Contra Dance and VT Benefit Concert | Brattleboro VT

Brattleboro Dance Schedule
(more info at or 802-257-9234)

Contra Dance at the Stone Church
Main and Grove Streets, Brattleboro, VT

September 11, 2011
Rebecca Lay, calling
Ethan Hazzard-Watkins, fiddle
Emily Troll, fiddle/accordion
Josh Van Vliet, guitar


Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011. Goodnight Irene Benefit Dance with the Brattleboro Contra Dance Band, Planet Zydeco, Girl Howdy, and the Buzzards Brass Band. Contra, zydeco, country swing, and New Orleans-style “second line.” 4 to 10:30 p.m. Stone Church, Main and Grove Streets, downtown Brattleboro, Vt. $15-20 sliding scale donation suggested for Vermont Red Cross disaster relief. Information: 802-257-9234.


Good Night Irene Dance to Benefit Vermont Red Cross

BRATTLEBORO, Vt. — A four-band extravaganza to benefit the Vermont Red Cross for victims of flood relief is planned for Sunday, Sept. 11 from 4 to 10:30 p.m. at the Stone Church, Main and Grove Streets in downtown Brattleboro. The regularly scheduled Brattleboro Contra Dance will expand to become the Good Night Irene Benefit Dance, including zydeco and country swing with Girl Howdy and Planet Zydeco, along with New Orleans-style “second line” parade interludes by the Buzzards Brass Band. Girl Howdy will kick things off at 4 p.m. with honky tonk music for country swing and two-stepping. Admission is a suggested sliding-scale donation of $15 to $20, or whatever you can pay. All proceeds go to the Vermont Red Cross. No prior dance experience is necessary, and all ages are encouraged to attend. There will be a potluck dinner throughout the evening; if you wish to participate please bring a dish to share.

Girl Howdy is a 5-piece classic honky-tonk combo from Way Out West (Western Mass., that is) featuring Rose Sinclair on steel guitar, Paula Bradley on piano, Betsy-Dawn Williams on flat-top guitar, and special guests Jeff Potter on drums and Lillian Fraker on upright bass. Girl Howdy has been performing at festivals, and clubs throughout the Northeast since 2003, and were invited to play at the 2010 Texas Steel Guitar Jamboree in Dallas. The Providence Journal says, “Girl Howdy packs some serious gurl-harmony with classic honky-tonkin’ grooves.”

The Brattleboro contra dance band features Ethan Hazzard-Watkins on fiddle, Emily Troll on fiddle and accordion, and Josh Van Vliet on guitar, with dance calling by Rebecca Lay.
The band plays traditional and original tunes from Ireland, Quebec and New England, combining fiery fiddling, dynamic accordion melodies and harmonies, and rich guitar accompaniment to make exciting dance music. The members are known throughout the country for their work with bands such as Elixir, The Figments, Anadama and others. Rebecca Lay is a vegetable farmer in Guilford, VT by day; by night she calls contra and square dances, and has become known throughout the country as a talented caller and skilled teacher. She’ll have everyone up and dancing regardless of age or experience.

Planet Zydeco has played their popular Creole Louisiana dance hall music all around the Northeast for many years. Band members include Rose Sinclair, accordion; Peter Pettengill and Nick Keil, electric guitars; Suzanne Wozniak, rubboard; Alan Bradbury, bass; Doug Plavin, drums.

The Buzzards Brass Band, a New Orleans style parade band led by New Orleans native Pete Simoneaux, and featuring a host of leading area musicians, is well known in Brattleboro for its performances at Gallery Walk, Strolling of the Heifers, July 4 celebrations, and numerous street demonstrations.