Sounds flourish below ground


The independence that college affords is incredibly magnified by moving off campus into a new world full of rent, gas bills and recycling bin scavengers. 

Living in an apartment building not named after a dead UVM alum pushes you out into the heart of the “city” everyday, where you can still listen and create music outside of Slade  Hall or Brennan’s.  

The trek to Higher Ground is no longer the highlight of the semester because coffees shops, restaurants and neighbors’ basements offer an eclectic arrangement of music performances. Some of the musicians in such venues are fellow students like the ones below.


Eleanor Krause


Year at UVM: junior

Her inspiration: “When I write a song, I finger pick rather than strumming. It’s a repetitive style that conjures up a feeling or mood and then the lyrics come forward. The songs are of a specific emotion, [they are] evocative. Stylistically, like Iron and Wine finger picking … my thoughts on wilderness … dreaming.”  

What she just wrote: A song “vaguely” inspired by the Occupy movement

Thoughts on off-campus music scene: “Where are all the female musicians hiding?”

Where you’ll see her next:  Maglianero on Nov. 11 and Nectar’s on Dec. 2.

Singer-songwriter Eleanor Krause, prefers to leave her music in its rawest form with only her voice and guitar to distract, Krause said.

When she’s not at UVM, Krause’s home is in Indiana where her mother’s cello tunes soothe and her parent’s music studio awaits new recordings, she said.

Here in Burlington, Krause has been writing the songs she regularly performs at Muddy Waters, the Radio Bean, the Monkey House and, formerly, Parima, Krause said.  



The Bumping Jones

Members: Shawn Connolly (vocals and guitar), Eric Fanning (drums), Ben Chussid (guitar) and Zachary Zimmerman (bass)

Years at UVM: Connolly is a sophomore, Fanning is a senior, Chussid is a senior and Zimmerman is a junior.

Songs you should hear: The band’s cover of Led Zeppelin’s “The Lemon Song” and the their original song “Ampersand.”

Thoughts on off-campus music scene: Connolly:  “We can’t get shows because DJs are easier to get into a basement.  That is our number one problem.”

Where you’ll see them next:  Zimmerman: “I don’t know … can I give out our number? It’s 978-853-2170.”

The Bumping Jones’ use the basement of Connolly’s Colchester’s apartment as practice space. It is strewn with wires, insulation, and guitars reverberating off the bass drum. 

During the interview angry neighbors came over to complain about the late-night tunes making there way up through the floorboards.

According to Connelly, angry neighbors is just another fact of being a musician off campus.

The four members met last year under the name “Jumping Bones” but at the advice of a friend, switched the first two letters of each word for something new, Zimmerman said.

They are slow to peg their music with any labels.  

“We are the anti-jam band,” Zimmerman said. “We are songwriters first and hesitant to say no to anything. It is…what we all like, and we fill in each other’s gaps.

“A big M.O. of ours is recalling 60s and 70s mindset, technicality and on song writing. That we can get a sound that is a sum great than the total of its parts,” added Fanning.


Aaron Levison


Year at UVM: “sophomore-junior”

What he does: Raps solo and with Erik Jefferis as “Down A Third.”

Where he played this weekend: On The Rise Bakery, Richmond, VT and Burlington’s Red Square

Why sweaty basements?:  “Because Burlington is so strict about people under 21 being around venues. Everyone [at parties] is just dancing and getting down … there are no kinds of restraints so it gets wild pretty fast.”

How he writes: “I start from a piece of music … music is so evocative and I love being immersed in it. I put it up really loud, and then an image, an idea will pop in. I follow it … it meanders like a river.”

As an English major, Levison’s poetry has transformed into the songs he writes for small local venues and at UVM parties, Levinson said.  

Everything him and musical partner Erik Jefferis make is sampled from old records they have found in old family vinyl collections, Levinson said.  

In his opinion, his sound is a parlay into funky jazz, hip-hop and soul.

“There are more rappers out in the Burlington music scene than you’d think,” Levinson said.  

LC of “Linguistic Civillians” lives next door and within UVM’s own sphere is Jacob S, who opened up for Mac Miller, he said.  

“It is a weird little microcosm,” he said


Taylor Morse


Where:  Radio Bean, Monkey House, Muddy Waters, The Skinny Pancake and students’ living rooms

On the off-campus music scene: “It feels like everyone around are incredible musicians who continually create … they are everywhere, people who don’t usually make music or do all the time.”

His sound: Poetry/songs aching to be out west or back in love, lyrics laden with heavy emotion inspired by Townes van Zandt and folk classics like Dylan.

In his third year at UVM, Taylor Morse has been bringing original melancholy blues to this college town since 2009.

“The music scene here is so accessible to everyone,” he said.  “I can just send out an email and get a gig in two weeks … you don’t have to search too hard.”  

But beyond the availability of music to students off campus, it is the musicians that really inspire Taylor to “keep playing so he doesn’t stop,” he said. 

Like many artists restrained to on-campus living, Morse began playing open mics at Slade, and slowly branched out downtown from there, he said.