The competition is stiff; the judges, discerning! Vermont’s Top Ten Winter Events begin next week. Chosen from dozens of entries for their ingenuity, creativity, and special Vermont flavor, visitors and locals alike will enjoy Vermont’s blue-ribbon “Top Ten” events.Even Scrooge could not resist the holiday spirit with Christmas at the Farm in Woodstock, The Vermont Symphony Orchestra Holiday Pops Tour, and New Year’s Eve “First Night” in the capital city of Montpelier.As winter settles into full swing, the Stowe Winter Carnival, True Companion Sled Dog Race in Craftsbury, Brookfield Ice Harvest, and 82nd Annual Harris Hill Ski Jumping Competition in Brattleboro stimulate winter’s body and soul.The “Top Ten Winter Events” wind up with the Mount Snow Anti Gravity Grail in March (the East Coast’s premier ski and snowboard event), and the Philips US Open Snowboarding Championships at Stratton Mountain. April closes out winter with the 24th Annual Bear Mountain Mogul Challenge in Killington.The “Top 10 Winter Events” are part of the Vermont Chamber of Commerce 2004 Vermont Winter Guide, Vermont’s leading winter travelers’ magazine. Other Guide features include “Top Picks for Kids,” lodging listings and resources for the winter travelers, a shopping guide, and editorial feature articles.The 2004 Vermont Winter Guide, “Vermont Chamber of Commerce Top 10 Winter Events,” and other Vermont information is available free of charge from 1-800-VERMONT, by calling the Vermont Chamber at (802) 223-3443, or on the Chamber’s website at http://www.vtchamber.com(link is external).-30-
NEW CLIENTS FOR VERMONT AD FIRM, MOONDYNE AGENCY.Draker Solar Design, LLC and Vermont Hand Crafters, Inc. have both partnered with Burlington communications company Moondyne Agency.Draker Solar, a key player in the green technology sector and specialist in fully integrated ‘green’ data acquisition, has charged Moondyne Agency with developing a new look and feel for the growing brand’s print and collateral efforts.Also this spring, Moondyne Agency added Vermont Hand Crafters (VHC) to its roster of clients. VHC was formed in 1955 as a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion and sale of Vermont crafts. They have enlisted Moondyne’s services in multiple. Agency duties include re-branding, print advertising, television, and radio. Portions of the brand’s transition to a new image are to be in place for VHC’s 54th annual Holiday Craft & Art Show, an event which takes place in South Burlington each November.Moondyne Agency, located at 5 Lawson Lane in Burlington, offers creative brand advertising solutions to a wide range of regionally based businesses. Lawson Lane is located between St. Paul Street and Pine Street, just west of Burlington’s City Hall Park. For more information call (802) 310-3326 or visit www.moondyneagency.com(link is external).
Middlebury, VT — Co-operative Insurance Companies has named Gina Larrow its Vice President of Human Resources and Fletcher Brush its Vice President of Education and Community Relations.Appointments to the two new posts were made at the annual meeting of Co-op’s boards of directors in April.”We are excited about these changes in Fletcher and Gina’s roles,” said Jim Sullivan, the company’s president and CEO. “Each of them is now in a better position to work on important strategic initiatives, which in turn puts Co-op in a better position to face the challenges of today’s soft market and tomorrow’s competitive landscape.”Larrow is a new company officer, having held the position of human resources manager at Co-op since 2000. She is a former member of the Middlebury UD#3 school board, sits on the board of directors of the United Way of Addison County, and is active in the Middlebury Union High School junior varsity softball program. A graduate of Champlain College, she holds the Professional in Human Relations designation.Brush has been with Co-op since 1980 and has held positions ranging from claims adjuster to customer relations manager to VP of agency services. Among his many other roles, he is a director of the National Bank of Middlebury and a former president of the Addison County Chamber of Commerce, the Middlebury Rotary Club and Middlebury Community House. For years, he was also involved with MUHS varsity hockey, Middlebury Junior Golf, and the Memorial Sports Center. In 2007, he received the Middlebury College Citizens’ Medal for outstanding contributions to the community.Co-operative Insurance Companies has been meeting property and casualty insurance needs since 1915, offering farm, home, auto, business, and other insurance to people in Vermont and New Hampshire. It is owned by its members and committed to protecting them with fast and fair claims service, loss prevention expertise, and local operations. The company has headquarters in Middlebury, Vermont, with regional claims offices and more than 50 agencies across Vermont and New Hampshire.
Newport, VT – The Search Committee, with the approval of the Board of Trustees, is happy to announce Claudio Fort as North Country Health System’s new President and CEO.Claudio grew up in Nashua, New Hampshire. His parents are both deceased but his in-laws and siblings live in southern New Hampshire. He and his wife, Brenda, have two children. Gabriela “Gabby,” is age 12 and in the sixth grade and their son, Camden, age 10, is in the fourth grade. Prior to having children, Brenda worked full-time as an insurance underwriter. She was a stay-at-home mom until their children began school. She now works part-time at a local insurance agency.Claudio attended the University of New Hampshire and graduated in 1988 with a double major in Economics and History. He earned an MBA from New Hampshire College in 1997.The summer before his senior year in college Claudio got a job at Bon Secours (now Holy Family Hospital) in Methuen, Massachusetts as a summer intern, which was his introduction to healthcare. The same summer his father passed away very suddenly of a heart attack and the outpouring of support he received from the Sisters and other staff at the hospital are what motivated him to pursue a career in healthcare administration. After he completed college, he accepted an industrial sales position for a defense subcontractor, but quickly knew that was not the direction he wanted his career to take. He applied for a marketing position with North Country Associates, a chain of nursing homes in Maine. Instead he was offered a nursing home administrator training position, filling in at a couple of their locations before receiving a permanent assignment as Administrator of a facility.After four years, Claudio was recruited by the Hillhaven Corporation as Administrator of their 83-bed skilled nursing facility in Maine. He enjoyed a very successful tenure with Hillhaven, but in 1996, the organization was sold.In 1997, Claudio was contacted by the CEO of the Main Veterans Homes, a five-facility system. After one year as administrator there, he was recruited as Vice President of Facility Operations as well as Nursing Home Administrator for Inland Hospital in Waterville, ME. In this role, he had responsibility for the 76-bed skilled nursing facility, as well as hospital responsibility for Facilities, Rehabilitation Services, Food and Nutritional Service, Housekeeping, Plant Operations, and Security. This gave Claudio the opportunity to move into acute care management, as well as providing him with Board and medical staff experience. In his role, he managed nine direct reports with responsibility for 140 employees, including seven physicians and three mid-level providers.In 2004 Claudio felt ready to move into a CEO role and was recruited to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Highland, Illinois, where he has enjoyed success for the last five years. Though they have enjoyed living in Illinois, Claudio and Brenda have missed their families and life in New England. The opportunity to become North Country’s CEO and also live in VT was the perfect combination for Claudio, both professionally and personally.Claudio enjoys being professionally active and feels it is important to contribute to the communities in which he has lived. He is currently a member of the American College of Health Care Executives and the president-elect of Region 4 of the Illinois Hospital Association. He is a member of the Highland Rotary Club and serves on the Board of Directors of the Highland Chamber of Commerce. Claudio is also on the Strategic Planning Committee of the local school district. He is looking forward to making Newport his home and becoming an active member of our community.In his leisure hours Claudio enjoys spending time with his family in a variety of recreational activities including camping, hiking, skiing, boating, traveling, and supporting his children in their various academic, cultural, and athletic events.The Forts plan to move over the holidays and Claudio will assume his role as CEO in early January.
Angela Ruggiero signs autographs following the announcement. Left to right: USA Hockey Executive Director Dave Ogrean, University of Vermont President Daniel Mark Fogel, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin, U.S. Olympian Angela Ruggiero and University of Vermont Associate VP & Director of Athletics Robert Corran. University of Vermont,The University of Vermont and the city of Burlington have been selected to host the 2012 International Ice Hockey Federation World Women’s Championship, as announced today by USA Hockey at a press conference this afternoon at the Waterman Building on the campus of UVM. Gutterson Fieldhouse will host all U.S. and Canada games, plus the playoff and medal rounds.Gutterson Fieldhouse- home to the UVM men’s and women’s NCAA Division I ice hockey programs – will serve as the primary venue and will host all U.S. and Canada games, as well as the playoff and medal rounds. Meanwhile, Cairns Arena, located in South Burlington, will serve as the secondary facility for the event. The eight-nation tournament, which will tentatively run from April 7-14, 2012, includes 22 games and features the top female hockey players in the world.”We’re fully confident that the eagerness and commitment shown by the University of Vermont and city of Burlington to host the IIHF World Women’s Championship will translate into an exceptional experience for the players and fans from around the world,” said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey. “It will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for those in the New England region to see the best women’s players in the world up-close and in person.””We are thrilled to be serving as the host site for the IIHF World Women’s Championship and look forward with enthusiasm and excitement to working with USA Hockey, the greater Burlington community and the state of Vermont in preparing for this very special and world-wide celebration of women’s hockey,” said Robert Corran, associate vice president and director of athletics for UVM.Dignitaries at the event included Governor Peter Shumlin and UVM President Dan Fogel, as well as NHL and UVM hockey star Asron Miller, who played in the Olympics in 2006. Representing the US Women’s team was Anglea, who played in the first nationally televised women’s game between the US and Canada in 1997, also at Gutterson.The United States has earned gold medals in three of the last four world championships (2005, 2008, 2009), while capturing silver in the remaining nine years (1990, 1992, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2007). The title game has featured the U.S. and Canada every year of the tournament dating back to its inception in 1990.Coming off back-to-back gold medals at the most recent world championships in 2008 and 2009 (the IIHF World Women’s Championship was not held in 2010 due to the Olympic Winter Games), the U.S. will play for a third straight title at the 2011 IIHF World Women’s Championship from April 16-25 in Zurich and Winterthur, Switzerland. The United States’ finish in that tournament will determine its seeding for the event in Burlington.A schedule and ticket packages for the 2012 IIHF World Women’s Championship will be available in May. For more information, visit USAHockey.com.Burlington was selected from a pool of finalists that also included Minneapolis; Rochester, N.Y.; and Hartford, Conn. … In 2012, the IIHF World Women’s Championship will be held in the U.S. for the third time in its 12-year history. Previously, Lake Placid, N.Y., put on the World Women’s Championship in 1994, followed by Minneapolis in 2001. The United States will be looking to secure its first IIHF Women’s World Championship title on home soil … IIHF World Women’s Championships have not been held in Olympic years (1998, 2002, 2006, 2010) … In May 2007, the IIHF granted USA Hockey the rights to host three world championships, including the 2009 IIHF World Men’s U18 Championship (Fargo, N.D. and Moorhead, Minn.), the 2011 World Junior Championship (Buffalo, N.Y.) and the 2012 World Women’s Championship. Since then, USA Hockey was awarded the right to host the 2010 IIHF World Women’s U18 Championship (Chicago), the 2015 IIHF World Men’s U18 Championship (site TBA), the 2017 IIHF World Women’s Championship (site TBA), the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship (site TBA) and the 2021 IIHF World Women’s Championship (site TBA) … U.S. teams have earned medals in each of the last three IIHF World Championships that have taken place in the United States (2009 IIHF World Men’s U18 Championship-gold, 2010 IIHF World Women’s U18 Championship-silver, 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship-bronze) … Tony Rossi, vice president of USA Hockey and a member of the IIHF Council, oversees all aspects of international competition for USA Hockey. U.S. Olympian Angela Ruggiero answers questions after the announcement. Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin talks to the media about the expected impact of hosting the international event. Dave Ogrean helps announce that the 2012 IIHF World Women’s Championship will be hosted in Burlington, Vt. Local hockey players and fans showed up at the University of Vermont for the announcement. Angela Ruggiero poses for a photo with some area hockey players. University of Vermont President Daniel Mark Fogel addresses the media and fans.USA Hockey January 19, 2011. Photos courtesy of USAHockey.com
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享London South East:The World Bank said on Wednesday it would not support a planned 500-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in Kosovo, the first major energy project in the Balkan country in more than two decades.Kosovo’s government had asked the Washington-based lender to provide it partial risk guarantees that would help unlock cheaper loans for the project.Asked by a Kosavar civil society representative during the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) meetings in Bali if the bank would still back the project, its President Jim Yong Kim said the lender has made “a very firm decision” not to go forward with it.“Because we are required with our bylaws to go with the lowest cost option and renewables have now come below the cost of coal…so without question we are not going to do that,” he said during the meeting, broadcast live on the World Bank’s website.It is unclear how the government will now proceed with the project which environmentalists say could lock Kosovo into a future powered by lignite. Kosovo signed a deal in 2017 with London-listed power generator ContourGlobal to build the plant at a cost of around 1 billion euros ($1.15 billion).With around 14 billion tonnes of proven lignite reserves, the fifth largest in the world, the country is struggling with power shortages and the new plant was designed to help it meet around half of the country’s power demand. More: World Bank pulls out of Kosovo coal power plant project World Bank says no to planned Kosovo coal plant
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:Australia’s booming rooftop solar market is on track to add a record 2,000MW (2GW) of capacity in 2019, as electricity prices refuse to budge and state government rebates make solar self-generation more accessible than ever.A new report from Green Energy Markets says 480MW of small-scale rooftop solar capacity has already been installed in the first quarter of this year, confirming previous analysis that it eclipses the total from the same time last year by a massive 46 per cent, and delivering two-and-a-half times the Q1 average of the past four years.At this rate, says Green Energy Markets’ Tristan Edis, new additions of rooftop solar would, by 2022, deliver more than enough new generation capacity to replace Liddell Power Station – the New South Wales coal power plant that is due to retire by that date.At the large-scale end of the market, GEM’s Edis details a massive 8,123MW of projects under construction across the country at the end of March, including 4,592MW of wind farms and 3,471MW of large-scale solar.As at the end of March, renewables made up almost 20 per cent – 19.7% – of the electricity generated on Australia’s main grids, enough to power 9.5 million homes.More: Rooftop solar to add 2,000MW in 2019, another Liddell by 2022 Utility-scale and residential rooftop solar installations are booming in Australia
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Salt Lake Tribune:A proposed oil shale mine and ore-processing project in the Uinta Basin is under legal fire from several environmental groups that are seeking to invalidate a recent Bureau of Land Management decision to let the developer cut a 14-mile utility corridor across public land.In a lawsuit filed Thursday in Salt Lake City’s U.S. District Court, the groups say the BLM’s environmental review should have considered the impacts to air, water, wildlife and climate from the massive strip mine proposed on private land by Enefit American Oil. “The BLM approved the rights of way to service Enefit’s proposed oil shale mine and processing facility based on an utterly inadequate analysis of potentially devastating air, water, climate and species impacts,” said Michael Toll, a staff attorney at Grand Canyon Trust. “Considering the rights of way are a public subsidy of an otherwise economically unfeasible oil shale development, the public has a right to know exactly how Enefit’s project will impact their health and environment.”Enefit previously has argued that the larger environmental analysis should not be required because its project could move forward without the proposed rights of way. The corridor would lessen the project’s impacts and further reviews will be required before mining begins, executives say.A subsidiary of a large state-run Estonian energy firm, Enefit hopes to develop a mine on 9,000 acres near the White River, along with a 320-acre processing plant that would “retort” ore known as kerogen. This rockbound hydrocarbon can be converted to crude if subjected to intense heat and pressure. As a result, this form of energy extraction uses large amounts of energy and water.The company hopes to produce up to 50,000 barrels a day, extracted from 28 million tons of ore mined each year for up to 30 years. It is seeking rights to nearly 11,000 acre-feet of water that would be needed to extract and process the ore. Spent ore would then be returned to the mine pit.More: Groups sue to reverse the feds’ approval of right of way needed for eastern Utah oil shale mining Environmentalists sue federal government over planned Utah oil shale development
Alabama municipal utility moves forward with 100MW solar farm FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Montgomery Advertiser:In Montgomery County, 800 rural acres will soon be home to a massive 350,000-panel solar array. The project, a partnership between local utility company Alabama Municipal Electric Authority and Lightsource BP, will bring a large-scale, utility-sized solar development to the River Region. Utility leaders say several recent factors have made solar power a realistic energy source, and they expect others to follow suit shortly.“Our mission is to provide low-cost reliable electric power to our member cities at the lowest possible cost that we can,” said Fred Clark, president and chief executive of AMEA. “We search for economic resources and study those daily with a group of engineers that we have, both on staff as well as consultants that we reach out to.”That research yielded what AMEA believes to be a feasible and forward-thinking project in the solar field. The deal with Lightsource, a partnership itself under British Petroleum, will bring 100 megawatts of solar energy into AMEA’s “energy portfolio.”Everything will be built and maintained by Lightsource, with AMEA only buying the energy and selling it to different municipalities and utilities in areas like Opelika and Tuskegee. AMEA has 13 utility affiliates across the state, though none in Montgomery. The benefit for the county will be the over $5 million in property taxes to be collected over the lifetime of the project, which will go to Montgomery’s cash-strapped school system.Clark said AMEA may be jumping on the solar train earlier than some others — moving its percentage of energy generation by solar from 1 percent to 10 percent — but he expects others to join in the near future.More: Montgomery-based electric authority closes deal on 350K solar panel array
Cool summer could push U.S. coal consumption below 600 million tons—analysts FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Industry analysts told S&P Global Market Intelligence a projected cooler summer across much of the U.S. could challenge an already struggling coal industry by muting domestic utility demand for the commodity. Coupled with weakening European and Asian thermal coal pricing, a cooler summer resulting in lower energy demand could weigh on the U.S. coal sector, the analysts said.“Every year is important for this industry,” said B. Riley FBR analyst Lucas Pipes. “I think it’s probably fair to say that given the weakness in the seaborne market at this time, stronger domestic demand is maybe more important than let’s say last year because if the export market should continue to stay challenging at current pricing levels, clearly producers have to look more towards the domestic market to balance their sales books.”Todd Crawford, senior meteorologist for IBM Business’ The Weather Company, told S&P Global Market Intelligence that he projects there will be about 9.5% less energy demand on average across the country year over year. Crawford said heavy rain and flooding in the Midwest this spring will likely result in a cooler summer, noting that temperatures in the region and into the Northwest have remained two or three degrees below average in recent weeks. He added the Southeast may have a slightly warmer summer than normal but not a significant increase.“As we look through June, we don’t see a lot of heat through the major population centers, energy demand centers, of the eastern U.S.,” Crawford said. “If there’s any big heat going on in June, it’s going to be of the [Pacific] Northwest.”Andy Blumenfeld, head of Market Analytics at Doyle Trading Consultants LLC, said some power demand data is already reflecting the effect of cooler temperatures heading into the summer. Though the U.S. had strong energy demand this winter, it has declined significantly more recently. Blumenfeld said he thinks coal burn will decrease significantly this year compared with 2018, dropping by much as 40 million tons to less than 600 million tons, a record low over the last several decades.Blumenfeld added the potential for increased summer demand from the international market could help domestic producers, given the increased use of air conditioning in other nations outside the U.S., especially in Asia. “If we do see a spike in demand that certainly will help, so that’s possibly a good-news scenario that comes out of this,” he said, “but so far we’re not seeing it in the forward pricing to a great degree. There is some upward lift, but it’s still pretty low.”More ($): Cooler summer may limit domestic opportunities for struggling coal sector
Fossil Fuel Companies Are Grappling with Climate Change FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Time:A peculiar theme park in the Hague celebrates the history of the Netherlands through a series of miniature models. The Madurodam features little canals, old-fashioned windmills, tiny tulips and, amid it all, an homage to Royal Dutch Shell, the oil giant that is the biggest company in the country and, by revenue, the second largest publicly traded oil-and-gas company in the world. There’s a Shell drilling platform, a Shell gas station and a Shell natural-gas field, complete with a drilling rig. The display is at once odd–energy infrastructure in a children’s theme park–and entirely fitting: Shell has been, for decades, one of the most powerful players both in Dutch politics and on the global economic stage.But that could soon change. As concerns grow over the existential challenges posed by climate change, Shell must grapple with its own existential crisis: How should a company that generates most of its profits by serving the world’s enormous appetite for oil navigate a long-term future in which shifting political and economic tides threaten to make fossil fuels obsolete?Shell CEO Ben van Beurden has a bird’s-eye view of the situation from his corner office at the company’s global headquarters in the Hague. “We have to figure out what are the right bets to take in a world that is completely changing because of society’s concerns around climate change,” he says.Projections from energy companies show demand for oil could peak and fall in the coming decades; some outside analyses suggest demand for oil could plateau as soon as 2025. Markets are already jittery about the industry: energy was the worst-performing sector on the S&P 500 index in 2019. In 1980, the energy industry represented 28% of the index’s value, according to the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). Last year, it represented less than 5%. The shift away from oil looms so large that Moody’s warned in 2018 that the energy transition represents “significant business and credit risk” for oil companies. The heads of the Banks of England and France said in an op-ed that any company that does not change strategically to the new energy reality “will fail to exist.” On Jan. 14, Larry Fink, founder and CEO of investment giant BlackRock, wrote in an open letter that “climate change has become a defining factor in companies’ long-term prospects.”As oil flirts with the prospect of decline, energy executives are at odds over what to do. Some firms, like ExxonMobil, are positioning themselves to squeeze the last lucrative years from the oil economy while arguing to shareholders that they will be able to sell all their oil. Shell and a handful of others are beginning to adapt.Under van Beurden’s leadership, Shell is charting a path that will allow it to continue to profit from oil and gas while simultaneously expanding its plastics business and diversifying into electrical power. By the 2030s, the 112-year-old fossil-fuel giant wants to become the world’s largest power company. As part of this strategy, Shell has worked to present itself as environmentally friendly. Last year, it committed to reduce its emissions by as much as 3% by 2021, and by around 50% by 2050, tying its executives’ compensation to the cuts.Analysts say it’s too early to tell whether Shell’s strategy to reduce reliance on oil will pay off for shareholders in the long run. Last year, Shell, while continuing to pay large dividends, bought back stock, helping maintain its share price. The maneuver kept the company’s stock valuation roughly level, but it’s hardly a workable long-term strategy. Across the sector, companies “have to figure out who they are in this changing market,” says Tom Sanzillo, director of finance at the IEEFA. “They are not the profit center that they used to be, and they probably never will be.”The viability of sticking with oil, even as major world economies promise to move away, is uncertain. Both ExxonMobil and Chevron are staying the course, hoping to outlast their competitors. But Shell and others are moving to adapt. BP, for instance, has also invested in natural gas and power, while ConocoPhillips has prioritized “short-cycle project times” to help it stay economically competitive. Occidental has dropped money into a method of drilling that allows it to store CO2 in the ground, a bet that it can offset some of the regulatory costs of CO2 emissions within its own operations. And in December, the Spanish oil giant Repsol committed to being carbon-neutral by 2050 and wrote down many of its oil assets on the grounds that their value will diminish as oil fades.[Justin Worland]More: The Reason Fossil Fuel Companies Are Finally Reckoning With Climate Change
Tim O’Brien & Darrell Scott – Brother WindAcoustic Syndicate – HeroesAndrea Tomasi – BirdflowerBig Sandy & His Fly Rite Boys – What A Dream It’s BeenBlair Crimmins & The Hookers – It’s All Over NowChris Eldridge & Julian Lage – For CritterChris Jones & The Night Drivers – Lonely Comes EasyDan Miraldi – Lovebomb!Deer Tick – The Dream’s In The DitchDrew Holcomb & The Neighbors – Good LightDrew Kennedy – Good CarpentryFinnders & Youngberg – DinerAustin Lucas – Alone In MemphisOdd Us – HomeOld Buck – Icy MountainPeter Cooper – Opening DayRon Block – IvySusanna & Ensemble Neon – Oh, I Am StuckThe Horse’s Ha – Dying TreeThe Sweetback Sisters – I Got A BulldogThe Whiskey Gentry – Dixie Watching any given month of Trail Mix coming together is always an interesting process. From time to time, a month will take on a certain flavor, tapping into a particular vibe. As the days of August dwindled and the final tracks of the September mix rolled in, that was certainly the case.This month’s Trail Mix is an Americana gem, with lots of bluegrass, old time, and singer/songwriter material that is really hard to beat.Right out of the gate we have a tune that, recently, I described as being a nearly perfect song. Tim O’Brien and Darrell Scott have long been two of my favorite songwriters. Whenever they collaborate, goodness happens. We are lucky to have “Brother Wind,” an older O’Brien tune, in our opening slot. Scott and O’Brien included the tune on their recent release, Memories and Moments.Check out the great bluegrassy sounds of Chris Jones & The Night Drivers and Ron Block, who is typically out on the road with Allison Krauss & Union Station, and the good time old time feel of The Sweetback Sisters, Finnders & Youngerg, and Old Buck.Trail Mix is also really big on the new record from The Whiskey Gentry. “Dixie,” featured here this month, is a killer tune.Make sure to explore new material from Deer Tick, Peter Cooper, Julian Lage and Chris Eldridge, and much more on our free music download. Take a listen, spread the word, and get out and buy music from the artists. Catch them at a venue near you. And tune into the Trail Mix blog; we’ll be giving away some music and festival tickets this month.