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Highlights: Band Hits the Road to Benefit Vermont Libraries

  • Bradford, Vt., couple Jennifer Grossi, right, and Don Sinclair, left, are on a summer tour of benefit concerts for Vermont libraries with David Rosane. The band, David Rosane and the Zookeepers, has 13 benefit shows lined up, including several in the area. (Courtesy photograph)



Valley News Staff Writer
Thursday, July 12, 2018

They expected to play a handful of shows this summer benefiting public libraries.

Then Bradford, Vt., residents Jennifer Grossi and Don Sinclair and fellow folk-rocker David Rosane started hearing from librarians around central and northern Vermont, encouraging the trio to come to town. By the end of their tour, which began at the end of June and will end in Chelsea on Aug. 25, they’ll have performed on behalf of 13.

“A librarian David knows in Franklin County wrote a letter to other librarians, and we put the word out around here that we’re willing to do this; would you like us there?” Grossi recalled last week. “Before we knew it, we had more than a dozen libraries on board.”

The tour by David Rosane & The Zookeepers includes stops at the Congregational Church in Wells River on Saturday to perform on behalf of the village’s Baldwin Memorial Library, then at Bradford Public Library next Thursday night. Eight of the benefit shows take place inside a library’s shushing confines.

Grossi has lived in the Upper Valley for 21 years, and with Sinclair has been teaching music, performing and bringing musical acts to Bradford for more than a decade. She said that during her time here she has noticed small libraries evolving into community centers that do more than lend books, typically with limited resources.

“In many ways they’re the last bastion of liberty,” Grossi said. “In Bradford, there are still families who need to use the library for internet access and for books.”

In addition to their teaching, their music-promotional work and their touring as the duo Don and Jen, Sinclair and Grossi joined forces with Rosane in 2015 to perform and record what they describe on the Zookeepers’ Facebook page as “independent folk rock with a post-punk Americana bent.” Late in a tour of northern Vermont — Rosane lives in Richford, along the Canadian border — last summer, the trio performed during a “mixed-media night” that also included a poet and a visual artist.

“We got such a good response from that, that it got the wheels turning to do something more focused this summer,” Grossi said. “David wanted to give back to his home state, especially the parts where the economy isn’t as strong. … Given the interest we’ve had so far, it’s quite possible we’ll be doing this again next year.”

David Rosane & The Zookeepers bring their Library Benefit Tour to Wells River Congregational Church on Saturday night at 7 and to Bradford Public Library next Thursday night at 7. Admission is by donation.

Best Bets

Avast, mateys! The Hampstead Stage Company comes to the Haverhill Corner Common from the New Hampshire Seacoast to perform an adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s pirate novel Treasure Island on Friday night at 6. If weather threatens, the show will take place in nearby Alumni Hall; Court Street Arts will serve ice cream either way. While admission is free, donations are welcome. To learn more, visit courtstreetarts.org or call 603-989-5500.

North Country Community Theatre stages the musical-comedy whodunit Curtains at Lebanon Opera House six times over the coming two weekends, starting Friday night at 7:30 and closing on July 21. The show, set in 1959, stars Hartland resident Mark Boutwell as Frank Cioffi, a Boston Police detective trying to solve a backstage murder. For tickets ($13.50 to $23.50) and more information, visit ncct.org or call 603-448-0400.

The Nashville-based Twangtown Paramours play a set of Americana at the Strafford Town House on Friday night at 7:30. Admission is $10 at the door.

The Skinny Pancake in Hanover screens the 1975 camp classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show on Friday night at 9.

Alumni of Steely Dan, The Doobie Brothers, Boston and Pure Prairie League perform as the American Vinyl All Star Band at the Woodstock Town Hall Theatre on Saturday night, in a show benefiting the Vermont State Troopers Association. For tickets ($49.50 to $100) and more information to the show, which starts at 7:30, visit pentanglearts.org or call 802-457-3981.

Classical guitarist Laura Mazon caps off the ArtisTree Community Arts Center’s Cuban Cultural Festival on Saturday, with a 7:30 p.m. performance at the Hayloft in South Pomfret. While admission to the festival is free, donations are welcome. For more information, visit artistreevt.org or call 802-457-3500.

Looking Ahead

The Parish Players will stage an adaptation of the late Sam Shepard’s drama True West over the final two weekends of July, starting next Thursday night at 7:30 at the Eclipse Grange on Thetford Hill. For tickets ($10 to $15) and more information, visit parishplayers.org or call 802-785-4344.

Theater/Performance Art

New London Barn Playhouse stages A.R. Gurney’s Sylvia, a comedy about a dog who complicates a longtime marriage, five times between tonight at 7:30 and Sunday afternoon at 5.

And next week, the playhouse opens its three-week production of the showbiz musical 42nd Street, starting Wednesday with performances at 2 in the afternoon and 7:30 at night. To reserve tickets ($20) for these and subsequent productions, visit nlbarn.org or call 603-526-6710.

Music

Danza-del-Fuego performs Romani-inspired world music during the Feast and Field Market at Fable Farm in Barnard this evening starting at 5:30.

Cold Chocolate plays a set of Americana tonight at 7, on the bandstand at Lebanon’s Colburn Park. Fu’Chunk brings on the funk on Monday night at 7.

The South Royalton Town Band performs on the Richard W. Ellis Bandstand in South Royalton tonight at 7.

The Washington Saxophone Quartet plays at the First Baptist Church in New London tonight at 7:30. Admission is $5 to $25. To learn more, visit summermusicassociates.org or call 603-526-8234.

The Dr. Harp All Veterans Blues Band appears on the Haddad Bandstand in New London on Friday night at 6:30.

The Chosen Vale International Percussion Seminar holds two free concerts at Enfield’s Mary Keane Chapel this weekend, starting with a Friday night performance by faculty and students featuring new works from Africa, the Americas and Australia.

On Saturday afternoon at 4, percussion maestro Robert Honstein leads the Chosen Vale finale. To learn more, visit chosenvale.org/performances.html.

The folk/rock duo of Mark and Deb Bond play at the Flanders Stage on Sunapee Harbor on Saturday afternoon at 5.

The Dinuk Wijeratne Trio blends classical, world and jazz music at the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish on Sunday afternoon at 2. Admission is included in the price to enter the historic site, $10 for age 16 and up. For more information, visit nps.gov/saga.

The 8 Cuerdas duo of classical guitarist Daniel Guvina and soprano Sarah Cullins perform songs from around the Western Hemisphere on Sunday afternoon at 4, at the North Universalist Chapel in Woodstock. Admission is $10.

The Sound Junkies crank up the volume at the Newport Common on Sunday night at 6.

The seven-member Onion River Jazz Band performs Tuesday night at 6:30, on the bandstand at the Fairlee common.

Dave Keller performs blues and soul music on the bandstand at Lyman Point Park in White River Junction on Wednesday night at 6:30.

The Ticket performs danceable rock on Wednesday night at 6:30, on the Ben Mere Bandstand overlooking Sunapee Harbor.

Film

The Magic Cabin concert venue in Ascutney shows If I Could Run, an independent film shot in the Upper Valley last summer from a script by Windsor resident Don Miller, on Wednesday night at 6:30.

Bar and Club Circuit

Royalton singer-songwriter Alison “AliT” Turner plays the Peyton Place restaurant in Orford tonight starting at 6.

The Stringfield Springers pulls into Windsor Station tonight at 7 to play Americana music. Zestrove visits from Long Island for a set of funk, soul and rock at 9:30 Friday night, and Folkfaces performs Saturday night at 9:30.

Soulfix plays Claremont’s Taverne on the Square on Friday night at 8 and South Royalton’s Crossroads Bar and Grille on Saturday night at 9.

Sensible Shoes sets the rockin’ rhythm for dancing at Skunk Hollow Tavern in Hartland Four Corners on Friday night at 9, and at the Harpoon Brewery in Windsor on Sunday evening from 5 to 8.

FLEW-Z frontman Alec Currier performs an acoustic set of rock at Salt hill Pub in Lebanon on Friday night at 9, and Better Days plays its mix of “out-of-the-mainstream” rock hits, B-sides and R&B on Saturday night at 9.

The acoustic rock and Americana quartet Carter Glass plays Hanover’s Salt hill Pub on Friday night at 9. And on Saturday night at 9, The Frogz mix rock and fiddle music.

The Moores reunite for a set of rock at Newport’s Salt hill Pub on Friday night at 9, and singer-guitarist Mike Preston performs on Saturday night at 9.

Guitarist Ted Mortimer performs at the Salt hill Pub in West Lebanon on Saturday night at 8:30, and with saxophonist Katie Runde and bassist Ben Green next Thursday night at 6 at Peyton Place in Orford.

Pianist Sonny Saul performs jazz at On the River Inn in Woodstock on Saturday and Wednesday nights from 6:30 to 9.

Guitarist Billy Rosen and keyboard whiz Norm Yanofsky play jazz during brunch at The Old Courthouse restaurant in Newport on Sunday between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

Keyboardist Doc Winslow, bassist Tom Lord, guitarist Kit Creeger and drummer Bryant Harris play their weekly set of Americana during Sunday brunch at Poor Thom’s Tavern in Meriden from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The folk duo Strangled Darling performs at SILO Distillery in Windsor between 1 and 3 on Sunday afternoon.

Danny & The Dinosaurs play Americana music during the buffet supper ($10 to $25) at Loch Lyme Lodge with on Sunday night at 6, and singer-songwriter James Graham performs during the weekly cookout ($8 to $20) on Wednesday night at 5:30.

Open Mics

String players of all ages and abilities are welcome at the weekly acoustic jam session at South Royalton’s BALE Commons on Friday night from 6:30 to 10.

Joe Stallsmith leads his weekly hootenanny of Americana, folk and bluegrass on Monday night at 6 at Salt hill Pub in Hanover.

Between gigs with his funk band Fu’chunk, Woodstock musician Jim Yeager hosts open mics at Bentley’s Restaurant in Woodstock on Monday at 7:30; at the Public House in Quechee on Tuesday at 6; on Wednesday from 8 to midnight at Skunk Hollow Tavern in Hartland Four Corners; and next Thursday night at 7 at the ArtisTree Community Arts Center in South Pomfret.

Fiddler Jakob Breitbach leads a weekly acoustic jam session of bluegrass, Americana and old-timey music on Tuesday nights at 7 at The Filling Station Bar and Grill in White River Junction.

Tom Masterson hosts an open mic at Bradford, Vt.’s Colatina Exit on Tuesday nights at 8.

David Corriveau can be reached at dcorriveau@vnews.com and at 603-727-3304. Entertainment news also can be sent to highlights@news.com.