The Sacred Shakers storm the VAE


NORTH BENNINGTON -- Vermont Arts Exchange’s Basement Music Series presents The Sacred Shakers featuring Eilen Jewell.

A wonderful distillation of classic folk, country and blues styles delivered by an unforgettable chorus of voices, this show is not to be missed. Performance is set for Friday, December 6. Doors to VAE’s Basement Music Series in the Sage Street Mill open at 7 p.m., the show begins at 8 p.m.

For The Sacred Shakers, there’s nothing finer than old-time, country and blues-influenced gospel music. Think Hank Williams, The Carter Family, The Stanley Brothers, Son House, and Mississippi Fred McDowell.

Beginning in 2005, that music drew a small but ever-widening circle of some of Boston’s finest musicians and vocalists together at the Country Gospel Brunch concert series.

In short order, The Boston Globe described the group as "a local Who’s Who of all-star roots musicians." On their eponymous debut, The Sacred Shakers offer new life to the gospel genre by revisiting the stripped down country and bluesy gospel material that inspires them.

The beauty of The Sacred Shakers is the easy mix and match of lead vocalists, with Daniel Fram taking lead backed up by Eilen Jewell’s rich harmonies on some numbers, Jason Beek and Jewell joining voices on another, and the pure ring of Greg Glassman or Eric Royer out in front on others - all with some combination of the others not far behind.

That approach of putting a contemporary spin on older material follows the recipe Jewell, Beek, Johnny Sciascia and Jerry Miller took collectively as the Eilen Jewell Band, a regular guest to the Basement Stage, on her internationally acclaimed 2007 debut, Letters From Sinners & Strangers.

Tickets to this concert are $18 ($10 for students with valid ID) through Brown Paper Tickets, the first and only fair-trade ticketing company, at brownpapertickets .com or by calling (toll free) 800-838-3006 -- a small processing fee will be charged. Tickets are $22 at the door on the day of show on a first-come, first-served basis.

Libations will be available from Thyme Tables Catering.

Follow the 2013 season on the Basement Music Series Facebook page ( and on Twitter (BMSatVAE).

Up next: Jeffrey Broussard and the Creole Cowboys featuring the accordion mastery and soulful vocals of front man Jeffrey Broussard, on Friday, Jan. 17, 2014.

Vermont Arts Exchange is a fully handicapped-accessible facility.

For more information about Vermont Arts Exchange, the 2013 Basement Music Series season, vacation art camps, classes or workshops, contact VAE at 802-442-5549 or visit


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