Student makes noise in Burly music scene


Autumn Lee

Senior Kristi Blow practices guitar on the Waterman green Oct. 18. Blow, a singer-songwriter, will be performing at Radio Bean Nov. 5.

Allie O'Connor

The Burlington music scene is an incredible environment for musicians, whether they are new bands just coming together or established solo acts.

Behind a voice that frequents the downtown music scene lies an incredible passion for music emboldened by emotion, lyrical honesty and a trusty guitar.

“There’s a ton of talent in the Burlington music scene, and I love to see the variety,” senior Kirsti Blow said. “It’s a really inclusive environment that I’m happy to be a part of.”

Blow has been deeply involved in music since growing up in Glens Falls, New York, she said.

“Music has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember,” she said. “My dad was a big Deadhead, so I grew up loving classic rock.”

While Blow has been influenced by countless artists since she was young, she cites Neil Young as her favorite songwriter.

“His songs are so powerful both as social commentary and an individual expression,” Blow said. “There’s an art to walking that line.”

Blow has been a passionate writer since she was young. She picked up the guitar at age 15, and each song she wrote became a new story she could tell.

Her voice draws on her own experiences to create sincere emotional depth, she said.

“Writing has always been an emotional outlet for me, and songs are kind of a poetic extension of that,” Blow said.

She’s written songs ranging from “Free,” a calming description of her grasping for “peace of mind,” to the sadder “The Highest Shelf,” a ballad about missing someone deeply. When not writing, she records covers of other artist’s songs.

She’s covered the late Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” as well as Mazzy Star’s “I’ve Gotta Stop” and Pierce the Veil’s “Hold On Till May.”

“I think UVM is a great environment for aspiring musicians and artists,” Blow said. “Burlington as a whole is brimming with creativity, and there are plenty of outlets and platforms to share ideas both in and outside the University.”

It isn’t easy to get your music out there as a new musician, she said.

“The best advice I could give to an aspiring musician is to just put yourself out there,” Blow said. Everybody fears rejection, but people are usually a lot more open than you think.”

“Just making that call or showing up to an open mic is the hardest part.”

Blow said she isn’t quite sure where she’s going to end up after she graduates.

She currently has two communications internships – one at the Center for Research on Vermont and the other at the Northeast Organic Farming Association – and hopes to continue work in her field while pursuing her love of music.

“I would love to make an album someday, and I hope to release an EP in the near future with some of my more recent songs,” she said.

Blow’s music can be found on her Facebook page, YouTube, Soundcloud. She also regularly performs live in Burlington venues such as Radio Bean, the Light Club Lamp Shop, The Monkey House and ArtsRiot.

She will be performing at Radio Bean Nov. 5.