This is you: Relaxing on the lush grass of the Spruce Peak Village Green. Kids chasing fireflies in the night sky, barefoot and sticky-fingered from maple ice cream cones. Music swelling up, like the soaring mountains all around you. Snuggling closer to your partner and gazing at the blanket of stars while the songs carry you both away.
Sounds pretty nice, right? It's no surprise that when we first began hosting concerts on the Green three years ago, it was an instant hit, drawing musicians from Vermont and beyond. Of course, this is an idyllic setting to do almost anything—but there's more to it than that.
“The Green at Spruce Peak has a truly intimate feel that gives you a sense of connection to the artists,” says Kendal Daiger, Director of Marketing at Spruce Peak. “Fans can experience well-known musicians in a unique, stripped-down format that is distinctly different from a traditional concert.”
Plus, it's clear that the performers are having just as much fun here as the audience is. From getting active outdoors to feasting on farm-to-table food to indulging in Spruce Peak's elevated accommodations and amenities, this is definitely not a typical gig for them. They have found a refuge in Vermont, where they can bring their families and kick back. They've fallen in love with this place, just like the rest of us have—and that passion is palpable in the joyful music they create.
We sat down with six amazing musicians who will be playing on the Green this summer to talk to them about all things Vermont!
Friday, July 2, 7pm
Kate Victoria "KT" Tunstall is a charttopping, grammy-nominated Scottish singer-songwriter and musician. She has released six albums and written several film soundtracks.
My connection to Vermont: I fell in love with a boy from Vermont when I was 17, and had such a beautiful time here. I spent a summer playing on Church Street in Burlington, jumping in lakes, and feeling so at home. I felt instantly very connected to Vermont because it really reminds me of Scotland.
My favorite outdoor activity to do here: All of it! I haven't even gotten to do half the things I would love to do in Vermont! But I've been mad for skiing since I was four years old. Now I have great relationships with the Vermont ski community, so I can come and play a show—and then get some speed up on the mountains!
If I could take just one album on a long road trip it would be: Fleetwood Mac's Rumours. There's a bit of everything there—you can choose your song for the mood, and every single one is a classic.
Genuine maple syrup or fake mapleflavored stuff: What?! How is this a real question?! Real Vermont maple syrup is one of the best things on this beautiful planet!! Yummiest Vermont food or drink: I'm going to have to say Ben & Jerry's! I'm still waiting for the "Black Horse & The Cherry Tree" special edition, haha! I also saw my very first Whistle Pig (animal) this year, so will have a dram to celebrate the next time I visit!
One of my most fun Vermont experiences: When I returned to Burlington as a pro artist nearly a decade after playing on Church Street, the city presented me with a lifetime permit to play! It was such a lovely thing and meant a huge deal to me. I then did a gig on the street!
If I could be any animal, I would be: An eagle. You have free flight, the ability to fly huge distances, and you're able to hunt and fish out in the wilds—all while wearing a great feather outfit.
A song I think everyone should hear: I'm going to nominate one of my own! “The Mountain” is one of my favorite songs from my last album, WAX. I've always had such a deep love for wild nature, which is why Vermont appeals to me so much. This song is about getting in your car, leaving the city, and getting lost in the experience of beautiful nature.
Saturday, July 3, 9pm
One of the world's most accomplished turntablists, Bronx native DJ Logic is widely credited with introducing jazz into the hip–hop realms. He's known for his innovative genre-crossing and collaborations with top musicians from around the globe, including Bob Weir, John Mayer, Carly Simon and The Roots.
My connection to Vermont: I've worked with some amazing Vermont artists, playing festivals and clubs, and enjoying the outdoor activities here—fishing, hiking, mountain biking, skiing, and snowmobiling. If I could take just one album on a long road trip it would be: James Brown's Star Time Collection.
One of my most fun Spruce Peak experiences: Playing at the Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center and enjoying the resort activities.
If I could be any animal, I would be: A wolf, because I like to roam. A song I think everyone.
Thursday, July 15, 7pm
Not only is Adam Gardner a guitarist and vocalist for the indie rock band Guster, he also cofounded REVERB in 2004, a nonprofit dedicated to reducing the environmental impact of touring musicians.
My connection to Vermont: I literally wouldn't exist if it weren't for Vermont—my parents met at UVM!
My favorite outdoor activity to do here: I learned to ski at Stowe Mountain Resort when I was three and went back every winter break of my childhood. I also love the swimming holes Vermont has to offer.
If I could take just one album on a long road trip it would be: Willie Nelson’s Shotgun Willie.
Genuine maple syrup or fake mapleflavored stuff: Is that really a question? Anyone who answers “Log Cabin” shouldn’t be allowed to eat pancakes in New England.
Yummiest Vermont food or drink: Vermont’s Butterfly Bakery collaborated with Guster to make a spicy pickle mustard, called “Gustard”—it’s actually delicious!
One of my most fun Spruce Peak experiences: I loved my last time here, performing a benefit concert at the Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center in a weirdo ski-band, Secret Stash, with Stefan Lessard of Dave Matthews Band, Nuno Bettencourt of Extreme, Marc Roberge of O.A.R., Al Schnier from moe., DJ Logic, and others. I got to sing the harmony part of “More Than Words” with Nuno!
If I could be any animal, I would be: I love hawks. So, a hawk? Yeah, a hawk.
A song I think everyone should hear: “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong. Probably not the obscure gem you were looking for, but damn I love that song and how it makes me feel.
Summer Date TBD
Chadwick Stokes grew up on a small farm outside of Boston, and has been a songwriter since early adolescence. From Dispatch, which he started in his early 20s; to his politically driven band, State Radio; to his nascent solo project, Chadwick Stokes and the Pintos, Stokes has committed himself to using music as a vehicle for social and political change. In 2008, he and his wife, Sybil, founded Calling All Crows, a nonprofit organization dedicated to engaging music fans around women's issues both at home and abroad.
My connection to Vermont: I have a lot of family in Vermont and used to come here for every holiday. I went to Middlebury College as well, which is where I met the other two guys in Dispatch.
My favorite outdoor activity to do here: Skiing and riding If I could take just one album on a long road trip it would be: Blind Melon’s first record or Joni Mitchell’s Blue. Genuine maple syrup or fake mapleflavored stuff: One time, traveling with Dispatch to NYC, we brought maple syrup to Heavy D [a rapper and record producer]. He liked the real stuff too. Yummiest Vermont food or drink: WhistlePig Whiskey.
One of my most fun Vermont experiences: Jumping freight trains, getting caught in Brattleboro (not so fun), and then catching out again at White River Junction.
If I could be any animal, I would be: A flying squirrel: best of both worlds.
A song I think everyone should hear: Nina Simone’s cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Suzanne".
Thursday, August 12
Stephen Kellogg is a Grammy-nominated American singer and songwriter who has released 17 albums and performed more than 2,000 concerts in 21 countries. He lives in New England with his wife, four daughters, and their cat, Holly.
My connection to Vermont: The biggest thing I can say about Vermont is that I always intended to live here when I “grew up.” Its landscape is just so beautiful and wholesome, and I’m a “New England or die” type of guy. The reality of airports and family set in, and I settled in Connecticut—but I never visit Vermont without thinking, “Maybe someday...”
My favorite outdoor activity to do here: Corn hole at the bottom of the mountain in the Village at Spruce Peak. I know this disappoints my outdoorsy pals, but I dig chilling in wonderful nature without having to feel the rush of physical exertion.
If I could take just one album on a long road trip it would be: Oh gosh. Depends on my mood, obviously. Answering this question today: Taylor Swift’s Folklore. What can I say? She writes great lyrics. Genuine maple syrup or fake mapleflavored stuff: This is a loaded question, but the truth is never a bad idea. I like fake Mrs. Butterworth. (You’re probably thinking, “And I was just beginning to like this guy!”)
Yummiest Vermont food or drink: Everything. Ben and Jerry’s. WhistlePig old fashioned. Burgers. Tacos. Avocado toast. Vermont generally seems to know that good food feeds the soul. One of my most fun Spruce Peak experiences: Last summer I came to Spruce Peak and had a great round on the golf course. One of the most stunning experiences I’ve ever had out there. Psyched to come back!
If I could be any animal, it would be: A hummingbird. They rule. If you don’t dig them, there is something wrong with you. A song I think everyone should hear: If we are talking about me, I’d go, “High Highs, Low Lows”—I’m really proud of that song. But if we’re talking about other artists, I’d go to bat hard for “Humble and Kind” by Lori McKenna.
Thursday, August 26, 7pm
Singer-songwriter Jason Spooner's sound blends roots, folk, and blues. With soulful vocals and poetic lyrics, his music is fresh and evocative. My connection to Vermont: I have lived in Maine for 25 years, and Vermont is certainly considered one of our good neighbors of the north country. I visit the Green Mountain state regularly for performing and radio station shows, skiing, and personal creative getaways when I want to get lost in the mountains. Vermont is a magical place, and I feel lucky to live within a few hours.
My favorite outdoor activity to do here: Skiing, mountain biking, road biking, fishing, hiking, and brewery visiting!
If I could take just one album on a long road trip it would be: Neil Young's After The Gold Rush is hard to top in my book. Genuine maple syrup or fake maple-flavored stuff: Nothing beats the real deal and Vermont has the best, hands down.
Yummiest Vermont food and drink: On the beverage end of the spectrum, I've always loved Vermont beer, cider, and whiskey. The Alchemist lineup is legendary; Cold Hollow and Stowe Cider are stellar; and WhistlePig Whiskey is putting New England on the map on the distillery front. Food? Big fan of Prohibition Pig [in nearby Waterbury] and the late-night gravy fries at Nectar's [in Burlington]. A few summers back, I also discovered these little roadside “creemee” stands serving maple soft serve ice cream, which you only see in Vermont. It's a taste of heaven.
One of my most fun Spruce Peak experiences: I visited Stowe last summer during the pandemic and played my first live show in almost a year, opening for Chad Stokes of Dispatch at Spruce Peak. It was a very special night. The next day I hiked to Bingham Falls and jumped in...just a dreamy couple of days.
If I could be any animal, I would be: A hawk or an eagle. I see tons of them in the woods in Maine and they live incredibly peaceful and noble lives.
A song I think everyone should hear: "Angel Flying to Close to the Ground," by Willie Nelson. It was one of my dad's favorites and he sang it often. Makes me think of him and smile.
Thursday, August 26, 7pm
Since recording his first of eight albums in 2003, Maine-based singer, songwriter, and self-taught guitarist Pete Kilpatrick has performed around the country and developed a devoted following.
My connection to Vermont: I live in a small college town just north of Portland, but I perform in Vermont a few times a year. It is a special place with so much to do.
My favorite outdoor activity to do here: Mountain biking—I always try to bring my bike along on trips to Vermont. If I could take just one album on a long road trip it would be: Leon Bridge’s Good Thing is my go-to record for mountain biking, so it would be a tie between that or Paul Simon's Graceland.
Genuine maple syrup or fake mapleflavored stuff: I'm not a huge pancake/french toast guy, but when I have it I definitely opt for the real stuff.
Yummiest Vermont food or drink: WhistlePig is amazing! I have been fortunate to partner with them on some events, and I always manage to score a bottle of the good stuff to bring home. I also love Cabot cheese in any form—that is our go-to when shopping.
One of my most fun Spruce Peak experiences: In early 2020, I had the opportunity to sit in with members of DMB, Guster, O.A.R, and others at the Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center. It was one of the last in-person shows I did before everything shut down due to COVID-19. It is such a beautiful venue, and many people started following my career because of that night. It was also such a blast to perform, with some of my musical heroes, some of the very songs that helped shape who I am as an artist.
If I could be any animal, it would be: Some type of cool-looking bird that spends the days hanging out near the water. Maybe a red-winged blackbird or a noisy gray catbird who loves oranges and is always singing disjointed notes. Haha!
A song I think everyone should hear: My favorite song of the last few years is "Elegy" by Leif Vollebekk. It stops me in my tracks every time I hear it. He is a Canadian artist who has a really unique style—a cross between Leonard Cohen and a more upbeat Damien Rice.