The Sweetback Sisters Country Christmas Singalong Spectacular
Dec 21 @ 7:30 pm

Sunday, December 21 at 7:30 pm

Twilight Music and Next Stage Arts Project present country, swing, honky-tonk and old-time music sextet The Sweetback Sisters performing their annual Christmas concert.

Each December, Brooklyn’s favorite country band tours the east coast and spreads the holiday cheer with The Sweetback Sisters’ Country Christmas Singalong Spectacular.  This supremely fun and wildly popular show requires audience participation (lyric sheets are provided) and a love for all kinds of holiday music.  All the songs are presented with the Sweetback Sisters’ signature mix of harmony singing, rollicking telecaster and twin fiddling along with a healthy dose of holiday cheer.

SweetbackSisterswSweetback Sisters Emily Miller and Zara Bode’s family-style harmonies recall the best of country music from the 1950s and 60s, and reflect a deeply felt love for traditional country music styles and a palpable joy in playing and singing together.  The band takes its inspiration from the Davis Sisters and Louvin Brothers, as well as the spirited honky tonk energy of Wanda Jackson and Loretta Lynn.  The Sweetback Sisters were chosen as one of six finalists to play on “A Prairie Home Companion” as part of the program’s 2007 People in Their Twenties talent contest.

The Sweetback Sisters started the Country Christmas Singalong in 2009 at the Jalopy Theater in Red Hook, Brooklyn.  The first year brought an intimate gathering of family and friends close to the stage with lyric sheets so that all could sing along.  It has since become a tradition, captured on the album “The Sweetback Sisters’ Country Christmas Singalong Spectacular,” on which the band turns to the canon of Christmas and holiday songs, arranged in a youthful yet nostalgic way.  The CD begins with “Christmas Boogie” by the Davis Sisters. The song is a retelling of “Twas the Night Before Christmas” with a 1950s boogie-woogie twist.  The up-tempo holiday favorite “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” opens with a ripping quote from “Bonanza,” followed by a blistering vocal duet from the girls leading to a chanted bridge from the boys.

The Sweetback Sisters’ Country Christmas Singalong Spectacular is an instant holiday hit, breathing new life into wintery favorites and bringing lesser-known songs into the holiday canon.  Every song will help warm your heart and get you in the Christmas spirit for many years to come.

“The Sweetback Sisters are the quintessential ‘Prairie Home Companion’ band, featuring fun, storytelling songs from the days of radio past.” – Charleston Gazette

Tickets are $17 Advance / $20 At the Door.  For information, call 802-387-0102.  Advance tickets are available at, Turn It Up in Brattleboro and Offerings Jewelry in Putney. For more information, visit and

Next Stage Speaks: Poetry Out Loud
Jan 9 @ 7:00 pm

Next Stage Speaks: Poetry Out Loud

Next Stage Arts Project welcomes you to join us for a fresh look at recitation of traditional and contemporary poems by a handful of young performers, featuring Poetry Out Loud Vermont State three-year finalist, Maia Gilmour, and hosted by Chard DeNiord, on Friday, January 9, 2015 at 7:00pm. There will be a $7 suggested donation at the door.

Maia Gilmour

Maia Gilmour

Each presenter will recite from memory a published poem of his/her choosing and bring it to life onstage as part of our Next Stage Speaks Series and the NSAP Youth Initiative, sponsored in part by a grant from the Windham Foundation.

Chard DeNiord

Chard DeNiord

Antje Duvekot w/ Hayley Reardon and Hannah Hoffman
Jan 10 @ 7:30 pm

Saturday, January 10 at 7:30 pm
Next Stage Arts Project and Twilight Music present award-winning contemporary folk singer/songwriter Antje Duvekot plus Hayley Reardon and Hannah Hoffman at Next Stage .

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Antje Duvekot

Antje Duvekot is a German-born, American-raised singer/songwriter whose songs have been critically praised for their hard-won wisdom, dark-eyed realism and street-smart romanticism.  Her bicultural upbringing and relative newness to English have helped shape her unique way with a song, giving her a startlingly original poetic palette.  They are the keys to the powerful, even revolutionary, empathy that informs everything she writes.  She has won some of the top songwriting awards including the Grand Prize in the John Lennon Songwriting Competition, the Kerrville Folk Festival Best New Folk Award and the Boston Music Award for Outstanding Folk Act.

Since the release of her debut studio CD “Big Dream Boulevard,” which was voted #1 Folk Release of 2006 by the Boston Globe and was named to the Top 10 Releases of the Year by National Public Radio’s Folk Alley, Antje has been touring  extensively, criss-crossing the US and Europe.  She is a compelling live performer and has played at major festivals, including Newport, Mountain Stage, Philadelphia, Falcon Ridge, Great Waters and Kerrville.  Her second CD “The Near Demise of the High Wire Dancer” was voted top album of 2009 by lauded folk station WUMB 91.9 FM in Boston.

“She creates an entire, detailed world in verse, and takes you there with beautiful and understated melody.  Her songs are stunning paintings of color and shade and always generate the heat and light that real art should.” – Neil Dorfsman, producer of Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Dire Straits

“terrific writer and singer, with the instincts to do things right, over and over and over” – Rolling Stone.

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Hayley Reardon

A seasoned folk artist at age 18, Hayley Reardon is known for her thoughtful, vivid songwriting and engaging stage performance.  Over the past five years, she has shared the stage with the likes of Tom Rush, Peter Yarrow, Buskin & Batteau, Christine Lavin, Lori McKenna, Mark Erelli, and Catie Curtis.  She has been selected for official showcases at Folk Alliance International and New England Regional Folk Alliance, as well as The Boston Folk Festival, New York Songwriter’s Circle, and Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Emerging Artist Showcase.

In 2012, The Boston Globe Magazine named Hayley a Bostonian of the Year for both her music and her work to pair it with a message of teen empowerment, calling her “a confident, radiant teenage singer/songwriter who is helping to pen the next chapter of the Boston folk scene.”  That same year, she appeared in the award-winning documentary “For The Love of the Music: The Club 47 Folk Revival,” which won Best Documentary at the 2012 Boston International Film Fest.

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Hannah Hoffman

Hannah Hoffman is a soulful soprano who delivers an emotional depth to her sound reminiscent of an early Tori Amos, Jewel and Regina Spektor.  She is a versatile performer who engages her audience with dynamic performances not only of her own composing but an eclectic mix of standards she commands as her own.

Next Stage is located in the former United Church at 15 Kimball Hill in downtown Putney, VT.  Tickets for this concert are $16 Advance / $18 At the Door.  For information, call 802-387-0102.  Advance tickets are available at, Turn It Up in Brattleboro and Offerings Jewelry in Putney, VT.  Katy’s will provide a beer and wine cash bar.  For more information, visit,, and

The Coward – by Kati Schwartz, directed by Alex Keegan
Jan 17 @ 8:00 pm

coward logoSaturday, January 17, 2015 at 8:00pm
The Coward (written by Kati Schwartz, directed by Alex Keegan, produced by Emma Horwitz):

Jill thinks that by spending her summer at a theatre festival, she will be able to escape the hardships of her past and figure out who she is. However, one person’s narrow-mindedness makes leaving the past in the past impossible. Watch as these six individuals struggle through discovering their own realities in this hilarious new play!

This special play made it’s debut at Williamstown Theatre Festival in August, 2014

Miles G. Jackson
Kati Schwartz
Liliana Tandon
Maddie Sykes
Ben Mulgrew
Hannah Watzke

Stage manager: David Klein
Set Design: Ben Schwartz
Costumes: Isabelle Coler

Dustbowl Revival – Venice, California-based roots collective
Jan 24 @ 7:30 pm

Saturday, January, 24 at 7:30 pm    DUSTBOWL REVIVAL
Next Stage Arts Project and Twilight Music present Dustbowl Revival, a Venice, California-based roots collective that merges old school bluegrass, gospel, jug-band, swamp blues and the hot swing of the 1930’s.

Known for their inspired live sets, the Dustbowl Revival boldly brings together many styles of traditional American music.  Some call it string band-brass band mash up.  Imagine Old Crow Medicine Show teaming up with Louis Armstrong’s Hot Fives and Sevens, or Bob Dylan and The Band jamming with Benny Goodman and his orchestra in 1938.  It’s infectious, joyous music – a youthful take on time-worn American traditions.

Dustbowl copy“Best Live Band in LA” – LA Weekly

“A nine-piece band replete with tuba, washboard, accordion, fiddle, mandolin, trumpet and guitar joyously pumped out early 20th century standards and original tunes that would have sounded utterly at home within the hallowed confines of Preservation Hall in New Orleans’ French Quarter. The seven men…and two women in flapper-inspired dresses, are members of a ragtag outfit called the Dustbowl Revival, strumming, sawing and puffing enthusiastically as smiling listeners on the dance floor swung their partners infectiously.” – LA TIMES

Tickets are $16 Advance / $18 At the Door.  For information, call 802-387-0102.  Advance tickets are available at, Turn It Up in Brattleboro and Offerings Jewelry in Putney. For more information, visit www. and

Black History Month Staged Reading: Pierce to the Soul
Feb 7 @ 7:30 pm

Black History Month Staged Reading: Pierce to the Soul

In honor of February’s Black History Month, Next Stage Arts Project presents a staged reading of the critically-acclaimed one-man play, Pierce to the Soul, on Saturday, February 7 at 7:30pm. Next Stage is at 15 Kimball Hill in Putney. Tickets are $10 suggested donation, available at the door.

Pierce to the Soul tells the story of Elijah Pierce, a barber, preacher and a folk artist of no small significance. Playwright elijah-pierceChiquita Mullins Lee will also perform the piece at the Next Stage presentation. Says Mullins Lee, “What I wanted to capture about Pierce, the son of a former Mississippi slave who migrated north and settled in Columbus, though, was his “wholeness as a person.”

Pierce to the Soul premiered at the Contemporary American Theatre Company in 2010, garnering praise as ““Entertaining and engaging” -Columbus Alive. The play focuses on Elijah Pierce’s roots as an artist and the challenges he faced in the decades before he became famous. The 1892-born son of a former Mississippi slave didn’t become nationally known until the early 1970s, when Boris Gruenwald, an Ohio State University graduate student and sculptor, discovered his art and began championing it.

These days, more than 300 Pierce woodcarvings are contained in the collection of the Columbus Museum of Art – and his work is shown in exhibits worldwide.

Chiquita Mullins LeePlaywright and performer Chiquita Mullins Lee is a writer and performer living in Columbus, Ohio.  Her plays have been presented as part of Contemporary American Theatre Company’s Shorts Festival 2000 and 2004.

LIBANA – Global music connecting cultures
Mar 7 @ 7:30 pm

Next Stage Arts Project is delighted to present Libana, internationally renowned world music and dance ensemble, on Saturday, March 7, 2015 at 7:30 pm.  Tickets for Libana are $15 general admission, available online at, Turn It Up in Brattleboro, and Offerings in Putney.

Libana____hi-res__horizontal_photo_2__photo_by_Joan_Hill__Libana illuminates the creativity, vision and spirit of women worldwide. Riveting, transformational and soul stirring, Libana takes audiences on a musical journey reflecting the universal human experience uniting us all.

From ancient traditions to contemporary creations, from the political to the spiritual, Libana’s global repertoire covers a vast musical spectrum expressed with stunning close a cappella vocals and an impressive palette of instruments including oud, charango, saz, guitar, hammered dulcimer, panpipes, accordion, dumbek, djembe, frame drum, dholak, tapan, clarinet and double bass.

Interweaving music, dance and story from such divergent cultures as the Balkans, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, South America and Europe, Libana’s artistry inspires audiences with wonder at the beauty, breadth and wisdom of our world’s cultural diversity and common humanity.”

More information about the group is available at

The Slambovian Circus of Dreams (aka The Grand Slambovians)
Mar 14 @ 7:30 pm

Saturday, March 14 at 7:30 pm    THE SLAMBOVIAN CIRCUS OF DREAMS

Next Stage Arts Project and Twilight Music present an evening of acoustic/electric Americana music from Sleepy Hollow, NY by The Slambovian Circus of Dreams (aka The Grand Slambovians).

The music of The Slambovian Circus of Dreams has been described as “hillbilly-Floyd,” “folk-pop,” “alt-country, roots-rock,” and “surreal Americana” – a clear indicator of its singularly indescribable uniqueness.  The quartet taps a broad palette of styles ranging from dusty Americana ballads to huge Pink Floydesque cinematic anthems.  Dancing freely between all existing religious and philosophical mythologies, featuring an exotic instrumental arsenal in addition to standard rock regalia, the music is uplifting, empowering and a lot of fun.

The Grand Slambovians are Joziah Longo (lead vocals, guitars, harmonica), Tink Lloyd (accordion, cello, uke, theremin, melodica), Sharkey McEwen (guitars, mandolin, backing vocals) and Eric Puente (percussion).  Bandleader and songwriter Longo, (known for tall tales and philosophizing) has written two musicals with Broadway legend Theodore Mann, headlined at Carnegie Hall and was the first American musician invited to perform in mainland China in the early 90’s ending a decade-long ban on Western music.

SlambovianswJoziah, Tink, Sharkey and Eric have toured nationally and abroad since forming Gandalf Murphy & The Slambovian Circus of Dreams in Sleepy Hollow, NY in 1998.  Known for electrifying live performances and strong original music, they have a devoted and ever expanding fan base.  In 2010 they brought their legendary Halloween show, ‘The Grand Slambovian Extraterrestrial Hillbilly~Pirate Ball’ to London’s Electric Ballroom and NYC’s Gramercy Theater.  Recently, they have performed at numerous festivals including Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Ann Arbor Folk Festival, Celtic Connections (UK), Philadelphia Folk Festival, Xponential, High Sierra, Rhythm and Roots, Green River, Strawberry Festival, Bliss Festival, Roots on The River, Falcon Ridge Folk Festival and Glastonbury Festival (UK).  The band has released five critically acclaimed studio albums – “A Box of Everything (2014), “The Grand Slambovians” (2012), “The Great Unravel” (2008), 2004’s double-disc “Flapjacks from the Sky” and “A Good Thief Tips His Hat” (1998).

“Mightily impressive and hugely original rock from the cool end of Americana.” – MAVERICK, UK
“Songs imbued with mystical stirrings and idealism… they take the stage by storm!” – The NY Times

Tickets are $20 Advance / $24 At the Door.  For information, call 802-387-0102.  Advance tickets are available at, Turn It Up in Brattleboro and Offerings Jewelry in Putney.  For more information, visit www. and

Shades of Blue: Naomi Shelton & The Gospel Queens
Mar 21 @ 7:30 pm

The fourth concert in Next Stage’s Shades of Blue series, sponsored by Brattleboro Subaru and WKVT: Naomi Shelton & The Gospel Queens
Saturday, March 21st  at 7:30 pm.Tickets are $20 in advance, $24 at the door, available at Turn It Up, Brattleboro, and Offerings in Putney.

In the six years since the release of their last full-length record, Naomi Shelton & the Gospel Queens have toured extensively, playing main stages at some of the most prestigious festivals in the world, including Bonnaroo, The Monterey Jazz Festival, Montreal Pop, and The Ottawa Blues Festival. Though seasoned veterans, these last years of touring played a crucial role in the creation of the songs that would become the forthcoming album Cold World.  With Gabriel Roth (Bosco Mann) at the helm, Naomi and company went into the studio , and cut twelve inspired new songs live to eight-track tape.

NAOM_2014-Cold-World-cover-art web“Shelton is delivering whip-smart soul with the energy of someone a third of   her age.” – THE LONDON TIMES
“Naomi Shelton is a power-house performer who sings with a passionate Baptist fervor.” –MOJO

Though the music is most unapologetically gospel, most of the lyrics on the record would fall under what could be called “message songs”.  That is, music containing uplifting spiritual messages, reminiscent of the more inspirational moments of The Staple Singers or Curtis Mayfield.  However, the relationship between gospel and soul music does not need to be discussed again here.  It is as plainly and naturally inherent in these grooves as it is in the singer’s every word and motion.  There is no one alive today that has a voice or spirit more capable of lifting an audience than Naomi Shelton.  On this record, the grooves are pure Soul. ‘Sinner’ sits atop Side One as a dark welcome into the soulful stomping world of the Queens.  They flow effortlessly from the Sunday stomp of ‘Get Up, Child’ to the country-twinged swagger of ‘One Day’ and ‘I Earned Mine’; from the river’s edge lilt of ‘Everybody Knows’ and ‘I Don’t Know’ to the energetic boogie of ‘Thank You Lord’, ‘It’s A Cold, Cold World’, and ‘Bound for the Promised Land’.