Photos by Matt Heasley | Words by Levi Norton
Pop Break Live: Twiddle’s Tumble Down 2019 in Burlington, Vermont
Burlington based quartet, Twiddle held their 4th Annual Tumble Down Festival at Waterfront Park in their hometown of Burlington, Vermont on July 26th and 27th. Nestled on beautiful Lake Champlain, the grounds which are normally open to the public, took form of a small music festival, boasting two stages, local beer and food vendors, as well as several art vendors. Each night had two full sets of the main headlining band as well as four other sets each day with musicians ranging from a young Vermont band, Nina’s Brew, to the son of legendary reggae artist Bob Marley; Stephen Marley.
Friday afternoon kicked off with an acoustic set by Twiddle, who is made up of front man Mihali Swoulidis (lead guitar/vocals), Ryan Dempsey (keys/ synthesizer/organ/vocals) and Zdenek Gubb (Bass/vocals). In a low key setting that took place on the smaller side stage, the early comers to the festival were treated to an intimate set, which set the mood for the rest of the weekend which proved to be as laid back as you could imagine a Vermont outdoor live music experience to be.
Later that afternoon, a musical collaboration of renowned artists, who go by the name of Ghost Light, performed songs from their debut album Best Kept Secret, which has been an ongoing project since the band started in 2017. An impressive lineup featuring Tom Hamilton (guitar/vocals), Raina Mullen (Guitar/vocals), Holly Bowling (Piano), and Scotty Zwang (drums), took the crowd on a musical journey, showcasing all of the individual’s unique talents and sounds. Coming from all across the musical spectrum, Ghost Light’s energy was impressively tight, ranging from rockin’ and raw, to more explorative and psychedelic.
One of the more anticipated headlining acts took place on Friday. Stephen Marley, hailing from Kingston Jamaica, son of the infamous Bob Marley was joined by a full supporting band to recreate many of his fathers’ classics, which had the crowd lighting up and singing along to the classic roots reggae. Toward the end of the set, the stage was joined by three children to sway back and forth to the music, who Stephen later announced to the crowd were some of the grandchildren of Bob Marley himself, and that the torch was being passed yet again.
With this being their festival, and their hometown Twiddle closed out Night One with an absolutely awesome night set.
As The music was just getting started the next day, and impending storm loomed over Lake Champlain, making its way from the Adirondack Mountains in New York on what appeared to be a direct route to the concert grounds. As a safety precaution, the entire venue was evacuated, and people were encouraged to take cover in a vehicle or near by parking garage. As it became clear the ominous rain system had dissipated over the lake, a massive line formed outside as people were allowed to reenter. Although not everybody was initially enthralled by the wait, the show continued on, in time for the other headlining act!
The nine piece, Brooklyn based Funk fusion band Turkuaz soon took the stage as the sun shined down. Dressed in brightly colored garments that reflected the diversity and colorfulness of this super high energy arrangement, the horn filled, harmony driven music brought the mood back into a positive up swing. Front man Dave Barandwein captivated the audience with his baby blue guitar, which matched his bright baby blue suit from the middle of the stage. Having a little more tour time under their belt than some of the other smaller acts (Turkuaz being formed in 2011), this group really knows how to put on a performance.
Many of the performers that took the stage at Twiddle’s 4th Annual Tumble Down Festival are still on their 2019 summer tour, whose dates can be found on any one of their web sites.
Twiddle’s 4th Annual Tumble Down was absolutely awesome, and it was great to see a band return to its hometown, bring a slew of big names in the jam scene with them, and create something truly magical.