Modern Acoustic Americana makes its way to River City, Vermont!

Acoustic Americana Bluegrass in a Vermont Sort of Way

Submitted 2 years ago
Created by
Dave Celone

Music Lovers, Rejoice. Jes Raymond is Back!

She was out on North Main Street in White River Junction under a broad-brimmed hat in a tender-stepping sort of way.  A steaming tea cup filled to the brim in one hand, the other clutching a host of shopping bags, she placed her clog-clad foot on a slab of rime ice near the curb.  It was an accident in the making.  I said, "stop, wait, let me grab that and give you a hand."  She was all too happy to let me help her over the frozen curb and inch her closer to her car.  Her clutch was warm, her smile broad.  The twinkle in her eye met mine as I handed back her tea, let go her finger clasp on my wrist, and bid her a quick goodbye.  Little did I know I'd met her before — and I'd meet her again quite soon.

Jes's unique jewelry line is of painted mahogany and of bamboo, too.

It had been a few weeks earlier in White River Junction's Newberry Marketplace where I'd encountered a lovely woman selling her hand-made wooden jewelry in the unusual form of water drops and droplets.  Even then, her smile had been easy to find from across the room where I stood hoping to raise money for The Upper Valley Haven's homeless and hungry visitors during the holiday season.  I had no idea this jewelry vendor was more than an artist of one medium.  As it turned out, she was two artists rolled up into one.  How could I possibly have known?

Advertisement: Content continues below...

This same day, she walked back into my life after the ice-hopping incident.  She was introduced to me as Jes, along with her partner, Jakob, by a friend and music promoter, Dave Clark of Yellow House Media.  Dave was giving them a tour of our lovely town by the banks of the White River and had wandered into Long River Gallery & Gifts on South Main Street where I work.  I had no idea she was who she is—the lead vocalist for Jes Raymond and the Blackberry Bushes.  

Jes, in a wintry sort of way. Still, that smile.

Her soft smile suggested she carried no thorns like the band's namesake plant might deploy against a wayward hand.  Her broad-brimmed hat was as big as her grin.  She had recently moved back to Vermont where she'd grown up.  Seattle had been her and Jakob's home as they worked their way into the music business and found a receptive audience nationally.  They played over 100 concerts last year alone.  Now, they make Vermont the place they hang their hats.  Closer to family, closer to more places to play, and closer to winter where their acoustic americana bluegrass music can ease its way into and warm your very soul.

Give Jes & The Blackberry Bushes a listen by Clicking Here.  Or visit this link: for a video of their song "Brown Bird." You'll find a beat that restores your spirits and lifts you up like a grand balloon.  This is bluegrass at its finest, with fiddle and bass, guitar, and proud vocals that resonate with nature and light up the path we all hope to find to make us smile — just like Jes did again as she left me for the second time today.

I inquired tentatively if Jes and Jakob might like to play a First Friday gig for us here in River City.  I'm waiting to hear.  Hope to give you the thumbs-up sign soon.  

Keep an eye on the First Friday Facebook page for more info as things develop.

Of Jes and Jakob (show above with his fiddle), Pulse Magazine says,

"Keeping a long-lived genre fresh."

This promises to be world-class bluegrass, right in our own back yard.  Let's hope River City will be rockin' soon with the hopping sound of bluegrass that flies in and out of us like the brown bird Jes sings about so elegantly.  It's foot tapping, skirt swinging rhythm and vocals so fresh and fun you'll want to let Jes and her band thrum their way into your heart again and again.

Want to hear more?  Try Clicking Here to listen to 10 of Jes Raymond & The Blackberry Bush's tracks.  Or visit this link:  

As for that First Friday performance by Jes and Jakob, well, stay tuned for more...


Don't ever miss another post. Click here to sign up for an email alert each time Dave Celone publishes a new piece on the And do Click here to see his previous post, LIFE (in a small town).  Small town life is also what Jes & The Blackberry Bushes have been touring and singing about for the past year, all over the country.  Let's hope they get out and sing around here soon so we can all enjoy their musical talents for a grand new time.

Dave Celone is not the above hand-made cast succulent ring, nor is he the above-right, hand-embroidered work of framed art, both now on display at Long River Gallery & Gifts in Lyme, NH as part of the amazingly-curated art show "A Gleam, A Needle, Fiber, Art & Metal." But you can come see these pieces and more for free any day except Monday through March 5, 2017.

Instead, Dave's a writer who likes to share information about his life in the Upper Valley on a host of topics ranging from food and beverage to art and craft, music and maneuvering with great care on icy sidewalks. Dave is a freelance writer, poet, visual artist, art gallery curator, and consultant for the education industry. He co-manages Long River Gallery & Gifts in Lyme, NH and its new gallery space in White River Junction VT with his wife Lisa where over 175 local artists and artisans show their work. The new gallery is at 49 South Main Street in White River Junction between The Junction Frame Shop and The Hotel Coolidge. Dave is also principal of Advancement Consulting Services offering higher education institutions and private secondary schools global best practices and unique ways to increase alumni giving and involvement through programs that develop relationships and value holistically. His "virtuous circle" model on developing fundraising programs, and his strategic program development centered around "treating students like alumnae/i and alumnae/i like students" have gained favor among development industry professionals and higher education leadership on multiple continents. Dave is former director of development at The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH, and former co-executive director of the Dartmouth College Fund. He may be reached via email at: Please feel free to add your comments below. Dave will respond.

Comments 2

Download the DailyUV app today!