BELLE PINES – Saturday, June 8 – 7:30 pm
Lesley Grant – BELLE PINES
Saturday, June 8, 7:30 p.m.
$20; $25 at door. Members save 10-20%.
BELLE PINES was cooked up by Vermont musicians Lesley Grant and Brett Hughes. They first met at a Bluegrass Scramble— where the names of musicians are picked from a hat to form a band on the spot and choose songs to perform. They weren’t picked to play together, so they conspired to bend the rules and sneak in an impromptu Gram Parsons/Emmylou Harris duet. It turns out that they both love honky tonk songs, full of the lost and lonesome, whiskey-soaked and heartbroken, songs of bad decisions and bad behavior, blurred vision and hopeful redemption… now they’re harmonizing on those songs and sharing the stage with bassist Pat Melvin and drummer Sean Preece in their new hot-shot band, BELLE PINES.
Lesley Grant is a singer and songwriter with the soul of a wandering minstrel. She has performed with the Austin country/bluegrass band Southland, as well as bands in California, Wyoming and Hawaii. Her writing is spiced by, among others, Emmylou Harris, Lucinda Williams, Gillian Welch, Loretta Lynn, Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle, Johnny Cash, John Prine, and Neil Young. She started singing before she learned to walk and sang so much her parents had to create a household “no singing at the dinner table” rule. Inspired by her three musically talented older brothers, she picked up the guitar at age 14. She was introduced to Bluegrass while backing a banjo-playing brother on her rhythm guitar. Lesley’s song writing skill and natural singing voice summon her musical influences, as well as those of the southern Appalachians in an authentic manner rarely encountered in the Northeast.
Brett Hughes has been showing up almost every Tuesday for the last seven and a half years to host Honky Tonk Tuesday at Burlington’s Radio Bean. With a deep repertoire of lost and lonesome, heartbroken hillbilly rock classics and like-minded originals, he fronts an ever-evolving line-up of great players and singers. Brett founded Monoprix, a power trio (with Tyler Bolles on stand-up bass and Steve Hadeka on drums) playing his swamp-rock originals, he fronted the classic honky-tonk powerhouse that was Chrome Cowboys, played at Bonnaroo and toured with Mike Gordon And Ramble Dove, and he was an original member of viperHouse, Vermont’s 10-piece, horn-driven spasm band. He toured from Vermont to Texas, New Orleans, Florida and back with Shannon McNally, and performs in duos with Kat Wright and Lesley Grant, has been co-writing and performing with Toni Catlin, and as Me & You with Marie Claire. He is in demand as a guitarist and singer, and is busy in his little barn studio recording other people’s records. He won a regional Emmy Award for his original Windy Acres soundtrack in 2005.
Pat Melvin has played bass across the United States with the Zach duPont Band, PossumHaw, Whiskey Bullet. He’s played bass on the duPont Brothers forthcoming self-titled EP and Quiet Lion’s most recent “Whatever You Say” CD. His most recent project is the post-jazzicana trio, After the Rodeo. In their debut album, Live at Stu Stu Studio, After the Rodeo brilliantly infuses meandering jazz, traditional blues and bluegrass along with the reminiscent charm of cowboy folk.
Drummer Sean Preece has performed at the Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center in July 2011 with Brett Hughes band, the Whiskey Lickers. He’s in high-demand as a drummer regularly plays with a wide variety of bands and musicians, including: The Grift, Shady Alley, Gordon Stone, Lowell Thompson, Mike Gordon, Zack DuPont, Nate Wilson, Dead Sessions and has performed as “Saratoga Sunshine” in the 60’s & 70’s tribute band, Mellow Yellow.