Highlights: Singer-songwriter’s plan leads to a second album

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    Royalton singer-songwriter Alison "AliT" Turner is releasing her second album. (Courtesy photograph) Courtesy photograph

  • The Garifuna Collective, a world music ensemble from Belize, plays a series of concerts this weekend. See 'Best bets' for more information. (Jeremy Lewis photograph) Jeremy Lewis photograph

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 10/2/2019 10:00:26 PM
Modified: 10/2/2019 10:00:18 PM

Alison Turner returned to her native Upper Valley in 2015, with a bachelor of science degree in arts administration from Wagner College and a five-year plan to establish herself as a professional musician.

This week, the Royalton singer-songwriter is releasing her second indie-pop album, Smoke & Mirrors, and preparing to extend her plan past that 2020 deadline.

“I want to spread my wings as much as possible,” Turner said on Tuesday. “I can definitely see pushing it out at least a few more years, absolutely.”

After four years of honing her craft around northern New England in general and the friendly confines of the Upper Valley in particular — her gigs over these next three nights range from Grantham through Perkinsville to Windsor — she’s looking farther afield for live audiences.

“I want to hit Boston, New York, Philadelphia, maybe even Washington, D.C., and some festivals, when I tour the album next year,” said Turner, who records and performs as AliT. “Then we’ll see what happens.”

She’s counting on the songs on the album — including Electric Haze, which she recently released as a single and as a video — to free her from the onstage grind of covering the popular songs (“Play Free Bird!”) that patrons expect as musical comfort food in brew pubs, restaurants and bars.

“Eighty percent of the time, I’ve been playing in places where people are there to eat and drink,” Turner said. “They didn’t come for the music. Which I understand is part of the deal. And even in those places, I’ll get good feedback. People do come up to me and say I did a good job.”

Audiences who do listen will hear Turner seasoning her songs and her guitar-playing with doses of blues, soul and jazz, little of which one finds in her 2015 debut album Break, whose songs inspired one reviewer to describe her as “a less-neurotic Alanis Morissette. She credits her evolution to the three years she sang with Royalton neighbor and saxophonist Mike Parker’s band Soulfix.

“I have added extra ingredients,” she said. “Now, I scat more. I’m not afraid to try different things with my voice, which I didn’t do at first. Now I let myself just belt it out.”

Alison “AliT’ Turner performs Thursday night at 6 at The Farmer’s Table in Grantham; Friday night at 7 at The Inn at Weathersfield in Perkinsville; Saturday night at 8:30 at the Windsor Farmers Exchange, during the after-party to the Autumn Moon Festival. She also will celebrate the release of Smoke & Mirrors at the Radio Bean coffee shop in Burlington on Oct. 11, at 8:30 p.m.

Best bets

The Belize-based Garifuna Collective performs an electronic concert of Afro-Caribbean music at The Engine Room in White River Junction (for ages 21 and older) on Friday night at 8 and an acoustic set at the North Universalist Chapel in Woodstock on Saturday night at 7:30. Admission $15 to $40. The ensemble also will perform during the chapel’s Sunday service, at 10 a.m.

■Jazz pianist-singer-composer Jon Batiste leads Stay Human into Dartmouth College’s Spaulding Auditorium on Friday night at 7:30. Best known for directing the live musical interludes for TV’s The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Batiste recently lit up National Public Radio’s often-listless variety program Live from Here while filling in for regular host Chris Thile. For tickets ($30 to $50), visit hop.dartmouth.edu or call 603-646-2422.

■South Newbury, Vt., fiddler Patrick Ross plays free, family-oriented concerts on Saturday morning at 11 at the Hopkins Center’s Alumni Hall, and on Saturday afternoon at 3 at the CSB Community Center in Claremont.

■Performing as Ensemble Marie, students from Marie Fourcaut’s improvisational-dance class move through the galleries of Dartmouth College’s Hood Museum of Art on Saturday afternoon at 2. After the free performance, Fourcault and the dancers will discuss the work, which explores the theme of “How do we create dialogue with the art around us through the language of the body?”

■ More than 40 Upper Valley models parade casual, formal, sustainable and radical wear at the Briggs Opera House in White River Junction on Saturday night during Revolution’s fall Tip Top Couture Fashion Extravaganza. Doors open at 8. Admission $15, benefitting the Junction Youth Center.

■ Thetford’s Bill Cole exhales another breeze of improvisational jazz on Sunday afternoon at 4, playing Asian double-reeds, horns, flutes and a didgeridoo at the ArtisTree Community Arts Center in South Pomfret with euphonium master Joseph Daley. Admission by donation.

Theater/performance art

Kalamazoo, romantic comedy, Shaker Bridge Theatre production opening Thursday night and running through Oct. 20 at Whitney Hall in Enfield. Admission $16 to $28.

Spinning Into Butter, Parish Players production Thursday night through Sunday afternoon at Eclipse Grange Theatre on Thetford Hill. Tickets $10 to $20.

A Doll’s House, Part 2, performances Thursday night through Sunday afternoon at Barrette Center for the Arts in White River Junction. Admission $17.50 to $57.50.

Tintypes: A Musical Celebration of America, performances Thursday through Saturday nights at Grange Theatre in South Pomfret. Admission $28 to $35. Next up in ArtisTree Music Theatre Festival, production of Forever Plaid starts with a preview performance next Thursday night.


Onion River Jazz Band, Friday night at 7 at Seven Stars Arts Center in Sharon; Trials of Cato, punk-folk, Saturday night at 7:30; fiddler Gerry O’Connor and singer/multi-instrumentalist Kevin McElroy, Celtic folk, Sunday night at 7. Admission $20 for Friday and Saturday shows, $15 for Sunday.

■Pretty Saro, bluegrass, Friday night at 7 at Sunapee Coffeehouse. Admission by donation.

■Upper Valley-native violinist Roseminna Watson and Classicopia pianist Daniel Weiser, works of Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Kreisler and other composers, Friday night at 7:30 at First Congregational Church of Lebanon; admission $15 for church members, $20 for others. Duo also performs the program during a house concert in Hanover on Sunday afternoon at 2; admission $35, reserve in advance at classicopia.org/concert/viennese-violin.

■The Revenants, Americana/roots, Friday night at 7:30 at Upper Gallery of Chandler Center for the Arts in Randolph. Admission by donation.

■Upper Valley Music Center Cello Festival, Saturday afternoon at 5 at First Congregational Church of Lebanon. Free.

■Singer-guitarist Yann Falquet and multi-instrumentalist Jean-Francois, French-Canadian folk mixed with Scandinavian influences, Saturday night at 7 at Library Arts Center in Newport. Tickets $16 in advance, $20 at door. Call 603-863-3040 or visit libraryartscenter.org.

■Dartmouth Symphony Orchestra, works of Ravel and Tchaikovsky, Saturday night at 7:30 at Spaulding Auditorium. Admission $25.

■Vermont Symphony Orchestra, classical works of Bartok, Haydn and Francois Devienne, and premiere of contemporary composer Matthew Evan Taylor’s The Greatest Night, Saturday night at 7:30 at Chandler Music Hall in Randolph. Admission $10 to $25.

■Flutist Leslie Stroud and pianist Matthew Odell, compositions of Schubert, Gary Schocker, Jacques Ibert and Oliver Messiaen, Sunday afternoon at 4 at North Universalist Chapel in Woodstock. Admission by donation.

■Singer-songwriters Emily Mure and Caroline Cotter, folk/Americana, Sunday afternoon at 4:30 at Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Upper Valley in Norwich. Admission $17.50 in advance (visit brownpapertickets.com), $22.50 at the door.

Bar and club circuit

Mad Hazard Band, jazz, bossa nova and blues, Thursday night at 5:30 at the Quechee Club’s Davidson’s Restaurant.

■Adam Ezra, folk rock, Thursday night at 8 at Flying Goose Brew Pub and Grille in New London. $20.

■Sensible Shoes, danceable rock and pop, Thursday night at 7 at Windsor Station; Super Stash Brothers, rock, Friday night at 7:30; Jester Jigs, rock, Saturday night at 9:30; Australian singer-songwriter Grayson, Tuesday night at 6.

■Bassist Peter Concilio, saxophonist Michael Zsoldos, keyboardist Tom Cleary and drummer Tim Gilmore, jazz, Friday night sets at 8 and 9:40 at Skunk Hollow Tavern in Hartland.

■Organist Norm Yanofsky and guitarist Billy Rosen, jazz brunch on Sunday morning at 9:30 at Courthouse Restaurant in Newport.

■ Jes Raymond and Jakob Breitbach, folk/roots, Sunday night at 5 at Harpoon Brewery in Windsor.

■Jazz saxophonist Michael Parker appears with keyboardist Ian Gollub, Wednesday night at 5:30 at Quechee Inn at Marshland Farm.

Open mics and jam sessions

Revels North pub sing, Thursday night at 7 at Big Fatty’s BBQ in White River Junction.

■Jim Yeager, open-mic sessions Thursday night at 7 at ArtisTree Community Arts Center, and Tuesday night at 6 at The Public House Pub in Quechee.

■Alec Currier’s open-mic at Salt hill Pub in Lebanon, Thursday nights at 8.

■Joseph Stallsmith’s hootenanny of Americana, folk and bluegrass, Monday nights at 6 at Salt hill Pub in Hanover.

■Tom Masterson’s open mic, Tuesday nights at 7 at Colatina Exit.

■Fiddler Jakob Breitbach hosts two jam sessions in White River Junction: jazz gathering on Friday night at 6 at Hotel Coolidge’s Cafe Renee; and weekly acoustic session of bluegrass, Americana and old-timey music on Tuesd ay night at 7 at Filling Station Bar and Grill.

■Jes Raymond’s String Band Karaoke session of roots music, Wednesday night at 8 at The Skinny Pancake in Hanover.

■Peter Meijer’s open mic, Wednesday nights at 7 at Skunk Hollow Tavern.

Looking ahead

St. Lawrence String Quartet, rock-inspired chamber music, next Thursday night at 7:30 at Dartmouth College’s Spaulding Auditorium. Admission $30 to $55.

David Corriveau can be reached at dcorriveau@vnews.com or 603-727-3304. Send entertainment news to highlights@vnews.com.

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