This week a longtime Ludlow band opens Tinmouth’s Old Firehouse for the season, and an ‘80s video game exhibit supports the ongoing Rutland arts revitalization project in an old West Street building.
The “gypsy” in Gypsy Reel really has many meanings.
The Celtic-infused, world-music band has been based in Ludlow for the past three-plus decades, but it travels the world like gypsies, with a revolving door of visiting musicians which member Graham Parker calls “guest gypsies.”
“Gypsy Reel by definition has guest gypsies that come in and out,” Parker said by phone recently. “We like to mix it up. Everybody brings a little something. We keep everything fresh by having these various gypsies and special guests join us.”
But there’s a third meaning as well — “gypsy” relates to Parker’s life in general.
“I’m from England, but we moved to Vermont from Ecuador, (where) I played in the National Symphony Orchestra,” he explained. When asked if that was how he met his wife, he says, “No, we met in Africa, traveling.” But Vermont put its spell on him, and Parker has been here “longer than I’ve ever been anywhere else.”
Their music is described as a high-energy synthesis of world rhythms. Parker said, “We’re mainly a Celtic band. It’s Celtic-infused, but we’re all influenced by the world rather than being penned in by any particular genre.”
The current lineup, with Parker on fiddle; his wife, Camille Parker, on mandolin and vocals, and Claudine Langille on banjo, guitar and vocals, will be joined by gypsies Reagh Greenleaf Jr. on bodhran, percussion and vocals; and Jon Clinch on guitar, “because the band’s regular guitar player is in France.”
Gypsy Reel performs at the Old Firehouse in Tinmouth at 7:30 p.m. Friday April 12. The Old Firehouse is located at 7 Mountain View Road, just a couple hundred feet south of the intersection with Vermont 140. Admission is by donation ($10 suggested).
Outside the window of an old West Street building in Rutland, wall-to-wall video games peek out from inside. They’re the kind that stand over 6-feet tall and used to be widespread in bowling alleys and pizza places.
Video games like PacMan and PacMan Jr. are part of a lineup of classic retro arcades currently on display and free to play in an exhibit called “Dream Machine” at the West Street Gallery, 150 West St., through June.
It’s part of the collection of Nick Grandchamp, a local musician who will be opening the space from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Donations will be accepted, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to a Rutland family in need.
“You can play all of the arcade cabinets and learn the history of each game on display,” Grandchamp says of this show. “It’s great for all ages and a chance to appreciate the art and history of time-honored arcades.”
“Dream Machine,” will be on view at West Street Gallery, 150 West St. in Rutland, through Sunday, June 30. Admission is free, but donations are invited. For more information, please stop by the gallery, visit our Facebook page, or email Nick at email@example.com.