News and Views




Life and Work


Submit your news

Submit commentary

Support us

Become a member


Print advertising

Web advertising

About us

Contact us

Privacy Policy

The Commons
The Arts

Mary McCaslin, Rick Shea make rare East Coast appearance in BF on Dec. 5

Originally published in The Commons issue #180 (Wednesday, November 28, 2012).

BELLOWS FALLS—California singer/songwriter Mary McCaslin seldom ventures East, but she’ll be stopping by the Windham Ballroom at Popolo Restaurant on Wednesday, Dec. 5. Joining her on the bill is guitarist and songwriter Rick Shea, a member of Dave Alvin’s touring band The Guilty Men.

McCaslin and Shea will each take a solo turn, then they’ll perform classic songs from “The Bramble and the Rose,” a duo recording McCaslin and the late Jim Ringer made in a Vermont barn in the 1970s.

Ringer was McCaslin’s partner, a folk singer who started out working California’s fields, had been a prizefighter, and had even served a little hard time. The title song was written by Barbara Keith, best known as the voice of Stone Coyotes.

In 2011, Shea approached McCaslin about unearthing the McCaslin/Ringer duets and taking their show on the road.

A deeply evocative singer and a formidable guitarist, Shea delivers a near cinematic sound, embracing everything from Norteño and border rock to the more traditional folk and country music of the California of his roots.

Popolo is at 36 Village Square in Bellows Falls. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., with showtime at 8. Tickets are $18 in advance, or $24 for the “Angel” seats. Tickets are on sale in Bellows Falls at Village Square Books, Popolo (10 percent off dinner for patrons with show tickets), Misty Valley Books in Chester, Turn it Up in Brattleboro, and at

The show is a joint presentation of Flying Under Radar (, Kicking & Screaming, and Vermont Festivals, with help from MMorgana.

For more information, call Vermont Festivals at 802-463-9595.

What do you think? Leave us a comment

Editor’s note: Our terms of service require you to use your real names. We will remove anonymous or pseudonymous comments that come to our attention. We rely on our readers’ personal integrity to stand behind what they say; please do not write anything to someone that you wouldn’t say to his or her face without your needing to wear a ski mask while saying it. Thanks for doing your part to make your responses forceful, thoughtful, provocative, and civil. We also consider your comments for the letters column in the print newspaper.