Arts Beat for August 15: Fiddle, mandolin and vocals combine in 4 To the Bar

Celebrated novelist and singer-songwriter Jon Clinch has been sharing his music for longer than he’d care to admit. Now teaming up with Gypsy Reel’s Graham and Camille Parker on fiddle and mandolin — and chantey-man Reagh Greenleaf on powerful vocals and bodhran — 4 To The Bar focuses on original songs, traditional material and classics from the likes of John Prine, Lyle Lovett and James Taylor. Don’t miss them at Brandon Music on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
The band coalesced as an offshoot of Vermont’s beloved Gypsy Reel. It turns out that Graham Parker’s fiddling isn’t limited to the Celtic tradition; he’s a skilled improviser with a terrific melodic sense — and when he and Clinch first sat down to make music, the result was pure magic. Clinch’s wide repertoire gave Graham the chance to really stretch out on singer-songwriter and Americana material. As Clinch described it, “The next thing we knew, Camille Parker’s harmony vocals clicked in, and we were off to the races. The three of us met Reagh Greenleaf, just having finished touring with the Clancys, at a Celtic session in Ludlow, and soon he’d been adopted into both Gypsy Reel and 4 To The Bar.
An evening with 4 To The Bar may stray off in all kinds of directions: Graham and Camille will lead the band through some traditional Celtic tunes, Clinch will introduce a new favorite from Chris Stapleton or an old standard from Johnny Cash. Greenleaf will get the crowd on their feet with a rousing chantey or two. Camille and Clinch will delve into the surprisingly compatible worlds of Patsy Cline and Bruce Springsteen. Whatever happens, it’s all held together with superb musicianship and infectious joy.
Performing with Gypsy Reel, the Parkers and Reagh know Brandon Music well, having just performed there for the second year in a row. Graham is “delighted to be back performing in the intimate atmosphere that is Brandon Music. The setting, the food, the art and a crowd that really appreciates music — it is the closest thing to an English folk club on this side of the Atlantic.”
Concert tickets are $20. A pre-concert dinner is available for $25. Reservations are recommended for the show and required for dinner. Venue is BYOB. Call 802-247-4295 or email [email protected] for reservations or for more information. Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Road in Brandon.
On Friday from 6-8 p.m.,Hot Flannel will perform at Lincoln Peak Vineyard in New Haven.
Hot Flannel is a foursome of handsome country-boys-turned-men making Newgrass music like there’s no tomorrow. You’ll be transported into the realm of soul-lifting music where gifted musicians are mere channels for ancient messages passed through the generations to our waiting, wordless souls.
Vermont-born Patrick Ross doesn’t just play the fiddle — this unassuming master seems to sing the fiddle, or rather, the fiddle itself seems to sing soulfully in his hands. Ross narrates in English, Quebecois and a host of perfectly imitated accents he’s heard and naturally absorbed. A fifth-generation fiddler of French Canadian folk tunes, Ross grew up bilingual in a close-knit family, in a tiny town on the border between the US and Canada. Along with Ross, Adam Buchwald (banjo/mandolin), Doug Perkins (flat-top guitar) and Tyler Bolles (upright bass) weave their instrumentation together so readily and so joyously with seemingly no thought other than a common destination. Cool flannel has never radiated quite so much heat.
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.
There will be three live musical performances this week at Two Brothers Tavern located 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.
Then, at 9 p.m. on Friday, Two Brothers presents Phil Yates and The Affiliates.From Burlington by way of L.A., Phil Yates brings his authentic brand of Indie Rock to Two Brothers Lounge.There is a $3 cover.
Finally, at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Jinxboxtake to the Tavern’s stage for the first time. Jinxbox is an Indie trio from Middlebury. Band members Micah Rubin (drums, piano) and Alex Kite (piano) have collaborated before many times, and in 2014, were joined by Zara London-Southern (lead vocals, piano, ukulele). There is no cover charge. For more information, call 802-388-0002.
There will be three 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.
Then, at 8:30 p.m. on Friday, Abraxas take to the stage. Six of Vermont’s finest musicians have banded together to recreate the infectious, intricate rhythms and the soulful, melodic guitar that define the Santana sound. Santana’s unique music crosses all boundaries and genres leaving everyone satisfied.
Finally, at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, American Zookeepers will perform. The Zookeepers are Nicolas Casanova (drums), Thierry Ringelstein (guitar and bass with Leslie Kervella), Stéphanie le Boulluec (The Voice), Richard Lewis (string arrangements and instruments), Will Patton (guitar mandolin), John Hughes (piano), Steven Harrison (stand-up bass), Louis Alphonso (guitar mandolin), and Bénédicte Villain and Elodie Hatton on backing vocals.
All ages, no cover. For additional information visit www.go51main.com or call 802-388-8209.
The Middlebury College Summer Carillon Series concludes its 31st year of concerts with a 3 p.m. performance on Friday in Mead Chapel by George Matthew Jr., Carillonneur for both Middlebury College and Norwich University. He will play the final concert of the summer, before the Language Schools Graduation. Enjoy the sounds of the carillon bells from inside the chapel or, weather permitting, on the surrounding lawns.

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