The hillside at Dog Mountain in St. Johnsbury will once again be alive with the sound of music, as the Levitt AMP St. Johnsbury Music Series returns for a third year of free concerts on Sundays.
The free family- and dog-friendly festivities kick off July 14 with lauded Tennessee singer-songwriter Peter Karp and close Sep. 22 with world-inspired Montreal hip-hop collective Nomadic Massive.
The 10-concert series returns to take over the sprawling locale, thanks to a grant provided by the Levitt Foundation. The Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization awards $25,000 matching grants to 15 nonprofits serving small to mid-sized towns and cities, to present free weekly summer concerts “and breathe new life into an underused public space,” according to a news release.
Here’s a look at the Levitt AMP St. J lineup:
July 14: The series kicks off with noteworthy Americana singer-songwriter Peter Karp, who, with his trio, delivers a vital sound that Karp calls “soul-influenced Americana blues-rock.” “Peter Karp should be a lot better known than he is,” says the All-Music Guide. “Karp is his own man, an artist who blends roots music styles into something that combines and transcends blues, country, rock, honky-tonk, R&B, swamp, swing and jazz.”
July 21: Standout Glasgow, Scotland Celtic rock band Albannach brings its tribal “bareknuckle pipes and drums” sound back to Dog Mountain for the second straight year.
July 28: Short for Brazilian Twins, B2wins is a high-energy quartet led by charismatic twins Walter (electric violin, vocals) and Wagner Caldas (ukulele, keyboards). Rising up from the violent and impoverished favelas of Rio de Janeiro, the Iowa-based band brings its lively mix of rock concert, jam session, dance party and comedy routine.
Aug. 4: Ward Hayden & the Outliers is a Boston country-rock quartet formerly known as Girls Guns & Glory. Led by feisty frontman Hayden, it delivers equal measures of torch and twang, the band brings its renowned live show back to Vermont in support of an EP of cover songs, “Can’t Judge a Book.”
Aug. 11: Described by Irish Music Magazine as “a full-bodied pipe and whistle extravaganza,” Belfast, Ireland, quintet Réalta performs on dueling uilleann pipes, whistles, bodhrán, guitar, bouzouki, double bass and vocals.
Aug. 18: An all-female group of performers from New Zealand, Mama Mihirangi & the Mareikura brings its stirring mix of Maori roots music, dance, stories and live looping. “The queen of live loops is back in force after a break from touring,” said Songlines Magazine in March about frontwoman Mihirangi, “and this new show is her best yet.”
Aug. 25: La Misa Negra is an Oakland, Calif.-based seven-piece group known for its distinctive, dance-inducing blend of heavyweight cumbia and high-energy Afro-Latin music, served up with a healthy dose of punk rock energy. Nominated for two Grammy Awards for its self-titled 2017 sophomore album, the band “joins the growing ranks of dynamic, energetic underground ensembles who have been redefining modern Latino and Latin music,” according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Sep. 8: A dynamite double-bill featuring standout Burlington band Barika and lauded Paris-born, Montreal-based singer-songwriter Daby Touré. Known for its groove-driven, West African-based instrumental music, Barika performs in support of its excellent 2018 album, “A Simple Light.” Touré is currently recording new songs with Montreal producer Afrotronix, for a follow-up to “Amonafi,” his 2015 album on the Charlotte-based Cumbancha label. (Touré performs Friday at Higher Ground Showcase Lounge in South Burlington.)
Sep. 15: Durham County Poets, an eclectic roots quintet from the Chateauguay Valley in southwestern Quebec, brings its lively and soulful sound that blends blues, folk and rock.
Sep. 22: The series closes out in style with world-inspired Montreal hip-hop collective Nomadic Massive, performing in support of a new album, “Times,” which was released in May. “It’s a culmination of a decade and a half of creation,” said the Link about the album, “blending the stories and cultures of the group in a brand-new way.”