Narrative Essays & Features
In December of 2014, I embarked on a two-week journey to visit a friend serving in the Peace Corps in Lesotho. Landlocked by South Africa, Lesotho is a tiny, rural nation of breathtaking beauty— and difficult realities for its citizens.
The Otis Mountain Get Down music festival in Elizabethtown, NY has grown from humble beginnings into a mystical, end-of-summer escape. Intrigued by the mountain's storied past, I arrived a few days early to meet the crew, witness the work that goes into producing this weekend-long event, and learn about one of the lost ski areas in the Northern Adirondacks.
Burlington, Vermont is home to numerous music venues, from major concert hall Higher Ground, to eclectic coffee shop and watering hole Radio Bean, to Nectars— the legendary birthplace of Phish. Yet, Winooski— Burlington's scrappy, former mill-town neighbor— is quickly making a name for itself as one of Vermont's premier summer music festival destinations. The annual Waking Windows festival, held in downtown Winooski, brings over 100 performances, from major national bands to up-and-coming local acts. I wrote an in-depth guide to this three-day, ring-around-the rotary party.
Nebraska native Hana Zara found her musical home on the shores of Lake Champlain in Burlington, Vermont. After winning a local singer-songwriter contest in 2013, Zara has become one of the Queen City's leading lyricists. I sat down with her to find out what makes her tick, why childhood fairytales can still be meaningful to adults, and how she proposes to inject a shot of love into the world.
Eric George's sincere, often nasally, voice recalls country-folk crooners of yore like Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie. But his finger-picking guitar riffs reach back even further to the likes of legendary Delta bluesmen Son House and Robert Johnson. Prior to the release of his self-titled debut album, George discusses his influences, the recording process, and why his tastes tend toward the analog.
Located in Charlotte, Vermont, Cumbancha Records is committed to releasing world music and introducing international musicians to an American audience. Joe Driscoll & Sekou Kouyate's dynamic, complex sound exemplifies Cumbancha's global mission. To read more about Cumbancha's excellent releases, check out my review of Israeli artist Idan Raichel's solo album here.
Using reclaimed materials to breathe new life into old metal, Molly Conant forges her own path with her vintage jewelry making business. Conant's clean aesthetic makes her pieces highly wearable, while unique resources lend a one-of-a-kind vibe to the collection.