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Arts Beat for July 25: Bourbon Renewal brings eclectic style to Brandon

Britt Connors and Bourbon Renewal perform at Brandon Music on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
“Y’all-Ternative music” is what Britt Connors and Bourbon Renewal have dubbed their subset of Americana music, crossing over genres from Blues to Folk to Jazz to Rock. The Boston-based artists have received high praise with the Boston Herald saying, Connors “evokes a young Patty Larkin in her vocal quality and is blessed with a similar eclectic style. Her pitch perfect voice and smartly written songs show amazing versatility in a broad range of styles.”
The singer/songwriter’s talented band, Bourbon Renewal was put together for her latest album “Warmer Season.” The tight ensemble, well-steeped in a wide range of American music, is made up of some of Boston’s most in-demand musicians: John Funkhouser on keys and backup vocals, Greg Loughman on bass and backup vocals and Mike Connors on drums.
“Warmer Season” includes clapping, foot-stomping, a horn section and even some whistling. Connors’ acclaimed debut album “The Bad Side of Good” (recorded under her maiden name “Britt Sawdon”) presents insightful lyrics and captivating melodic tunes, many of which she now performs with refreshed Bourbon Renewal arrangements. Working toward their next album, Connors and the band will premiere a collection of new songs at the Brandon Music concert.
For the past decade, Connors has been honing her craft as a songwriter while building a loyal following and performing at some of the top venues in the Boston area, including Club Passim, Johnny D’s, Toad Cambridge, plus venues throughout New England and as far as Rockwood Music Hall in New York City.
Concert tickets are $20. A pre-concert dinner is also available for $20. Reservations are recommended for the show and required for dinner.Venue is BYOB. Call 802-247-4295 or email [email protected] for reservations or more information. Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Road in Brandon.
MUSIC IN SALISBURY
On Friday at 7:30 p.m., the Salisbury Congregational Church will host a performance by piano and accordion virtuosi Annemieke and Jeremiah McLane.
The Dutch-born and classically trained Ms. McLane, with an international career, has gained a reputation since her arrival in the state in 2004 as one of Vermont’s finest pianists through her widespread activities as teacher, accompanist and soloist.
Composer/accordionist Mr. McLane holds a master’s degree from the New England Conservatory of Music and has led an international as well as regional career with appearances at the likes of Royal Festival Hall, the Piccolo Spoleto festival and the Philadelphia Folk Festival, and a recording cited as a “favorite pick” on National Public Radio.
As a husband and wife ensemble, they perform their own arrangements of folk-inspired classical music from the 18th through the 21st centuries, including works by Piazzola, Grieg, Poulenc, Dvorak and Hovhaness, as well as their own compositions. The results have been described as simultaneously classical, improvisational, exuberant, introspective and passionate.
This will be the third event in Salisbury’s 37th Summer Performance Series that will run on Friday evenings until Aug. 12 at the historic, but handicap accessible, 1838 church in Salisbury Village. Although there is no admission charge, a free-will donation in support of the series will be appreciated. Any receipts in excess of the expenses for the series will be applied to the continued restoration of Salisbury’s landmark steeple.
THE GRIFT AT LPV
On Friday from 6-8 p.m., The Grift will perform at Lincoln Peak Vineyard in New Haven.
The Grift, Middlebury’s favorite rock and roll quartet, plays an eclectic set of originals and often humorous covers. Catchy melodies, clever lyrics, and tight vocal harmonies will get you dancing and singing along. The band includes Clint Bierman (guitar, vocals), Jeff Vallone (drums, vocals) and Peter Day (bass, trumpet, vocals).
The Grift’s style is pop-rock with literate lyrics and vocal harmonies, and it really grooves. These guys have serious musical and songwriting chops. Don’t miss them.
As with all Wine Down Friday shows, the “doors” open at 5:30 p.m. for picnicking. Food will be for sale by Almost Home and wine by the glass.
Admission is free. Bring lawn chairs or a picnic blanket. The Wine Down Friday series happens rain or shine — there’s room on the winery porch in the case of rain. No alcohol may be brought onto the grounds, and please leave your pets at home. Lincoln Peak Vineyard is located at 142 River Road in New Haven. More information is at www.lincolnpeakvineyard.com.
LIVE MUSIC AT 51 MAIN
There will be three live musical events this week at Middlebury’s 51 Main. At 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, 51 Main presents Root 7, a small, mixed ensemble a Capella group whose passion for music brings them together from across the Champlain Valley.
Then, at 8:30 p.m. on Friday, Totally Submerged take to the stage. This Vermont Rock trio plays original material and covers spanning classic rock from the ‘60s through the ‘90s. Group members include Paden Kalinen, lead guitar backup vocals; Jake McLaughlin, keys, lead vocals; and Dagan Selbach, drums, vocals.
Finally, at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, In the Pocket Jazz will perform. In the Pocket is a six-piece ensemble based in Burlington, playing Jazz classics from the Swing, Be-Bop and Sinatra eras. Featuring Michael Lestrange on vocals and George Voland on valve trombone, Vermont’s “little big band” delights audiences of all ages with its repertoire of recognizable Jazz standards. Come party like its 1959 — with In the Pocket.
All ages, no cover. For information, visit www.go51main.com or call 802-388-8209.
TWO BROTHERS TAVERN
There will be two live performances this week at Two Brothers Tavern at 86 Main Street in Middlebury. Join Two Brothers every Wednesday at 9 p.m. for The Open Mic, an evening of music, comedy or anything else, alternately hosted by Mark Sikora and Kai Stanley. Come cheer on your friends or let loose on the stage. It’s free to enter and there is no cover charge. For information, call 802-388-0002.
Then, on Friday, the tavern presents Coon Hill John at 6 p.m., a Bluegrass group that tackles everything from classic Hank Williams to modern hits from bands like The Head and the Heart. Coon Hill John also play multiple original compositions and are sure to wow with their fun and energetic live show. Don’t miss this early show in the lounge. Free.
For more information, call Two Brothers at 802-388-0002.
CARILLON SERIES
Last but not least, The Middlebury College Summer Carillon Series continues its 31 year of concerts with a 5 p.m. performance on Friday in Mead Chapel by Amy Heebner, the City Carillonneur for Albany, N.Y. Enjoy the sounds of the carillon bells from inside the chapel or, weather permitting, on the surrounding lawns. The free series continues every Friday through August with a different performer.

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