Vermont Public Radio has launched “Live From The Fort,” an online concert series that puts the spotlight on Vermont-based bands and musicians.
Burlington-based band Waylon Speed - named Vermont’s Best Band by the New England Music Awards – kicked off the new series this month. It’s available at VPR.net and is specially-designed for mobile phones and tablets as well. Recorded before a live audience at VPR studios in historic Fort Ethan Allen in Colchester, the video series provides the opportunity to discover Vermont’s contemporary music scene. The series was inspired by NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts, which features short, informal concerts set at the desk of All Songs Considered Host Bob Boilen.
VPR is well-known for its classical, jazz, and folk music programming, particularly for fostering connections with the local music community through live performances, interviews, and concert promotion. Live From The Fort applies the same sensibility to a new genre, said John Van Hoesen, senior vice president and chief content officer.
“The robust contemporary music community in Vermont is evident in the coffee houses, nightclubs, living rooms, and small venues across the region,” he said. “We look forward to showcasing Vermont’s talented independent bands, emerging artists, and singer-songwriters.”
More often than not, the band members themselves are avid listeners to the station. "It's not uncommon for VPR to be on in the band van,” said Waylon Speed Drummer Justin Crowther. “Considering our extensive travel, it means a lot to us to be able connect at a local level, and especially through VPR.”
Excerpts from the new series will air occasionally on Vermont Edition, VPR’s daily news magazine. Upcoming concerts include Brett Hughes and Maryse Smith. Fans and artists alike are encouraged to contact VPR with suggestions for future concerts.