"I worked with a lot of jazz greats over the years," she said. "Guys who played during the Depression. They told me that even in the worst of times, people would skip eating in order to be able to afford to go out and listen to music. And it's true. We're getting great audiences and selling an amazing amount of CDs despite the economy.
"It's gratifying to pick stuff that I hear and enjoy, to find that it's timely again and that people want to hear it. Everything old is new again. I'm very grateful to discover that. I had no idea that there was such interest and popularity in jug band and roots music. I think some of this new found interest can go back to the popularity of the soundtrack to 'O Brother Where Art Thou.'
"Roots music is gaining in popularity with absolutely no help from the above ground music media. It's truly grass roots, it's under the radar. It's like the way people are getting sick of junk food and wanting to eat good, nutritious home cooked food."
Maria's touring band is an example of the new generation of young roots musicians. The touring Garden of Joy Jug Band features rag time guitarist phenom Kit Stovepipe, the Gallus Brothers, Devin Champlin and Lucas Hicks from the Crow Quill Night Owls on multiple acoustic instruments - mandolins, fiddles, banjos, jugs, tubs, kazoos, harmonicas and Kurt Jensen on the bass and washtub. Many of them played on the new CD as well.
Tickets are $24 in advance, and $27 at the door. There are a limited number of "Angel" best-of-house seats at $33, available only online at www.brattleborotix.com. Tickets are available at Village Square Books, Fat Franks, and Boccelli's in Bellows Falls, Misty Valley Books in Chester, VAULT and Radio Shack in Springfield, and at www.bratteborotix.com.
For more information, go to vermontfestivalsllc.com, or call 463-9595.