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SoundStage! Update

Right Where You Live

August 1, 2007

Sometimes you can find great music in the most unlikely places. Vermont, where I live, is known for many things -- colorful trees in the fall, clean mountain air, cows, and great skiing -- but big-name music is not among them. Yes, Vermont was the launching pad for Phish, one of the biggest acts to follow in the footsteps of the Grateful Dead, and now we have another up-and-coming band that is perched on the edge of national recognition: Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, a blues/rock group with a world of potential that will wow you after just one listen. The band's first disc, Nothing But the Water, is out now, and a second, This is Somewhere, is due this month.

But it’s not just these acts that make for a thriving local music scene here in Vermont. Even though some artists might have had a more illustrious career elsewhere, they choose to live in Vermont, fame be damned. Take Tammy Fletcher and the Disciples, the late Big Joe Burrell and the Unknown Blues Band, the late Rachel Bissex, and the Seth Yacovone band. All are local acts, all have put out CDs of their music, and all are pretty darn talented.

We have some good recording facilities in Vermont, and I think that local recordings have an edge -- a kind of raw simplicity -- that the major labels just can't see. Most local bands can’t afford big chunks of studio time -- even in local studios. Thus, they have to try to get it right the first time. The results? Albums that sound like those of yesteryear -- more pure, honest, basic and real than what we find spewing forth from the major labels.

So check out your local music scene -- or visit us here in Vermont. You may be surprised by the quality of the music right where you live....John Crossett, johnc@soundstage.com

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