• Stephen D'Agostino

Winter Concert Series Resumes This Saturday

Last week, Bob Allen and I were standing outside the library on a warm spring-like day, telling each other how much we were looking forward to Daylight Saving Time, and how we preferred it to Standard Time. When winters are bad, this change seems like a balm. This year, it’s a treat.


On that day, I thought my wait for the day we turn the clocks ahead was still almost two weeks off. I always think of changing the clocks on the second Saturday of March, not the second Sunday. For me, 2am, the time to move the clocks forward, is the same as 10pm. In truth, it seems that lately I am more likely to be asleep at ten and awake at two, wondering why I am staring at the ceiling.


Regardless, here we are. Though I miss the earlier sunrises, I know that morning light will return soon enough.


This Saturday, the sun will be just about setting when Bluegrasoles takes the stage at Reading Town Hall, the third of the four concerts in the Winter Concert Series. I have never heard the band play, but I am excited to change that. The band has a sense of humor that I love. The trio bills themselves as “the most popular band in the Western part of Northeastern South Reading.”


If that weren’t enough, the musical genres they prefer line up well with my musical tastes. Bluegrasoles, despite their name, is not a bluegrass band. However, Susan Damone Balch, who plays the conga drum and sings, tells me that they do play some bluegrass tunes along with rock, folk, and blues songs. At the show, you’ll likely hear tunes made popular by Johnny Cash, the Rolling Stones, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Tom Russell, Townes van Zandt, Guy Clark, and John Prine. Susan also says the band plays some songs that will get people dancing as well as some slower numbers.


Susan’s husband John (lead guitar and vocals), and Springfield’s Rich Knight (bass guitar and backup vocals) round out the group. Susan refers to Rich’s backup harmonies as sweet. I can’t wait to hear them! Also of note with Rich, he is a man who truly loves music and loves performing. He may also love precision. He started playing the trumpet when he was in fifth grade. By 13, he’d picked up the guitar and by 20, the bass. He’s been a member of 22 bands and played with 15 more. To date, he has played 822 gigs. He knows this because he maintains a “gig log.” His first show was with The What 4 in 1966.


It seems like a long time since we’ve had a Winter Concert Series Show. If it weren’t for Leap Day, this show would have been last week. So, with that gap, let me remind you of a few things. The Winter Concert Series is a benefit. Admission is $10 for adults and free for children 15 and under. The Reading Recreation Commission, sponsors of the series, pool all the money collected and distribute it among the four beneficiaries. The beneficiaries are the Reading/West Windsor Food Shelf, the Reading Recreation Commission, the Ottauquechee Health Foundation, and the Reading Green Spaces Committee.

Speaking of the Reading Green Spaces Committee, they will be providing the dinner buffet for this month’s show.


If you've been to a concert this year or last year, what I noted above is old news. What is new about this concert is that you can bring alcohol. Okay, let me rephrase that. You can bring alcohol and not feel like a rebel, a sneak, or a rule breaker. All the Reading Recreation Commission asks is that you are responsible with your alcohol consumption. We want to make sure that everyone enjoys their night and gets home safely.


I know that disclaimer made me sound like a chaperone. It had to be said, and now it has been. So, I hope to see you on Saturday!


Unlike the gap between the February show and the March show, the gap between March and April shows is short. Since the second Saturday in April is the day before Easter, and the Reading Recreation Commission will be busy with the Reading Bunny Hop on that day, the April concert will take place on April 4, the first Saturday. The band that week will be a local duo, Adverse Conditions. More on them in the coming weeks!


There will be more details on the Bunny Hop, too, so stay tuned for them!


One other April date of note: April 1. That’s the deadline for getting your dog licensed. To obtain a license, you need to bring a copy of a current rabies vaccination certificate for each dog. The fee for a neutered and spayed pet is $9. The fee for dogs who have not been neutered or spayed is $13. Late fees apply after April 1.


If you don't have a rabies certificate for your dog(s), you can bring him, her, or them to a Rabies Clinic being held on March 21 at the Mill Mall in Bridgewater. It runs from 12:30pm to 2pm, and the fee is $12 per shot.


Happy Daylight Saving Time. Happy Pi Day (and happy concert day)!


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


This column originally appeared in The Vermont Standard on March 12, 2020.

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