Thursday November 29, 2012

Cape Breton fiddler Natalie MacMaster performs tonight

BELLOWS FALLS -- Kingdom County Productions presents Grammy-winning fiddler Natalie MacMaster performing her holiday-themed concert, "Christmas in Cape Breton" on Thursday at 7 p.m., at the Bellows Falls Opera House.

MacMaster will be accompanied for several holiday songs by the student chorus from Kurn Hattin, the Westminster school and residence for at-risk children.

MacMaster is one of the most versatile and exciting musicians on both the folk and Celtic music scenes. Her many projects have seen her collaborate and perform with Alison Krauss, Carlos Santana, the Chieftains, Paul Simon, Pavarotti and Yo-Yo Ma.

MacMaster’s live performances are a testament to her incandescent musicianship and boundless energy, featuring foot-tapping rave-ups, heart-rending ballads, and world-class step dancing.

Tickets are available by calling 802-748-2600 or at www.KingdomCounty.org. Tickets are also available at Village Square Booksellers in Bellows Falls or Misty Valley Books in Chester. The concert is presented by Kingdom County Productions, with thanks to Kurn Hattin and sponsorship from Rockingham Arts and Museum Project, Vermont Festivals, Popolo Restaurant and Vermont Public Radio.

Outlaw country
pioneer performs
at Opera House

BELLOWS FALLS -- Honky-tonk hero and pioneer of the "Outlaw Country" movement Billy Joe Shaver performs at the Bellows Falls Opera House on Sunday at 5 p.


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Shaver has written some of the most towering songs in the last half-century of country music. The Allman Brothers, David Alan Coe, Elvis Presley, George Jones, Jerry Lee Lewis, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash are just a few of those who have made Shaver’s songs, such as "Old Five and Dimers," "I’m Just an Old Chunk of Coal (But I’m Going to be a Diamond Some Day)" and "Willie The Wandering Gypsy and Me" their own.

At age 73, Billy Joe Shaver still puts on a show that’d be the envy of a performer half his age.

Doors to the Bellows Falls Opera House open at 4 p.m. Premium seating (first three rows center) is $35, general admission is $25, in advance. A limited number of VIP Packages are also available. These include premium seating, VIP "green room" with free food and beverages, band meet and greet, merchandise, backstage and after party passes. Details are at brattleborotix.com. Tickets are also available at PK’s Pub.

Possum Haw
brings bluegrass
to Immanuel Church

BELLOWS FALLS -- Possum Haw, a bluegrass and folk quintet from Burlington, will perform at Immanuel Episcopal Church, 20 Church Street, on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

Originally formed in 2004, the band combines award-winning songwriting and singing with top-notch bluegrass instrumentation.

The band features Colby Crehan on guitar, piano and vocals, Stephen Waud on mandolin and vocals, Ryan Crehan on banjo, vocals and harmonica, Charley Eiseman on lead guitar and vocals and Pat Melvin on upright bass and vocals.

Admission is $17 for adults, $13 for seniors and children under 12, in advance and $20, $15 at the door. Tickets are available at Village Square Booksellers in Bellows Falls, Toadstool Bookshop in Keene, N.H., Brattleboro Books, Misty Valley Books in Chester, at www.brattleborotix .com or at the door.

For more information, visit www.immanuelepiscopal.org or call 802-463-3100.

Zoograss band jams
at Windham Ballroom

BELLOWS FALLS -- On Saturday, Popolo presents Hot Day At The Zoo at the Windham Ballroom. Doors open at 8 p.m., and the show starts at 8:30 p.m.

Mandolin- and-banjo-fueled, Hot Day plays a high-energy mix of folk, rock and bluegrass band members call zoograss.

Tickets are $12 in advance and $16 at the door. Get 10 percent off dinner at Popolo next door with a Hot Day ticket. Hot Day tickets are available at Popolo (open from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Tuesday to Saturday, at 36 The Square) or at www.popolomeanspeople.com

For more information, contact Gary Smith at gary@popolo.us.

Mary McCaslin,
Rick Shea share stage

BELLOWS FALLS -- Before Gillian Welch or Iris DeMent or Nanci Griffith, there was Mary McCaslin. Her rich, pure voice can fill a room, backed only by her open-D-tuned guitar. It’s a sound a generation of singer/songwriter fans will instantly recognize from her classic 1970s albums.

McCaslin will perform at the Windham Ballroom at Popolo Restaurant on Wednesday, Dec. 5, at 8 p.m. Joining her on the bill is guitarist and songwriter Rick Shea, a member of Dave Alvin’s touring band, The Guilty Men.

McCaslin and Shea will each take a solo turn, then, together they’ll perform a number of classic songs from "The Bramble and the Rose," a duo recording McCaslin and the late Jim Ringer made in a barn in Vermont in the 1970s.

McCaslin was a pioneer of open tunings, using them long before they gained popularity. In addition to her flawless fingerpicking style on the guitar, she also plays a mean clawhammer banjo on such unlikely songs as "Blackbird" and "Pinball Wizard."

Popolo is located at 36 Village Square. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $18 in advance, or $24 for best-in-house "Angel" seats. Tickets are on sale at Village Square Books and Popolo, Misty Valley Books in Chester, Turn it Up in Brattleboro and at brattleborotix.com.

The show is a joint presentation of Flying Under Radar, Kicking & Screaming and Vermont Festivals, with help from Morgana. For more information, visit flyingunderradar.com or call Vermont Festivals at 802-463-9595.