Brattleboro Battle of the Bands is Friday night

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BRATTLEBORO — The local music scene in Brattleboro will be roaring with the sound of young musicians on Friday during Battle of the Bands.

Youth Services, a local social service organization for young people in the community, will be hosting the event. First prize is a day of professional recording time for the winning band at Guilford Sound in southern Vermont.

Local indie-rock band, The Snaz, will be opening the event, and band member Dharma Ramirez has a spot as a judge. The Snaz won back in 2012, and Ramirez said that it really jump-started their career.

"It's the biggest thing that had happened to us yet so that felt really good ... We had never done anything as big as recorded at Guilford Sound, and that really launched the rest of what we've been doing since," Ramierz said.

Since their win, Ramirez said The Snaz has played a number of shows in Northhampton, Mass., and at the Grand Point North festival in Burlington.

Moreover, Ramirez said that she expects being a judge to be a lot different than performing. "It will be interesting looking at people being where I was back then."

Two of the bands that will be performing include Raspberry Jam from western Massachusetts and Wicked Thirsty Duo from Hinsdale, N.H. Both bands have gained a following at their high schools, and they are excited for the opportunity to play at Battle of the Bands.

Singer/guitarist for Wicked Thirsty Duo, Zebulon Hildreth, said they have not really had many opportunities to play outside of their high school.

"We're looking to get our name out there a little bit more, and it's a great opportunity," Hildreth said. "I'm definitely excited, but it's also a bit nerve-racking since The Snaz is judging and we're pretty big fans of them."

Additionally, drummer for Wicked Thirsty Duo, Sebastian Smith, said this is only their second show outside of their home state.

"I'm definitely looking forward to it ... it's pretty exciting for the two of us. I'm sure it's going to be a pretty big event for us," he said.

Raspberry Jam guitarist Mac Almeida said it was his former guitar teacher who convinced them to enter the competition. "He emailed us and told us we should enter because he thought that we could win."

Futher, Almeida said that he was feeling excited about the competition and playing new original music, as they usually play covers.

"We're currently in the process of writing our first song, so that's pretty exciting," he said.

Concerning the organization of the event, Executive Director of Youth Services Russell Bradbury-Carlin said it was very successful three years ago and he imagines that this year will go similarly.

"I just want people to come out, have a good time, and focus on youth in the area and celebrate them," Bradbury-Carlin said. "I'm hoping a lot of adults will come out, not only to hear some really interesting music but also to celebrate youth in the community and kind of encourage young people who have formed bands and are coming out to compete."

Bradbury-Carlin said that although he only started working for Youth Services recently, he likes the idea of an agency focused on connecting with youth. He said that much of their work is focused on struggling youth and their families, but Battle of the Bands provides an opportunity to work with others as well.

"I feel like it's part of our mission, to not only work with those who are struggling, but also to celebrate youth and encourage youth development in the area so that's kind of how I see Battle of the Bands," Bradbury-Carlin said.

For those interested in attending Battle of the Bands, competitors will perform at the River Garden as a part of the Gallery Walk night from 7 to 10 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 6.

Devon Roberts can be contacted at droberts@kscequinox.com.


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