John Gillette & Sarah Mittlefehldt
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John Gillette & Sarah Mittlefehldt

Poultney, Vermont, United States | SELF

Poultney, Vermont, United States | SELF
Band Americana Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"John Gillette & Sarah Mittlefehldt, Old Field Pines"

"Where have John Gillette and Sarah Mittlefehldt been hiding? The Poultney -based pair are accomplished on a truckful of instruments, and sound as though they’ve been playing original, soulful acoustic music for much longer than the term “Americana” has been around. On Old Field Pines, an album that Gillette and Mittlefehldt recorded close to home this year at Southview Arts in Middletown Springs, they serve up 11 original songs that sound like old friends. This is comfortable string-band music, well sung and instantly timeless. It’s hard to describe, exactly, the style of music on this disc. The arrangements sound old timey at times, bluegrassy at others, and Travis-pick-driven now and then. Gillette wrote all the originals and sings lead in a smooth tenor. Mittlefehldt’s effortless harmonies make the sound all the richer...There’s a lot going on musically on each track, and the balance between the many strings and multiple vocal tracks is gloriously maintained throughout." - Seven Days

"Night In Wyoming"

"Before jamgrass laid claim to the hippie side of bluegrass, there was another left-of-center tradition epitomized by John Hartford and, sometimes, Peter Rowan. Boston trio Night In Wyoming follows in those footsteps. Laid-back, banjo-flavored, and far more focused on songs than chops, the band straddles bluegrass and folk.
Leader John Gillette possesses a warm voice and a gift for more straight-spoken poetry. He's also a serious long-distance hiker, and the album rings with his experiences. "Stretch On, Road" praises the outdoor life; in "Skylarking", he calls himself "a modern hobo." Hell, the album begins with the couplet "Blackberry breakfast/ Hitchin' out to Texas." Even when covering other subjects, the songs have the relaxed pace of a long day on foot.
That relaxation permeates Gillette's Zen-like philosophy toward the modern world. He views a lost love with some melancholy but overall acceptance. In "'04", he mourns the disappearance of the countryside and accompanying changes with regret, not the Guthrie-level fire. Similarly, the barely employed narrator of "Working My Way 'Cross The Country" describes smoke-choked factories and greasy diners, but what sticks are the Chad Mitchell Trio-style parallel harmonies. The album's final, rallying chorus declares that Night In Wyoming intends to 'play this music all our lives, right 'til the very end, boys.'"
- No Depression Magazine

"Voices Carry"

"...Night In Wyoming, a group of adorably scruffy lads on banjo, guitar and bass, play a very blue bluegrass. Fresh from a Monday residency at Tir Na Nog, where its magnetic, sweet sound was warmly received. With all the flavor of a home-cooked meal (and we're quoting them), John Gillette, Greg Glassman, and Adam Bernard will sing and play as the pints are poured. So put that in your fish 'n' chips and smoke it." - The Boston Globe

"Think Globally"

Before we move into the rapid-fire section of the column, I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge Poultney songwriter John Gillette, the recipient of the 2009 White Light Fund Scholarship. The $1000 prize is awarded each year in memory of late Vermont songwriter Rachel Bissex. I was a judge this year and was honored to take part. This year’s field was stacked — finalists included Justin Levinson, Mia Adams, Bow Thayer and Sara Grace, among others. But Gillette was clearly a standout, earning marks not only for a stellar performance, but for truly embodying the spirit of the award. Congrats, John. - Seven Days: Vermont’s Independent Voice


Glorified Armpit Noises EP (unreleased)
Night In Wyoming (2004)
Gasoline Rainbow (unreleased)
Lessons From the Fall (unreleased)
Burt Plays Kazoo (unreleased)
Old Field Pines (2012)



John Gillette & Sarah Mittlefehldt are grounded in the old field of grassroots music and nourished by the sounds of the 21st century. Helping set spot fires of locally bred music in the form of picking parties called Whiskey Fridays, they have blazed a trail of bonafide home-spun singing and songwriting from New England to the Midwest to the South and back again. Their songs stand out in the open, stretching and growing with each new experience, firmly planted in old sounds but calling out anew.