Since opening doors April 15, 1998, Higher Ground has served the Vermont and Northern New England community with 7,500+ shows featuring every genre under the sun. Continuing that tradition, Higher Ground is celebrating its 20th anniversary throughout the month of April with an incredible lineup of favorites, underplays, surprises, and reunions. A full list follows.
In everything, balance. We aspire towards it. We lie about having it. Balance is a common tie between so many aspects of our being. Work and play, sleep and wake. Eastern, Greek and modern philosophies are steeped in it. Even a silver lining needs a touch of grey. But, why are we pre-programmed to seek balance? Why can’t we overload our individual tastes? Who says too much of everything isn’t just enough?
I ask for a lot. Usually, when it comes to music, all I do is ask. “Can we afford a Phish festival this year?”, “Can we take the kids to this show?” and most importantly “Mike, can you get me into this show?” For those of you reading this after its won the Pulitzer and was picked up by the AP, let me set the stage. Mike Moran is the owner, founder, and editor of gratefulweb.com. It’s his pull that gets me into the shows. Our relationship is based solely on me asking and him obliging. But once in a great while, he does ask me to cover a show.
There is a slow pace and a sparse population in the Adirondack Park. We have approximately the same amount of year round residents in 2015 as we did in 1900. Having a music venue that is truly close to home is a luxury I no longer have. A fair concession for living here. Hopefully, this clarifies why I consider the Higher Ground in South Burlington, despite the 90 minutes it takes me to arrive from my doorstep, my home field.
The environment; the space you are in externally and between your ears can make music magical. It can also make music sad, stressful, angry and every other emotion you can conjure up. But that is what always brings me back to the feeling of magic. It’s like a smell. There are certain smells that take you places. A faint perfume as you walk down a busy street can transport you back to summer camp and a first love.
As I ate the best sushi I had eaten in as long as I can remember, I had to keep looking over my shoulder, half expecting to see Keller Williams walk into the room. In terms of our physical proximity to one and other, it wasn’t that big of a stretch. He was playing later that night in South Burlington. But Keller and I have a connection that runs much deeper than this superficial story.