Greetings from Cabot, Vermont
When I first considered joining Substack my working title was: Creating community through music in a rural Vermont village, but as I was thinking about different essays to write I kept veering into the territory of food and life at home.
Around here, creating community through music is closely linked with food, and food is inseparable from home. Perhaps because this is such a rural place, with a few notable exceptions, business establishments in which to gather are few and far between. We often default to someones home, barn, sugar house, tool shed, tractor shed or airplane hanger to socialize.
Before finding a home in Cabot, I was a touring musician, mostly with my wife Susan. From 1997 to 2017 we travelled over a million miles throughout the United States and Great Britain, playing coffeehouses, folk clubs, theaters, festivals, arts centers, libraries, and house concerts for audiences from two to two thousand people.
During the touring years there was a point when I began to take note that some of the better shows we played were hosted by organizations that really had their act together. The volunteers really liked working together and audiences all seemed to know each other. It was a community of people having a visit every month. The music was in many ways was the thing that brought everyone together.
The more I examined this equation the more I saw how it was the community that had roots while the itinerant artists were skating on the surface. Our meetings were intense and ephemeral, and satisfied a need for both parties, but I found I had a growing envy for the sort of connectedness that they had. I was longing to go beneath the surface toward the nourishing roots of community. Thus began a many-year transition figuring out how to make that happen.
On this essay and music journey to come I’ll be exploring the thread that weaves between home, community, music and food. I’ll also be visiting songs I’ve written along the way to look at how they fit into the picture. I’m also keen to delve into the unique terroir of this corner of Vermont: the people, the Winooski River, the forests and farms, the seasons, and of course, the cheese!
Author’s Website https://www.robinsongs.com
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I was only sitting in the garden telling some friends about the house parties you played in Hereford and how much they are still talked about years later. Looking forward to reading your thoughts, it's been la longwhile since I first read the Road Essays back in 2004?
So great to see you in this new format. Look forward to hearing from you regularly.
Can you and Susan make it here for the Rockingham Jam? It’s next weekend!
Can’t wait to catch up sometime soon….
And sadness to have recently lost Deb Schaffhauser and Kate Lorenz…