Jay and Kayleigha Zawacki are a husband and wife team collaborating on a side project that went from a lark to a reality. In less than a couple of years, the “what if?’ became “how do we?”. The creation of one of Star Trek’s most iconic pets became more than just a dream but a multi-faceted introduction to entrepreneurship and marketing. They did lots of legwork in this process including the manufacturing of the “tribble”, investigation of licensing issues, a marketing plan and a dozen or more other “rabbit holes” neither of them expected nor trained for. Nevertheless, these two “lighting designer/theater nerds” have persevered and now have their own company ready to provide you with the world’s only app-enabled interactive tribble. Check it out at Sciencediv.com
Listen in on my conversation with Jay and Kayleigha if you missed it yesterday on Nine Volt Heart.
Jill and John Turpin are the creative forces behind the Green Mountain Bluegrass and Roots festival which celebrates it’s second year in Manchester VT. It runs from Thursday 8/15 to Sunday 8/18. The lineup for this “young” Festival is Mature indeed with legends like Sam Bush and Darrell Scott alongside bands like Town Mountain and Mandolin Orange. The emphasis for the festival is collaboration between artists as well as solo sets from established bands. Bobby Britt and Andrew Marlin from the previously mentioned bands have their own sets featured during the long weekend.
Festival veterans Donna The Buffalo will jam their groove-based sounds in the lovely Vermont mountainside (last year’s performance was rained out). Chatham County Line and fellow Tar Heels MIPSO will give a southern flavor to the weekend. But, there will be plenty of New England acts such as Twisted Pine, Lonely Heartstring Band, Lula Wiles as well as Bruce Molsky’s Mountain Drifters. Expect lots of collaboration with acts jamming together in new and exciting configurations. Joe K Walsh , Grant Gordy will corral Danny Barnes’ banjo in a trio. The same with Phillips Grier and Flinner . Jordan Tice will host a group just for this event as well as performing with Hawktail. The collaborations culminate in a tribute to the Late Eighties “one-off” Super Group called “Strength In Numbers”. This band brought together the very best of the progressive wing of bluegrass at Colorado’s Telluride Bluegrass Festival and included Bela Fleck, Sam Bush, Mark O’Connor, Jerry Douglas and Edgar Meyer. A group of Nashville hotshots will put together a “not to be missed” set.
The combination of friendly staff, adventurous musicians and lovely setting guarantees a great time for this ambitious Festival’s second year. The details are available at their website, Green Mountain Bluegrass.com
Nick Panken, lead singer, guitarist and song-writer for the Brooklyn based Spirit Family Reunion, was my guest. Our conversation covered the beginnings of the band, it’s growth and challenges. The constant touring; it’s struggles and joys, have led to personnel changes along the way. Entering it’s second decade, the band has recorded a new album, “Ride Free”. While the band is touring to support the new record, the schedule is more relaxed and band-friendly. They appear at Allston’s Great Scott on August 17th and locally at Greenfield’s Hawks and Reed Performing Center on August 24th. Our segment includes a four-pack of tunes such as “It Does Not Bother Me”, “I Am Following the Sound” from earlier releases. We also debut two new songs from “Ride Free” which is being released this week nationally. “Would You Would or Would You Won’t” and “Ease My Mind” are indications that the songs are still strong meaningful and upbeat.
Catch their energetic joyful music at Hawks and Reed on August 24 in Greenfield, Ma.
The Vegabonds are playing locally at Pearl Street Theater with Whiskey Myers on August 17th. Danny Allen, the Vegabonds lead singer and song-writer, was my guest. We opened the segment with “Travelin Man” from their 2019 release “V”. Our conversation acquaints the listener to the band’s beginnings in Auburn University in Alabama and their move to Nashville to help promote their New South Rock music. We discuss all sorts of subjects from songwriting styles to their very own hot sauce named after one of their tunes, Georgia Fire. The setlist includes that song as well as new songs “Best I Can” and “When the Smoke Clears Up”. We also include a Whiskey Myers tune, “Trailer We Call Home”.
Scott Meyers is a Northampton based singer-songwriter whose original songs are intelligent and insightful. His style is a folky throwback to an earlier decade when heartfelt ballads and acoustic guitars ruled the airwaves. Our segment includes a six pack of his songs as well as his views on songwriting and life as a musician and parent. He has released two albums of music; “Old Radio” and “Mysteries of the Night” and Scott is working on his third release, some of which he debuts here. The setlist includes “Deep Cuts”, “Distant Blue Star”,”Colorado”,”There is a Highway”, “No Hometown” and “Side of the Road”. He is appearing locally on August 2 at Luthiers Coop in Easthampton as well as August 9th at Millpond 180 also in Easthampton. Follow this talented musician at Scottmeyersmusic.com
The Amherst Massachusetts may look sweet and unassuming but don’t mistake that for a lack of fierceness. The fiery mother of two shows her passionate side when performing her original songs. Her visit to Nine Volt Heart includes six songs; half live in-studio and the other half from her latest release “Incarnidine”.
Our conversation touches on her songwriting inspirations, her Patreon campaign, along with her violin teaching. She is about to release a new album entitled, “Patchwork” which will be released very soon. Our setlist includes “Wanted”, “Mother of Exiles”,”Voice in My Head”, “Hurricane”, “I Don’t Know You Anymore” and “Still Here”.
Make sure to catch her as the featured performer at Easthampton’s 413. All her music and appearances can be found at “Carolyn Walker Music.com”
The duo of Zoe and Cloyd are one of my favorite “New Appalachian” roots musicians. Natalya Zoe Weinstein is a Leverett raised fiddler and her husband John Cloyd Miller is a award-winning songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Asheville NC. They will be appearing with Mile Twelve’s Nate Sabat at Hadley’s Wesley United Methodist Church on July 5th.
Our conversation covers their beginnings as the trio, Red June, and their third release as Zoe and Cloyd due out in September. We include five songs in our segment including three brand new ones from the upcoming CD “Looking Out for You and Me”. We start with the title cut as well as “Berditchever Sher” and “Satan, Your Kingdom Must Come Down”. The Boston based bluegrass Mile Twelve released a version of John Cloyd Miller’s “Where We Started” from their award-winning “City on A Hill” release and it is also included in the set.
We talk about both musician’s grandfathers and their influences on the duo in the bluegrass and klezmer styles. Check out the audio of our segment in the link above.