Francesca Blanchard; Cricket Blue: Free & All-Ages at Arts Riot Thursday 3/29

[vc_row equal_height="" font_color="light" shift_y="0" z_index="0"][vc_column][vc_column_text]Cricket Blue joins Francesca Blanchard March 29 on the ArtsRiot stage for the latest installment of Rocket Shop LIVE, made possible with co-presenters Arts Riot and RETN with 105.9FM The Radiator, Burlington's community radio station. Rocket Shop is Big Heavy World’s local music radio hour, featuring weekly live performances and interviews from musicians from around the state. Broadcasting direct from the Big Heavy headquarters inside the SEABA Center on Pine street in Burlington, Rocket Shop airs every Wednesday night from 8-9pm on 105.9FM The Radiator. You can also stream The Radiator 24/7 at or tune in through iTunes' ‘eclectic’ radio section.

Breaking from its tradition of radio only broadcasts, Rocket Shop is now teaming up with ArtsRiot and guest host Paddy Reagan to present you Rocket Shop Live, a live concert series held monthly straight from the Arts Riot main stage. This episode features performances courtesy of Francesca Blanchard and folk duo Cricket Blue.

Doors are at 7:00; music at 8:00, and the show is free, handicapped accessible, and open to fans of all-ages.

Big thanks to co-presenter RETN for taping the concert for television and Joe Egan at Egan Media for recording the show! Rocket Shop Live is supported in part by a grant from the Burlington City Arts Community Fund. Be sure to keep up with podcasts of prior Rocket Shop episodes on iTunes or at!

Francesca BlanchardFrancesca Blanchard

Francesca recalls her Mediterranean childhood as one of bare feet on terra cotta tiles, fuchsia sunsets, fresh mistral breezes, the aroma of lavender and evening cricket choirs. La vie douce (“the sweet life”) aptly describes the rhythm and rhyme of those early years, where extended sojourns to a family cabin in the Alps further nourished a love of wild, open spaces and the solitary peace of simple living in the heart of a family that was anything but conventional.

Raised by the voices of Tracy ChapmanEva CassidyFrançoise Hardyand Nora Jones (among others), Francesca has always felt a strong connection to deeply intimate female vocals, ("the ones that speak for themselves", as Blanchard puts it). Notable performances include opening for Suzanne VegaJoan Armatrading and Yuna, along with performing at Les FrancoFolies de Montréal and the Calgary Folk Music Festival.

“One of the year’s best new world music albums. An impressive first effort from the talented, young artist.” - Phil's Picks

Following her 2011 six-track EP, Blanchard released an extended EP in 2014 with three additional demo tracks. She recorded her first full-length album of original songs (six in English, six in French) in the summer of 2014.

Pouring her heart into delicate melodies written for the acoustic guitar, Blanchard’s debut album deux visions was released on October 2, 2015. It was produced by Chris Velan (Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars), mixed by acclaimed Montreal producer Jean Massicotte (LhasaPatrick WatsonArthur HJorane) and mastered at the prestigious Metropolis Studios in London. The album reflects Francesca’s travels, both physical and emotional, with influences ranging from Norah Jones and Carla Bruni to Eva Cassidy and Françoise Hardy.

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Cricket BlueCricket Blue

Vermont-based folk duo Cricket Blue is inspired by diverse aspects of the American folk tradition: old and current, popular and obscure. Laura Heaberlin and Taylor Smith write songs marked by close-knit harmonies and words about myth, confusion, love, and the ends of things.

"Dovetailing harmonies and heart-melting melodies…this is indie folk with soul and intellect." - Dan Bolles, Seven Days

Heaberlin’s and Smith’s sometimes mingled, sometimes markedly contrasting imaginations form the bones of Cricket Blue's sound. Heaberlin’s perceptive lyrical voice elevates everyday mundanities and makes the sublime pocket-sized. Smith threads images and characters into narratives that flicker between enigmatic and nakedly honest. They count songwriters like Jeff Mangum, Joanna Newsom, Laura Marling, and Anaïs Mitchell among their influences, as well as poets and storytellers like Dylan Thomas, Alice Munro, and Angela Carter. 

Heaberlin and Smith became friends at Middlebury College, where they studied philosophy and literature.

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