BRATTLEBORO — In the spirit of Women's History Month, Stone Church organizers say they are turning their spotlight on women (their definition of women is inclusive of cisgender and trans women, as well as nonbinary people affected by gender oppression), and they have booked almost entirely women-fronted bands for the month of March.
As part of this month of music by women, Stone Church is hosting an album release concert with Vermont-based fiddler and singer Lissa Schneckenburger on Sunday, March 5, at 3 p.m.
Over the last several decades, Schneckenburger has made music that showcased everything from traditional New England dance tunes to original songs inspired by her experience as a foster and adoptive parent. Her newest release, Falling Forward, blends her love of traditional music with her love of writing. This is her first fiddle-forward album in over a decade.
She will be performing throughout New England in support of the new release with pianist Rachel Aucoin and accordion player Emily Troll.
The first year of the pandemic was a deeply creative time for Schneckenburger. She said in a news release that when everything shut down (including her touring schedule) and there was so much struggle and tragedy worldwide along with so much difficulty at home, writing music became an essential outlet.
“I had to write music to process my experience of living through such a difficult time,” Schneckenburger said. “It was my lifeline.” The result was what Schneckenburger jokingly calls “overflowing bucketfuls of music” and enough new material for several albums.
The first in the queue, Falling Forward is a collection of Schneckenburger's original fiddle tunes and two traditional New England songs, scheduled for release on March 3.
“I have a modest home studio and do a lot of remote recording and engineering myself,” Schneckenburger said, “but after the isolation of living through a global pandemic, I knew that recording in person was the only way to bring this new music to life.”
Falling Forward was recorded in Springfield, Massachusetts, with some of the most influential musicians in traditional music today, including Aucoin, producer/fiddler Katie McNally, bass player Mali Obomsawin, cellist Natalie Haas, and accordion player Karen Tweed.
“These women are my heroes,” Schneckenburger gushes, “they are leaders in the acoustic music world, and it was such an honor to record with them.”