WalkOver Gallery reignites Cabin Fever Series
BRISTOL — After taking a break from its annual Cabin Fever Series, the WalkOver Gallery and Concert Room at 15 Main St. in Bristol announces the return of the series with four concerts scheduled for 2016, the next on Friday, Feb. 19.
The concert venue, an intimate room known for its natural acoustic qualities, is a favored performance room for professional musicians. According to architects, the historic building, that once housed the First National Bank of Bristol, has ideal characteristics for sound quality: The shoe-box shaped room with its high, recessed ceiling sections, the warm surfaces of the quarter-sawn oak trim, and hard walls of old plaster, makes for a lively sound that carries clarity and nuance. Musicians are free to perform entirely acoustically and this enables them to create their best work.
Folks enjoy attending concerts in the concert room, which feels like a large living room. In the relaxed atmosphere it is easy to socialize and to interact with the musicians. The room lends itself to listening and this experience of attentiveness is felt by musicians and audiences alike, and elevates the live acoustic experience. On a cold winter’s evening the large arching window of the historic building fogs up with the breath of the musicians and audience. Sometimes the room erupts with harmony when the audience sings along spontaneously or by invitation and on these occasions, the musicians say they are very surprised by how good the audience sounds.
The revival of the series is due to the efforts of a small group of folks in Bristol who appreciate high-quality music in a local and intimate venue. Karen Lueders, an attorney who has studied and performed classical piano, began hosting concerts in the venue in 2004. Rick Ceballos, proclaimed the “music mayor” of Bristol by music radio host Robert Resnik, gathered the group together and reenergized the effort.
Says Ceballos, “When you have a group of people passionate about music, a sweet acoustic venue to present it in, and lots of stellar musicians wanting to play there, it’s hard to pass up the opportunity.”
The WalkOver series, which predated many others in the Addison County area, is scheduled carefully so as not to conflict with the long-standing Ripton Coffee House on the first Saturday of every month and the more recent Burnham Hall performances in Lincoln on the second Saturday of every month. Says Mary Barnett, a member of the group: “Addison County has a really active performance scene. We can maximize the choices for audiences and full rooms for musicians if presenters keep in mind offerings in the area and avoid double booking. I don’t want to miss anything!”
The first concert, on Friday, Jan. 22, was a performance of original arrangements of classical dances, by husband and wife duo Jeremiah McLane on accordion and pianist Annemieke McLane. The duo told the audience the story of meeting at the WalkOver concert room five years ago.
Still coming: on Friday, Feb. 19, the nationally known Nashville-based Matt Flinner Trio; on Saturday, March 19, Charlotte, Vt.-based French-American singer/songwriter Francesca Blanchard; and on Saturday, April 30, Canada-based musicians, Pascal Gemme, Yann Falquet and Keith Murphy.