What we described last year as a “decidedly groove-oriented music festival”, the Maple Roots Festival, held at the Morse Maple Sugarworks Farm in Montpellier, has expanded to two days on July 22-23, with a new group of groups.
This year’s festival was dedicated to co-founder Tom Morse, who passed away last year. The festival team categorized this year’s event as “with great music, community friendliness and family fun.”
The lineup seems to be totally different from last year, but stylistically these bands and performers play very danceable, groove-oriented music with a jazz-funk and world music sound. Many groups are also based in the Burlington area.
Michael Chorney’s band Freeway Clyde bill themselves as performing “instrumental psych rock film scores for non-existent movies.” The seven-man band will perform Chorney’s music.
Seven Days described Chorney as “an accomplished performer, songwriter and producer. He moonlights in folk opera and chairs Music for Dance at Middlebury College. Some say he invented the melody.
The B3 Trio is a jazz-funk group. They describe their music as “funky organ trio sounds started in 1999 for a series of local gigs between tours so they could play loose but tight trio music here at home in Vermont.” The band members are Michael-Louis Smith on guitar, Andy Carballiera on organ and Dave Berger on drums.
Barika is an “ethereal indie/polyrhythmic six-piece band steeped in West African psychedelic resonance”. The band is led by Craig Myers who, in addition to leading Barika on the N’Goni, was a member of the Mike Gordon Band and was one of the founding members of Rubblebucket. He has played alongside many artists and bands including Midnight, Toubab Krewe, Djeneba Seck and John Brown’s Body. The band’s music can be streamed on bandcamp.com.
Carlton Livingston is a Jamaican reggae singer, best known for his 1984 hit “100 Weight of Collie Weed”. He was hailed as one of the best singer-songwriters of his time. He has worked with many of the biggest reggae producers. His songs have been covered by Carl Meeks, Shinehead, Sanchez and hip-hop artists KRS One and Ja Rule.
James Harvey’s H-Mob features Harvey, who has been called “a trombone virtuoso who is no slouch on the piano”. The group, which has attracted a legion of followers, allows Harvey to strut his stuff on trombone, guitar, keyboards and drums.
Also performing are jazz piano virtuoso and Montpelier native Joe Davidian and Titan Trumpet Tribute, the Morse/Davidian Band, The Maple Roots Allstars and several other bands. Activities for children are part of the festival in the “Busyville” district from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday as well as a parade for children. Local food vendors are on site both days.