Burlington, Vermont

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Vermont-based folk duo Cricket Blue is one of three sets of artists chosen to appear at this year’s festival through CTFolk’s “Auditions Night”, a concert program where the audience provides the festival’s Board of Directors with written feedback. Cricket Blue’s music is inspired by diverse aspects of the American folk tradition: old and current, popular and obscure. Laura Heaberlin and Taylor Smith write songs marked by close-knit harmonies and words about myth, confusion, love, and the ends of things. They accompany themselves with elegant and delicate finger-picking guitar, Cricket Blue’s sometimes mingled, sometimes markedly contrasting imaginations form the bones of the duo’s sound. Laura’s perceptive lyrical voice elevates the mundane and makes the sublime pocket-sized. Taylor threads images and characters into narratives that flicker between enigmatic and nakedly honest. They count songwriters like Anaïs Mitchell, Jeff Mangum, Joanna Newsom and Laura Marling among their influences, as well as poets and storytellers like Dylan Thomas, Alice Munro and Angela Carter. Laura and Taylor became friends at Middlebury College in Vermont, where they studied philosophy and literature. They released their second EP, Io, in April and recently they’ve shared the stage with such acts as the Stray Birds, Darlingside and Antje Duvekot.

— Steve Winters