You have to appreciate an artist who invites himself to a festival (see below for the full story). Of course, in this case, the festival organizers welcomed him with open, arguably ecstatic, arms. And why shouldn’t they? Christopher Paul Stelling is a compelling live performer who will undoubtedly captivate the Tweed River Music Festival crowd.
Stelling has just released Labor Against Waste, his third album and the first for his new label, legendary Anti- Records. Stelling spoke with us about getting to perform alongside many close friends, playing in daylight and why he doesn’t want to live in Providence, RI.
This is your first time playing the Tweed River Music Festival. What, if any, expectations do you have for the experience?
I just know I love the folks involved in putting it on… I actually reached out to them, and was like… “YO… can I play, all my friends’ll be there”… and they were like… “oh, no shit, we thought you’d be in Europe”… and I was like… “nope, I’ll be back by then!”
Are there any particular artists that you are particularly excited to see perform at Tweed this year?
*looks up the lineup*…. wow… all of them! but I consider Joe Fletcher, Dan Blakeslee, Bryan Minto (Cannibal Ramblers) among my nearest and dearest… also Smith and Weeden and JP Harris are all my good pals. Curtis Mayflower are so tasty… see man… I shouldn’t have even started… it’s gonna be that good.
Vermont is a haven for outdoor sports and activities year-round. Are there any outdoor sports/activities that you especially enjoy when you’re not working?
I play the guitar outside sometimes. I like to fish, but it’s been a while.
What is your favorite Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor?
I have NO IDEA…. Didn’t Steven Colbert have one? Lets go with that.
Do you think differently about festival shows than you do about regular shows?
Yeah man… they’re outside mostly… that can be strange… and daylight is not something I can ever get used to playing in.
Tweed has always been a festival that is built around community. How would you describe the music community in your home town/town where you live? How has it, if at all, influenced your music?
A good portion of the folks playing this fest that I mentioned previously are my community. Living in New York is kind of strange for community… Everyone is so busy… it’s a great place to hide and a better place to leave to go on tour. I love the Providence music community… I would move there, but then I wouldn’t have a favorite place that I didn’t live anymore.
How does “location” fit into your songwriting?
It does in that my location is constantly changing, and I hope my songs are too.
Here is Christopher Paul Stelling performing “Hard Work” from the just released Labor Against Waste.
Tweed River Music Festival is less a showcase for bands and more a celebration of everything that great music embodies: the deeply personal link between artist and fan, the spirit of community and cooperation and, yes, the magical atmosphere of a great show in a stunning setting.
Set on a bucolic swath of land nestled between the Green and Northfield Mountains in the Mad River Valley in Waitsfield, VT, the 2015 Tweed River Music Festival will host more than 30 acts, including staples such as Bow Thayer, Tim Gearan, Andrea Gillis, White Dynomite and The Curtis Mayflower, while also welcoming Bloodshot Records recording artist Lydia Loveless, Vermont natives Waylon Speed and Alligator Records recording artist (and Boston native) Jesse Dee. Other great musical acts include Joe Fletcher, JP Harris and The Tough Choices, Caitlin Canty and ANTI Records recording artist Christopher Paul Stelling.
About the author: Mild-mannered corporate executive by day, excitable Twangville denizen by night.