Hot Mustard opens the show

Concert reunites two musician couples for the first time since 2014

BRATTLEBORO — Hot Mustard, which will perform with Tony Trischka and Robot Plane on Sunday, Oct. 9, features two couples - Putney's own Bruce and Kelly Stockwell, and Bill and April Jubett of South Bristol, Maine. From 2008 to 2015, this foursome played traditional bluegrass throughout New England.

The band centered around Bruce on banjo and vocals - he provides the baritone harmony parts - and Kelly on acoustic bass, with Bill on banjos and lead vocals and April on guitar and tenor vocals.

The Jubetts moved from southern New Hampshire to Maine, which made touring and performing nearly impossible until this reunion concert on Oct. 9.

“The original players, the first generation players, were all from the South,” says Bruce Stockwell. “Earl Scruggs [was] the primary one who introduced this style to the country. He had a superb style but largely traditional.”

In contrast, Stockwell says, Tony Trischka “was born in 1949 in Syracuse, was the son of a physics professor, his background was extremely different than Scruggs'.”

Trischka, he says, “had this wide range of influences and wasn't afraid to incorporate them in his banjo playing.”

He cites Tony's first band, Breakfast Special, where he doubled on the pedal steel guitar as an example.

“You never know what you'd get from these guys - they were out to break the mold,” Stockwell says. “They enjoyed toying with the formula.”

“Tony has been a hero of mine since the get go,” he adds. “I started playing in 1967 and first saw Tony play in the 1970s at bluegrass festivals in New England. I consider him to be the number-one progressive banjo player in the world.”

A successful season

“It's hard to believe that the 2022 Bandwagon Series is almost over,” Maia Segura, a board member of Next Stage Arts Project, said in an email to The Commons.

“Between May 7 and Oct. 15, we will have hosted 20 spectacular performances through the series featuring artists from all over the globe,” Segura says.

Segura considers the people in the region “so lucky to have Next Stage Arts Project connecting us to a wide world of artistic gems, like Tony Trischka.”

The bluegrass icon is special, she says, “because he takes us back to the roots of Next Stage - honoring our rich local musical traditions.”

Subscribe to the newsletter for weekly updates