2016 Slaid Cleeves House Concert

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48 Hours at the Inn, Events

This summer we were treated to another wonderful house concert through the efforts of Tim and Lori Blix at Cabin Concerts. Over the years they have brought an amazing line up of musicians like Ellis Paul, Richard Shindell and Lori McKenna to our living room stage along with hundreds of music listeners. In August we had the pleasure of welcoming singer-songwriter Slaid Cleeves, and we asked Tim and Lori if they would share some thoughts about the experience. Here’s what they had to say:

Well we’ve been pretty negligent in noting our West Mountain Inn activities on this blog in the past, but we felt like we had to make note of our visits at the Inn this year.  We think these were our seventh and eighth events with the Inn!

We have organized a number of musical weekends at Inns and self catering places literally all over the world.  Just over ten years ago we found the West Mountain and knew we had found the PERFECT venue for what we like to do.  Our events bring together an entire Inn full of people and at least one very talented singer/songwriter.  Past events at the Inn have featured the talents of Ellis Paul, Richard Shindell, and on one super weekend Mark Erelli, Tracy Grammer, and the co-author of this year’s Grammy for Best Country Song, Lori McKenna.  The idea for our events is that the artist does three shows exclusively for those of us staying at the Inn, and the kicker is that they cannot repeat ANY songs during the three night run!  Not many can do three nights of shows with no repeats, and fewer still can do three nights of the kind of caliber songs these artists have given us in the past.

This year brought us a West Mountain first timer, and a true favorite of the acoustic singer/songwriter crowd, Slaid Cleaves!  Slaid hails from southwestern Maine but has called Texas home for many years now.  His immense talents have brought him fans from all over the world, and his first set of shows this year (Slaid did two separate sold out sets of three nights in August) was reason enough for one couple to travel all the way from Australia to hear some great music amidst the mountains of Vermont!  We have had fans travel from England for previous events, but Australia kind of shattered our long distance travel record!

Every one of our events at the Inn has been special in its’ own unique way.  The Inn is the absolute perfect setting for what we do and literally everyone who’s ever joined us has loved the Inn and these very unique opportunities to see their favorite artists up close and personal.  To date everyone of our events have sold out and we look forward to being back at the Inn with another talented singer again very soon.

-Tim & Lori Blixt

If you attended the Slaid Cleeves house concert or others at the Inn, we’d love to see your photos and hear your memories!

2 Comments

  1. Tim, Lori, the crew at West Mountain Inn, and of course Slaid and Karen,

    I first stumbled upon Slaid Cleaves when I was trying to find some new content for what I expected to be a long project in the woodshop. This was probably October of 2015.

    I was listening to a John Prine “station” on Amazon Prime and they figured that if I liked John, I might also like Slaid Cleaves. The first Slaid song that I heard had to have been from the Sorrow & Smoke recordings, because I know that I quickly downloaded all of that double-disc set to listen to it straight through.

    I didn’t get half-way through the first disc of Sorrow & Smoke before it was clear to me that – if only for the enjoyment that I’d already received for “free” from Amazon – I needed to pay the artist for the full asking price of this work. I listen to a lot of live recordings from various genres and eras, and this double-disc example has made its way into my Top-3 of all time. It’s that good. The intimacy of the setting, the storytelling, the playlist…they’re all great. Add the songwriting, the vocals, and the contributions by Michael O’Connor and Oliver Steck (both amazing) and this is the complete package.

    The next step in this journey is obviously to find where to see this guy in a live setting. We live outside of Texas, but I have the benefit of growing up nearby the Austin metro, so it’s easy for me to find a show like that with the excuse of visiting relatives. haha. But when I stumbled upon the 3-day show in Vermont, I was sold. How cool…3 shows that were limited to 30-someodd random people, and you get to hang out in Vermont where the cell phone coverage is crappy? Sounds perfect, to me.

    I introduced the idea to my wife, and she immediately responded with “I wouldn’t go to see U2 for three nights in a row” – U2 is her favorite band. So, I booked my room, paid for two concert fees, and started looking for candidates to accompany me. The concert was mid-August and every friend (and some who were really just casual acquaintances) turned down my offer for free room and board. I even offered a couple of them all-expenses-paid. Hindsight is 20-20, but my fisherman friends have realized that they should have accepted (the Orvis headquarters is just a few miles from West Mountain Inn).

    After I couldn’t find any willing participants, my lovely wife finally relented in agreeing to join me. Our drove from Albany was nice, and when we arrived in Arlington, it reminded me of scenes from the Bob Newhart show. The folks at the Inn greeted us with warmth and we were given the brief tour, but then left to our own agenda while feeling supported in whatever direction we wanted to go.
    The concerts started that night, and continued for two more. Like Tim says, it’s 3 shows and 0 repeats and that’s pretty amazing, cool, and freaking hard to do for any artist. What you’re seeing at this type of event is special, so-much-so that I purposely avoided listening to anything other than Slaid’s “Sorrow & Smoke” recording before seeing him for this first time, live. Yeah, I’m weird.

    I love that Tim and Lori have done this for other artists, but I can’t speak to those performances. What I can say is that for any artist whom you REALLY enjoy, this is THE venue/setting that you want to see them in. It’s intimate and special in so many ways and you’ll remember the experience forever, like it was yesterday.

    • Thanks so much for your wonderful feedback Joe! We hope to see you back again for another house concert.

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