Nectar’s celebrates four decades

For the first time in 10 years, a UVM band is reuniting to “bring the magic” to a local music venue’s anniversary bluegrass showcase.

Burlington-based eclectic bluegrass band Smokin’ Grass will reunite to play their first show in 10 years to honor Nectar’s 40th anniversary Dec. 10.

“We want to celebrate the Burlington music scene – past, present and future,” said Nectar’s Bar and Lounge manager Brian Mital.

Nectar’s music department collaborated with Phish archivist Kevin Shapiro to form a group of bands from the area that would help them reach their goal of representing older, contemporary and upcoming Burlington, Mital said.

While seeking out bands, Mital said he came across Smokin’ Grass, a band he had formed a relationship with and eventually became a part of during his initial years as manager.

He said he felt they were a perfect fit to celebrate Burlington’s musical history.

Nectar’s Bar and Lounge on Main Street is pictured Oct. 11. Nectar’s was bought by Nector Rorris in 1975 and has hosted bands like Phish and Grace Potter.
[/media-credit] Nectar’s Bar and Lounge on Main Street is pictured Oct. 11. Nectar’s was bought by Nector Rorris in 1975 and has hosted bands like Phish and Grace Potter.
The band formed as they were finishing up their time at UVM and began playing shows in Burlington and surrounding areas, fueled by hard work and passion for live music, band member Adam Frehm said.

Eventually, they toured their way through over 30 states, one of the many reasons Mital said he invited them to play the 40th anniversary show.

“When you talk about the bands in Burlington musical history that went beyond the state of Vermont, Smokin’ Grass comes up,” Mital said. “So they were definitely a considerable success.”

Smokin’ Grass is “genre-bending,” a result of the diverse musical backgrounds of the individual members, according to Nectar’s website.

“Our process of forming was pretty organic; we did not have any specific intentions,” Frehm said. “We love the music we play; it’s the common ground of a lot of influences.”

Their influences include jam-bands, jazz, bluegrass, funk and rock, he said.

Nectar’s hosts bluegrass bands every Thursday night, according to their website.

Frehm said Dec. 10th won’t be a regular bluegrass night.

“It’s going be a little more eclectic than the typical blue- grass night at Nectar’s,” Frehm said. “We have a more diverse set of influences that’s coming out in the music.”

Smokin’ Grass recommends coming out if you love to dance, since their music is danceable and upbeat.

They said dance parties are a common occurrence at shows.

They have not played in 10 years and currently do not have any future shows booked, Frehm said.

However, the band spoke of the “moments of magic” that arise at shows – when all the different variables come together in perfect harmony.

“We live for those two or three hours a day when the sound is good, the people are into it and it’s a good turnout,” Frehm said.

“When all these things happen at once, it’s magic and the energy is incredible,” he said. “It feels like you’re something bigger than yourself.”

To celebrate past and present Burlington bands share these moments of magic with Smokin’ Grass 9:30 p.m. Dec. 10 at Nectar’s.