120th Anniversary of Thursdays On the Village Green Brings Award-Winning Live Music to Hamilton

Summer is here and the Village of Hamilton is hosting a family-friendly music series featuring diverse acts, children’s activities, picnics, yard games, and more. These events are free to all and begin at 5:30 PM each evening on Thursdays from July 14 through Aug. 4. These events are organized by a volunteer committee and would not be possible without all those that give, the sponsors, and the incredible MUC and DPW crew keeping the green beautiful year-round.

Jeff Hayes Design
Grammy Nominated Alea July 14th.

Alea, the Colombian born/Bronx based singer songwriter has recently released her new album Alborotá along with a music video for her track “No Me Apaga Nadie.” Alea’s vision spans ten diverse tracks that break the traditional Latin music mold. The album uniquely blends Latin folklore inspired by cumbia, porro, currulao, and huapango with pop, afro, and savory Latin grooves filtered through her personal lens of strength, feminism, and perseverance. She explains, “I decided that I couldn’t let other people and the environment dictate my freedom, who I chose to love, and how I decided to speak about my truths. My music became a reflection of that. To be bold, fierce, and unapologetic.” 

The album and promotional music video for “No Me Apaga Nadie,” was released exclusively on  Brooklyn Vegan and highly praised as Best Latin Music of 2021 by Rolling Stone and NPR, and received reviews by SongLines Magazine, El Espectador, La W Radio, Shock, Radio Nacional de Colombia, Jazziz Magazine, NTN Tenemos Que Hablar and added to NPR’s World Cafe “The World Cafe Best New LatinX” Playlist. 

Jesse Taylor Band – Burlington, Vermont

The Jesse Taylor Band is a combination of rock, pop, punk, and high-energy shows. Highly introspective, Jesse Taylor pours her heart out into her lyrics and music. Hailing from Maine, Jesse moved to Burlington to later find out she’d pursue music.

Kristin Raven of Seven Days magazine opines:

“A cardboard cutout of Gwen Stefani looks over my shoulder while I work in my home office. I frequently wear a No Doubt shirt to bed and sip coffee from a cup plastered with Gwen’s red-lipped mug. I’d love to know whether Burlington singer-songwriter Jesse Taylor stans Stefani and her band as hard as I do, because listening to her Jan. 1 EP, Ever-Changing, I can’t stop hearing similarities to the Anaheim foursome.

It’s not that Taylor’s band has a glam aesthetic or reggae-infused style. Rather, the connection to No Doubt and Stefani is drawn in Taylor’s voice — as a singer with her phrase-ending warble, and as a writer reflecting on life transitions through a lens of relationships, mental health, and traditional milestones.

Ever-Changing‘s title track and first single came out Dec. 25 with a video directed by Christian James. The mid-tempo alt-rock tune telegraphs No Doubt’s 2000 quarter-life-crisis ballad “Simple Kind of Life” as Taylor’s straightforward rhythm guitar underpins lyrics examining her own identity and needs — and their implications for her future.”

Pearly Bakers Best – Syracuse, NY

Pearly Baker’s Best is a Grateful Dead tribute with both a weekly residency and a devoted following at one of the top local venues in Syracuse every Monday night. Playing the music of The Grateful Dead, The Jerry Garcia Band, The Beatles, and other covers, they delight their devout followers with a powerful show once a week from the band’s current song list, which tops 180 songs.

The band’s strong improvisational foundation leads the way, allowing their sets to be visualized much like weaving a tapestry; each thread of verse, chorus, or bridge is expertly woven into the fabric of their sound and playing to be completely embraced by their audience. Also, careful attention is always given to ensuring that each song is treated with the necessary vocal ingredients to cause the listener to be drawn into the music at the deepest level. The band’s desire is to provide each audience member with a ‘Grateful Dead-like experience,’ allowing them to encounter the show as a translational, musical undertaking. Currently PBB can go 9 shows without repeating a song and is always adding to its ever-expanding catalog of songs which occasionally includes original songs.

In addition to their weekly residency in Syracuse, the band does play shows all across New York State. They have begun to incorporate original music into their sets and recently had the privilege of sharing the stage with David Gans, long-time archivist for the Grateful Dead, broadcaster, songwriter, and music journalist. David expressed a strong desire to share the stage with Pearly Baker’s again in the near future. There is truly nothing like a Pearly Baker’s Best show.

Sammy Award Winning Rabbit In the Rye – Hamilton, NY

The boys of Rabbit in the Rye didn’t buy a campervan in 2012. It was a tan Dodge Fiesta from the late ‘80s and, to them, too costly. At that time, they had yet to record any music or play outside of their hometown, so they decided instead to pool their money toward a five-song EP, Tabled Fables. Since that fortuitous decision, the band has driven up and down the East Coast, gotten lost in Kentucky cornfields, collaborated with an ever-growing list of artists, won a SAMMY award for Best New Artist, recorded two more albums, and even scored a play in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The young trio is Joseph Mettler on guitars and harmonica, Alexander Lavon on electric and standup bass, and Brendan O’Connor on percussion and mandolin.

Their most recent record and full-length debut, Kindling, is the culmination of over two years of touring and experimenting with a folk-roots sound. While it is a departure from their initial release, it is in many ways a return to their beginnings as musicians. This album features lead vocal performances by all three members of the group and the introduction of an upright bass.

“Brooklyntown” and “Pine Bed” show the band’s reaches into folk and even traditional songbooks for inspiration, while songs like “Raging Glory” and “One Man Boxing Match” have near-linear compositions, weaving key changes and time signature shifts throughout. Although a full drum kit is notably absent from the recording, this does not detract from hard-hitting, heavily percussive tracks like “Shadow” and “Cold Flood.”

The dynamic performances, construction of tension, and passionate storytelling that defined their first two recordings remain. This time, however, it is presented on a slanted Americana backdrop, filtered through odd time signatures and a little bit of rye whiskey, all wrapped up in lush three-part harmonies. 

Zack Dupont – Burlington, VT

Zack DuPont is a Burlington-based songwriter, guitarist, and producer. 15 years of steady work in the music world has taken him all over America playing in support of nationally touring acts like Taj Mahal, Sturgill Simpson, Jerry Douglas, and Pat Benatar. Poetic lyrical imagery, finger-style guitar work, and a comforting stage presence create a working landscape in which DuPont dwells.

Says Dan Bolles of Seven Days VT:

“Simply put, DuPont is an elite guitarist. Here and throughout the album, his attention to dynamic subtlety — in addition to immaculate technical polish and engaging melody lines — is remarkable…Similarly, DuPont’s vocal performance is intimate, nuanced, and affecting. He appears to take as much care with his hushed delivery as he does with his impressively understated guitar work…
Each of his talents works fully in concert with the others. Imagine M. Ward collaborating with Iron and Wine. The word you’re looking for is ‘sublime.'”

Brendan O’Connor a member of the volunteer committee had this to say about the series, “There is a devoted musical community here and the history of the series is so important to the village, we are honored to continue the tradition and give the community a reason to gather!” The committee would also like to thank the Hamilton Public Library for organizing the family-friendly events including a puppet show, theater presentation, didgeridoo performance, and Nate the Great who puts on a magic, juggling, and fire breathing show with folk music! For more information visit the concert series website here.

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