the general public. For tickets or more information, go to middlebury.edu/boxoffice or call 443-3168.

DJ SPOOKY AT COLLEGE

Paul D. Miller (a.k.a. DJ Spooky, That Subliminal Kid), will perform beginning at 9 p.m. on Friday in Wilson Hall (McCullough Social Space) at Middlebury College.

Well known in popular culture as DJ Spooky, Miller is a groundbreaking and award-winning composer, multimedia artist and writer, and the featured performer of the 2014 Clifford Symposium. He presents “Of Water and Ice,” a suite for string quartet, iPad, and video that explores the composition of ice and water, and our relationship to the vanishing environment of the arctic poles. All of the electronic sounds are generated by interpretations of either algorithms that mirror the geometry in ice crystals or the math of climate change data.

Tickets are $15 for the general public. For tickets or more information, go to middlebury.edu/boxoffice or call 443-3168.

AARON FLINN IN RIPTON

Singer-songwriter Aaron Flinn will be giving an intimate solo performance at 8 p.m. on Friday, at the Ripton Community Church, Route 125 in Ripton.

Flinn writes, engineers and records most of the material he will be performing. Elements of folk, indie rock, and classic country combine with powerful poetic lyrics and finger-picking guitar to showcase this eclectic performer.

Flinn has released an impressive body of original work, all the while touring at such hallowed venues as Red Rocks Amphitheater, the Great American Music Hall and House of Blues.

Tickets are $10 and refreshments will be provided at no cost. Tickets can be purchased by calling 388-1062 or at the door. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.

INTERNATIONAL FILM SERIES

The exciting 2014-2015 Hirschfield International Film Series continues on Saturday at Middlebury College with the 2013 U.S. film “Computer Chess” directed by Andrew Bujalski.

Set in 1980 and shot in late-1970s analog, this film features teams competing at an annual gathering of chess software programmers to see which of their programs can perform the best against a human chess player. Director Andrew Bujalski transports viewers to a nostalgic moment of contention between technology and the human spirit.   

The film will be shown at 3 and again at 8 p.m. in Dana Auditorium on College Street. It’s free. Some of the films in this series may be inappropriate for children.

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