Small Houses - Visible Voice Sessions

Small Houses stopped by for a quick Visible Voice Session! Check it out and catch him on tour!

Wilco cover "I'm Always in Love"



Sep 26 Small's Hamtramck, MI  
Sep 29 Listing Loon Cincinnati, OH  
Sep 30 House Concert Columbus, OH  
Oct 02 Mission Hall Rochester, NY  
Oct 03 Mohawk Buffalo, NY  
Oct 31 Børneteatret Copenhagen, Denmark



Grace Potter’s Grand Point North Festival - Burlington, VT

Much like its conceptualizer and creator Grace Potter, the Grand Point North Festival, held on September 12th -13th, proved for a fifth year in a row, to be a delightful and refreshing blend of humble New England roots, natural style and beauty, and electrifying musical talent.  In today’s popular festival culture, which has become oversaturated with corporate sponsors, big-bill lineups and crowds from tens to hundreds of thousands, Grand Point North is a breath of festival fresh air, with its intimate family feeling, eclectic local fare, subtle maple-syrup essence the air, and diversity of patrons.  Situated on the cozy-sized Waterfront Park, on the shoreline of Lake Champlain in downtown Burlington, Vermont, Grand Point North boasts a breathtaking lakefront view, one which rivals the likes of Newport Folk Festival, and brings together an extensive spectrum of musical genres, which one may not necessarily expect from a small festival.  

As the headliner for both nights, and primary curator of the festival’s musical talent, Potter nailed it with this year’s lineup.  Both days started off featuring performances by a selection of local bands and artists, including The Snaz, a female-fronted indie-rock group from Brattleboro, Vermont, Mal Maiz, a Latin-reggae fusion band with a danceable gypsy flair, as well as battle of the band winning teenagers of the Hardwood Union High School Assembly Band from Moretown, Vermont.  The standout local performance of the weekend was delivered by Potter-favorite, Madalia, whose sound was as tight, colorful and synthetic as their fluorescent spandex ensembles. The five-piece, Waitsfield-based electro-pop collaboration oozes a captivating, upbeat Scissor Sisters-type vibe, backed up by impressive musicianship and surprisingly deep, and sometimes dark lyrics.

The Grand Point North design is ideal for festival-goers who don’t like to miss out on a single minute of music; the side-by-stage set-up, and lightning-quick set breaks, keeps the energy moving throughout the day, and allows the audience to take in the entire experience.  This convenient configuration was particularly appreciated for Saturday’s superstar evening line-up, kicked-off by Amy Helm & the Handsome Strangers, who paid tribute to Helm’s father by performing The Band’s famous cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Atlantic City.” Phish bassist, Mike Gordon, took the stage next, fresh off of Magnaball and a solo tour earlier this summer, and he was followed by up-and-comer, Shakey Graves, who delivered a performance that was simultaneously charming and electrifying, despite being down a band member.


When Grace Potter took the stage on night one, there was no question who the crowd came to the park to see.  In addition to being a native Vermonter and local celebrity, Potter is arguably one of the most talented and captivating female performers out there, a statement validated by her close personal A-list fan base consisting of a laundry list of multi-genre musicians, including Warren Haynes, Mick Jagger and Kenny Chesney.  Chesney even made a surprise appearance during Potter’s set, to perform their duet “Wild Child,” which was received with an enthusiastic response from a surprised and starstruck crowd.  Potter’s ability to draw in her audience with her skilled musicianship, palpable sex appeal, and undeniable energy is what makes her a spectacular force to be reckoned with.     

Day two of Grand Point North got off to an energetic start with local heavy-metal band, Barishi, followed by indie-rock group The Heavy Plains, and the funk-jazz fusion stylings of Soul Monde.  The festival really hit its stride when Brooklyn-based Americana favorites, Spirit Family Reunion took the stage to deliver their catchy signature Americana tunes; and despite an ominous dark cloud that made its threatening journey across the lake, and eventually dumped several inches of rain on an unflappable crowd during his set, Marc Benevento didn’t miss a beat, and was even joined by Potter’s drummer and husband, Matt Burr for a rousing rendition of “At the Show.”

As Greensky Bluegrass began their set, the clouds parted and the late-summer sun revealed a rainbow and breathtaking view over the lake, which the band encouraged the audience to turn around and take a moment to soak in.  The only drawback to the side-by-side stage set-up was revealed during Greensky’s set, as the audience tried to ignore the distracting construction of the Flaming Lips’ famous over-the-top set design going up at the same time.  The distraction was worth it though.  Curtains of technicolor LED lights, and air cannons blasting fog and confetti into the crowd welcomed Lips’ frontman Wayne Coyne, and his signature psychedelic costume-clad extras to the stage, for performances of all the fan favorites like “Do You Realize,” “She Don’t Use Jelly,” and “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots.”  Most festival goers would likely agree that a highlight of the weekend was the band’s gift to the audience - a giant silver balloon which spelled out “F*** Yeah Burlington” and was enthusiastically passed overhead around the park, stopping for dozens of photo ops along the way.


After the sun went down on Sunday night, Grace Potter and her band once again took the stage to close out another successful Grand Point North Festival.  Potter delivered a perfect balance of new songs off her pop-influenced new album Midnight, beloved Nocturnals tunes like “Paris (Ooh La La),” and “Nothing but the Water", along with crowd-pleasing covers of classic Rolling Stones, Pointer Sisters and Jefferson Airplane songs.  As Potter graciously bid the crowd farewell, and issued a genuine round of applause and thanks to the talented musicians and Higher Ground festival organizers, it was impossible not to feel like a part of something truly special. 

Words//Photos by by Jordan Gill



Bumbershoot 2015

With the rocky road Bumbershoot has faced over the past year -- financially and internally -- the weather at this year’s festival seemed symbolic. Storms, rapid winds, and heat bursts cycled throughout the weekend, but besides a slight delay due to lightning on the first evening, the programming powered on. The organization kept its promise to retain a focus on local music, and still provided enough national star power to draw people in from all over the Pacific Northwest. While nearly impossible to list all the greats present, there were a few stand-outs from each day that made the event extra memorable.

Free from the thunder and rainstorms that graced the crowds on Saturday, Flying Lotus gave a tremendous and awe-inspiring performance to wrap up the night. Although the crowd may have not been what it should (Key Arena is huge, not really intimate for such a show, as well as The Weeknd playing at the same time) - the show was incredible. The hypnotic sounds blended with the entrancing, sometimes horrifying and always stunning visuals made for a perfect pairing, and his engaging and excited energy made it that much more of a live performance - something that isn't as common as it should be! Your Dead is phenomenal - something I hope will be a trendsetter for more artists of multiple fields to get involved and project their sights and sounds for the future.

I couldn't have been happier to sneak up to the front to see the The Melvins on Sunday. They're a band that needs no introduction, as they've been around for years, but as someone younger who started listening to them while they already had an established following, it was exhilarating. Considering the rarity that is successful bands who've been around for multiple generations continuing to play live and engaging shows, I felt lucky. It was fantastic, and I couldn't stop staring at King Buzzo, whose gaze was impenetrably set on the crowd -- challenging us to respond and match the energy that they gave.

Hands down one of my favorite bands of 2015 has been Seattle’s own Bread & Butter. With a self-description of “hump rock” creators, these guys channel their hangovers, horniness, and heartbreaks through their instruments. Playing on the Rhapsody Stage Monday afternoon was a great fit for them, as a smiling crowd up front danced on the grass, doused with sunshine. The band’s onstage presence is a mix of introspective strumming and slap-happy headbanging, complementing their infectious tunes and double-entendre lyrics. From the rock-bottom pleas within “Desperation” to the crescendo of the rooftop-party-starting “Keys to the City”, this four-piece sculpts relatable anthems for every party animal.

Honestly, I didn’t think I’d enjoy Peaches as much as I did. Before her KeyArena performance, I’d only known a certain mega-hit by her about …. sexual healing, you could say. As she DJed, strip-danced, and drenched the crowd with bottles of champagne, though, I couldn’t stop grinning. She entertained the enormous crowd without a single other person setting foot on stage, wearing her brand of weirdness and affinity for indulgence like badges of honor. Her stage setup was one of the best I’ve seen within that stadium, and the audience ate up her every word.

Polishing off the weekend with Built To Spill was one of my better ideas at Bumbershoot this year. After seeing them several times before, I feared their set may be old hat, but man, they crushed that silly notion within mere minutes. Untethered Moon, released earlier this year, refilled their quivers, and they unleashed the fresh jams on us like fireballs. While their faces onstage may be stoic, the concentration and passion in each note makes it sound like they’re building the Tower of Babel. To them I will forever say rock on, unassuming gentlemen. They remain a seemingly impossible combination: both real and legendary.

Bumbershoot’s fate remains to be seen, but 2015 offered something fantastic for every ear -- and come Tuesday morning, that is hopefully what every music lover remembered.

Words // photos by AJ Dent

Words by Mariama Salia


Up and Coming to Boston: Ultimate Painting

Ultimate Painting is more than just a pretty name. They also make pretty songs. The collaborative project of Veronica Falls' James Hoare and Mazes' Jack Cooper, the pair spin spidery pop songs - thinly threaded guitar lines paired lithe, lethargic vocals. With their latest album, Green Lanesthe pair draw on the Velvet Underground, and other mellow Brit-pop influences to pull off a record that is carefree without being careless, dimly-lit, low-key pop.

Ultimate Painting pull into the Middle East on Saturday, September 19, and the show should be a perfect send-off to summer. Tickets.


PREVIEW:Grand Point North Music Festival

Grace Potter hosts the 2015 Grand Point North music festival September 12 and 13 at Burlington, Vermont’s Waterfront Park.  On the shores of Lake Champlain, Burlington’s Waterfront Park offers an idyllic setting for the family-friendly festival.  The festival offers music on two side-by-side stages with alternating performances, enabling festivals goers to catch every note.  The opening bands are hand-picked by Grace and are always an amazing addition to the headline talent.  The intimate size of the festival guarantees attendees will be able to experience all that it has to offer. 

This year, the festival will feature the legendary Flaming Lips, marking their first return to Burlington since 2006 and carries on the tradition of Grace inviting friends she has met along the way since forming Grace Potter & the Nocturnals in 2003.  Joining Potter and the Flaming Lips on the side by side  festival stages will be Mike Gordon, Shakey Graves, Greensky Bluegrass, Spirit Family Reunion, Odessa and Marco Benevento. Each night will close with a full set from Potter's new band, featuring both new and old faces.   This year's lineup  of local and regional acts performing include  Madaila, Soule Monde, Heavy Plains, Maryse Smith w/ Michael Chorney, The Snaz, Barishi, and Mal Maiz.


The festival will once again include Grand Point Weird, curated by Grace Potter's sister, Charlotte, will feature several installations by design collective Pneuhaus as well as

Grand Point Local  celebrating local food with an assortment of Vermont’s best purveyors each taking advantage of locally-sourced ingredients.

GRACE POTTER [GRAND POINT NORTH] from Julian Rodier on Vimeo.






Newport Folk Festival 2015

Every year I have the good fortune to find myself at one of the oldest and grandest music festivals in the United States, shoulder-to-shoulder with the same group of friends. It’s been called both the “grand daddy of American music festivals”, as well as “possibly the most polite festival.” The type of place where people buy tickets (all of the tickets!) before the lineup is even released. People go to Newport for the sake of Newport. Young people, older folks, and toddlers alike (there’s a sneaky-good kids tent.). We all come to this ritzy town to be rich. Rich with friends, rich with experiences, and of course - wildly rich with music.

With too many great acts to name,
When you return from the Original Gangster of festivals, the first question that gets asked again and again is, “What was your favorite?” My answer is always something unexpectedly plucked from the treasure trove, the glints of gems glistening from the stages you walk past on the way to something else, the allure of the unkown that draws you in and invites you to clap along with everyone else.

The Newport Folk Festival is known (publicly) for it’s big acts such as Ryan Adams, James Taylor, and Beck to name a few…but that is only a fraction of what this festival offers. The Newport Folk Festival is a breeding ground for up and coming artists. No only do they allow artists to play on stage; they promote them, encourage them, and connect them with other artists. These up and coming artists will not dissolve but will become part of an extended family. Some of the great acts this year that really stood out:

Traveller, three singer songwriters from Nashville, Tenn. (Cory Chisel, Robert Ellis and Johnny Fritz) touring and playing each other's songs plus some new ones. The kind of thing you can't find online or anywhere else - yet. Call it what you will, country, folk, Americana. There is a heavy dash of John Prine or Roger Miller-type humor in their songwriting styles.

The tiny Museum stage hidden yet in the center of the festival feels like a throwback to the way that the festival used to be, highlighting either the non-famous or bringing the bigger names to the small stage in unannounced sets for the lucky few that have devoted their time, waiting to see what will happen next. Allowing people the chance to "discover" their new favorites or have an unforgettable story about seeing one of their favorite acts up close and personal. On that stage was Wildwood Revival, curated by the masterminds behind a new music festival in Georgia by the same name. The stage was graced by singer-songwriters who you've probably never heard of, but should take note of. Notably Margo Price with a country twang reminiscent of early Loretta Lynn. Or Aaron Lee Tasjan who had everyone in stitches singing about seemingly random events that all led back to David lee Roth of all things.

Elsewhere, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Nightsweats, gave the feeling that you were at some kind of revival, making more noise than one white tent can handle.

Langhorne Slim, a personal favorite had the crowd in hysterics with his typical stage antics. Hundreds gathered under the Quad tent to belt out his catchy lyrics in unison.

Other highlights include repeat performers Spirit Family Reunion and First Aid Kit each taking another step towards make more indelible memories for those lucky enough to see them. Similarly, Hozier and Tallest Man on Earth both returned with bigger bands and bigger ambitions, wowing the waves of crowds with rock-infused folk.  Festival newcomers like Leon Bridges, Courtney Barnett, and Luluc took turns turning heads on the festival’s smaller stages and pop-up sets from James Taylor and My Morning Jacket added to the festival’s legacy of jaw-dropping surprises and seemingly ceaseless wonderment.

And just like that, in the blink of an eye I find myself at the very end of the three day fest, making plans to come back next year, like always. As far as Newport is concerned, I may not be rich. But at the Newport Folk Festival, I am certainly a rich woman.



Words by Vanessa Roberts Richert


T​weed River Music Festival​ - 2015

Tweed River Music Festival is less a showcase for bands and more a celebration of everything great music embodies: the deeply personal link between artist and fan, the spirit of community and cooperation, and yes, the magical atmosphere of a great show in an indescribable setting. After taking a breather in 2014, this year's music and arts camping festival ­­ the sixth overall ­­ arrives this summer revitalized, re­imagined and packed with incredible performers. Of course, loyal patrons will still find a boutique festival offering an experience that major music festivals simply cannot achieve.

Set on a bucolic swath of land nestled between the Green and Northfield Mountains in the Mad River Valley in Waitsfield, VT, the 2015 Tweed River Music Festival will host more than 30 acts, including staples such as B ow Thayer, Tim Gearan, Andrea Gillis, White Dynomite a nd T he Curtis Mayflower, while also welcoming B loodshot Records r ecording artist L ydia Loveless, Vermont natives W aylon Speed, A lligator Records recording artist (and Boston native) J esse Dee. Other great musical acts include J oe Fletcher, JP Harris and The Wrong Reasons, Caitlin Canty and A NTI Records recording artist C hristopher Paul Stelling.
From wood­fired pizza to Heady Topper IPA, Tweed will also offer the finest in food trucks and handmade crafts, along with a world­class beer and wine garden. A family­friendly event, there are performances specifically designated for children like the N o Strings Marionette and P uppetree, as well as a variety of games and activities throughout the grounds.

EVENT: Tweed River Music Festival 2015

WHAT: More than 30+ bands at a weekend music and arts camping festival
WHEN: July 31­Aug. 2, 2015

WHERE: 3337 Main Street Waitsfield, VT
PRICE: $160 for full­weekend camping passes; individual day passes also available. Free for children under 12 FULL INFORMATION:

* * * T W E E D  H I S T O R Y * * *

Founded in 2009 by musicians Bow Thayer and Jeremy Moses Curtis, Tweed River Music Festival has grown from a backyard 4th of July party into a summer festival that showcases the rich musical scene in greater New England as well as nationally signed touring acts. Past lineups have included notable artists such as Booker T, Dopapod and Caravan of Thieves. Even a full­length documentary movie has been made in the name of Tweed!
Curtis and Thayer have decades of experience playing some of the biggest music festivals in both America and abroad and have witnessed the ever­changing landscape of the music industry first hand. Along with their fellow members in Tweed River Productions LLC, they have taken those observations and distilled them into an atmosphere that caters both to fans and musicians and their families, as well. “ When the division between the fans and musicians is removed and the two can exist together as a true community, an experience is created for both that is like no other,” C urtis says. This is the magic of which you will hear every Tweed fan speak.
While spirits and energy run high, the three­day event has an uncanny ability to maintain safety for all, through the cooperation of organizers, volunteers and attendees. Thayer says: “ People take pride in having an event that they truly feel a part of and have a hand in creating. It really fosters the ability to keep peace on site and allows the festival to be all it can be.”

Tickets, lineups and full information can be found at ***



Twitter ­ @tweedrivermusic
Instagram­ @tweedrivermusicfestival


More Than Myth: Dylan Going Electric 50 Years Later *********Newport Folk Festival Preview*********

By the time Bob Dylan took the stage at the Newport Folk Festival 50 years ago this July, he had become one of the biggest names in folk music, almost single handedly mainstreaming the genre, and influencing generations of musicians and music fans.

Dylan had been experimenting in the months leading up to his performance in Rhode Island, releasing the album Bringing it All Back Home, which featured songs backed by the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and recorded using electric instruments, and then just days before Newport, Dylan released his song “Like a Rolling Stone.”

When he stood in front of the Newport audience, donning a Fender Stratocaster and launching into “Maggie’s Farm,” many were irate, booing Dylan and commenting after that they felt betrayed (though it should be noted there were also cheers). It was a beautiful moment to behold, like something emerging from a chrysalis, or shedding a skin. No longer was Dylan just another Folk musician, he was carving out his place as a musician unbound by genre or style, still able to write thought provoking, poetic songs.

Promoters of the event were angry as well. The late Pete Seeger, a staple in folk music for decades by that point, and an influence on Dylan, is rumored to have tried to cut the power to stage with an ax during Dylan’s performance. Seeger said years later that he’d been upset with the sound quality of the mixing booth and wanted to go over and have them fix the sound, threatening to cut the line because he thought they were butchering Dylan’s work as a musician.

Dylan didn’t kill the folk scene of the 1960s by plugging in. He gave it room to breathe. In the decades since, especially since 2009, Newport has had a significantly more electric line up each year. The festival has embraced Dylan’s ethos by booking bands influenced more by his later albums, and helping continue to push and redefine a genre that is now, for better or worse, in the mainstream.

We still talk about Dylan going electric today not because of how foolish it seems to modern audiences – It’s not. Just look at the fan reaction to Mumford & Sons latest album Wilder Mind, an electric departure from their banjo-heavy Americana style – but because it was a rare opportunity to see an artist confront their audience and challenge their perceptions of who, or what, a musician or band is supposed to be. Who is Bob Dylan? Is he a folk musician? A rock star? A man of religious conviction? Books and documentaries continue to explore these questions and a lot more. But the simple answer is he is all of those things and more.

When Dylan plugged in and turned up the volume, it was a surprise to many no doubt. Most audiences will never see something like that in their lifetime as more and more live event surprises are often decided in the conference rooms of marketing agencies, or after an artist indulges too heavily. Rare is it today that an artist can make a drastic choice to change everything about themselves, do it live, and not care what their audience thinks.

When we look back at Dylan going electric at Newport, it should stand out as a moment when he took control of his art, his persona, and wouldn’t let it be dictated by the conventions of the culture around him. We may never have another Bob Dylan, or another Dylan goes electric moment again, and that’s okay, because we had the one and he did it best anyway.

Bob Dylan - Maggie s Farm Live at the Newport Folk Festival '63 '65 Full from kostas palaiokostas on Vimeo.


Words by Craig Robert Brown

Photos by Getty Images


Shakey Graves: Live at the Neptune Theater in Seattle, WA ***Newport Folk Festival Preview***

Those who experienced Alejandro Rose-Garcia first as Julie Taylor’s disappointing love interest on Friday Night Lights (Coach: not a big fan) were screaming “THE SWEEEDE” at Shakey Graves’ sold-out show last Thursday at The Neptune. Niche notoriety as an actor seems to have carried seamlessly to Rose-Garcia’s nu-folk stardom—there was a palpable feeling of adoration as he took the stage with just a guitar and makeshift kick drum converted from a worn Samsonite suitcase. Americana is embodied in every way—a Texas flag draped over a synth iconizes the band, jokingly named after an Indian ghost story.

The band is touring their second full-length album, And The War Came, joined by folk quartet The Barr Brothers.

There’s something immediately disarming about Shakey Graves. A lack of pretense, an easy presence, an intimacy with audience that feels both entirely earnest and derivative of a career in acting. I think fans experience an emotional resonance (or purely uplifted) with his sense of sheer joy—through changing sonic poles, he’s visibly, fervently transported. Dude’s here to have fun.

Shakey takes a mathematical approach to songwriting and a live set. The entrancement felt at his shows is intentional; Graves calculates a balance between very loud and very quiet, fast and slow tempos, so that the body and mind engage, leaning into the change. He knows when/how much the audience can accept a sad, slow song. The theater taught him how to read a crowd.

The effect is very much real: high-energy radio hits and soft ballads command almost equal attention. Shakey organically engages the audience. In “Chinatown,” he calls for a collective trumpet solo (see forgiving, endearing gestures of encouragement):

Drummer Chris ‘Boo’ Boosahda and guitarist Patrick O’Conner join Rose-Garcia mid-set, rounding out the one-man band.


Words//Video//Photo by Cassandra Croft

Photos By Adam Richert


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