A Mile of Music, a measure of pride

Mile 4 brought plenty of talent to Appleton this weekend. Some of our favorites included Wild Adriatic, Hubby Jenkins, Elle Winston, LOLO, Kristin Diable, and the Dreamers.

But, what really struck us about this year’s festival was the sophisticated talent of the homegrown performers. We watched Peridot fill the Lawrence Chapel with its soaring harmonies and tender lyrics and felt lucky to be there.

If chapel walls could talk, the Lawrence Chapel would tell the story of Hillary Reynolds and her perfect pitch. I’ve seen Hillary perform in every type of venue, from classroom, to high school stage, to New York coffee house, to Chicago club. Saturday night in Appleton, I believe we saw Hillary and her equally talented partner Trevor Jarvis reach new levels of richness and depth. Their set ranked as one of our festival favorites. Buy the Peridot CD. You’ll be glad you did.

Another performer on the cusp of national acclaim is Jon Wheelock, whom we’ve now seen perform several times as well. I messaged him after I first heard him sing at last year’s Mile of Music to tell him how much we had enjoyed his voice. He said, “Thanks…I’m so just a bass player though.”

So not true. Wheelock ‘s lovely tenor and moving lyrics earned him a standing ovation each time I saw him and his tireless band J-Council perform. I bought their CD and plan to start each day with his optimistic “Sun to Sun.” I’m actually listening to it right now and it’s making me smile. “This is our day from sun to sun. Every day is perfect if you let it be one.”

In a charming coincidence that turned out to be something of a theme for the home town performers, both Wheelock and Reynolds performed with their fathers, on stage.

Adopted hometown performer Adriel Denae also coaxed her father on stage for her set at the Outer Edge.

We’re lucky to live in a city that supports a nationally acclaimed music fest. We’re even luckier to have the opportunity to support performers year-round and to enjoy their world-class talent right down the road.

Hillary’s Peridot set ranks among our favorite moments at the Lawrence Chapel. While Peridot is based in Boston and LA, Hillary was born and raised in Appleton and returns fairly often to perform. Don’t miss the opportunity to see Peridot live.
Rick Reynolds
She played a few songs with her dad, bass player Ric Reynolds.
Hillary and Trevor, of Peridot, met at the Berklee School of Music and have been playing together ever since.
Hillary at the Farmer's Market
Saturday morning Peridot played for three straight hours at the Appleton Farmer’s Market.
Jon Wheelock
Jon Wheelock and his band, J-Council performed several times throughout the weekend. A lifelong bass player, he has a sweet tenor voice and writes a lovely lyric.
John Wheelock 2
We enjoyed every set.
Steve Wheelock
Jon Wheelock’s dad, guitarist Steve Wheelock, is a regular member of J-Council.
In many ways, Appleton also launched Adriel Denae, who performed her first solo set last year at Mile of Music. Denae has a Norah Jones produced album coming out later this year.
Adriel and her dad
She also played a tune with her dad at the Outer Edge during Mile of Music this year.
Molly and Jack
In a post about local performers, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention our friend Jack Russell.
Jack Russell
Jack, who graduated from Appleton North with Molly this year, played several sets, including one on the Mile of Music bus. We loved his set at El Patron, which went beautifully until I accidentally broke his raffle jar and short-circuited his mic. But, really, we don’t need to talk about that, right?
Elle Winston
In addition to the local performers, we also enjoyed Elle Winston.
Kristin Diable
And we caught Kristin Diable several times as well. We particularly enjoyed “Deepest Blue,” which we will be enjoying all year off her “Create Your Own Mythology” cd.

Dear Music

This Peridot song, written by Hillary in honor of her grandparents, took my breath away. Enjoy.

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