Moonshine Music Fest features Rootbrew, Billy Wylder

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MANCHESTER —The Moonshine Music Festival, featuring Rootbrew and Billy Wylder, returns to Earth Sky Time Farm on Sunday evening, Sept. 2, to celebrate local food, community and music, rain or shine.

Rootbrew, sprouted from the Hudson Valley, creates uplifting sound centered around love, positivity and passion. The band is influenced by popular Caribbean, South and West African styles, making a clear connection to American roots music. Lead vocalist Meg Riebesell delivers both simple love songs and politically charged songs about women's movements and immigrant rights as well as laments on war, and spirituality.

Wylder weaves together American folk and rock with sensibilities from the Sahara Desert. The band features founder and festival curator Avi Salloway on vocals, guitar and harmonica. He is joined by "close-kindred spirits" Rob Flax, Krista Speroni and Zamar Odongo.

From 2013-2016, Salloway toured the globe with Bombino, the Tuareg guitar hero from Niger, Africa. The journey provided him with inspiration and material for Billy Wylder's forthcoming album, "Strike the Match," which will be released on September 7.

This record has Mother Earth at its center, surrounded by stories of love, conflict, change and dreams.

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For Salloway, playing at the farm is a special treat. As a UVM grad and good friend of the Levis family, the Green Mountains provide an ideal set.

"I love Vermont. I have a deep affinity with the state, culture, and the sustainability of food and the environment. The people are warm which allows real, strong connections to be formed. I love coming back [here] to perform. And I can't wait to jump into a reservoir," Salloway said.

To Salloway, music is a remedy the world needs right now.

"We are living in a time with extreme polarization. We can build roots through live music, dance and celebration [though] to strengthen human connections and oversee differences. We want to create a singular moment of music, a spark of hope amongst a period of struggle," he added.

The festivity will include bus-fired pizza, local beer and wine, community art making and a bountiful harvest farm stand. Instruments, picnics, friends and lovers are all welcome to this end of summer celebration.

Tickets can be purchased for $15 at or at the door. Children under 12 are free. For more information, call 802-384-1400.


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