Spice on Snow Festival  

Montpelier, VT - January 23-26 2020

Molsky's Mountain Drifters, The Old Fashioned Aces, Young Tradition VT Touring Group

The Moon shells, The Turning Stile, Mark LeGrand, Matt Downer, Lask Train to Zinkov, Two Cents in the Till, Adam Agee and John Sousa, Patti Casey, Old Sky, and more!

Molsky's Mountain Drifters Tradition Steeped in Possibility
Saturday Workshops / Evening Concert at Bethany Church

Bruce Molsky, “one of America’s premier fiddling talents” (Mother Jones) and Grammy-nominated artist on fiddle, banjo, guitar and song is delighted to present his new group already on tour in the US.  Molsky is joined by Allison De Groot on Banjo, and Stash Wyslouchon guitar. 


Young Tradition Youth Commission Ensemble Youth Trad. Ensemble, members of YTV Touring Group

Saturday Evening Concert at Bethany Sanctuary 

The Youth Commission Ensemble is one of 30 programs managed by Young Tradition Vermont. Each year a current or previous member of the Young Tradition Touring Group is selected for the YTV commission. This person is charged with creating a small ensemble and a program of original compositions/arrangements with mentors/master artists of their choosing, which is presented at performances, festivals and other events. Romy Munkres is the commissioned artist for 2019/2020, and has created an ensemble that includes her brother Ben Munkres and musician friends Abi Sandy, Hadley Stockwell and Fern O’Donnell. Romy has been a winner at the Young Tradition Vermont annual contest, is an artist leader for the Touring Group, and has performed with them and her family band throughout VT as well as with the Touring Group in Ireland, Cape Breton, Scotland, Japan, and metro New York/New Jersey.  Click image below for video of a rehearsal!

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The Old Fashioned Aces From Eunice, LA
Friday night Cajun Dance at City Hall Arts Center
Saturday Workshops / Afternoon Concert at Unitarian Church
Saturday night late night dance at Positive Pie

Blake Miller & the Old Fashioned Aces are breathing new life into an old sound. It’s traditional Cajun music in a traditional setting, but more than that, it’s a powerhouse trio having fun.  Whether they appear as an acoustic trio or a full electric band, finer musicians playing Cajun music cannot be found. In a world where it seems everyone is continually stretching the boundaries of Louisiana French music, the Aces nest comfortably inside the well worn tracks of Cajun Music. From old fiddle tunes, to classic dance floor packers, to bilingual country classics, their music is comfort food for the Cajun music fan. 

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The Moon shells From Brooklyn, NY

Friday Old Time jam, Saturday dinner concert

The Moon Shells are a project from Maggie Shar, Brian Slattery, Laura Murawski, Molly Merrett, and Charlie Shaw, who connected through the Appalachian fiddle community and started playing together as often as they could. Maggie Shar, Laura Murawski, and Brian Slatterymet in 2015 and were drawn to each other by a shared sense of rhythm and improvisation, grounded in the Appalachian fiddle tradition but drawing from the many kinds of music they love from Louisiana, West Africa, Eastern Europe, and elsewhere, to create a sound that’s emotional and groovy at the same time.

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Matt Downer

Sat. Family Dance at Rabble Rouser 10-10:45am, Saturday morning fiddle workshop, and Saturday Afternoon concert w/the Old Fashioned Aces at Unitarian Church 3-4:45pm​ 

“One of the last, best examples of the oral tradition in American folk music.” Marc Michael, Pulse Magazine
Matt Downer, from Chattanooga TN, performs traditional old time music on fiddle, banjo and guitar. Growing up on Sand Mountain, AL, he learned to play music from his grandfather and the elder musicians of the area. A veteran performer, he has played at various venues and festivals including - Rock City, Tivoli, Nightfall, Riverbend and the International Stringband Festival, performing with legendary artists such as - Carolina Chocolate Drops, Pokey Lafarge, Jack Rose, Michael Hurley and Norman Blake. His most recent album was recorded without electricity, directly to wax cylinders, on a 1906 Edison Gramophone at the MTSU Center For Popular Music. A performance by Matt is a trip back in time to the "good old days" of early American music.

Two Cents in the Till
Saturday 2-4pm Barr Hill

Two Cents in the Till is a contemporary Vermont string band with shades of bluegrass and old time. Noted for the authenticity of their homegrown original compositions on their 2018 debut record Greenland, Two Cents in the Till exhibits a reverence for roots music infused with a fresh, modern perspective. “It takes a lot of lonely hours in the woodshed to sound this effortless … Two Cents in the Till are legitimate heirs to the Vermont tradition of great porch music” (Boland, Seven Days).

At live shows, audiences will also hear unique renditions of traditional favorites and surprising songs plucked from other genres. These three ladies and a gent deliver tasteful picking with three-part harmonies and have entertained audiences in venues throughout Vermont, as well as performed at New England festivals, including Joe Val Showcase, Bluegrass on the Bogs, and Rattling Brook. 

Mark LeGrande

Friday at 5:30pm Honky-Tonk at Sweet Melissa's

Mark LeGrand and the band rip it up every Friday night and have been for over five years at this residency." It’s not easy for a band to survive on the road and Mark prefers staying local where he’s easy to find. Lovers of great songs from the American experience will find some gems here. Mark is currently working on his seventh album of original work. His fifty years of performing exclusively in Vermont brings a unique look at the world that is the Green Mountain State.

Last Train to Zinkov

Saturday at 11am-1pm at Skinny Pancake

"Last Train to Zinkov fills your soul with heartfelt melodies that linger long...This is truly what folk music is supposed to be, reminding you that good people and good music can change your life."   --Heidi Fram, Byfield Community Arts

David and Nathan Gusakov, father and son, perform original songs and old tunes about life and death and the beauty of the hills. Featuring clawhammer banjo, fiddle, and family harmonies, Last Train To Zinkov's music draws from Appalachian old-time, gypsy jazz, classical, and the klezmer of their Eastern European roots. 

Adam Agee & Jon Sousa

Saturday at 11:30am-12:30pm at North Branch Café

Adam & Jon journey through the Irish idiom on fiddle, guitar, and tenor banjo, and have been enchanting listeners on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean for over a decade. Adam & Jon put down musical roots in County Clare, where they lived together, and now make frequent visits.  Their connection to their instruments and the transcendent energy in their music is guaranteed to captivate and uplift audiences of all ages.

Old Sky

Saturday at 1-3pm at Skinny Pancake

Old Sky is an Americana outfit located in Burlington, Vermont featuring Andrew Stearns and Shay Gestal. The two met at a local Old Time music session in 2012 and began to develop a sound influenced by their time in the bluegrass band Gold Town and working through Stearns' repertoire of country and folk tunes. The two create music with a strong emphasis on harmonies and respect for traditional music.

Patti Casey

Bluegrass Jam, Saturday at 1-3pm at North Branch Café

Patti Casey has earned her spot as a fixture on the northeastern US folk scene through sheer talent and artistic self discipline. She is a prolific songwriter and has perfected her own New England-flavored bluegrassy style, one that shines equally with welcome, familiar sounds as well as undeniable originality. She has recorded five solo albums, and her latest, “The Heart of A Waiting Boy”, is aural testament to, “the sweetest voice and some of the finest songwriting to come out of Vermont…” (Vermont Public Radio). With an impressive roster of accompanying musicians (Pat Donohue, Gary Raynor, Pete Sutherland, Colin McCaffrey, Moondi Klein, Sarah Blair) the album is a reflection of her musical maturity and drive to constantly hone her creations. Her career has taken her to many places along the way: she has appeared on “A Prairie Home Companion” , has won Texas’s prestigious Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk Songwriter’s Competition, was a winner of the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at the legendary Merlefest in Wilkesboro, NC  as well as the Telluride Bluegrass Festival’s Troubadour songwriters contest.

The Turning Stile

Friday at 6-7:30pm at Rabble Rouser

Featuring fiddler and dancer Joanne Garton and multi-instrumentalist and dancer Aaron Marcus, Turning Stile captivates your eyes, ears, and mind with a worldly mix of traditional dance tunes from England, Scotland, Ireland, New England, and Appalachia. Joanne mixes her pervasive passion for Scottish culture with the drive and rhythms of the New England dance floor. Ten musical years in Montreal and two in Scotland provided ample influence and inspiration. Now living in Montpelier, Joanne plays in sessions, teaches music and dance, performs on stage, and steps out on the dance floor. Aaron draws on a rich background of musical traditions including New England contra, classical piano, English country dance, West African, and Old-Time. Well-known throughout the Northeast for his performances with Giant Robot Dance, Gift of the Marcii, and Frost and Fire, Aaron brings his own energy and enormous creativity to The Turning Stile whether he’s vamping on a 16th century English tune or clogging while playing the banjo.


The Hi-Lo Aces

Festival Pre-party at Charlio's, Thursday 8pm-closing

Hailing from such diverse landscapes as Montpellier, Vermont, New York City and Zachary, Louisiana, the Hi-Lo Aces discovered each other and their collective love for Cajun music at the Swamp in the City festival in spring 2018. Since then, they have been honing their skills and are ready to spread their delusions, revelations and infectious rhythms to inspire stomping, dancing and occasional fits of inner reflection. The core members are Adam Bellard on vocals, accordion, lap steel and occasional guitar, Noah Hahn on guitar, vocals and occasional bass, and Hannah Marie Marcus on fiddle, accordion and vocals.

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June Drucker

Cajun dances w/The Old Fashioned Aces

Friday night at City Hall Arts Center, Saturday night at Positive Pie in Montpelier

One of the most respected bass players in Old Time music today, June’s knowledge on bass also extends to Country, Honky Tonk, Western Swing, Cajun and backing up singer songwriters. As one of the founding members of the Heartbeats, with Tara Nevins, Rose Sinclair and Beverly Smith, and later playing with The Renegades, The Freight Hoppers and The Horseflies, she has performed across the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom and parts of Europe. She has taught bass at music camps including Ashoken southern week, Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, The Swannanoa Gathering, Augusta Heritage and Blackpot Camp as well as appearing on E Town, Mountain Stage and A Prairie Home Companion. Playing more Cajun music the past several years, she has played both bass or drums with several of the north east  Cajun bands, including Yankee Chank, The Empty Bottle Ramblers, C’est Bon, Krewe de la Rue, and The Green Mountain Playboys... This will be her 4th year playing at Spice on Snow


John Harrison

Gospel singing workshop (with Angela Ogle and Dr. Dexter Criss), Saturday 12-2pm, at CAL

John Harrison is a composer, choral director, singer, and saxophonist who has been performing professionally since his youth. He performs and teaches in a variety of styles that reflect his eclectic background in music. Raised in the church, he sang in several of the country’s best men and boys’ choirs, under Richard Connelly and James Litton. He spent 13 years in New York City, where he led his own bands, and performed with Otis Rush, Buster Poindexter, The Uptown Horns, and Bobby Radcliff, among others. He spent several years writing and performing in an improvisational musical-comedy group with Denis Leary before moving to VT in 1992. Currently he directs of the Montpelier Community Gospel Choir, which will soon celebrate its 25th anniversary; he leads after-school World Music choruses in central VT; he leads Rock City, a rock-and-soul chorus in Barre, VT; and has worked for the last 16 years teaching music to teens and adults through Village Harmony and Turtle Dove Harmony. He leads workshops for school and community choirs throughout New England, as well as the UK. He taught choral and elementary music at Twinfield Union School in Marshfield, VT for 10 years. His compositions and arrangements have been performed by The Boys Choir of Kenya, Loud & Proud (Scotland’s LGBT choir), Revels North, Mystic Chorale, River Singers, and Social Band, as well as school and community choirs in New England and points beyond. John lives with his wife Scottie in Plainfield, VT.


Sue and Dana Robinson

Musicians for Donor Sponsor VIP Event

Dana and Susan’s new album, The Town That Music Saved has been awarded a Times-Argus “Tammie" for Best Album of the Year, 2019. Seven Days writes, “Dana is a master storyteller, spinning his yarns with the precise skill of an artisan loom weaver.” Dana and Susan Robinson combine vivid, songwriting and storytelling, with fiddle tunes, banjo grooves, elegant melodies, and rich harmony singing. Their compositions have been featured in Ken Burns's "The National Parks, America's Best Idea" and "The Dust Bowl.” 


Robin Fletcher

Saturday Cajun Dance Workshop at Bethany Church, 2-3pm: 

Two step from scratch: come learn the essentials of Cajun and honky tonk partner dancing. No experience needed.

Robin, coming from Brattleboro, VT, got her start in partner dancing through blues dancing in the Pacific Northwest. She then expanded to Cajun and honky tonk through her time spent frequenting the dance halls of Acadiana. Robins class is perfect for the absolute beginner, as well as anyone seeking to improve their understanding of the dance floor. Robin places an emphasis on communication and consent in dance and provides her students with tools to communicate by utilizing proper form. A short blurb:

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