-By Shaun Machia
When you were 19 you moved away from Vermont, studied in Nashville and traveled all around the world playing music. What made you want to come back to Vermont?
True, I left Canaan at the age of 19 after living at home for one year. During that one year between graduating high school and moving to Nashville, I toured with a Vermont band called, “Smokin’ Grass”. A bluegrass band that blended elements of folk and roots rock. I was asked to join the band on a cross country tour. Needless to say, I was more than excited to participate. It was a great way to see the massiveness and diversity of America while developing my skills as a young musician. We started in Upper State New York and ended up at the High Sierra Music Festival in Quincy, California after many stops including Tennessee, Colorado and Nevada. After that, I was offered a job in Nashville to play in a Celtic Rock band, “Ceili Rain” The fiddle player was bowing out, so she recruited me to replace her. My audition was over the phone with the band leader, Bob Halligan. I moved to Nashville and became room mates with another fiddle player (Casey Driessen) I had met along the way. I lived in Nashville for 4 years practiced until my fingers bled and made lots of great connections while continuing to perform all around the U.S. and Canada.