An incredibly talented multi-instrumentalist, dedicated performer, prolific songwriter, gifted and expressive vocalist, Kort McCumber has wandered beyond good and into the elusive land of great. More than a decade into his musical pilgrimage, he continues to define, and redefine, his sound, his persona, his love for music and his unwavering commitment to bringing good music, “no make that great” music, to listeners throughout the United States, Europe and Australia. And, as with any true pilgrimage, it’s not merely about defining and redefining, but more about discovering and rediscovering the person behind the persona.
He has opened for some of the biggest names in acoustic music: Arlo Guthrie, Shawn Colvin, Johnathan Edwards, Tom Rush. He’s performed at some of America’s best venues: The Bottom Line, The Bitter End, Club Passim, Mays Chapel, Cornell’s Bound-for-Glory. He has recorded critically acclaimed albums. He’s received seven songwriting grants from ASCAP and has been awarded grants through the NEA and the Crossroads Arts Council for his SING-ME DRAW-ME children’s music program which has been used by the State of Vermont’s, Rutland County, Headstart Program.
Fortune called Tom Peters the “Ur-guru” of management (he doesn’t know what that means either) and compares him to Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman and H.L. Mencken. And the Economist tagged him the “Uber-guru.” The Bloomsbury Press book, Movers and Shakers: The 100 Most Influential Figures in Modern Business, reviewed the historical contributions of path-breaking management thinkers and practitioners, from Machiavelli and J.P. Morgan to Peters and Jack Welch. The summary entry on Peters’ impact: “Tom Peters has probably done more than anyone else to shift the debate on management from the confines of boardrooms, academia, and consultancies to a broader, worldwide audience, where it has become the staple diet of the media and managers alike. Peter Drucker has written more and his ideas have withstood a longer test of time, but it is Peters-as consultant, writer, columnist, seminar lecturer, and stage performer – whose energy, style, influence, and ideas have shaped new management thinking.”
Thumping synth basslines and popping, funky drumbeats drive the skillfully intricate guitar playing and explosions of electric violin string-shredding. Reflecting their influences of past and present (including Frank Zappa, Led Zeppelin, the Talking Heads, Arcade Fire, and the White Stripes), the StereoFidelics avoid performing with loops, computers, and digital effects in favor of the more organic approach of using Moog Taurus pedals, scat vocal solos, and multi-instrumentalism. You see, the fast-fingered guitar player (Chris Padgett) keeps the basslines pounding through a one-octave floor keyboard, the tiny female vocalist (Melissa McGinley) is also the drummer; he sings too, and she plays violin. They perform with a natural passion and synchronicity that not only dispels any association with the herky-jerky one-man-band cliché, but post-performance, leaves their audience sympathetically exhausted and dripping with sweat.
From the mountains of Vermont, Wind that Shakes the Barley presents a tantalizing mixture of traditional music and folklore from the Celtic lands of Ireland, Scotland, Brittany and beyond. Each performance radiates a warmth and vigor that has delighted its followers for many years. The Wind infuses high-energy music with rolling rhythms, hypnotic arrangements, and stirring vocals. Wooden flute, whistles, pipes, accordion, cittern, guitar, bodhran and voices blend to dazzle audiences with fiery jigs, reels and songs that have a freshness and vitality that’s hard to resist. Entrancing stories of love, betrayal, country and nature have made audiences everywhere both laugh and cry.
With the release of their third album, Frozen in Time, Foxtrot Zulu’s touring schedule and crowds increased, and Foxtrot found itself playing in front of larger and larger audiences at festivals and venues from Canada to California and all points in between. The album drew both critical and fan acclaim, garnering significant college radio attention. MSNBC, MTV, Rolling Stone, The Washington Times, The Boston Globe, Relix Magazine, JamBands.com, The Pharmer’s Almanac, The Providence Journal, The Providence Phoenix, Worcester Magazine, The Boston Phoenix and several other newspapers and magazines across the US wrote, not just favorably, but excitedly, about the originality of Foxtrot’s sound and the tenacity of their live performances. “Foxtrot Zulu doesn’t just jam,” wrote the Boston Globe. “They Rock.”
Gold Town started to take shape when singer Andrew Stearns and banjoist William Mosheim were given a weekly gig in Southern Vermont. The two close friends found themselves drawn in by the melodic simplicity and deep tradition of old-time and bluegrass music. The Barn in Pawlet, Vermont served as the ultimate link to the band’s formation, as bassist Josh Loun began to sit in on upright bass. Frequent collaborators and friends, Johnny Davis and Jeremy Sicily, both made a strong contribution to the band’s early years, and now Mike Wheeler has joined the group on resonator and harmonies. Drawing inspiration from the energy of punk, fiddle music, and old-time ballads, Gold Town like to stir up a footstompin’ program with a sound that has become Vermont’s own Mountain Thrash for the Weary Heart.
James performs more than 100 live shows every year, travelling from the north woods to Colorado, Florida, Utah, Tennessee and points in between. On select dates, James plays with co-writer and musical partner Kort McCumber. James also writes with Peter Van Dyken (“an incredible lyricist”) and Rick Price. “Rick taught me to stick with my initial instinct – the melody that first pops into your head is probably the right one.” Musically, James feels like he’s come full circle, back to the Jayhawks, Crowded House and the sounds that influenced him early on, but with one big difference – experience. The latest CD, Skyline, is a testament to the journey, the live show even more so. He’s not afraid to see it, say it and lay it on the line. Enlightening, entertaining and engaging – James Moors reaches deep and brings it all, openly and optimistically, back to the surface for everyone to hear – and feel.
Owner, Jim Gilmour, has also provided sound engineering for the following individuals during his career:
- Ben Taylor
- Sarah Lee Guthrie
- Tom Brokaw
- Whitney Houston
- Patti LaBelle
- Pointer Sisters
- Jeffery Osborn
- Wilson Philips
- New Edition
- Gladys Knight and the Pips
- Mat Guitar Murphy
- Eddie Murphy
- Al Gore
- C. Everett Coop
- Bonnie Raitt
- Wilson Phillips