Twist and Shout

Twist and Shout
Life is never straight (Joey Kulkin photo)

Friday, May 31, 2013

Vignettes from Vermont: Chicks Who Rock

Candice Harwood and her strummified fingers (AGD photo)

BENNINGTON -- The tips of Candice Harwood's thin girly fingers and thumbs are battered, bruised, calloused, shredded and swollen, and let's not even get into her nails, cuticles and knuckles. Strumming and picking axes and ukes for hours and days and weeks and years since she was a little girl has caused the friction that batters and bruises and callouses and shreds and swells her thin little girly fingers and thumbs.

The 18-year-old Chicagoan let Art Gallery Dude photograph her most important assets after an impromptu riff inside the Graffiti Vault at Fiddlehead at Four Corners today, a riff on Lenka's "Caught in the Middle" that secured her spot on "Graffiti Vault Unplugged!" thanks to those rocker fingers and a sweet little set of pipes.

Graffiti Vault Unplugged! is Fiddlehead's newest gig featuring Greater Bennington musicians who'll perform in the world's only bank vault turned Graffiti Vault turned Graffiti Vault music stage with kick-ass acoustics. We totally riffed on MTV Unplugged! but did MTV ever stage its show in an old bank vault? Exactly.

Anyway, AGD will stream all acts live on YouTube and promote the music makers.

Bennington teenager Seth Bartholdi of the band Vice-Versa and North Adams guitar god Tommy Marshall will be the first two acts on Graffiti Vault Unplugged!

We're all about equality here at Fiddlehead and want female musicians to perform too and things have fallen into place quite well the last 24 hours with the confirmation of drummer Justine Curry and now Candice Harwood.

Justine is a 28-year-old from Pittsfield, Massachusetts ...

... who plays in the band Immune Friction with her boyfriend Christopher Dayton. They live in Pownal. Justine also sings, dances and acts but is most at home with sticks in her hands. She entered the Web-only drumming contest "Hit Like A Girl" and finished 4th in the world.

AGD heard about Justine's success and hired her to give his goddaughter drumming lessons for her 9th birthday. Addie has a kit but hasn't really shredded yet so why not now? Her first lesson was last night and from early reports she kicked ass.

"She has natural rhythm," Justine said. "She's very mature for her age, she's very polite and she listens -- which is huge for kids trying to learn music."

So as we have it, 4 musicians are booked to perform on Graffiti Vault Unplugged! But AGD is looking for more talent. You know the drill, just stop into Fiddlehead with your music toy and we'll go into the vault for a little test-run.

Here is a little photo shoot with Candice after her one-song gig, and below the photos are videos of Candice and Justine as well as Seth Bartholdi and Brandon Olson of Vice-Versa.