• Stephen D'Agostino

Rose Hip Jam to Play Puddledock Park on August 15

Last winter during the Reading Recreation Commission’s Winter Concert Series, I enjoyed talking to the folks who played the four shows and then writing a little bit about them. Of the four acts, I knew Niles from Still Hill and Gerry Marletta from Monkey Pudding Face. I didn’t know Dave Richardson or Spencer Lewis, but I had nice conversations with them on the phone (remember it was winter, and I was probably hermiting, if I may turn a noun into a verb).


As you probably know by now, the Reading Recreation Commission is hosting live music at Puddledock Park on August 15. The group that will provide an excellent soundtrack for a summer evening is Rose Hip Jam. So, like last winter, I thought I would tell you a little bit about the band.


Because it’s summer, Kerry Rosenthal, who is the band’s vocalist, guitarist, and only female member, and I met face-to-face over egg sandwiches and coffee on a gorgeous summer morning. I’ve known Kerry for about as long as I’ve lived here. For the past year and a half, she has been doing her best to teach me ukulele. She also teaches guitar to people who are more comfortable with six strings than I am. Four is hard enough, thank you.


Kerry’s been in the Upper Valley area for about fifteen years. She was part of a group called Off the Rails, along with Eric Bronstein, the bassist for Rose Hip Jam.


If you follow Upper Valley music at all or have seen fliers at the market, at the bookstore, or on local kiosks, you know that there are many talented musicians in the area. That is part of how Rose Hip Jam came together. When Off the Rails found they needed a new guitarist, Kerry and Eric recalled hearing Steve Glazer play at local jams. Listening more closely, they realized how great a guitarist he is. What they didn’t appreciate until they began playing with him was that he adds a jazzy flavor to his playing, resulting in some unusual chords. Kerry admits it took a little getting used to, but now she realizes it bends your mind a little bit, but it adds a really good effect. They brought Steve on board and changed their name to Rose Hip Jam, a “threefer” when it comes to a clever play on words.


While Steve is not playing guitar, he is a wildly popular English teacher at Crossroads Academy in Lyme, New Hampshire. Eric, the bass player, originally from Colorado, is a family doctor at Alice Peck Day Hospital. He also plays in several other bands besides Rose Hip Jam.


And just what will Rose Hip Jam play? Kerry says they’ll play songs they really like. The genres are folk, folk-rock, delta blues, country, and country blues. To put it more concretely, when you come to Puddledock Park to hear Rose Hip Jam play, you’ll hear songs from The Beatles (yay!), Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, Neil Young, John Hiatt, Gillian Welch, and Crooked Still. Plus, there will be some outliers, as Kerry calls them—songs like “Hesitation Blues,” and “Is You Is (Or Is You Ain’t) My Baby.”

So that’s next week. This week, tonight, actually, if you’re reading the paper the day it is published, is Lawn Games. Last year, bocce was a big hit. So big in fact, that I was waiting for my turn to play, and it never came to pass. That’s fine; the kids who were playing had a great time. The Recreation Commission has a second set of bocce balls (thank you, Esther Allen!), so there will be no waiting. There will also be some new and different games this year, including corn hole, lawn bowling, and badminton.


As usual, bring a chair, food and drinks, and bug spray, and enjoy a lovely evening with your friends and neighbors.


For those of you who don’t know, Puddledock Park is located right next to the library. Puddledock Park Parties start at 6pm, and they run until dusk. For the full schedule, check out the Reading Recreation Commission’s Facebook page (facebook.com/readingparks).


I’ve looked ahead by hours and by a week. Now, I want to look back for one moment and thank the 50+ people who attended the inaugural Puddledock Park Party, our Ice Cream Social. Charlie Kimbell broke the ice (cream) by creating the first sundae.


It was truly an intergenerational event, with ice cream lovers from age 3 to over 80 on hand. Attendees included Sam and Eleanor Grice, Nate and Linda Willard, and Pete and Barbara Sanderson. The Sandersons also had their great-grandchildren, who were visiting from North Carolina, with them. And today, Pete and Barbara celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary. Congratulations!


By the end of the night, the 3-gallon tub of vanilla ice cream, all the chocolate and butterscotch toppings, and the cherries were gone. Thanks to everyone who showed up and thanks to Villager’s Ice Cream for supplying the sundae toppings and ice cream and making the event possible.


Happy birthday to Joan Allen (August 8), Jim Bennet (August 8), and Daniel Singleton (August 11).


That’s the news from Reading! See you next week!


This column originally appeared in The Vermont Standard on August 8, 2019.

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