The Dwellers And Burette Douglas & Bill Mullins Jr At The ½ Lounge Wednesday June 10, 2009

Words by Tim Lewis.

Yes, I know it’s jazz fest, and here I am out at folk/country/rock show. Yes, I know I’m a bit unusual. It’s funny; I love music and go out a lot. Usually during jazz fest everyone I know assumes I’ll be out for tons of jazz, when in fact I usually take that week off and relax. Well, not this year. When I was looking at the festival listings, the Tapis Bleu show, the Sarah Blacker show, and this one stood out as must sees. Oh, and just for the record I may check out some jazz Friday.

The show was set to start at 6. The timing was too tight for me but I made it out the door by 6:10 and to the show before 6:30. It was a beautiful night to walk downtown. It was sunny and reasonably warm. Church st was full of people and music emanated from everywhere. Leunigs had a band. Red Square had a band in the alley. People were jamming away in front of City Hall. The vibe was light and casual. It was a beautiful day in Burlington.

Thinking I was late I took it all in peripherally as I headed for the ½ Lounge. I arrived and found a seat at the bar next to Creston Lea and within a couple of minutes I was surprised to see Burette Douglas set up with Bill Mullins Jr. I though it would just be Burette. Cool, another combo to try. They opened with the ultra catchy Greener Grass and followed with the equally hummable Abilene. Bill’s electric quietly augmented Burette’s acoustic guitar though some of the subtlety was lost in a feedback buzz that stayed for the whole evening. Having Bill along did not seem to push the songs to the edge or anything, it really just added a fuller, lusher sound than the usual Burette solo set.

Together they jammed for a half hour or 45 minutes or so. The small and dedicated crowd was mostly friends and was augmented by various people walking by, stopping, coming in to check it out for a bit, then leaving. It was a nice vibe.

Soon enough it was the ladies turn. Alyssa, Julia and Gabby set the stage and began playing to a chatty crowd. The audience settled in a bit for the second song and off they went. Mississippi River sounded nice with the vocal harmonies ringing clear. They hit a nice groove for Blue Light Shining. One song towards the end had Julia playing single notes on the bass and holding them as Gabby harmonized with her vocal. It was really cool.

When they finished the set they asked if they should play another. I immediately said yes and they pulled out Last American Right. It was mostly just Gabbyplaying it on guitar and singing with Alyssa filling out the vocals but not drumming. Likewise Julia did not play bass on it, but towards the end added some really nice vocal touches. It was powerful and elegant and I was blissful.

When it was done I said hi to Julia and briefly spoke about the upcoming Alice show. She said it was fun playing with the band, they rock, and it’s sounding great. I can’t wait for Saturday.

This post was originally published by Tim Lewis at his personal blog,