The Walter Sessions are back on, with Moira Smiley
Take two: the Walter Sessions are on! This may sound familiar… because it is.
The new online music series broadcast from Burnham Hall in Lincoln was slated to kick-off in late March, but had to call a Mulligan after one-too-many technical difficulties. All the glitches are fixed — co-founder and musician Nate Gusakov even tested it out himself with a last-minute performance on April 2.
In collaboration with Josiah Jackson and Shawn Kimball from Northeast Addison Television (NEATV to you and me), Gusakov is excited to finally kick off these monthly sessions.
“Although the series is just in its infancy, it’s already been a lot of fun,” he said. “From collaborating with my friends Jo Jackson and Shawn Kimball on the original idea and tech logistics, to making decisions about how to curate the lineup, I’m really enjoying the process. It’s great to show off Burnham Hall too — it’s such a gem of a resource!”
Each performance takes place on the stage at Burnham Hall, which was given to the town of Lincoln in 1919 by Walter S. Burnham. The show is performed live, and streams through neatbristol.com. Can’t make the show? Don’t worry, the performances are all recorded and posted on Gusakov’s website for The Walter Sessions (nategusakov.wixsite.com/waltersessions) too.
Shows are all free “so that the music is accessible to anyone,” Gusakov said at the inaugural performance. Donations are welcome and go directly to performers.
This Friday, Bristol’s very-own Moira Smiley will perform at 7 p.m.
“I’m feeling this show — so close to my house, so deeply rooted in the families I grew in — as if it were a blooming bulb,” mused Smiley thinking about her upcoming performance. “It’s Earth Day week… I know lots of songs that sing in awe of the natural world, and I look forward to speaking with Nate a little as part of it. I’ll do a couple completely new songs, but also enjoy the older ones.”
Smiley will be followed by Lowell Thompson on Friday, May 21, who brings a fresh alt-country sound to the stage. Then Fern Maddie will conclude the spring sessions on Friday, June 18, with some traditional folk.
“In my live set, I accompany myself with banjo, guitar, bouzouki and foot drum, and lean into the emotional power of simple arrangements,” said Maddie, who hails from Worcester, Vt. “I haven’t performed much during the pandemic, but I’ve been developing a new repertoire. I’m excited to share some original songs from my “North Branch River” EP (released last year), as well as a handful of old ballads from England and Scotland. There may also be a few new originals in there. I love to tell stories during my set, sharing the histories of some of the songs I sing, so there will be a bit of that as well.”
The Walter Sessions will take a break over July, August and September, and then hopes to pick back up in October. And continue with its balance of performers.
“The hope is to present a lineup that is as diverse and inclusive as possible, while still maintaining a high level of professionalism and musicality,” explained Gusakov. “And drawing mostly (if not entirely) from Vermont for our musicians.”
As soon as is safe, Gusakov and The Walter Sessions team hopes to begin selling tickets to have real live audience members watching in-person from the seat at Burnham Hall.
“That said, we’re still planning to live-stream every show too,” Gusakov said. “I know that it’s been a real benefit to so many people to have the option to see good live music without leaving their homes, and we want to continue to offer that.”
For the most up to date info check nategusakov.wixsite.com/waltersessions.
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